Riot cops gear kept the neo-Nazis and an estimated 1,000 counter-protesters apart in Berlin protest
Police in riot gear kept the neo-Nazis and an estimated 1,000 counter-protesters apart as the two sides staged competing rallies in the German capital’s western district of Spandau.
Some 1000 participants affiliated with Neo-Nazi and extreme right groups marched through the street of Berlin’s Spandau district in commemoration of 30 years to Rudolf Hess’s death
Far-right protesters had planned to march to the site of the former Spandau prison, where Hess hanged himself in 1987, but were forced to turn back because of a blockade by counter-protesters.
After changing their route, the neo-Nazis, who had come from all over Germany and neighbouring European countries, returned to Spandau’s main station for speeches amid jeers and chants of “Nazis go home!” and “You lost the war!” from counter-protesters.
Participants of a Neo-Nazi demonstration are seen at a gathering spot prior to the event
Hess committed suicide on August 17, 1987 at Spandau Prison and he also served as Adolf Hitler’s deputy
The march attracted counter demonstrations along its route, organised by several left-wing groups and political parties
Police detain a counter-protester as fellow counter-protesters block a street
Participants of a Neo-Nazi march clash with counter demonstrators as German police try to break between the sides
Such restrictions are common in Germany and rooted in the experience of the pre-war Weimar Republic, when opposing political groups would try to forcibly interrupt their rivals’ rallies, resulting in frequent street violence.
Police in Germany say they generally try to balance protesters’ rights to free speech and free assembly against the rights of counter-demonstrators and residents.
Violence erupted between the two groups
Participants in a Neo-Nazi march pass by a German riot policeman
Counter-protesters block a street as they attend a demonstration against a gathering of far-right organisations
Police detain a counter-protester
A Neo-Nazi demonstrator is arrested by police
The rules mean that shields, helmets and batons carried by far-right and Neo-Nazi protesters in Charlottesville wouldn’t be allowed in Germany. Openly anti-Semitic chants would also prompt German police to intervene.
Neo-Nazi protesters on Saturday were frisked and funneled through tents where police checked them for weapons, forbidden flags and tattoos showing symbols banned in Germany, such as the Nazi swastika.
A number of far-right protesters emerged from the tents with black tape covering their arms or legs.
Organisers imposed a number of their own rules on the marchers: they were encouraged to wear smart, white shirts and were told not to speak to the media.
The 64-year-old cited the clashes in Charlottesville and her parents’ experience of living under the Nazis as her reason for coming.
She said: “The rats are coming out of the sewers. Trump has made it socially acceptable.”
Supporters of far-right wing and neo-Nazi organisation wave a merchant flag of the early Nazi Germany
A supporter of a far-right wing organisation wears a shirt reading the Fuehrer-supportive Wehrmacht slogan ‘Die Halben hole der Teufel’
A counter-protester wears a shirt with the slogan reading ‘Destroy white supremacy’
Among those demonstrating against the neo-Nazis was Jossa Berntje from the western city of Koblenz.
Hess, who received a life sentence at the Nuremberg trials for his role in planning World War II, died on Aug. 17, 1987.
Allied authorities ruled his death a suicide, but Nazi sympathizers have long claimed he was killed and organize annual marches in his honor.
The marches used to take place in the Bavarian town of Wunsiedel, where Hess was buried until authorities removed his remains.
White supremacists armed with flaming torches chant Nazi slogan at march
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