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Germany bans neo-Nazi group for 'indoctrination of children'

GreenWatch Desk World News 2023-09-27, 6:01pm


Germany's Interior Ministry on Wednesday said it had banned a far-right group known for indoctrinating children as police carried out a series of raids.

The ministry said the group had used a pseudo-religious belief in Germanic gods to spread Nazi ideology within families.

What we know so far
A statement from the German Interior Ministry said it banned the Artgemeinschaft group, which it said was an anti-democratic association with around 150 members.

Police raided 26 apartments in 12 of Germany's 16 states to target 39 members of the network

The ministry outlined the ban against the group and its offshoots, describing it as a "cult-like, deeply racist and antisemitic association" that sought to indoctrinate children with far-right thinking.

"This is a further blow against right-wing extremism and against the intellectual agitators who still spread Nazi ideologies today," Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said.

"This far-right group tried to raise new enemies of the constitution through the disgusting indoctrination of children and youths," Faeser added.

The ministry said the group had "used a pseudo-religious Germanic belief in God to spread their worldview which violates human dignity."

It used Nazi-era literature to convert the young to adopt its race theories, the ministry said, and ran an online bookstore that sought to radicalize and attract non-members.

The ministry said all the group's sub-organizations targeted at families also fell under the prohibition.

Among the regions police carried out their raids were the southern states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg and the eastern state of Brandenburg.

Latest in string of prohibitions
Germany has outlawed a number of extremist groups in recent months, including the local chapter of the US-based Hammerskins neo-Nazi group.

The group is known for its white supremacist rock concerts.

A report from Germany's domestic intelligence agency said around 38,800 people belonged to the right-wing extremist spectrum in Germany in 2022.

That figure was up from 33,900 in 2021, and the number of individuals considered to be potentially violent also rose from 13,500 to 14,000, reports DW.