Right-wing extremist organisation Artgemeinschaft banned
27 September 2023
26 homes of 39 members and premises of the organisation searched in 12 federal states
Some 700 state police officers today began enforcing the ban on the right-wing extremist, racist and antisemitic organisation Artgemeinschaft – Germanische Glaubens-Gemeinschaft wesensgemäßer Lebensgestaltung e.V. (Artgemeinschaft).
Extremist literature, gold, cash and firearms
Artgemeinschaft is a neo-Nazi, racist and xenophobic organisation with some 150 members. It is hostile to democracy and opposes the constitutional order. Its opposition to the idea of international understanding is expressed in its antisemitic publications.
Property searches were carried out in 12 federal states (Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Brandenburg, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia). In the course of the searches, memorabilia, gold, ammunition and weapons, including crossbows, were seized. As part of the enforcement action, members’ weapons permits were also revoked.
Pseudo-religious beliefs to disguise racist attitudes
The key objective of Artgemeinschaft was to preserve and advance their own “species”, or in other words, their “race”, as that term was used in Nazi ideology. Members of the organisation were only allowed to marry within the Nordic or Germanic “species”, in order to ensure that their children would have the “proper” racial heritage according to the organisation’s racist ideology. People of other “species” were seen as inferior.
The organisation’s purpose was for its members to live by its right-wing extremist worldview and to pass its ideology on to children and young people. To achieve this aim, the organisation distributed Nazi-era literature and other content that was largely based on such literature. It also published a series of books and maintained a website as well as a presence on various social media sites to make its right-wing extremist views known to a wider audience and to recruit and radicalise new followers.
The ban and search warrants were in preparation for more than a year. Information gathered by the domestic intelligence services at federal and state level was particularly important in preparing the ban. The federal and state-level security authorities were also closely involved. “My sincere thanks go to the 700 police officers for their work today to protect our democracy against right-wing extremists,” Federal Minister Faeser said.
The ban prohibits members of the banned organisation from continuing its activities in any form; it also prohibits third parties from acting on behalf of the organisation in any way. Violations of the ban constitute criminal offences under section 20 of the Act Governing Private Associations (Vereinsgesetz) until the ban has binding effect and under section 85 of the Criminal Code (Strafgesetzbuch) thereafter.
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