SPD politician Hartmann: "Anyone who plays this down, whoever claims here that they are cranks, is making themselves part of the problem"
Photo: Kay Nietfeld / dpa
The major raid last week brought the activities of the "Reich citizens" into focus.
Now the Bundestag has debated the threat posed by the "Reich citizens" and right-wing extremists in a current hour.
Many speakers pointed out that the AfD downplayed the danger posed by "Reich citizens".
"Anyone who plays this down, whoever claims here that they are cranks, is making themselves part of the problem, is the cause of the problem," said Sebastian Hartmann, spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group for domestic policy.
The AfD is trying to downplay the case.
"Anyone who says they're crackpots is making themselves part of the problem," Hartmann said.
Addressing the AfD parliamentary group, he added: "They are playing down right-wing terror there." The party has maneuvered itself into an "offside trap" from which it will no longer find its way out.
"Hate and agitation have a name: It's the AfD," he replied to an interjection from the AfD faction.
"Concrete plans that could not have been implemented without the use of force"
Hesse's Interior Minister Peter Beuth (CDU) said that parts of the "Reich citizens" posed a serious threat to democracy and its representatives.
The group that was smashed last week "had concrete plans that could not have been implemented without the use of force."
They were armed and tactically trained, and violence was considered a legitimate means.
AfD MP Gottfried Curio called the raid a "show" in front of invited media guests.
The citizens of the Reich had only planned an »operetta putsch«.
Curio was pleased that the poll numbers for the AfD would not be affected.
Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) called it "disgusting" that "Curios' greatest concern is his party's poll numbers".
The action against the group has shown: "Democracy is defensive." The AfD's attempts to downplay the danger are "absurd and devoid of any expertise".
Buschmann reported on a SEK police officer who was shot dead by a "Reich citizen" during an operation.
The Greens parliamentary group manager Irene Mihalic also attacked the AfD.
It is "the parliamentary arm of this movement".
Addressing the AfD MPs, she said: "Your party is the accelerator of precisely these anti-democratic movements."
Martina Renner from the left stated: "Let's call it what it is: We are dealing with armed right-wingers who are a danger to many people and to democracy." Right-wing extremism should have been discussed much earlier.
Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) had previously announced that gun laws would be tightened and that anti-constitutional officials would be more easily removed from public service.
"We will not allow the rule of law to be sabotaged from within by extremists," she said in her speech.
It was a highly dangerous and highly successful operation.
Addressing the officers on the scene, she continued, "You defended our democracy last week."
In a non-public meeting of the interior committee, Faeser had previously reported on the subject.
According to participants, she said that at least 120 people should have known about the activities of the arrested »Reichsbürger«.
During the searches, between 120 and 130 statements were found in which people had committed themselves to secrecy if threatened with punishment.
Last Wednesday, the federal prosecutor's office had 25 suspected "Reich citizens" arrested.
She accuses 22 of them of being a member of a terrorist organization that wanted to overthrow the political system.
Police officers searched more than 160 objects.
According to information from security circles, the conspirators wanted to form 286 »homeland security companies«, which would also carry out arrests and executions after a coup.
Suspects possessed a firearms license.
Former AfD member of parliament Birgit Malsack-Winkemann was one of those arrested during the raid.
Faeser also informed the MPs about her plans to tighten gun laws and make it easier for anti-constitutional officials to be removed from the public service.
It is envisaged that this should be possible in the future by administrative act and not by administrative court judgment, as was previously the case, in order to speed up procedures.
Both projects had been planned before the »Reichsbürger« arrests.