Police Raid Neo-Nazi Apartments, Other Crackdowns in East
BONN, Germany (AP) _ Police raided more than 60 apartments belonging to suspected members of an outlawed neo-Nazi group today and also arrested seven right-wing extremists in a murder investigation.
The developments came a day before Parliament begins rewriting Germany’s liberal constitution to limit the number of foreigners in the country. The government has blamed much of the right-wing violence on the social and financial burdens caused by unprecedented number of refugees in Germany.
The final vote is not expected until April or May.
Police said agents fanned out over the states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt in raids on the homes of suspected members of the banned Nationalistic Front.
The government outlawed the group in November, accusing it of espousing the political program of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party. It was the first such group to be banned since the 1990 unification of East and West Germany.
There was no immediate word on what the raids uncovered. In similar raids when the group was banned, police confiscated weapons, explosives and uniforms.
Meanwhile, Dresden police said seven suspects were in custody in the death of a 22-year-old musician in Hoyerswerda, an eastern city that has had repeated neo-Nazi flareups. The man died Friday, a week after he was beaten and a car was driven over him outside a club for young leftists.
The prosecutor’s office said the seven right-wing extremists were being held on suspicion of murder and attempted manslaughter. One man arrested in the case hanged himself in jail last week.
Seventeen people died in at least 2,200 incidents of rightist violence last year. Neo-Nazi violence dropped over the winter, after a government crackdown that followed the November murder of three members of a Turkish family in Moelln, but incidents have been rising in recent weeks.