Former Federal President Joachim Gauck sees no danger to the state from this group after the large-scale raid on the so-called Reichsbürger scene. “The state itself is not endangered by these people, the political center is stable. But we also don’t want a state that stands idly by and looks on at any mischief,” he said in an interview with the editorial network Germany. Those who bring hate and hostility into society must be fought with all means of the rule of law. “Above all, we must not let our fears rest on the sometimes bizarre representatives of an anti-democratic way of thinking. They will never be able to seize power.”

Gauck said the danger posed by the AfD was greater than the danger posed by Reich citizens. “Because in the AfD there is a mixture of enemies of democracy and protest voters who do not reject democracy per se, but do reject elements of liberal modernity.” The AfD is currently drifting further and further to the right. “We should always publicly expose this party and its strategies of fear that endanger democracy.”

Gauck: Putin obsessed with “imperial madness”.

In the interview, the former Federal President also commented on the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine and advocated continued “strong support” for the country. Given the plans of Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin, Gauck sees the worst as not yet over. “We see too clearly Putin’s intention to terrorize an entire population indiscriminately, to let them freeze to death, to deprive them of their rights, even their right to live. Unfortunately, even in view of the imperial madness that this man is obviously obsessed with, things are unfortunately bad expected.”

He will not be able to celebrate Christmas like in previous years this year, said Gauck. “But on the other hand, we mustn’t let a cold-blooded war criminal ruin our way of life.”