German police arrests suspect for allegedly spreading Nazi propaganda

The German Police arrested a suspect for allegedly belonging to a far-right criminal organization that sought to spread antisemitic propaganda by selling books. His group supposedly had storerooms stocked with thousands of antisemitic texts.

German national Matthias B. was taken into custody in Röderaue, in the eastern state of Saxony, for being a suspected member of a right-wing extremist criminal organization allegedly spreading antisemitic and Nazi ideology. Authorities raided his property as well as the homes of three other suspects.

The four individuals allegedly belong to an extremist criminal group that runs a publishing house known as “Der Schelm,” the statement of the German prosecutor’s office said. That name has many potential translations into English, including the rogue, the knave, or the imp.

The suspects are accused of having committed sedition and of using the publishing house to disseminate Nazi propaganda. They allegedly distributed extreme far-right books and had storage rooms stocked with several thousand texts that were printed abroad.

According to the prosecutor’s office’s statement, Matthias B. played a leading role in the operation, processing online orders and instructing other group members to ship the books. He is expected to appear before a judge on Thursday.

Wednesday’s arrest came following two months of a nationwide police operation, which involved 800 police officers who raided the homes of 50 suspected right-wing extremists.

In Germany, the dissemination or display of Nazi-era symbols, slogans, and gestures are prohibited by multiple laws, except when used in proper historical context for education. Publishing is a grey area; banning the publication is prohibited by the constitution; however, once on the shelves, the publishing houses can face prosecution for its contents if it violates criminal or other pertinent laws. “Der Schelm” had ignored regulators’ calls to pull several of its offerings, which it had been importing from abroad. The company’s website uses an internet address, suggesting it is in Thailand rather than Germany.