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Germany: Far-right extremist 'enemy lists' found

July 31, 2018

Tens of thousands of people were on the radar of right-wing extremist groups in Germany, a parliamentary question revealed. The lists were found during raids, arrests and investigations into prominent far-right attacks.

A German right-wing extremist at a rally, with a German flag in the background
Image: picture alliance / Patrick Pleul/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa

Right-wing extremist groups in Germany have gathered more than 25,000 people's contact details in so-called "enemy lists," German media outlet RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND) reported on Monday.

The information was disclosed by the German government in response to an inquiry on the matter made by the Left party in the Bundestag.

Among the information that right-wing extremists have held were names, phone numbers and addresses of people they deemed "enemies."

High-profile cases

German authorities found the lists as part of investigations into prominent cases involving right-wing extremist groups. One of those cases was the National Socialist Underground (NSU), which recently saw the conviction of its surviving member Beate Zschäpe, for her part in the group's terrorist activities that included bombings, robberies, and murders.

Another case that led to the finding of the lists was that of Franco A., the 28-year-old German soldier who last year was found to be planning acts of political violence against prominent politicians who supported refugee-friendly policies.

Read more: A German right-wing extremist soldier's double life

Targets not informed

The response to the inquiry revealed that the "enemy lists" have been known to authorities since 2011, but the information had not being archived or held in any database of either the federal or state governments. Only three people on the list of more than 25,000 individuals had been informed that they were being targeted by these groups.

Martina Renner, Left party politician in the Bundestag who specializes in right-wing extremism, criticized the federal government, accusing authorities of ignoring the dangers of right-wing terrorism.

Read more: Germany: How do terrorist groups compare?

Renner told RND that she found it "completely absurd" that federal investigators did not inform the tens of thousands of affected people. 

"Imagine being on such a list and being left in the dark about it," she said, calling for a central database to be kept.

A recent assessment by the German Interior Ministry assessment found that while far-right extremist violence was down in 2017, there has been an increase in people joining right-wing extremist groups.

jcg/se (dpa, AFP)

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