German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser banned the extremist far-right group Hammerskins Deutschland as well as its regional branches and the affiliated group Crew 38.
Police officers searched the flats of 28 suspected members of the association in ten German states: Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Berlin, Brandenburg, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Thuringia and the Saarland.
The German neo-Nazi group is an offshoot of a white supremacist group from the USA and has existed in Germany since the early 1990s.
Hammerskins Deutschland stands against the constitutional order and against the idea of international understanding, the ministry said. The purpose and activities of the association were contrary to criminal law, it added justifying its actions.
Concerts organized by the group were used to spread their right-wing extremist ideology, also among non-members, according to the ministry.
Federal and state governments had worked together for over a year to prepare the ban; they also cooperated with US partner authorities.
According to the ministry, it is the 20th right-wing extremist organization in Germany to have been banned to date.
The ban is “a hard blow against organized right-wing extremism,” Faeser said. This sends “a clear signal against racism and antisemitism.”
Right-wing extremism is still “the greatest extremist threat to our democracy,” she stressed, adding that “this is why we continue to act with all determination to destroy right-wing extremist structures.”