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ramonmercado

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You would be forgiven for thinking that a Reichsbürger was a giant burger to be purchased in a German takeaway but it;s far more a sinister. It's a movement intent on overthrowing the Democratic German state. It now seems to be involved in a broader coup plot. The nominal leader of the coup plot is Prince Heinrich XIII.

Heinrich XIII comes from an old noble family known as the House of Reuss, which ruled over parts of the modern eastern state of Thuringia until 1918. All the male members of the family were given the name Heinrich as well as a number.

Germany arrests 25 accused of plotting coup​

  • Published 1 hour ago
Among the 25 detained was a minor aristocrat called Heinrich XIII
IMAGE SOURCE,DPA PICTURE ALLIANCE Image caption, Among the 25 detained was a minor aristocrat called Heinrich XIII
By Paul Kirby
BBC News

Twenty-five people have been arrested in raids across Germany on suspicion of plotting to overthrow the government.

The group of far-right and ex-military figures are said to have prepared to storm the parliament building, the Reichstag, and seize power.

A minor aristocrat described as Prince Heinrich XIII, 71, is alleged to have been central to their plans. According to federal prosecutors, he is one of two alleged ringleaders among those arrested across 11 German states.

The plotters are said to include members of the extremist Reichsbürger [Citizens of the Reich] movement, which has long been in the sights of German police over violent attacks and racist conspiracy theories. They also refuse to recognise the modern German state. Other suspects came from the QAnon movement who believe their country is in the hands of a "deep state".

Plotters prepared to kill for their ends​

An estimated 50 men and women are alleged to have been part of the group, said to have plotted to overthrow the republic and replace it with a new state modelled on the Germany of 1871 - an empire called the Second Reich.

"We don't yet have a name for this group," said a spokeswoman for the federal prosecutor's office.

Three thousand officers took part in 130 raids across much of the country, with two people arrested in Austria and Italy. Those detained were due to be questioned later in the day. ...

A former far-right AfD member of the lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, is suspected of being part of the plot, and of being lined up as the group's justice minister. Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, who was among the 25 people arrested, returned to her role as judge last year and a court has since turned down attempts to dislodge her. ...

Heinrich XIII comes from an old noble family known as the House of Reuss, which ruled over parts of the modern eastern state of Thuringia until 1918. All the male members of the family were given the name Heinrich as well as a number. ...

One of those under investigation had been a member of the Special Commando Forces, and police searched his home and his room at the Graf-Zeppelin military base in Calw, south-west of Stuttgart.

Another suspect has been identified as Vitalia B, a Russian woman who was asked to approach Moscow on Heinrich's behalf. The Russian embassy in Berlin said in a statement that it did not "maintain contacts with representatives of terrorist groups and other illegal entities". ...

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-63885028
 
More info about the Reichsbürger.

The Reichsbürger were, for years, a source of national derision, dismissed as crackpots.

But they're increasingly a source of concern for the security services who say they're becoming more radical and more dangerous. Members don't recognise the post-war German state and reject the authority of its government. Despite the name, which translates to Citizens of the Reich, this is no organised national movement - rather a disparate set of small groups and individuals scattered across the country who are united in that shared belief.

Some print their own currency and identity cards and dream of creating their own autonomous state. Earlier this year for example, a group calling itself the Königreich Deutschland (Kingdom Germany) bought two pieces of land in Saxony upon which they intended to create their own self-administered state. Others refuse to pay tax or intentionally clog up the administration of local authorities by sending large volumes of, often abusive, letters.

And many have guns - legally or otherwise. Since 2016, when a Reichsbürger shot and killed a policeman as officers raided his stash of weapons, the German authorities have revoked more than a thousand gun licences of people they believe to subscribe to the ideology. But at the end of last year around 500 still had valid gun licences.

Government figures show that Reichsbürger and so-called Selbstverwalter - a "grouping" with similar beliefs that translates as self-administrators - committed more than 1,000 extremist criminal acts in 2021, double the number in 2020.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-63889792
 
Surprising that this is not happening more in these uncertain and frightening times.
With the skyrocketing inflation, monumental gas prices, lack of jobs, etc. there are bound to be uprisings. One hundred years ago wasn't this happening in Germany?
 
More info about the Reichsbürger...

In the initial reports the authorities stated that they didn't even have a name for the group yet - which is itself quite odd, as these organisations tend to obsess about such detail before they've even thought about action. The Reichsbürger movement was referred to by some sources when the story broke, but I think only in the sense that there may be some crossover. (Unless things have developed since then.)

The Reichsbürger appears to reference somewhat different 'legitimates' in German history. It's all a bit confused, but the Reichsbürger apparently regard the 1919 Weimar Constitution as the last legitimate one (somewhat oddly, to my point of view - but then it's all a bit peculiar), whereas this lot seem to look right back to 1871 - which marks the Unification of Germany and the beginning of the modern state.

Both groups appear to have strong monarchist and sovereign citizen elements (again, not exactly joined up), and apparently the Reichsbürger are not held in high esteem by the majority of extreme right-wing and/or neo-Nazi groups in Germany.

It does all sound kind of bonkers. It has the air of some comic novel Tom Sharpe might have enjoyed writing. But then again, the idea of a bunch of swivel-eyed pisswits storming the US capitol might have sounded like a ridiculously farfetched plotline, until it didn't.

How the hell a group of 50* individuals envisioned taking over the administration of a country as huge as Germany is beyond me.

*(Estimated total membership of this particular group of individuals - not the Reichsbürger movement as a whole, and not the number arrested in this incident.)
 
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In the initial reports the authorities stated that they didn't even have a name for the group yet - which is itself quite odd, as these organisations tend to obsess about such detail before they've even thought about action. The Reichsbürger movement was referred to by some sources when the story broke, but I think only in the sense that there may be some crossover. (Unless things have developed since then.)

The Reichsbürger appears to reference somewhat different 'legitimates' in German history. It's all a bit confused, but the Reichsbürger apparently regard the 1919 Weimar Constitution as the last legitimate one (somewhat oddly, to my point of view - but then it's all a bit peculiar), whereas this lot seem to look right back to 1871 - which marks the Unification of Germany and the beginning of the modern state.

Both groups appear to have strong monarchist and sovereign citizen elements (again, not exactly joined up), and apparently the Reichsbürger are not held in high esteem by the majority of extreme right-wing and/or neo-Nazi groups in Germany.

It does all sound kind of bonkers. It has the air of some comic novel Tom Sharpe might have enjoyed writing. But then again, the idea of a bunch of swivel-eyed pisswits storming the US capitol might have sounded like a ridiculously farfetched plotline, until it didn't.

How the hell a group of 50* individuals envisioned taking over the administration of a country as huge as Germany is beyond me.

*(Estimated total membership of this particular group of individuals - not the Reichsbürger movement as a whole, and not the number arrested in this incident.)

The January 6th incident at the Capitol to which you refer was simply a rowdy demonstration that was allowed to go too far. Lax supervision and inadequate control allowed the demonstrators to penetrate the building.

It wouldn't surprise me if this new Reichsbürger group wasn't similarly "organised", and that the German government - hypersensitised by the Capitol fiasco - has decided to do some early bud-nipping.

maximus otter
 
Regardless of your opinion on whether it was an attempted overthrow of a legitimate government, a demonstration that got out of hand, or a false-flag operation, the situation in Germany was bound to be taken more seriously because of the nations history.
Think of it ... Germany and America have a polar opposite attitude to neo-Nazis ... for good reasons. That this group of 'nut jobs' were apparently inspired by Qanon, or at least had incorporated elements of it, should certainly ring some alarm bells.
 
The January 6th incident at the Capitol to which you refer was simply a rowdy demonstration that was allowed to go too far. Lax supervision and inadequate control allowed the demonstrators to penetrate the building.

It wouldn't surprise me if this new Reichsbürger group wasn't similarly "organised", and that the German government - hypersensitised by the Capitol fiasco - has decided to do some early bud-nipping.

maximus otter

Some of those involved in January 6 had an agenda that went beyond a rowdy demo, a small minority but a well organised minority.

This lot does sound comic operaish but I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the storming of the Reichstag was to be part of a broader demo.

Anyway I loved this bit: Heinrich XIII comes from an old noble family known as the House of Reuss, which ruled over parts of the modern eastern state of Thuringia until 1918. All the male members of the family were given the name Heinrich as well as a number.

I bet number stations were involved as well.
 
Anyway I loved this bit: Heinrich XIII comes from an old noble family known as the House of Reuss, which ruled over parts of the modern eastern state of Thuringia until 1918. All the male members of the family were given the name Heinrich as well as a number.

I bet number stations were involved as well.
After 1750 they hit on the idea of making the numbers sequential which saved a lot of confusion.
 
Best this is nipped in the bud before it gets complicated, although I suspect a Hydra style thing might arise before too long.
 
Seems that Hitler and the Nazi party rose to power with massive popularity, by exploiting the unhappy masses -
It only takes years of unrest, then suddenly one occurrence tips the scales.
I remember members of my own family who lived through those times in Europe saying that one day it would happen again.
 
How the hell a group of 50* individuals envisioned taking over the administration of a country as huge as Germany is beyond me.
Yeah. Obviously this group had to be dealt with to avoid deadly violence, and this sends a clear message to others who might be similarly motivated, but this would have had little chance of succeeding without popular support.

There is that "Hail Hydra" thing, though.
 
In the initial reports the authorities stated that they didn't even have a name for the group yet - which is itself quite odd, as these organisations tend to obsess about such detail before they've even thought about action. The Reichsbürger movement was referred to by some sources when the story broke, but I think only in the sense that there may be some crossover. (Unless things have developed since then.)

The Reichsbürger appears to reference somewhat different 'legitimates' in German history. It's all a bit confused, but the Reichsbürger apparently regard the 1919 Weimar Constitution as the last legitimate one (somewhat oddly, to my point of view - but then it's all a bit peculiar), whereas this lot seem to look right back to 1871 - which marks the Unification of Germany and the beginning of the modern state.

Both groups appear to have strong monarchist and sovereign citizen elements (again, not exactly joined up), and apparently the Reichsbürger are not held in high esteem by the majority of extreme right-wing and/or neo-Nazi groups in Germany.

It does all sound kind of bonkers. It has the air of some comic novel Tom Sharpe might have enjoyed writing. But then again, the idea of a bunch of swivel-eyed pisswits storming the US capitol might have sounded like a ridiculously farfetched plotline, until it didn't.

How the hell a group of 50* individuals envisioned taking over the administration of a country as huge as Germany is beyond me.

*(Estimated total membership of this particular group of individuals - not the Reichsbürger movement as a whole, and not the number arrested in this incident.)
Pisswits. A word that we don't use over here nearly as much as we should
 
All the male members of the family were given the name Heinrich as well as a number.
I was thinking along the lines of a ticket dispenser, with all the claimants sitting in a waiting room clutching a bit of card saying "You are number 647 in the queue.
Yeah. Obviously this group had to be dealt with to avoid deadly violence, and this sends a clear message to others who might be similarly motivated, but this would have had little chance of succeeding without popular support.

There is that "Hail Hydra" thing, though.
I'd imagine that if they considered their claim legitimate then they'd assume public support as a given. Reality or otherwise.

"Right, lads - we're all in this together! Lads ... Lads? Where've you gone?"
 
Kaiser Peter I.

n the depths of the countryside in eastern Germany, there's an invisible border.

The turrets of an imposing castle loom out of the treetops. A sign on its front door solemnly informs the visitor that they've entered - in effect - a new country. The "Königreich Deutschland" (Kingdom of Germany) is a self-proclaimed independent state - complete with its own self-appointed king.

Peter the First, as he prefers to be known, receives us in a rather gloomy wood-panelled hall.

It's about a decade since his coronation - there was a ceremony, complete with orb and sceptre - and the foundation of his so-called kingdom, which mints its own money, prints its own ID cards and has its own flag. He's what's known in Germany as a "Reichsbürger" (Citizen of the Reich), one of an estimated 21,000 people who are defined by the country's intelligence agencies as conspiracy theorists who don't recognise the legitimacy of the post-war German state.

They've risen to prominence this week, with the arrest of 25 people in raids on Reichsbürger suspected of plotting to storm the German parliament building, the Reichstag, in a violent overthrow of the government.

King Peter says he has no such violent intentions. But he does believe the German state to be "destructive and sick".
"I have no interest in being part of this fascist and satanic system," he says.

We settle in another room to talk, on plush armchairs under a glittering chandelier. But this is no salon; we're surrounded by lights and cameras. This is King Peter's own TV studio - he hopes to start a TV channel - and I learn that one of his subjects will be recording every moment of our interaction.

He felt, he said, that he had no choice but to found his kingdom, having tried, unsuccessfully, to run as a mayor and a member of the German parliament.
"People who are corrupt, criminal or willing to be used thrive in the German system and those with an honest heart, who want to change the world for the better, in the interests of the common good, don't have a chance."

His real name is Peter Fitzek, and his activities have brought him into frequent conflict with the German law. Germany doesn't recognise the kingdom or its documents: Mr Fitzek has several convictions for driving without a licence and running his own health insurance programme. He also went to prison for several years for embezzling his citizens' money but the conviction was later quashed.

The regional intelligence service, which has been watching him and his kingdom for nearly two years, told us they regarded it as a threat. They liken it to a cult which exposes people to conspiracy theories and extremist ideology. ...

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-63916812
 
Kaiser Peter I.

n the depths of the countryside in eastern Germany, there's an invisible border.

The turrets of an imposing castle loom out of the treetops. A sign on its front door solemnly informs the visitor that they've entered - in effect - a new country. The "Königreich Deutschland" (Kingdom of Germany) is a self-proclaimed independent state - complete with its own self-appointed king.

Peter the First, as he prefers to be known, receives us in a rather gloomy wood-panelled hall.

It's about a decade since his coronation - there was a ceremony, complete with orb and sceptre - and the foundation of his so-called kingdom, which mints its own money, prints its own ID cards and has its own flag. He's what's known in Germany as a "Reichsbürger" (Citizen of the Reich), one of an estimated 21,000 people who are defined by the country's intelligence agencies as conspiracy theorists who don't recognise the legitimacy of the post-war German state.

They've risen to prominence this week, with the arrest of 25 people in raids on Reichsbürger suspected of plotting to storm the German parliament building, the Reichstag, in a violent overthrow of the government.

King Peter says he has no such violent intentions. But he does believe the German state to be "destructive and sick".
"I have no interest in being part of this fascist and satanic system," he says.

We settle in another room to talk, on plush armchairs under a glittering chandelier. But this is no salon; we're surrounded by lights and cameras. This is King Peter's own TV studio - he hopes to start a TV channel - and I learn that one of his subjects will be recording every moment of our interaction.

He felt, he said, that he had no choice but to found his kingdom, having tried, unsuccessfully, to run as a mayor and a member of the German parliament.
"People who are corrupt, criminal or willing to be used thrive in the German system and those with an honest heart, who want to change the world for the better, in the interests of the common good, don't have a chance."

His real name is Peter Fitzek, and his activities have brought him into frequent conflict with the German law. Germany doesn't recognise the kingdom or its documents: Mr Fitzek has several convictions for driving without a licence and running his own health insurance programme. He also went to prison for several years for embezzling his citizens' money but the conviction was later quashed.

The regional intelligence service, which has been watching him and his kingdom for nearly two years, told us they regarded it as a threat. They liken it to a cult which exposes people to conspiracy theories and extremist ideology. ...

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-63916812
This just gets weirder and weirder...
 
This just gets weirder and weirder...

A consequence of the close attention that the UK class system gets - both from ourselves, and those looking at us from outside - is, I think, that we tend to underestimate its apparatus and possibility its influence elsewhere. Countries like Germany, France and Italy seem to be awash with minor aristocracy (whose antecedents may have been much less minor back in the day).

One of the advantages of having a House of Lords to fanny around in – aside from letting us keep an eye on them - may be that they don’t have time to brood on what a fabulous idea it would be if the Glorious Revolution, the Act of Settlement and the repeal of the Corn Laws had never happened, and whether they could muster enough chaps from their old school and the local boozer to make that sort of thing happen.
 
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Seems that Hitler and the Nazi party rose to power with massive popularity, by exploiting the unhappy masses -
It only takes years of unrest, then suddenly one occurrence tips the scales.
I remember members of my own family who lived through those times in Europe saying that one day it would happen again.
given the right conditions it could very easily happen again. hence the need to take early action to ensure groups like this don't become imbedded and gain traction. It is arguable we are at a potentially dangerous moment in history, inflation growing inequality and public anger instability and armed disruption in europe and echoes of the past are there.
 
One of the advantages of having a House of Lords to fanny around in – aside from letting us keep an eye on them - may be that they don’t have time to brood on what a fabulous idea it would be if the Glorious Revolution, the Act of Settlement and the repeal of the Corn Laws had never happened, and whether they could muster enough chaps from their old school and the local boozer to make that sort of thing happen.
The House of Lords Act (1999) drastically reduced the number of hereditary peers in the upper chamber and there are now fewer than 100 of them among the lords temporal. Since the vast majority of sitting peers were appointed to their roles they presumably represent a broader cross-section of society than those whose ancestors sat in the House in centuries past. Their old schools might well be the local comprehensives rather than Eton, Harrow or Winchester.
 
The House of Lords Act (1999) drastically reduced the number of hereditary peers in the upper chamber and there are now fewer than 100 of them among the lords temporal. Since the vast majority of sitting peers were appointed to their roles they presumably represent a broader cross-section of society than those whose ancestors sat in the House in centuries past. Their old schools might well be the local comprehensives rather than Eton, Harrow or Winchester.

Yes. I was, I fear, playing fast and loose in the pursuit of cheap giggles. (It's the family motto.)
 
Alpacas roamed the castle grounds as Heinrich studied astrology charts. The BBC provide more detail about the Putsch Prince and his minions.

A dusting of snow covered the floor of the naked winter forest all around.

Three alpaca stared bleakly at us as we rounded what seemed like the umpteenth sharp bend along the rural roads of the east German region of east Thuringia. Looming behind the animals, perched on a hill, we finally saw what we'd travelled all this way for: the stone turreted towers of the neo-Gothic hunting lodge, Schloss Waldmannsheil. HQ, to a large extent, until this Wednesday, for an eclectic group of plotters, hoping to take over the German parliament and destroy the structures of modern Germany, replacing them with a monarchical system, with a Prince at its head, whose family used to rule this region for hundreds of years before World War One.

And all this to be done and dusted by Christmas. Sound incredible, almost unbelievable?

It does. And the said prince is now spending the festive season behind bars, in police custody.

But German security services were sufficiently concerned about the attempted coup to launch one of their biggest ever raids, nationwide and beyond (in Austria and Italy), involving 3,000 officers, searching 150 properties and arresting 25 people in total. Intelligence officers told us to expect more detentions in the coming weeks and months as the investigation continues. And German media is buzzing with talk of increased security in and around the country's federal and regional parliaments. ...

Heinrich XIII has a severely ill daughter, a not very successful real-estate business he runs out of Frankfurt, and he blames the German authorities for the failure of most of his huge number of court cases - attempts to reclaim aristocratic family properties.

The communists used the hunting lodge as a youth hostel. The Putsch Prince - as German media have now dubbed him - ended up having to buy it back himself in the early 1990s after the fall of the Berlin Wall and collapse of the Soviet Union.

The list of protagonists in Heinrich XIII's planned putsch read like those of a spy thriller or perhaps, the spoof of one.

The conspiracy theories-believing 71-year-old German prince, his far younger Russian girlfriend who tried to get backing for the planned coup from the Kremlin, a gourmet chef, a serving member of the elite German special forces, a former police superintendent, a Berlin judge and former German parliamentarian for the hard right Alternative for Germany party.

Birgit Malsack-Winkemann was designated Justice Minister of the planned new regime. Her insider knowledge of parliament was key in planning the pre-Christmas, armed and assumed to be violent take-over.

Agents listening in to phone calls heard the plotters talk about deaths that were "bound to happen". Malsack-Winkemann allegedly also had a passion for the esoteric and, according to investigators, consulted astrology charts to determine which precise day the putsch should be launched. ...

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-63916809
 
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