Hammerskins Germany, which consolidates its far-right ideology mainly through concerts, has about 130 members.
The German government on Tuesday banned the neo-Nazi group Hammerskins from Germany and raided the homes of dozens of members.
The group is an offshoot of an American right-wing hardline group and plays a prominent role throughout Europe.
According to the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community, Hammerskins Germany is a local chapter of the Hammerskins Nation, founded in 1988 in the United States.
It plays a prominent role in the far-right scene in Europe.
Worldwide, members of this association call themselves ‘brothers’ and see themselves as an elite ‘brotherhood’ practicing their subcultural way of life. According to the ministry, the group also sees itself as the elite of the right-wing skinhead scene.
“The ban on the Hammerskins Germany is a hard blow against organized right-wing extremism,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said, adding that the ban also included the association’s regional branches and its sub-organization Crew 38.
“With this ban we are putting an end to the inhumane activities of an internationally active neo-Nazi association in Germany,” she added. “This sends a clear signal against racism and anti-Semitism.”
In Germany the group has approximately 130 members. During the early morning raids in ten states, police searched the homes of 28 group members. It was not immediately clear if any members were being held.
Prior to the ban, Germany’s federal and state governments worked intensively together for more than a year, Faeser said, adding that “we also worked closely with our American partners.”
The core element of the group’s ideology is the spread of a racial doctrine based on Nazi ideology. The goal of the Hammerskins Germany association is to consolidate its far-right worldview, especially through concerts where it tries to appeal to non-members, the ministry said.
“The right-wing extremist orientation of the international network group is manifested in particular through the distribution of recordings of right-wing extremist and anti-Semitic music, the organization of right-wing extremist concerts and the sale of right-wing extremist merchandise,” it said.
The ban on the Hammerskins Germany is the twentieth ban of a right-wing hardline association by the German Ministry of the Interior.