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The trial of the Citizens of the Reich, the campaign to ban the AfD and a journalistic investigation into the youth group of the Italian Brothers

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They planned to kidnap the Chancellor and attack the Parliament. They planned to simply overthrow the German authorities. Members of the extremist, right-wing group Reichsbürger – Citizens of the Reich are responsible for this in court. They are accused of attempting a coup and terrorist activities. The process may take a long time, but it is part of Europe's new political landscape, in which extreme forces are becoming more dangerous and more effective in achieving their goals.

The defendants include Heinrich XIII, who comes from an aristocratic family, as this is the name of the man at the head of the conspirators who planned to stage a coup d'état in Germany.

German media write about the largest trial since Nuremberg. The case of the radical group Citizens of the Reich is ongoing in three cities – Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Munich.

– Taking into account the large number of defendants – a total of 26 people are involved in the case – it would not be possible to hold the trial in one location for logistical reasons and lack of space – says Laurent Lafleur, spokesman for the Court in Munich.

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They planned to overthrow the democratic system

Citizens of the Reich planned to forcibly overthrow the democratically elected authorities in 2022 and return the country's political system to the times of the 19th-century German Empire.

The group's targets included Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and the leader of the opposition CDU/CSU bloc Friedrich Merz. The accused include people who were to co-create the new government after the successful coup.

– Some of them held important functions within the organization. After the coup, they were to become, for example, Minister of Health or Minister of Foreign Affairs, says Laurent Lafleur.

Defenders of Reich Citizens explain that at no time was there a real threat from any of the defendants. This is contradicted by the fact that the German services confiscated several hundred firearms and over 100,000 rounds of ammunition from the radicals.

Campaign to ban the AfD

The Reich Citizens case showed the German public opinion how potentially dangerous extreme groups can be. Another campaign to ban the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) has just started in Germany.

One of the originators of the action, director of the Buchenwald Memorial Foundation Jens-Christian Wagner, explains that “one of the lessons of the Nazi era is that anti-constitutional parties must be deprived of the opportunity to abuse democracy in order to overthrow it.” The AfD is accused of, among other things, glorifying Nazism.

The AfD successfully used TikTok in the campaign. In turn, in Cyprus, a 24-year-old influencer became an MEPJakub Loska/Fakty o Świecie TVN24 BiS

This is also a problem for the Italian Brothers party that co-governs Italy, led by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

Investigative journalists from the Italian website fanpage.it infiltrated the youth wing of the Italian Brothers party. At its meetings, shouting and shouting in praise of Mussolini was an everyday occurrence.

The results of the investigation are a big problem not only for Meloni, who is trying to distance herself from the post-fascist roots of her party, but also for those who are trying to negotiate with her in Brussels, led by Ursula von der Leyen.

READ ALSO: “He will be a major player.” Giorgia Meloni may decide the future of the EU

Italian journalists persistently ask those around the head of the European Commission about the scandal. – The position of the European Commission and its president towards fascist symbolism is very clear: we do not consider it appropriate, we condemn it and we consider it morally wrong – says Eric Mamer, spokesman for the European Commission.

Members of the European Conservatives and Reformists, including Law and Justice, must also ask themselves the question about tolerating people using fascist symbols.

The co-chairman of the faction – Nicola Procaccini – used the so-called gladiator salute, popular in fascist circles, in a recording published by an Italian portal.

Facts about the World TVN24 BiS

Main photo source: Reuters

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