Half of Germans see far-right Reich Citizens as threat to democracy
A YouGov survey reveals that 53% of respondents believe that the Reich Citizens' Movement poses a threat to democracy.
A new survey revealed on Tuesday that roughly half of the German population sees the right-wing extremist Reich Citizens' Movement as a serious threat to democracy.
The YouGov survey showed that some 53% of respondents believe that the Reich Citizens' Movement poses a threat to democracy, while 31% believe it doesn't, and 15% were undecided.
However, the survey said only a minority believes that the movement poses a threat to them personally, while some 63% said they did not feel personally threatened.
It is noteworthy that neo-Nazis, conspiracy theorists, and gun enthusiasts who disagree with the validity of the contemporary German republic make up the Reich Citizens' Movement.
Last week, federal prosecutors reported that German police conducted nationwide searches and detained 25 people, including members of a "terror organization" thought to be plotting an attack on the parliament.
According to the German news outlet Der Spiegel, the cell was headed by Heinrich XIII, Prince of Reuss, a 71-year-old German nobleman who has been preparing the uprising since November 2021 and has gained followers through his controversial political views.
It was also plotting to storm the German Parliament and kidnap MPs, an act that would trigger nationwide riots and prepare for the establishment of a transitionary military government under Heinrich XIII.
Prosecutors said in a statement that members of the Reich Citizens' Movement are suspected of "having made concrete preparations to force their way into the German parliament with a small armed group."
Prosecutors added that the suspects have formed "a terrorist group by the end of November 2021 at the latest, which had set itself the goal of overthrowing the existing state order in Germany and replacing it with their own kind of state."
According to the German Press Agency, "Reich Citizens do not recognize the legitimacy of the German state and often refuse to pay taxes or fines and in some cases amass illegal weapons."
On Wednesday, Der Spiegel reported that the German extremists who attempted to storm the Bundestag were taking Trump supporters as models when they carried out an attack on the US Capitol on January 6.
The German Minister of Interior Nancy Faeser pointed out in an interview for the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag on Sunday that Germany is planning to tighten its gun laws over the recent suspected coup.
According to Faeser, the number of members of the Reich Citizens' Movement increased by 2,000 to 23,000 in the past year alone.
The German Minister noted that the members of the movement had a good knowledge of how to use weapons and had attempted to recruit former and current army members and stockpile weapons.
She called on authorities to exert "maximum pressure" to remove weapons, adding that government plans are underway to tighten gun laws.
The German security forces had confiscated an estimated 1,000 guns from Reich Citizens' Movement members prior to the raids. Another 500 are still believed to be holding gun licenses.