““The accused are united by a deep rejection of the state institutions and the free democratic basic order of the Federal Republic of Germany…” ”
— German federal prosecutor’s office
That was Germany’s federal prosecutor’s office, in a statement on the shocking arrests on Wednesday of dozens of people accused of involvement in a plot to overthrow the government.
“The members of the association are aware that this project can only be realized through the use of military means and violence against state representatives. This also includes committing homicides,” said the statement, which added that the group’s formation of a government had already been “developed in outline.”
“The members of the group follow a conglomerate of conspiracy myths consisting of narratives of the so-called Reichsbürger as well as QAnon ideology,” the statement said. Reichsbürger followers reject Germany’s post-WW2 Federal Republic, while some followers of QAnon were arrested following the January 2021 storming of the U.S. Capitol.
Germany’s prosecutors said some 52 people were suspected of involvement in the plot that would have placed a minor prince at the head of the government. Thousands of police officers were involved in raids across the country, as well as Italy and Austria, and a further 27 people are being investigated. Germany media described the operations as the biggest police actions ever witnessed.
Officials identified two ringleaders, Heinrich XIII P. R. and Ruediger v. P. , whose full names were withheld due to German law. But the former is a 71-year old member of minor German royalty, while the latter is a 69-year old paratrooper, media reports said.
German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann said on Twitter that the raids had begun in the early hours of Wednesday. “This was a logistically highly demanding measure that was carried out successfully. It proves: Our democracy is defensive!”
He said their plan was to gain armed access to the Bundestag, the German Parliament.
“Of course there are many busybodies who tell confused stories after drinking alcohol. Here, however, there were such strong suspicions that the group wanted to take violent action,” he said.