Germany punishes neo-Nazi Artgemeinschaft for targeting children

As a result of its promotion of Nazi ideology among children and young people, the far-right sect Artgemeinschaft has been outlawed in Germany.

The minister of the interior of the country referred to the organization as "deeply racist and antisemitic" and stated that it was attempting to "raise new enemies of the constitution."

Artgemeinschaft disseminated it's ideas through the use of literature and cultural events during the Nazi regime.

In twelve different states across Germany, police have conducted raids at dozens of houses and offices believed to be associated with the gang.

"This is another hard blow against right-wing extremism and against the intellectual arsonists who continue to spread Nazi ideologies to this day," said Nancy Faeser, the interior minister of Germany.

She mentioned that this is an important step in the right direction. 

Artgemeinschaft roughly translates as "racial community" and according to the German interior ministry, had approximately 150 members.

According to the ministry, the group instructed its members to choose partners with a North or Central European heritage, in accordance with their racial preservation ideology.

In addition to operating an online emporium, the sect frequently hosted cultural events that attracted several hundred people. It claimed to be "Germany's largest pagan community."

The authorities claim that the group spread a worldview that breaches human dignity by using "pseudo-religious Germanic beliefs" as their vehicle for doing so.

The restriction applies to the website of the sect, as well as its publications and Familienwerk, an entity that is associated with it.

Last week, Germany outlawed Hammerskins, an additional neo-Nazi group notorious for organizing far-right concerts and peddling racist music.

After Blood and Honor was declared illegal in the year 2000, Hammerskins was by far the only important right-wing skinhead organization that continued to exist in Germany. Hammerskins was established in the United States in the late 1980s.

It was involved in the establishment of neo-Nazi music labels, the sale of antisemitic albums, the staging of covert musical events, and it also took an active role in all of these activities.

The German minister of the interior stated that "right-wing extremism has many faces," adding that Artgemeinschaft had behaved differently from Hamerskins but was "no less dangerous."

Artgemeinschaft is a German organization that dates back to the early days of the neo-Nazi movement.

According to Ms. Faeser, it was also instrumental in uniting numerous far-right and neo-Nazi organizations in Germany and it played a vital role in doing so.

The German intelligence community asserts that Stephan Ernst, the person who killed important regional legislator Walter Lubcke in 2019 in a shooting that was motivated by "racism and xenophobia," was a member of the organization.

According to reports in German media, members of the gang had connections to Ralf Wohlleben, a neo-Nazi who was convicted of aiding members of a renowned cell that was responsible for 10 murders. 

 The domestic intelligence service of Germany mentioned that more than a third of the 38,800 active right-wing extremists in Germany are deemed to be "potentially violent."