Prosecution against international Antifas in Budapest started, arrest warrants requested for 14 more

Article by Matthias Monroy for the German newspaper nd

The public prosecutor’s office in Budapest has filed charges against three activists for attacks on Nazis. Their organisation was founded in Germany, the authorities claim.

The public prosecutor’s office in Hungary is searching with names and photos for four other Germans from Thuringia and Bavaria who are alleged to have been involved in five attacks on the so-called “Day of Honour” in Budapest in February of this year. The wanted men, aged between 20 and 22, allegedly attacked suspected right-wing extremists in Budapest with weapons and pepper spray and are therefore accused of grievous bodily harm. Nine people were injured by them, six of them seriously.

Since 1997, neo-Nazis from all over Europe come to Budapest on the “Day of Honour”. There they celebrate the activities of the German Waffen SS, the Wehrmacht and their Hungarian collaborators. These troops had unsuccessfully attempted to break the siege of Budapest by the Red Army in a suicidal action on 11 February 1945 as the end of the Second World War approached. Only a few hundred of the approximately 70,000 soldiers are said to have survived.

On 31 October, the Budapest public prosecutor’s office also brought charges against two Germans and an Italian woman for membership of a criminal organisation, a spokeswoman told “nd”. The three were arrested by the police shortly after the “Day of Honour” in Budapest. One of the two German detainees was released shortly afterwards subject to conditions, while the other two are in pre-trial detention.

According to the indictment, a German man who is the subject of a European arrest warrant in Germany is alleged to have founded “an organisation sympathising with an extreme left-wing ideology” together with his partner in Leipzig from 2017. The accused are said to have joined this organisation. The group had agreed to “carry out organised attacks against unsuspecting victims of their choice”, according to the public prosecutor’s office in Budapest. These unexpected attacks were intended to have a “deterrent message” for right-wing extremist movements. The German “circle of perpetrators” had been supplemented by members from Milan. The suspects had coordinated themselves “via a darknet application”.

The Hungarian authorities believe that the three detainees from Germany and Italy and the additional people now being wanted belong to the circle of four Antifa activists convicted in the German city of Dresden at the beginning of June. They are serving long prison sentences following the first so-called “Antifa East” trial. One founder of the alleged organisation is said to be Johann G., who the police describes as the fiancé of Lina E., who was also convicted in Leipzig. He has been in hiding since 2020.

“We fear that the right-wing authoritarian Orbán state will organise a show trial against the three antifas with the help of the authorities in Germany,” commented a solidarity group for the defendants in Budapest at the request of “nd”. After the Antifa East trial in Leipzig, this is the next major wave of repression against the anti-fascist movement, they say.

This wave of repression could even expand: The General Prosecutor’s Office in Budapest wants to issue European and international arrest warrants for 14 more people, including two Italians, an Albanian, a Syrian and ten Germans. However, a district judge still has to decide on this, “nd” has learned.

The Budapest investigations are being supported in Germany by the Saxon “Linx Special Commission” in a “mirror procedure”. However, when asked by “nd”, a spokesperson for the public prosecutor’s office in Saxony declined to comment, citing ongoing investigations.

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