German regional authorities have banned two neo-Nazi groups and searched the homes of their leaders for their alleged racist activities, officials said Wednesday. Ehrhart Körting, interior minister of the Berlin city-state said the two groups were the most active far-right groups in the capital. A women's group linked to one of the organizations was also banned. Körting said the groups were anti-constitutional and inspired by National Socialism, the ideology behind Adolf Hitler's regime. The groups have often marched under banners hailing National Socialism and have the demanded the creation of "liberated national areas," from which foreigners are kept away through intimidation. Körting said the groups had also made anti-Semitic and racist public statements. Police searched 10 apartments linked to the groups on Wednesday.
Last month, the German government unveiled new measures aimed at stopping neo-Nazis rallying at historically sensitive sites, amid a surge in popularity for the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD).