Germany’s federal interior ministry has moved to ban the neo-Nazi group “Hammerskins”, whose members have already been convicted of violent crimes and possession of weapons.
According to information broadcast by the West German WDR and North German NDR channels, the homes of 28 suspects in at least ten states are being searched. The ‘Hammerskins’ were performing at covertly organized far-right music events, along with their support group ‘Crew 38’, which was also banned.
The Federal Home Office has since announced that the “Hammerskins” oppose “constitutional order and the idea of international understanding”. As it became known, the group was organized in 13 regional branches or “chapters”, with at least 90 regular members, while maintaining connections with corresponding organizations abroad. The most important “capital” was that of Berlin. The band’s propaganda reflected the racist and National Socialist worldview, while the lyrics of its songs were clearly xenophobic and racist.
As the first German public television channel ARD points out in a report, the “Battle of the Nibelungen” is considered to have started in 2013 from the “Hammerskins”, the biggest “championship” of far-right boxing, which has already been banned in 2019, but and “Hammerfest”, a festival of neo-Nazi music bands. In 2018, the Home Office, responding to a relevant parliamentary question, had described the “Hammerskins” as “a group that wants to believe that it is the elite of the neo-Nazi far-right skinhead movement and which maintains contacts with many other ‘lower’ extremist organizations”. According to the Constitution Protection Agency, the group is currently the only far-right skinhead organization operating nationally – always avoiding publicity.
Today’s decision is the 20th ban on a far-right organization by the federal interior ministry. The Hammerskins have the right to appeal the decision to the Federal Administrative Court.