Still active despite ban

The skinheads Sachsische Schweiz have been running a militant right-wing fight for no-go areas for years – now the prosecutor’s office is investigating again

Just a few days after a demonstration against right-wing extremism in the region of Sachsische Schweiz (Pirna, Saxony’s gateway to the National Switzerland?), which was also threatened from the environment of the Skinheads Sachsische Schweiz (SSS), which has actually been banned since 2001, the public prosecutor’s office has again taken action against the far-right grouping SSS. 100 LKA officers simultaneously searched 29 apartments and offices of right-wing extremists in Saxony and Bavaria, seized evidence and arrested a right-wing extremist considered a co-founder of the SSS.

The so-called comradeship Skinheads Saxon Switzerland (SSS) has been active in Southeast Saxony since the end of 1997. Initially noted only by attentive observers of the neo-Nazi scene, the SSS soon gained supra-regional attention. The goal of the tightly hierarchically organized and paramilitary SSS was to rid Saxon Switzerland of foreigners and dissidents "to clean", from foreigners and dissenters as anything other than the implementation of the "nationally liberated zones" to understand.

Shortly after its founding, the SSS was classified as an association very close to the NPD by the district administrator of the Sachsische Schweiz district in response to an inquiry. The district administration also informed that Uwe Leichsenring – already at that time NPD district leader and local politician in Konigstein – was the mastermind behind the founding of the SSS. The SSS subsequently also showed its gratitude and took over protection and election campaign work at the NPD.

Leichsenring, in turn, thanked – after the 1998 Bundestag elections – in a letter from the NPD district association of 13.10.1998 at "the comrades of the SSS and the SSS/AO for the excellent protection of our events and info tables". Leichsenring, however, did not want to have anything to do with the SSS. Report Mainz documented only recently the opposite of this Biedermannian representation. Leichsenring has also been a member of the Saxon state parliament since September 2004 and was nominated by the NPD faction for the office of prime minister (nobody wants to have done it). In his capacity as parliamentary manager, Leichsenring described the recent actions of the police and the public prosecutor’s office against the SSS as a "brazen impertinence" and announced with the words "Our group is not prepared to accept this deliberate provocation so easily" a parliamentary aftermath.

With around 100 members, the SSS developed into one of the coarsest right-wing extremist comradeships known to date. During a house search by the Saxony State Criminal Police Office in June 2000, weapons, ammunition, propaganda material and two kilograms of explosives were seized. In April 2001, the SSS and the SSS/AO (organizational structure) were banned by Saxony’s then Minister of the Interior Klaus Hardraht (CDU), as was the comradeship Nationaler Widerstand Pirna (NWP) in this context. In the three subsequent SSS trials, the prosecution investigated 82 people. All charges brought – mostly for membership in a criminal organization, incitement of the people, breach of the peace and bodily harm – ended in preservation or fines.

Almost immediately with the end of the trial in January 2004, the Initiative Tolerant Saxony stated:

Other right-wing extremist efforts, especially by former SSS members in the Sachsische Schweiz district, are still conspicuous. They continue to spread their ideology through abundant propaganda. Despite the persecution, serious violent crimes continue to be committed, skinhead concerts are organized, extremist-promoted solstice celebrations and so-called field battles are held, young people are infected with inhuman ideology. Several authors of right-wing extremist fanzines live in Saxon Switzerland; several Internet sites with right-wing extremist, anti-Semitic and racist content are operated from the region.

The continuous activities of the SSS throughout the entire period of the ban are evidenced by reports and publications not only from the fringes of right-wing extremist marches and not least during the state election campaign of the Saxon NPD. And so the reasoning for the prosecution’s current action against the SSS does not exactly read surprisingly:

We accuse 25 defendants of maintaining the cohesion of the SSS and using existing structures.

The situation report of the State Office for the Protection of Interception (LfV) already attested to this in September 2004:

Although the LfV Saxony is not aware that the banned grouping appeared under the name SSS at any time after the ban. Nevertheless, people from this circle still deal with right-wing extremist ideas and continue to act.

Among those now again accused are also some right-wing extremists who have already received preservation sentences in the SSS trials. The Attorney General’s Office is also investigating the matter "for violation of the law on associations".

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