This week, German police conducted a series of raids on an extremist group known as “Reichsbürger” (Reich Citizens Movement) which supports the end of democracy and the re-establishment of an absolute monarchy. The group had been hoping to pull off a January 6-style raid of government buildings in Germany.
Speaking to CNN’s Erin Burnett on Wednesday, Jason Van Tatenhove, the former spokesman for the far-right militia group the Oath Keepers, outlined how Reichsbürger built their movement off the same template as QAnon in the United States.
“Here we are tonight,” said Burnett. “You’ve seen what happened today. You hear Fred [Pleitgen] reporting about extremists with links to QAnon plotting to overthrow the government of the largest country in Europe. Did you immediately think January 6th?”
“I did,” said Van Tatenhove. “And I thought that previously. You know, they’ve got this notion of this Day X, which is covered extensively by a New York Times reporter Katrin Bennhold, who did the Day X podcast series where she really, really breaks this down. But you can think of Day X as being the equivalent in America of being ‘The Storm’ that QAnon talks about. And four months before January 6th happened, they had almost an identical event happen at the parliamentary building in Berlin. So, this is a direct reflection. We’re seeing this happen all over. And they’re using really the same blueprint.”
“It is pretty amazing to see it,” said Burnett. “So when you see former President Trump posing at Mar-a-Lago — prominent QAnon conspiracists posing for photos — this is after, of course, he just had dinner with a person who denies the holocaust, who is a known anti-Semite — what signal does this send to members of the Oath Keepers, just for instance, or to other far-right groups?”
“Again, it’s much like we heard during the presidential debates with the ‘stand back and stand by,'” said Van Tatenhove. “It’s a dog whistle. It’s acknowledging that he sees them as part of his base and part of his power structure, and he possibly intends to use them, much like we saw them employed on January 6th. But it normalizes.”
Watch the video below or at this link.
Former Oath Keepers spokesman on German extremist plot