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What are Reichsbürger? Posted by on Dec 22, 2016 in Culture, Current Events, Language, People, vocabulary

There is a bizarre Bewegung (movement) in Germany: The Reichsbürgerbewegung (Reich’s Citizens Movement). They recently came into the spotlight because a Polizist (police officer) was shot. Who are these people? What do they stand for? And what do they want? Let’s find out!

What is a Reichsbürger?

Reichsbürger is a German citizen that doesn’t recognize the German state. Some of them believe that Germany is a Privatgesellschaft (private company), and that Bundesrepublik Deutschland (the German Federal Republic) does not exist. And so its laws aren’t valid either! They call themselves Reichsbürger, because they believe that the Grenzen (borders) of Germany in 1937, or 1914 depending on the group, are still valid today. Back then, Germany was a Reich, and its citizens were called Reichsbürger.

The Reichsbürgerbewegung has been around since the 1980s, but have gained traction since 2010. Many have problems with the German government, such as financial issues. A “Lösung” (“solution”) is to just not recognize that those problems are valid.

Also, many Reichsbürger feel that they should have had a higher role in life, but that they could not achieve it in reality. One very prominent example is Peter Fitzek.

Königreich Deutschland

Peter Fitzek was gekrönt (crowned) to become the König des Königreichs Deutschland (king of the Kingdom Germany). He was a Koch (cook) before he was crowned. Wait, what?

This video explains what the kingdom is. Obviously, it is Schwachsinn (bogus). They cannot just create a new state within Germany, even if they claim to do so. It just explains what it tried to achieve, and how it works. Fitzek became the king of this Königreich, which consists of so-called freie BürgerInnen (free citizens). It is in the same vein as Reichsbürger. Fitzek became the king. He had his own Wappen (coat of arms) and his own Nummernschild (car plate). He even tried to arrest a Richter (judge). The Königreich even had its own bureaucracy. This is what it looked like:

As you can see, Fitzek even opened a Bank (bank)! It was called the Königliche Reichsbank (Royal Reich Bank), but he ran it without any authorization. This led to gigantic Geldstrafen (fines), which were not paid. The Polizei (police) then stormed the Königreich, and Fitzek was sued and was recently convicted for 3 months Haft (jail time). He could still get more, if evidence for other charges can be found as well.

Polizist erschossen

Polizisten (police officers) (Image by Metropolico.org at Flickr.com under license CC BY SA 2.0)

Another crazy event that put Reichsbürger in the news was the shooting of a policeman. Wolfgang P. was a Reichsbürger that refused to pay bills. He cancelled his German identity and declared that he moved to an unknown place. The Polizei raided his house, and he did not just let it happen. He shot back – and heavily wounded two Polizisten (policemen). One of them died some hours later. It showed how dangerous and delusional the movement is.

What do you think about the Reichsbürgerbewegung? Is there such a movement in your country as well? Let me know in the comments below!




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About the Author:Sten

Hi! I am Sten, and I am half Dutch and half German. I was on exchange in the United States, and I really enjoyed that year! So in that sense, I kind of have three nationalities... I love all of them!


  1. Irene Hogan:

    Thanks for this article. It is was very interesting. So another extremist right wing group. They are springing up everywhere, or rather, are getting noticed by the media a lot lately. So, they are aping after the days of the 2nd Reich and the 3rd Reich? Well, they both achieved a lot for Germany and the German economy, didn’t they? The irony of these extremist, often very politically and economically ignorant and prejudicial, groups is, that if the form of gov’t they are advocating for were to come to power then they would most likely belong to a marginalised group who would be treated badly by the extreme oligarchic style gov’t. See the 3rd Reich as a very obvious example. Also, of course, comes to mind just how things will pan out in the USA . . .

  2. Clint Swift:

    Thanks for this useful post. Bringing a little detail together in one spot gives me a bit of familiarity with the topic In case it comes up but without my having to look it up online. Frohes Fe st!

  3. Brandon F:

    So aggressive Muslim migrants are conducting a demographic invasion of Germany, raping, molesting, and murdering German women, vandalizing church property, shooting shoppers at malls, and driving trucks into people at Christmas markets and we’re supposed to be worried about a small number of people who don’t want to pay their taxes?

  4. Carl Gustalman:

    Sten .. thanks for your blog .. my ancestry is Prussian traced back several hundreds of years .. here i iz presently in California. An soon now i must lean my ancestral tongue .. will be using your blog regularly as i have just discovered it ..
    Re your time in the U.S. .. be aware this term ALSO is defined within 26 U.S.C. section 7701 the seat of quasi.. government it includes ONLY the District of Columbia .. it IS NOT a ‘country’ NEVER was it is a ‘District’ ONLY .. further recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court as a ‘foreign corporation’ ..