Germany

German town braces for neo-Nazi concert on Hitler's birthday

Authorities have been unable to stop the event from taking place because it is being held on private property

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 April, 2018, 1:42am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 April, 2018, 3:33am

A small town in Germany’s far east braced on Friday for the arrival of hundreds of neo-Nazis who are planning to attend a music festival timed to coincide with Adolf Hitler’s birthday.

Police in Germany and neighbouring Poland were checking people arriving in Ostritz for the “Shield and Sword” festival.

The two-day event is expected to attract up to 1,000 far-right extremists from Germany, the neighbouring Czech Republic and Poland.

Authorities have been unable to stop the concert from taking place because it is being held on private property, but a court on Friday confirmed a ban on the consumption of alcohol during the event. 

Dozens of neo-Nazis serving in German police and army

Judges said the neo-Nazi bands would likely fire up the crowd and alcohol might make attendees more aggressive.

Civic groups are planning to protest the event at Ostritz, a town of some 2,300 inhabitants on the border with Poland.

The region has long been a hotbed of far-right extremism; the anti-migrant Alternative for Germany received almost 30 per cent of the vote in Ostritz in last year’s national election.