German cops have occupied a local petrol station to prevent far-right extremists from buying cold beer at the country’s largest neo-Nazi music festival.
The neo-Nazi concert is set to take place on Friday and Saturday in the small town of Themar in the central German state of Thuringia.
Two years ago, a petrol station near the festival site became hugely popular with visiting neo-Nazis wanting to buy cold beer and this year the leaseholder has decided to close it during the concert period and to give it to the cops.
Vice-President of the Thuringia State Police Thomas Quittenbaum said: “During the festival, we will set up our headquarters and logistics there.”
Thuringia’s Interior Minister Georg Maier added: “The petrol station will be the police headquarters and the drink supply will not be accessible for neo-Nazis.”
To further annoy the concert goers, an administrative court in Meiningen confirmed on Monday that there will be special conditions regarding the sale of alcohol.
On the Friday, only light beer of up to 2.7 percent alcohol will be allowed while on Saturday all booze is banned completely.
In 2017, around 6,000 neo-Nazis invaded the sleepy town to attend the concert marketed as ‘Rock against Foreign Domination’, something which they are set to repeat this weekend.
Themar residents have tried to stop the concert in the past, but two separate courts ruled in favour of the neo-Nazis saying they had the freedom to organise the gig.
It is not the first time neo-Nazis were hit by creative beer bans. Last month, quick-thinking residents in the town of Ostritz in Saxony snapped up every beer can and bottle from their local supermarket in a bid to stop a gang holding a festival there.
Local residents and the International Meeting Centre from the St Marienthal Abbey clubbed together and bought the entire beer supply, totalling over 200 crates.
The previous day, police confiscated 4,400 litres of beer at the festival site after a ban was imposed by the high administrative court in Bautzen which ruled that alcohol would increase the likelihood of violence.
The 2017 neo-Nazi concert in Themar was described by the state intelligence agency as the biggest nationwide neo-Nazi event in recent years, with 12 radical right-wing bands said to have been on the bill.
Thousands of concert goers were seen breaking Germany’s strict anti-Nazi laws which forbid the use of symbols of “unconstitutional organisations” or “re-engagement in National Socialist activities”.
Attendees were dressed in T-shirts with slogans such as “I love Hitler”, “HKNKRZ” (the word ‘Hakenkreuz’ – swastika in German – without vowels) and “Sturm auf Themar” (“Assault on Themar”).
In images taken from the large tent where several bands performed, hundreds of revellers carried out the Nazi salute while shouting “Heil!”
Meanwhile, posters of Nazi soldiers were visible on the walls of the tent.
At the time, six people were provisionally arrested and 32 criminal offences were registered. There were also eight incidents of property damage, illegal drug use and verbal abuse.
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