Berlin bans fast-growing neo-Nazi group
The group, named "Frontbann 24" after a forerunner of Hitler's "storm troops,” is the fastest-growing neo-Nazi organisation in Berlin, according to the city.Berlin -- Berlin authorities outlawed a rapidly-expanding neo-Nazi group on Thursday, with police staging dawn raids at the homes of its leading members, the city's interior minister, Ehrhart Koerting, said.
The group, named "Frontbann 24" after a forerunner of Hitler's "storm troops,” is "the fastest-growing neo-Nazi organisation in Berlin," according to Koerting.
A spokeswoman for Koerting said the group had between 40 and 60 members but was quickly attracting more. No arrests were made during the raids.
"The ban should be seen in the context of a decisive fight against far-right efforts in Germany and as an important step towards protecting our free and democratic constitutional order," Koerting said.
Members of the group wore shirts "with the imperial eagle, a laurel wreath, the Frontbann logo and the number '24' on the collar," the city authorities said in a statement.
"The group's organisational goals and actions were directed in a combative and aggressive way against existing political institutions and politicians," the statement added.
The ban comes a few weeks after prosecutors in Germany charged three people suspected of creating "Hitler Youth"-style camps where uniformed children were "schooled" in far-right racial theory and shown Nazi propaganda.
Many mainstream politicians in Germany have also called for a ban on the most radical far-right party in Germany, the NPD, which has no seats in the national parliament but is represented in two of Germany's powerful regional assemblies.
The NPD, which is on the verge of bankruptcy, made little ground in national elections in September, scoring less than two percent of the vote.