Hundreds of Far-Right, Anti-Semitic Protesters Attempt to Storm German Parliament

A demonstrator wrapped in a flag of the German empire faces off with riot policemen standing guard in front of the Reichstag building, which houses the Bundestag lower house of parliament, after protesters tried to storm it at the end of a demonstration called by far-right and COVID-19 deniers to protest against restrictions related to the new coronavirus pandemic, in Berlin, on August 29, 2020. (Photo by John MACDOUGALL / AFP) (Photo by JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images)

September 1, 2020

According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, hundred of protesters, many affiliated with an anti-Semitic movement, stormed through a police line in Berlin to the doors of the Reichstag building, where Germany’s parliament meets, before being forcibly removed by officers.

The demonstrators who attempted to break into the Reichstag were from the Reichsburger (Reich Citizens) movement and were a faction of the 38,000 people who attended a rally last weekend to protest Germany’s coronavirus restrictions.

The Reichsburger movement, which counts about 16,500 members, has been described as “an assembly of groups and individuals who sometimes espouse violence in their fight against the Federal Republic of Germany.”  Adherents of the group’s ideology believe that the 1937 borders of Germany still exist, and many members are Holocaust deniers.

Several hundred protesters were arrested in incidents at both the Reichstag building and the close-by Brandenburg Gate, where protesters turned violent, allegedly throwing stones and bottles.

Josef Schuster, the head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said he viewed the events as “a last warning shot for democratic parties and security officials. To see people with symbols of right-wing extremists on the steps of the Reichstag is unbearable for those who care about democracy,” he said.

Among the arrested protesters was celebrity vegan chef Attila Hildmann, who has been spreading anti-Semitic and coronavirus conspiracy theories online for some time. Hildmann has been under police investigation for praising Adolf Hitler and espousing anti-Semitic views about Jews.

Dr. Felix Klein, Germany’s Federal Commissioner for Anti-Semitism, said that a line had been crossed and that protesters evoked the “worst memories.”

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