Germany bans Hammerskins neo-Nazi group

Germany has banned a local chapter of the US-based Hammerskins neo-Nazi group known for its white supremacist rock concerts, the interior ministry said on Tuesday.

Hammerskins Deutschland, a group of around 130 people, aimed to spread “a racial doctrine based on Nazi ideology”, a statement said.

Police raided the homes of 28 group members across several regions on Tuesday morning, it said. Some sub-chapters of the group and a spin-off known as Crew 28 were also banned.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said it was “a hard blow against organised right-wing extremism” that would send “a clear signal against racism and anti-Semitism”.

The group played a “prominent” role in the right-wing extremist scene in Europe, according to the ministry.

It is the 20th right-wing extremist group to be banned in Germany.

The group’s purpose was “to live out and consolidate their right-wing extremist ideology, especially through concerts”, the ministry said.

The US-based group was founded in 1988.

There were some 38,800 people in the right-wing extremist spectrum in Germany in 2022, according to a report presented by the BfV federal domestic intelligence agency in June — up from 33,900 in 2021.

The number considered potentially violent also rose from 13,500 to 14,000.

Far-right extremism was “the biggest extremist threat to our democracy,” Faeser said.

In February 2020, a far-right extremist shot dead 10 people and wounded five others in the central German city of Hanau.

More recently, police in December swooped on a far-right group led by a self-styled prince who allegedly intended to violently overthrow the state and install a new government.



Never miss any story with active notifications