Despite efforts to have them evicted, right-wing extremists in Germany continue to occupy a hotel building they plan to turn into a training center. And now police fear a violent clash between local left-wingers and their new neo-Nazi neighbors.
Bullets have been fired and weapons confiscated. But as tensions between left and right wing groups mount, a court has rejected an application to evict a group of neo-Nazis from a disused hotel in the village of Fassberg, in the northern German state of Lower Saxony.
The Hotel Gerhus went into receivership just one day before Jürgen Rieger, deputy leader of the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD), signed a 10-year lease on the property. That has sparked controversyabout whether the neo-Nazis are there legally or whether they are squatting.
The receiver himself, Jens Wilhelm, had hoped to be granted a court order this week to force the neo-Nazis off the property. But he was unsuccessful and will now have to wait for a court hearing at the end of the month. Reacting to the decision, Wilhelm told Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper: “What could be more urgent than vacating an illegally occupied hotel?”
Guns Fired, Fears of Violence
And as Wilhelm’s frustrations grow, so too do those of left-wing groups outraged by reported plans to convert the hotel into a neo-Nazi youth camp and training center. After shots were fired in the area over the weekend — nobody was injured — police seized pepper spray from two left-wingers and a baton from a group of right-wingers. Local police are also stepping up their presence because of fears of a violent clash between left and right. Local police spokesman Christian Riebandt said: “We have squad cars patrolling the area around the hotel around the clock.”
The right of the neo-Nazis to remain in the 80-room hotel will be depend on whether a court deems their current lease — signed off by the debt-ridden owners just one day before they went into receivership — legal and valid.