Police have raided a hunting lodge believed to be where Heinrich XIII and his ‘Reich Citizens’ movement planned to overthrow the German government.
The aristocrat is suspected of stockpiling weapons to use for his violent far-right coup at the property, local media reports.
Federal prosecutors have not yet released any details about the search at Waidmannsheil, in Saaldorf, Thuringia, but confirmed to euromedia that it happened earlier today.
The deputy mayor of the town said nearby households had been sent a letter in the summer, telling them passports issued by German authorities were not valid.
‘We were then given the opportunity to apply for our German origin documents with the Reuss administration,’ he said.
An Interior Ministry spokesperson said the ‘potential danger remains high’ with national security ‘still monitoring the situation with great attention’.
German authorities said they expect another round of arrests in the upcoming days.
Who is ‘Prince Heinrich XIII’?
‘Prince Heinrich XIII’ is believed to be the leader of the so-called ‘Reichsbürger’ movement
The nickname a thought to be a reference to the real-life Prince Heinrich XIII, who was Prince Reuss of Greiz (a town in Germany) from 1800 to his death aged 69 in 1817.
The Prince is best known for rebuilding the city of Greiz after it was devastated by a fire in 1802.
The Heinrich XIII who was arrested is believed to be a far-right extremist.
Heinrich’s family – the House of Reuss, which previously ruled part of eastern Germay – has previously distanced itself from him, saying he was a confused man who pursued conspiracy theories.
25 people were arrested in raids across the country yesterday.
The alleged plot involved a small armed group storming the Bundestag parliamentary building, echoing the US Capitol attack.
They are believed to have been planning the coup since November 2021, amassing equipment, recruiting members – primarily people with military and police background – and giving shooting lessons.
Prosecutors say the group knew there would be deaths, which they deemed to be a ‘necessary intermediate step’ in gaining control.
Justice minister Marco Buschmann described the raids as an ‘anti-terrorism operation’, adding the suspects may have planned an armed attack on state institutions.
They allegedly believed in a ‘conglomerate of conspiracy theories consisting of narratives from the so-called Reich Citizens as well as QAnon ideology’.
In total, the number of suspects involved now includes 54 and that figure could rise.
Locations searched include the barracks of Germany’s special forces unit KSK in the south-western town of Calw, reports say.
Melanie Merle, who lives close to the apartment in Frankfurt where Heinrich was arrested, said: ‘It’s not really comprehensible: you hear about such plans from other countries but for this to happen outside my front door?’
‘The government we have is not ideal but probably better than what they had planned.’
A former parliamentary lawmaker from the far-right Alternative For Germany (AfD) was also among those detained.
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