Reichsbürger movement

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Berlin, Germany: Protesters who belong to groups that claim that modern-day Germany never existed as a state in the sense of the international law, and that the German Reich (as it existed from 1918 on) persisted after 1945 and still persists. These people are known as Reichsbürger.
Sign at the house of someone in favor of Reichsbürger movenent
(The abbreviations are fantasy, and don't exist: BRdvD = „Bundesrepublik des vereinten Deutschlands - Federal Republic of United Germany“; JOIe = „Justiz-Opfer-Initiative - Initiative for the victims of justice“; ESt-RJA = „Erfassungsstelle für BRdvD-Regierungskriminalität, Justizverbrechen und Amtsmissbrauch - Registrar for government crimes of BrvD, crimes of justice, and abuse of power“)

There are several groups of people who think that the modern German state is not legitimate. These movements are generally known as the Reichsbürger (English: Reich citizen) movement. A single person with such views is called a Reichsbürger.[a] They argue that the the modern German state is not legitimate and its laws do not apply to them. Very often, these groups are very small. They often have several properties of a religious cult or sect. The ideas these groups propagate are often against democracy, and instead want a monarchy or another state with a strong leader. Very often, they also think that the history they were taught in school did not happen that way. From their ideas, these groups are usually far-right on the political spectrum. Their views are often anti-Semitic (anti-Jewish) and some are Holocaust deniers.

Reichsbürger say that the German Reich still exists in some form (in reality, it ceased to exist with the end of World War I or World War II at the latest). According to these groups, there is some secret government which holds most of the powers. The respective group is usually part of that government. These movements first arose in the 1980s. Since about 2013, they are more active. They usually have some militant groups that do not fear to use violence. In 2020, there were over 19,000 people with sympathies for these movements. At least 950 people are militant right-wing activists.[1] There are estimates from 2018, that between 2015 and mid-2017, at least 10,500 crimes were committed by people who identify as Reichsbürger.

Related pages[change | change source]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. This German word is the same in singular and plural

References[change | change source]

  1. "Verfassungsschutzbericht 2019: Fakten und Tendenzen; Kurzzusammenfassung" (PDF). Bundesministerium des Innern, für Bau und Heimat. 2019. Retrieved 2020-07-10.