‘Nostalgia’: German Politicians Alarmed as Number of ‘Reich Citizens’ Rises

Sunday, October 28, 2018
By Paul Martin


Some German residents have stopped acknowledging the country’s Constitution and authorities in Berlin, claiming to be citizens of the now non-existent German Empire (Reich). Many of these self-proclaimed “Reich citizens” have their own passports and license plates on cars, stylized after the ones from the time of the old empire.

Over the past two years the number of so-called “Reich citizens” in Germany, who do not acknowledge the legitimacy of the country’s government and Constitution, has risen from roughly 10,000 to 19,000, German media outlet Die Welt reported citing a German domestic intelligence report for the Bundestag. The biggest increase in Reich citizens’ numbers took place in 2017, when their number swelled to 16,500.

The recent trend has sparked the interest of the German domestic intelligence services, who are currently trying to determine, what’s caused the phenomenon. A spokeswoman for the Green Party Irene Mihalic has lamented that most of these “Reich citizens” have not been singled out as “right-wing extremists” and suggested that they should not have the right to carry weapons, the German media outlet reported.

As of March 31, 2018 some 1,200 so-called “Reich citizens” had weapons permits. This number decreased in October to 940 after the authorities revoked over 200 permits. Yet, Mihalic believes they are still “too well armed” for people with “plans to overthrow the government.”

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