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Germany bans far-right pro-Nazi group; Police raid homes

BERLIN (AP) – More than 180 police officers raided homes in three German provinces early Tuesday after the German government banned a far-right group, the interior ministry said.

The homes of 11 members of the far-right Wolfsbrigade 44 have been searched in Hesse, Mecklenburg, West Pomerania and North Rhine-Westphalia to confiscate the group’s funds and far-right propaganda material, the German news agency dpa reported.

“Whoever fights against the fundamental values ​​of our free society will feel the decisive reaction of our government,”

; said Interior Minister Horst Seehofer. “There is no place in this country for an association that sows hatred and works for the resurrection of a Nazi state.”

The group’s members want to restore the Nazi dictatorship and abolish democracy, the interior ministry said. 44 in their name means the fourth letter in the alphabet, DD, and is an abbreviation for Division Dirlewanger. Oscar Dirlevanger is a notorious Nazi war criminal and commander of a Nazi SS special unit.

The far-right group, founded in 2016, is also known for its anti-Semitic and racist ideology, as well as its violent and aggressive appearances in public and on social media.

On Tuesday, police found knives, machetes, crossbows and bayonets during their raids. They also seized Nazi items such as swastikas and flags.

Earlier this year, the German government banned other far-right groups, including Combat 18 and Nordadler, dpa reported.

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