A far-right German youth organisation has been banned, accused of spreading Nazi propaganda. Police raided addresses used by the group, called Heimattreue Deutsche Jugend, or Patriotic German Youth, which claims hundreds of members. Berlin described it as a cornerstone of the extreme right with links to the National Democratic Party. The German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said children must be protected from the group’s nauseating activities.
“This shows we are determined to fight neo-Nazism, right-wing extremism and xenophobia,” he said. “This is a disgusting organisation which tries to seduce young people into neo-Nazism using the cover of leisure activities. We will crack down on that with the full weight of the law.” The HDJ is the latest incarnation of another banned group called Viking, which also tried to indoctrinate children against Jews and foreigners at summer camps. Schaeuble banned two more groups last May, calling them “reservoirs of Holocaust deniers.” Viking was banned 14 years ago for similar reasons. Its memorabilia features slogans and symbols on the very edge of legality in Germany. For example the swastika is outlawed, so the groups use an altered version. Recent figures make alarming reading: it’s claimed that one in five of 15-year old German youths have links with the far-right.