Nazi radio stars arrested

Right-wing stations shut down by German federal police

By Erica Guth

German authorities raided a neo-Nazi radio station last week and arrested 23 people suspected of being involved in the right-wing extremist movement.

According to BBC News, the raids were conducted throughout 10 German states, with approximately 270 officers taking part. The station, which was using a computer server in the US, was called Widerstands Radio, which translates to Resistance Radio. They broadcasted music that reflected neo-Nazi ideologies and were using this music to attract young people.

“[The] investigations are a strong hint to people running other extreme-right Internet radio stations that dissemination of songs with extreme-right wing and xenophobic lyrics, even on the Internet, will be pursued,” Joerg Ziercke, head of the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA), the Federal Criminal Police Force, said to BBC News.

The raids were most concentrated in the states of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine Westphalia, police told CNN.

“Music is being deliberately used to recruit youths and young adults into the far-right scene,” Zierke said to the Independent.

German authorities are worried because the main extreme-right political party, the neo-Nazi Democratic Party, have been launching campaigns focused on young people. They have been distributing newspapers, CDs and many other forms of propaganda to the youth, and they often hold skinhead rock concerts disguised as regular pop concerts, according to the Independent.

In Germany, it is illegal to promote Naziism in any form, and the suspects face charges of forming a criminal organization and inciting racial hatred, according to prosecutors who spoke to BBC News.

The alleged criminals included 17 men and 6 women between the ages of 20 and 37. Listeners of the site could subscribe by signing up with a fake name and address, and they ran the station around the clock, according to The London Telegraph.

The suspects were all allegedly working as DJs and administrators for Resistance Radio. The station was accessible around the world. Among the items seized were weapons, computers and mobile phones, according to the Independent.

According to BBC News, the number of people who have the potential to carry out far-right violence has doubled since 1999. Hanna Wittstadt, who spoke to the Independent, said that there were 18 similar radio stations in Germany, but the authorities don’t possess the resources to shut them down.

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