I don’t have a lot to write about yesterday’s revelation. I read about it online— a group of 25 Q Anon types in Germany, with designs on violently overthrowing the government in Germany. I am not a German citizen, but Germany has been home to me for ten years of my life. I’m 50 years old, so that’s 20 percent of my lifetime– a pretty good chunk. And realizing that, I figure maybe it really is time I learned the language. 😉 A potential New Year’s resolution, perhaps?
Among the right wing wackos was a descendent of German royalty, 71-year-old Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss. The Local: Germany had a couple of pictures of the prince sitting in the back of a police car, wearing an FFP2 face mask and handcuffs. The Polizei had kindly cuffed the man in front, rather than behind his back. They picked up the prince in Frankfurt, which is maybe a twenty minute drive from where Bill and I are currently living. When I saw the photos of him, I was struck by just how German he looked. It’s clear that Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss is a man of means, just based on his dress. For instance, I think I spotted a kravat around his neck, which matched his blazer, blue shirt, and orange-ish brown pants. He was all “put together” looking… it wasn’t a look I would expect to see on a typical Q Anon type in the United States. I read that he works (or worked) as a real estate developer.
I noticed the German cops were all wearing ninja looking coverings over their heads and faces. Bill said it was because German cops get targeted for doing their jobs. I haven’t seen many rank and file police officers wearing those hoods, so I guess this is a practice more for the high speed police officers who deal with people planning to harm leaders and violently overthrow the government. This particular right wing group, The Reichsbürger movement, and had plans to storm the parliament with a team of heavily armed militants. According to The Local: Germany, this movement has existed since the 80s and mostly consists of gun enthusiasts, neo-Nazis, and conspiracy theorists. However, the incarnation of the group that had actual plans to storm the Reichstag formed in November 2021, “at the latest.”
From what I’ve read, other members of the prince’s family have distanced themselves from him, because of his increasingly divisive rhetoric. I read that he and the rest of his posse are convinced that Germany is being run by a deep state that was formed after World War I. At this time, the prince is said to be the “ringleader” of the group. He pictured himself to be the leader of the new revolutionary government, if the group had managed to pull off the coup attempt. Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss is a descendant of the the House of Reuß that ruled parts of Thuringia for about 800 years. My guess is that he admires Donald Trump very much and would like him to “hold his beer.”
The Local: Germany reports:
In a notorious speech given at a business summit in Zurich in 2019, Heinrich XIII had referenced the antisemitic conspiracy theory that the 20th century world order had been engineered by the Rothschild dynasty and the freemasons. He also complained that his own dynasty had been “disposessed” after the first world war.
“Ever since Germany surrendered, it has never been sovereign again,” he told listeners. “It has only been made an administrative structure of the allies.”
Obviously, this situation has been stuck in the prince’s craw for a long time. He was ready to do something about it. People in the group he led were trying to consort with Russians. Some members were highly trained military officials. One woman is a lawyer by training and had become very vocal against immigration and was speaking out about conspiracy theories pushed by Q Anon.
I can’t even pretend to know a lot about this situation yet, as it was just reported yesterday. Until then, I was thinking Germany was somewhat more normal than my long suffering homeland is right now. But obviously, there are some dangerous people here, too, and they have big plans. We really are living in interesting times, aren’t we? But it seems that yesterday’s arrests came after some 3,000 police officers conducted early morning raids in over 130 properties. Two of the arrests occurred abroad– in Austria and Italy.
Germany’s domestic intelligence service estimates that there are about 20,000 people involved in The Reichsbürger movement. Of those, about 2,000 are considered violent and potentially dangerous. Last April, the police arrested members of an affiliated group, “Querdenker” (Lateral Thinkers), who were angry about the COVID rules and lockdowns, and were planning to kidnap Germany’s health minister, Karl Lauterbach.
Crazy shit, huh? Anyway, I’ll be watching the news to see what else comes out about this group.
I didn’t mention this earlier, but there was also a fatal knife attack on a 14 year old German girl of Turkish descent this week. She and a 13 year old friend were walking home in the small town of Ilenkirchberg, near Ulm, when they were attacked by a knife wielding 27-year-old man. The 13 year old was injured, but not fatally injured. The 14 year old died at a hospital. The man who allegedly attacked them was picked up at “asylum seekers’ accommodation” near where the incident occurred. The suspect was injured when he was arrested, so he’s been in the hospital under guard. He is an asylum seeker from Eritrea, and this case has already been used by right wing politicians as an example of why they think Germany’s fairly liberal asylum policies should be amended and curtailed.
To their credit, the police have asked people “not to harbour general suspicions against strangers, or asylum seekers in general, or to encourage or support such suspicions.” That’s pretty progressive, isn’t it? But violent crimes like that one are no help in discouraging right wing wackos to feel entitled to try to overthrow the government.
I feel so sorry for those poor girls. One died much too young, and the other will never again be the same as she was. May God help us all.