News from Germany and Berlin: 5 December, 2020

Weekly news roundup from Berlin and Germany


Compiled by Ana Ferreira



Right-wing arsonist addresses “Querdenker” rally in Frankfurt (Oder)

Hundreds of opponents of the corona measures from Germany and Poland demonstrated in Frankfurt (Oder). Many did not wear masks. The crowd chanted they were by no means right-wing extremists. However, the demonstration was held with people like Maik Schneider who has been twice sentenced by the Potsdam Regional Court for an arson attack on a Nauen gymnasium, which was supposed to serve as refugee accommodation. Also, according to René Wilke (die LINKE), the demonstration did not stand for the city society at all. “It was clearly largely people from outside the city.” Source: ,rbb

No Advent break for “Danni” protestors

Activists in the Dannenröder forest danced on Sunday, with two water cannons threatening them from behind the police barrier. When protesters tried to break through the barrier in order to prevent the tree houses from being cleared, an aggressive scuffle ensued, as can be seen on videos on the Internet. Hesse’s Green Minister of Transport Tarek Al-Wazir says that all legal possibilities concerning the Dannenröder have been exhausted. Only the federal government can now stop the project. The environmental association BUND objects and demands a plan amendment procedure. The Greens have been criticised nationwide because of the “Danni”. Source: ,taz

Germany bans ‘Sturmbrigade 44’ Nazis

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer banned the extremist group “Sturmbrigade 44.” The announcement came after a series of police raids against group members. This allows officials to confiscate propaganda material, with the aim of collecting evidence on right-wing extremist structures. Raids on the properties of 13 group members took place on last Tuesday morning in Hesse, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and North Rhine-Westphalia. The group has existed since 2016 and operates as a fixed structure. Its goal, supposed to be achieved even by force, was the “revival of a free fatherland” according to “Germanic moral law.” Source: ,dw

Intelligence Officer investigated for sympathies in Reich’s citizens’ movement

The Ministry of Defence announced on Tuesday evening that eight Bundeswehr employees in Ulm are under investigation. The reason for this is their sympathies for the Reich’s citizens’ movement. According to information of the “Spiegel”, among the suspects there is also an employee, who is said to have worked for the Federal Intelligence Service BND, and who still has many contacts there. There is also the suspicion of a network. According to SWR and ARD capital city studios, security circles confirmed the man considered the main suspect attempted suicide with a firearm on Wednesday morning and died later in hospital. Source: ,nd

Government declares war on racism and right-wing extremism

The Federal Cabinet has adopted a catalogue of measures against racism and right-wing extremism in Germany. The package contains 89 points, among them an amendment to the Basic Law. It also provides a study on everyday racism in civil society, businesses and public institutions and a research project to examine everyday police life. A council of experts is to advise the Federal Government on questions of integration, participation and in the fight against racism. Changes are also planned for criminal law: so-called enemy lists will in the future be just as punishable as anti-Semitic or racist incitement to hatred. Source: dw


Second wave of short-time working – 200,000 unemployed in Berlin

Currently, at least every tenth person is unemployed in Berlin. However, the number of advertisements for short-time work has risen significantly, according to the Federal Employment Agency. Labour Senator Elke Breitenbach (die Linke) hopes that an intensive use of short-time work might save many companies and businesses from the worst and save jobs too. Furthermore, in the course of efforts to fill training places, it has become apparent that the Corona crisis has further reduced companies’ willingness to provide training. For this reason, the administration has announced that personal consultations will again be offered in employment agencies. Source: nd

Warning signals from the clinics

The pandemic situation remains tense despite closures and restrictions imposed. At the weekend, the Berlin Corona traffic light jumped into red for the criterion of intensive care bed occupancy for the first time. Dilek Kalayci (SPD) commented last Monday that individual hospitals such as the DRK-Klinikum Köpenick, Vivantes Neukölln, or the Auguste-Victoria-Klinikum would no longer accept Covid patients. As further measures to contain the pandemic, the health senator mentioned the increase in protective equipment. Franziska Leschewitz (die Linke) criticised the fact that only six vaccination centres are to be set up throughout Berlin on the issue of the distribution of vaccine doses. Source: nd

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