Coming from an aristocratic family, Heinrich XIII Reuss was to play a major role in a plot aimed at the armed overthrow of power in Germany. “The fact that the prince considered himself the leader of the new state to be established probably has a lot to do with his family with over 800 years of history. The rich and widely branched Reuss family once belonged to the most important families of the Holy Roman Empire” – writes the German daily “Welt” .
With Wednesday’s extensive raid on Reich Citizens, the authorities not only thwarted the prince’s alleged plans to attack the Reichstag with force. “His dreams of building a new empire under his personal leadership were also buried,” emphasizes “Welt”.
If the charges against him are confirmed, the prince will stand trial on suspicion of leading a terrorist group which, according to the prosecutor general, made “concrete preparations” to “invade the German Bundestag by a small armed group”. Investigators said the group, which included Mr. policemen and soldiers, would actually be able to carry out such an action. “They had know-how, knowledge of the terrain, weapons and plans” – notes “Welt”.
The group did not want to stop at the attack on the Reichstag – the goal of its leader was to “change the political order” in the Federal Republic. “The fact that the prince considered himself the leader of the new state to be established probably has a lot to do with his family with over 800 years of history. The rich and widely branched Reuss family once belonged to the most important families of the Holy Roman Empire. Today the family has 60 descendants” – Welt finds out.
“The Prince Became Mad”
An impressive family history is one of the reasons why Heinrich XIII made his claim to power. “He was successful in business, operating in the real estate industry. (…) He inherited the neo-Gothic Waidmannsheil hunting castle in Saaldorf an der Saale in Thuringia” – adds “Welt”. As a member of the board of the “Reussische Fuerstenstrasse” association, he campaigned to present the historical and cultural heritage of his family to a wide audience.
“We could observe the slow radicalization and madness of a talented, talented businessman,” said a man who had been in the prince’s circle of friends for years in an interview with “Welt”. He says that after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Reuss fought in “numerous lawsuits” for the family property, expropriated in the times of the GDR.
“Not every trial was successful. They became more and more extensive, more and more senseless. After countless trials, he concluded that in Germany there is no law or justice,” the man explains, adding that “from there it was only a small step towards the Reich Citizens community.” “The prince was becoming a madman who no longer believed in a functioning legal system,” he concluded.
Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories
For Reuss, the efforts to recover the ancestral fortune had “apparently not only a financial aspect.” He believed that his family had been deceived about power as well. Already in 2019, in a video recorded by “Welt”, Reuss criticized that the management of state structures was “much more efficient in the times of his ancestors” during the imperial period. “If something was wrong, you went straight to the prince. And today, who to go to? To your envoy? (…) Good luck!”.
The prince was also a follower of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, which was also documented in the aforementioned recording – emphasizes “Welt”. Reuss argued that “representatives of the Rothschild dynasty were behind unrest such as the French Revolution.” In turn, Hitler’s regime was to be financed by United Statesand World War II was started “in order to hasten the spread of the Jewish population”.
Damage beyond repair
“Such statements drive the head of a widely branched aristocratic family to despair,” emphasizes “Welt”. The head of the family is living in Austria Heinrich XIV, Prince of Reuss, who said of his arrested relative: “I think what happened to him is unfair. I can understand his bitterness. However, the conclusions he drew from it are completely wrong.”
As he added, Heinrich XIII moved away from his family 14 years ago. “We have seen for some time that he has become radicalized. His statement (…) from 2019, where he preached anti-Semitism and questioned the rule of law, opened our eyes,” stressed the relative of the arrested prince. He added that the damage caused by Heinrich XIII to the family was beyond repair. “All men in the family are named Heinrich, so we will be constantly confused and associated with him,” Heinrich XIV summed up in a commentary for “Welt”.
Teachers, doctors, entrepreneurs
On Wednesday, the German services detained 25 people suspected of participating in or supporting a terrorist group linked to the far-right, banned organization of the so-called Reich Citizens. In total, 52 people are suspected.
“You could make things easier and dismiss these people as freaks (…). People who do not need to be taken seriously, according to the slogan: democracy must also put up with such types. But that would be naive. Some of the 52 suspects who are supposedly to a ‘terrorist organization’ planning a military change of the system in Germany, come from the middle class. They are teachers, doctors, entrepreneurs. These are people who really should be the pillars of democracy, “we read in the commentary of “Sueddeutsche Zeitung”.
Main photo source: Boris Roessler/dpa/PAP