SPD chairman Lars Klingbeil has warned against underestimating the so-called Reichsbürger scene. "You have to be careful where certain patterns, explanations, narratives, lines of defense creep into society," said Klingbeil on Tuesday evening on the ZDF program "Markus Lanz".
"You have to put a stop sign right from the start and say: this far and no further!" For people who are unsure how to position themselves socio-politically, such people could be a "serious threat".
Klingbeil defended the most recent raids against a "Reichsbürger" group, which is said to have planned a coup. It is right that the state is vigilant here. They are not all cranks and the state does not exaggerate anything here either. You have to be aware of the fate that this movement could have triggered. You have to see that people have made armed plans. It is not about sorting out people who have once made critical statements about Corona policy, but about identifying people who were involved in coup plans.
Klingbeil admitted that the democratic system was not on the verge of being overthrown. "It's stable," emphasized Klingbeil. It is now necessary to clarify how far these networks had progressed.
Baumann: "Reich citizens" are dangerous individuals
The AfD politician Bernd Baumann, on the other hand, considers those arrested by the "Reich Citizens" group to be dangerous lone wolfs. "These are not troops that endanger the state," said the parliamentary director of the AfD parliamentary group in the ZDF "Morgenmagazin". Although the attitudes of the two dozen men and women have been shown to be shaped by conspiracy theories, they do not have the skills to bring about a coup d'état. "That means there is no sign of this major threat yet."
Baumann, who is a member of the interior committee, emphasized that the rule of law must take action against the "crazy" in any case, but questioned the proportionality of the police operation. "More weapons and money were probably found in individual clan raids than they are now."
Among the 25 people arrested was a former AfD member of the Bundestag. Baumann criticized the fact that other possible party memberships of those involved were not examined and discussed. "Everything that is somehow right or AfD is immediately associated with something similar to civil war," he said. This is an attempt to intimidate the opposition.