German security authorities tried to prevent neo-Nazis from traveling to Hungary for a martial arts event. Authorities failed in several cases in court, one found NDR-Research.
A right-wing extremist martial arts event is planned for this Saturday in Budapest, Hungary. Co-organizer of this “European Fight Night” is the German martial arts label “Kampf der Nibelungen” from the neo-Nazi scene. The event has also been promoted among German neo-Nazis for weeks.
The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution sees the “European Fight Night” as “this year’s replacement event for the right-wing extremist martial arts tournament ‘Kampf der Nibelungen’, which has been banned in Germany since 2019,” says a spokesman for the authority NDR-Inquiry. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution “observes clear personal, ideological and organizational parallels” between the two martial arts events.
In North Rhine-Westphalia, the security authorities tried to ban numerous neo-Nazis from traveling to Budapest on the basis of this assessment by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Among other things, the passports of the right-wing extremists known to the police were temporarily withdrawn. The police imposed reporting requirements. These state that those affected must report to police stations several times over the weekend. The city of Dortmund alone prohibited eight right-wing extremists from leaving the country, and there were other orders in Bochum and Düsseldorf, for example.
Courts lift bans
In many cases, however, the authorities failed with the exit bans. More than 20 right-wing extremists took legal action against the exit bans. At the Gelsenkirchen Administrative Court alone, 15 victims had filed a lawsuit against the requirements of the police authorities and cities. In all cases, the court granted the right-wing extremists in summary proceedings – they are therefore allowed to travel to Hungary. A court spokesman explained that the authorities could not adequately demonstrate that they expected right-wing extremists to commit crimes in Hungary NDR-Inquiry.
The Minden Administrative Court decided on Friday in four cases against the authorities, so that these right-wing extremists can also travel to Hungary. In one case, the administrative court in Düsseldorf agreed with the plaintiff. The Dresden Administrative Court lifted exit bans in six cases that had been issued by the Federal Police. Other lawsuits are pending.
The justification for the travel ban states, among other things, that the German neo-Nazis would damage the reputation of the Federal Republic with their behavior abroad. Hundreds of thousands of Hungarians fell victim to the National Socialist regime. The Germans and their collaborators murdered a total of about 565,000 Hungarian Jews. However, this justification was not enough for the administrative judges.
Event banned in 2019
The “Battle of the Nibelungs” was last held in 2018 in Ostritz, Saxony, with several hundred visitors. An event in October 2019 was banned because it served “right-wing extremist combat training” and “thereby preparing for a political fight”. The Saxon Higher Administrative Court confirmed the ban.
According to the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the “European Fight Night” in Budapest is organized “in cooperation with Hungarian neo-Nazi martial arts structures”. Due to many years of “relevant positive event experience in Hungary”, according to the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the tournament will be held in Hungary. The event was not banned by the local authorities.