A new situation report on the far-right Reichsbürgern (Citizens of the German Reich) group has said that they are capable of performing "extreme acts of violence and even terrorist actions."
The report, made by the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and seen by the Welt am Sonntag, has warned that the increased influx of migrants and refugees in the country has caused radicalization in various right-wing factions that were previously, at least, not engaging in violence.
The reports say that the Reichsbürger believe only those who are part of the German Volksgemeinschaft (national community) and are ethnically German may hold a German passport. They are also staunchly opposed to mass immigration, linking it to what they say will be the death of the German nation. According to the report, the BKA expects a total of around 13,000 crimes, including 750 violent crimes, from the Reichsbürgern and the "Selbstverwaltern" (self-governing). The "self-administrators" are, as a rule, even more dangerous than the "imperial citizens."
"While imperial citizens have an authoritarian understanding of the state and the authorities at least consider it necessary, self-administrator [foreign] state refuse and are partly prepared to defend their autonomy even with arms," the Welt am Sonntag reported in a quote from the report. However, according to the BKA, the borders between the two right-wing streams are fluid.
The BDK also makes the distinction between different kinds of Reichsbürgern. While most of them are just vocal, many of them, deemed "Selbstverwalter," are feared to be willing to engage in violence. Many members of the organization, labeled as a terrorist group by German authorities, have been caught in possession of illicit firearms and ammunition.
The members of the Reich Citizens' Movement do not recognize the modern German state as legitimate, citing technicalities about the fall of the Third Reich in May 1945, saying that while the Wehrmacht top brass did surrender to the Allies, the political leaders of the government, such as ministers or Adolf Hitler himself, never surrendered to the Allies. Hitler also considered the surrender of Heinrich Himmler and Herman Göring as high treason, expelling them from the government before the Reich's collapse.
The Reichsbürgerbewegung also believes that the legitimate borders of Germany are those of 1937, before the annexation of Austria and the Sudetenland.
They also refuse to acknowledge the modern constitution and pay no taxes, claiming to be following the laws of the Third Reich's constitution. According to Germany's internal security agency, the Federal Police Office for the Protection of the Constitution, around 10,000 people are part of the Reichsbürgerbewegung, but about only 500 to 600 people are considered dangerous. Since 2016, German authorities have conducted an increasing number of nation-wide raids targeting right-wing groups, including houses, apartments and other properties believed to be owned by members of such groups, targeting the Reichsbürgerbewegung specifically. Police in Bavaria and Rhineland-Palatinate searched 28 buildings and apartments resulting in the capture of a Reichsbürger.