Police in three German states are cracking down on neo-Nazis. They got on the trail by chance: a dead neo-Nazi was found in a boarding house next to weapons and ammunition.
Suspected right-wing extremists: investigations into the formation of an armed group. Picture: dpa
The raid lasted until the afternoon. On Saturday morning, police officers had begun searching the homes and mail-order rooms of five neo-Nazis in Brandenburg, Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia. The background was the suspicion of the Neuruppin public prosecutor’s office: formation of an armed group.
For one of the neo-Nazis, it was not the first search. Meinolf Schonborn has been active in the scene for four decades and has also experienced criminal proceedings and imprisonment. "Yes, they were with me and with everyone who is acquainted with me," Schonborn told the taz – "they turned the huts upside down everywhere." The 57-year-old did not comment on whether he or his acquaintances own weapons.
Schonborn joined the NPD as early as 1972. In 1985, he helped build the Nationalist Front (NF). In 1992, the Federal Ministry of the Interior banned the NF. Today, Schonborn runs the right-wing "Z-Versand" in Herzebrock-Clarholz near Gutersloh in North Rhine-Westphalia.
On September 24, 2011, he allegedly gave a lecture to the NPD in Rhineland-Palatinate on "the possibilities of political resistance in Germany despite state repression." According to Der Spiegel, the security authorities came across Schonborn’s group by chance – as they did with the National Socialist Underground.
On the evening of March 22, 2012, police were called to the "Weibes Haus" guesthouse in Herzberg, near Berlin. A well-known neo-Nazi had called them – he had found the equally well-known Jorg Lange dead in a room.
Lange wanted to develop the boarding house into a training center. The police did not find any evidence of a violent death. However, the officers found a military backpack with weapons and ammunition on Lange, who had fought as a volunteer for the Croatian side in the Yugoslavian war. And Lange was working with Schonborn.
Police seized a BB gun and blank guns during Saturday’s raid. Computers were also seized.