A German sympathizer of the American neo-Nazi network “Atomwaffen Division” was sentenced this Monday (8) in Frankfurt to three years and 10 months in prison for planning attacks intended to trigger “a race war”. The condemnation is pronounced on the same day that Europe commemorates the end of the Second World War and the overthrow of Nazism, in 1945.
Marvin E., 21, was convicted by the Frankfurt Regional Court of “attempting to create a terrorist group” and “preparing a serious act of violence that threatens the state”.
In 2021, he tried to found in the region of Hesse (centre) an offshoot of the group “Atomwaffen Division” (atomic weapons division), known for its racist and anti-Semitic ideology. The accused also planned to carry out attacks with explosives and firearms against state officials, including politicians, Jews and immigrants.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the defendant’s objective was to provoke a “civil war of races” in the next three years, aiming to “preserve the white population”.
Marvin was arrested in September 2021 after trying to obtain weapons. The police found in his house components necessary for the manufacture of explosives and steel balls, intended to cause the greatest possible number of victims. He admitted the facts during the trial and indicated that he had no intention of appealing the conviction.
The neo-Nazi network “Atomwaffen Division” is formed by young people. The organization was created in 2013, in the United States, and became known mainly through recruitment campaigns on university campuses. In the United States, several members of the ultra-radical right-wing group were arrested for threatening anti-racist and anti-Semitic journalists and activists.
Threat number 1
Groups suspected of preparing xenophobic or anti-Semitic attacks are often dismantled in Germany. Authorities have made far-right violence the number one threat to public order in the country, ahead of jihadist risk.
In December, the authorities announced that they had dismantled a conspiracy group ready to overthrow the institutions and attack the Bundestag – the German Parliament –, claiming the ideology of the “Reichsbürger” (“Citizens of the Reich”) in opposition to democratic values.
The assassination of politician Walter Lübck, in June 2019, killed by a neo-Nazi militant, deeply shocked the country. Lübcke was from the same conservative party (CDU) that defended then-Chancellor Angela Merkel’s migrant reception policy.
According to the Federal Internal Intelligence Agency (BfV), Germany had around 33,900 supporters of right-wing extremism in 2021, compared with 33,300 in 2020. Among them, authorities estimate the number of people considered potentially violent to be 13,500.
Originally published on RFI
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