May 30, 2024

Balkan Travellers

Comprehensive up-to-date news coverage, aggregated from sources all over the world

A small group of “Reich Citizens” on trial for carefully preparing a coup d'état in Germany

A small group of “Reich Citizens” on trial for carefully preparing a coup d'état in Germany

Nine members of the armed network appeared on Monday for a planned coup that was thwarted in late 2022, the first in a series of three planned raids on the militant group that stunned the country.



Reading Time: 2 min

One of the alleged leaders was German ex-colonel Maximilian Eder "Citizens of the Reich".  (AFP/DPA)

They wanted to overthrow the government. Nine members of the armed network appeared in Stuttgart, Germany on Monday, April 29, for a planned coup that was foiled by the end of 2022. .

Called “Reichsbürger” (“Citizens of the Reich”), this small group occupied the German Chamber of Deputies in Berlin, arrested elected officials and planned to overthrow the government. Nurtured by conspiracy and far-right ideologies, the details of the nine men called to stand on the first day of this marathon trial are staggering. The alleged mastermind was a septuagenarian nobleman and businessman, Henry XIII, known as “Prince Reus”, who was descended from the heir of the state of Thuringia, who was to take over the country after his reign. Around him, an odd group: ex-military officers, ex-far-right MP, a famous chef, an astrologer, a judge…

“Stability” of the German Reich

The small group was formed at the end of July 2021 with a political and military structure. The “Reichsbürger” movement unites right-wing extremists and armed activists who reject the legitimacy of the modern German Republic: they believe in the stability of the German Reich before the First World War, in the form of a monarchy and mandated several groups of sympathizers to form their own mini-states.

See also  Beijing pulls out of climate talks with Washington

To prepare for the coup, the small group bought bulletproof vests, helmets, handcuffs and night vision devices. During the raid, the police also seized more than 700 pistols, rifles, crossbows, knives and sickles. The “Citizens of the Reich” plan was developed in two phases: the militants were to occupy the Bundestag and overthrow the government. To make the situation credible, Cell planned to appoint a double of President Olaf Scholes, who was responsible for announcing the transfer of power. Activists, numbering more than 20,000 across Germany, had to sign a confidentiality agreement when joining the movement. Any treason is punishable by death.

In total, there will be 27 people who will have to answer their plans before German courts in three separate hearings in Stuttgart, Frankfurt and Munich. Each time, the courts schedule around fifty trial days till January 2025.