Mass arrest of suspected coup participants in Germany with more likely to follow

by mcardinal

Lauren C. Moye, FISM News


German authorities initiated a mass arrest last week following an alleged coup to install German businessman Henrich XIII Prince Reuss as the head of a new government.

German prosecutors said on Friday that so far 22 citizens and one Russian woman, including the self-styled prince and a Berlin judge, have appeared before a court for arraignment after allegedly planning to storm parliament. They were detained in multiple raids on Wednesday and will remain in custody while the case is ongoing.

The arrests have raised security concerns after revealing how deeply a movement that denies the legitimacy of the post-World War Two government has penetrated judicial circles.

Konstantin von Notz, chairman of a German parliament’s intelligence committee, warned that parliament’s security measures were not designed to protect members from “enemies of the constitution” who are elected.

The suspects are believed to be part of the far-right Reich Citizens according to authorities, also known as the Reichsbürger or Imperial citizens. This group believes the current German government is illegitimate and that the German empire beginning in 1871 is still in existence.

Berlin-based journalist Sergej Sumlenny gave a brief overview of the Reich Citizens across multiple Tweets. Sumlenny has specifically studied political journalism in Germany following World War Two.

The Imperial Citizens believe the Federal Republic of Germany is a private company started by the Allied forces at the conclusion of World War Two rather than an official state.

Sumlenny also explained that the Imperial Citizens are “numerous and active” enough to be named frequently in annual reports detailing threats to German democracy. There is also a high rate of former policemen, army officers, and former statesmen associated with the Imperial Citizens.

The individuals detained allegedly wished to install the House of Reuss descendent Henrich XIII, 71, as the head of the imperial government. He was arrested as the suspected mastermind of the coup.

Despite Germany ending formal royal roles long before World War Two and before Henrich XIII’s birth, the businessman styles his name with the prince title included.

Berlin judge Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, 58, was also among the arrests. She was a former member of the German Bundestag, or parliament, whose term ended in 2021. She was meant to become the justice minister of the new state if the plot succeeded.

Malsack-Winkemann is also a member of the Alternative for Germany party, which has previously come under criticism for harboring anti-State individuals.

Both the House of Reuss and the Alternative for Germany party have denounced the supposed coup.

“Of course, this reflects catastrophically on the family,” said Heinrich XIV to news broadcaster MDR. He described the plot as taking the family from being viewed as a “tolerant, cosmopolitan royal house” to “terrorists and reactionaries.”

Now the head of the House, Heinrich XIV lives in Austria.

The Alternative for Germany party also condemned the plot. However, party lawmaker Petr Bystron has also called the raids the “biggest abuse of power in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany” and the use of “massive intimidation of the entire opposition.”

German authorities are in the process of extraditing two other individuals suspected in the plot. 

Holger Muench, head of the federal police, told broadcaster ARD on Thursday that there were a total of 54 suspects and that more arrests are likely in the near future.