They are said to have planned a violent overthrow of the federal government: a group of suspected “Reich citizens” around Henry XIII. Prince Reuss must therefore answer in court. The scene is considered violent, spreads conspiracy theories and follows a certain ideology.

Basically, “Reich Citizens” claim that the historic German Empire, founded in 1871 with an emperor at its head, continues to exist and did not collapse at the end of the Second World War in 1945. That is why they do not recognize the Federal Republic of Germany – nor its constitutional structures such as parliament or laws. You also don’t want to pay taxes, fines or social security contributions.

The Office for the Protection of the Constitution counts around 23,000 people in the scene

The “Reich Citizens” are not a unified movement: some see themselves as heads of state of their own small empire with their own ID cards and license plates. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution calls these “self-administrators”. The Federal Office assumes that a total of around 23,000 people belong to the scene.

“Reich citizens” and “self-administrators” follow conspiracy theories: According to the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, they reflect anti-Semitic patterns that also play an important role among right-wing extremists. These include the denial of the Holocaust or the “deep state” myth, according to which secret powers control world events.

There is also a widespread false claim that Germany is still occupied by the four victorious powers of the Second World War – the USA, the former USSR, France and Great Britain. But that has been refuted: the Two Plus Four Treaty of 1990 ended Germany’s special status, which had existed since 1945 in a kind of international tutelage by the victorious powers.