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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!
A 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.
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.
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!