German neo-Nazis are hosting Waffen-SS and Hitler youth veterans as inspirational speakers in an attempt to radicalize young people, Germany’s domestic security agency warned in a recent report.
According to German news magazine Focus, which gained access to the classified document by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, around 60 such meetings were held last year, featuring around six “zeitzeugen,” or historical witnesses.
“There has been a steady increase in event numbers” since 2016, the report stated, indicating that such events now take place across the country.
The security agency warned against the “ideology-forming function” of the meetings, which are intended to legitimize the war actions of the German Wehrmacht as “a defensive struggle of the German people.”
Neo-Nazi organization The Third Path, one of the groups organizing the events, was cited as describing the significance of such talks by saying that “our forefathers have made it clear to us … it is no use just to name the evil [you have to] to fight it and to eliminate the danger to your own people.”
German Neo-Nazis have made extensive use of social media in promoting these talks, which have been given by figures such as SS veterans Klaus Grotjahn and Richard Neubrech, both of whom are in their early nineties.
All of the veterans appear to be unrepentant supporters of Nazism. One of them, 96-year-old SS Panzer veteran Karl Münter, made waves earlier this year when he justified his unit’s massacre of 86 civilians, including children, in France during the war.