Neo-Nazi's plot to win over small villages in Germany through settlers

A resident described settlers as spreading propaganda "over the garden fence"

Jamie Campbell
Wednesday 08 April 2015 16:25
A demonstrator holds a neo-Nazi flag during a rally last September
A demonstrator holds a neo-Nazi flag during a rally last September

Neo-Nazis who refer to themselves as “Nationalist settlers” are reportedly occupying small villages that they believe will be susceptible to their influence in Eastern Germany.

As reported in The Times, members of the political movement are reportedly taking on jobs such as farming and midwifery in areas such as Lower Saxony in an attempt to spread their radical extremist ideology to residents and create pockets of extremism.

Residents have reported that newcomers, who initially seem community driven and charming, begin to win new converts to their cause rapidly.

Barbara Karsten and her partner Knut Jahn, from Wibbese in Lower Saxony, said that they were impressed by the friendliness of their new neighbours when they moved in.

They told of how settlers had been showered gifts such as eggs and goat's milk on the locals and managed to win their trust rapidly.

Mr Jahn said: “Our neighbours were widely accepted as good helpful citizens and could spread their supermen propaganda almost undisturbed.

“A neo-Nazi bought the house next to us and now we are surrounded and fear there are more to come. We don’t want our children and grandchildren to grow up as Nazis.”

A study entitled “Nationalist Settler in Rural Areas” by the Amadeu Antonio Foundation, a human rights watchdog funded by the German interior ministry, says that neo-Nazis are taking up positions as diverse as councillors, volunteer firemen and teachers.

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Anne Schmidt, the author of the study, told The Times: “This is a very scary movement to observe.

“These extremely nationalist right-wing people are settling specifically in little-populated areas, far away from cities to live and raise their children in a backward ideology.

“They subvert village structures and spread Nazi propaganda over the garden fence.”

The report states that this process has been going on "for years."

It states: "Neo-Nazis can better spread their misanthropic world view to others and their children in undisturbed sparely populated areas with less influence from exterior powers."

"They regard their objectives [the spread of Nazi ideals] as if they have been chosen as missionaries. The ethnic settlement projects do not have short-term goals are seen more as long-term efforts to influence culture."

The foundation stated that it was difficult to give numbers of the villages being targeted but said that authorities have begun to place more emphasis on diversity training in rural schools.

Tensions regarding extremism have intensified recently as Neo-Nazis were suspected of being behind threats to “behead” a conservative politician for continuing to back a controversial refugee housing building project earlier this week.

Peace vigils have been held to demonstrate against the recent arson attack on the refugee housing project in Tröglitz

Christian Democrat politician Götz Ulrich, the politician threatened, said that neo-Nazis were “going so far as to threaten methods used during the French Revolution.”

The threats followed an arson attack on a new refugee hostel in Tröglitz, a village of around 2,700 inhabitants in the province of Saxony-Anhalt and the focus of far-right opposition to the liberal asylum policies of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition.

Markus Nierth, who resigned his position as mayor of Tröglitz following the attack said: “We can’t let the Nazis win in our town. I am stunned, sad and furious at the same time, Tröglitz will never recover from this.”

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