Police today carried out extensive raids against a suspected far-right terrorist group that was seeking to overthrow the German government in a violent coup.
Raids were carried out in 11 of Germany’s 16 states with 3,000 officers searching 130 sites, including a forest palace in the state of Thuringia, arresting 25 people, including a man calling himself Prince Henry XIII.
Policemen also descended on the headquarters of Germany’s special forces unit KSK, local media said, along with properties in neighboring Austria and Italy.
Prosecutors say the conspirators belonged to various far-right movements allied under the banner of the Reichsbürger, which rejects the modern German state in favor of the Reich that existed from 1871 to 1918.
German police today carried out wide-ranging raids across much of the country against a suspected far-right group accused of plotting to overthrow the government.
The men are accused of plotting a violent overthrow of the current government in order to establish a Principality ruled by a monarchy and divided into ministries.
The coup leaders had already selected who would be in charge of the various ministries, reports Bild, and had acquired several legally purchased weapons.
Former Bundeswehr soldiers were involved in the plans, Bild adds, which have been ongoing since at least November 2021.
The suspects were arrested in the German states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Hesse, Lower Saxony, Saxony, Thuringia, as well as in Austria and Italy.
A Russian citizen among the detainees.
Although the exact details are unclear, it appears that the arrested Prince Heinrich may claim descent from the House of Reuss which existed in Germany from the 11th century until the abolition of the monarchy in 1918.
All male descendants of this house were named Heinrich after Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor, to whom they owed their titles and lands.
Each Heinrich was given a number after his name, starting at 1 and continuing up to 100 until restarting from the beginning, meaning that while there have been many Heinrichs throughout history, it’s possible that a Heinrich XIII may be alive today. .
In 1778, Heinrich XI was raised to the rank of prince, after which all his male heirs also used the title.
The house held land in the present-day state of Thuringa, and the German press said police raided a forest palace in the same state today.
Twenty-five people were arrested, including Prince Heinrich XIII, who can claim descent from a now-abolished German royal line.