Germany’s far-right Reichsbuerger movement has grown to almost 16,000 members, while some of them are eying their own armed wing and are preparing for 'Day X', Focus magazine reports, citing intelligence sources. The stunning revelation came into the spotlight earlier this week after Germany’s Focus magazine published a report citing an assessment of the domestic intelligence agency, the BfV.
Responding to Focus’ request for comment, the BfV, the agency in charge of monitoring extremist groups threatening constitutional order, said the number of Reichsbuerger (Citizens of the Reich in German) members had grown to 15,600 as of January – with the figure marking a dramatic increase of more than 50 percent within one year.
The highest number of extremists is in Bavaria, where the authorities recorded about 3,500 “Reich Citizens.” The former hotbed of German Nazism is followed by the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg with 2,500, and North Rhine-Westphalia with 2,200 members. Further down the list are Lower Saxony with 1,400, and Saxony with 1,300 Reichsbuerger.
In addition, the extremist movement is reportedly nurturing plans to set up an armed wing and stage violent acts, Focus reported. “They have begun preparing themselves for Day X,” an unnamed security official told the magazine, allegedly referring to a day of reckoning or uprising against the government.
The Reichsbuerger, a loose association of nationalist groups spread across the country, believe that modern-day Germany and its political institutions are run by a puppet government installed by the victors in World War II, which makes them illegitimate.