Hundreds of neo-Nazis band together for concert in Germany

Some 1,000 neo-Nazi supporters turned up for the second far-right concert in a month in the eastern town of Themar. Experts say the state of Thuringia is a "hot spot" for music tied to the far-right scene.

Police said on Sunday that hundreds of neo-Nazi sympathizers had gathered in the German town of Themar the previous evening for a right-wing concert for the second time in two weeks.

The concert on Saturday drew significantly fewer far-right supporters than the one that took place earlier this month under the banner "rock against foreign domination," according to figures provided by police.

Roughly 1,000 people attended the event compared to 6,000 earlier this month.

Read more: Neo-Nazi concert raises free speech concerns

Authorities said 36 criminal offenses were reported during the event, including 21 concerning the display of "unconstitutional" symbols. In the wake of World War II, Germany banned the display of Nazi symbols such as the swastika.

Deutschland Protest gegen Neonazi-Konzert in Themar

Hundreds of residents rallied against the neo-Nazi supporters for a "caring society"

'Racism kills'

Approximately 450 people took part in a protest against the event on Saturday, chanting anti-fascist slogans such as "racism kills."

The state of Thuringia's Interior Ministry said six people had been arrested during the concert earlier this month.

Read more: Germany: Far-right violence and Islamist threat on the rise

Henning Flag, who leads the Federal Working Group for the Church and Right-Wing Radicalism, told DW earlier this month that the German state of Thuringia has been a "hot spot" for music linked to the neo-Nazi scene.

"It always had particularly active, ambitious structures of people who organized concerts like this," Flad told DW. "It has always been an infrastructural point of connection."

Related Subjects


Sticky messages

"Guerilla marketing" is how marketing strategists have labeled stickers that can be distributed quickly, anonymously and just about everywhere. They are also used for branding, publicity slogans and concert announcements - and as a means for spreading rather dubious political messages.


Political manipulation

The exhibition documents to what extent stickers have been used as a means of political agitation - well before the Nazis exploited them for spreading their racist propaganda. It aims to illustrate just what the omnipresent stickers can do. The anti-Semitic slogans in the picture managed to get stuck in people's heads during the Nazi era.


Propaganda stickers

The Nazis purposefully used their anti-Semitic stickers in order to spread their hate messages among the people and on the streets. Immediately after Nazis' rise to power in 1933, SA and SS paratroopers pasted stickers meant to intimidate the Jewish population on Jewish-run shops all over Berlin.


Anti-Nazi propaganda

Jewish organizations and associations resorted to the same means in order to defend themselves against the agitation of the Nazis. Throughout the early 1930s, they continued to fight back with their own anti-propaganda, printing stickers like this one of the "Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith." It reads: "The Nazis are our disaster."


Dubious love messages

During the era from 1933 to 1945, anti-Semitic stickers even came to be used for personal messages and love letters. Like political stamps, they often decorated the backs of envelopes so that the addressee would immediately grasp what political attitude the addressor intended to espouse.


Social glue

Political stickers were also used excessively in Germany during the 1970s and 1980s. Long before social media came to be invented, these little messages embodied the political statements of an entire generation. A large part of the exhibition originates from the private collection of Wolfgang Haney, who collected stickers dating from the late 19th century through the present.


Highly topical

Although focusing on the historical context, the exhibition also takes a critical look at current affairs. The debate on refugee policy has triggered the production of stickers, some of which have frightening historical parallels. The exhibition runs through July 20, 2016, and has been put together in cooperation with the Research Center for Anti-Semitism at Berlin's Technical University.

ls/tj (dpa, AFP)