Geheimes Treffen der Reichsbürger:innen in Basel (original)
Riunione segreta dei "Cittadini del Reich " a Basilea
Un mouvement complotiste et anti-étatique allemand tente de s'implanter en Suisse
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On a stormy Sunday in early November, around 50 people gather in a magnificent villa in the centre of Basel for a conspiratorial meeting. The group were only given the exact location after paying the registration fee and shortly before the event took place.
Three speakers from the so-called "Kingdom of Germany", abbreviated to KRD, have travelled to Basel. It is the kick-off event for the expansion of the pseudo-state in Switzerland.
In the eyes of the Citizens of the Reich, the supporters of the "Kingdom of Germany", the global financial system is the cause of all problems and aims to control people. This has once again become clear in the eyes of these state deniers, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
"In the past, people wanted to rule right into the living room, today they want to rule right under the skin," complained one of the speakers from the KRD - an allusion to the Covid-19 measures.
View of a "superior race"
In order to escape the supposed control of the financial system, the KRD created its own currency. They now want to establish this in Switzerland too. In the eyes of the Citizens of the Reich, the Germanic peoples are superior to other. This is a statement that reflects their ethnic nationalist world view.
"The Germanic peoples have a very specific calling. And this lies in the fact that we carry within us the highest connection to the creator of all the peoples on this earth," one of the main speakers said.
The followers of the " Kingdom of Germany" often refuse to pay taxes. They deny the states right to exist.
Skimming off Swiss assets
The movement is now spreading to Switzerland. Here, the "kingdom" wants to spread and collect money: with its own health insurance fund, a pension scheme and even a bank. Seminars on setting up a business in the "Kingdom of Germany" are also offered in Basel.
The members of the "Kingdom of Germany" want nothing less than to overthrow the financial system. The most important part of the solution: their own currency, the "New German Mark".
State deniers in Switzerland
In Switzerland, the number of so-called state deniers has exploded since the Covid-19 pandemic. Experts estimate this group is comprised of around 10,000 people. These state deniers reject laws, do not pay taxes and refuse to pay fines.
At the event in Basel, participants also boasted that they would not pay taxes and would defy officials. The Covid-19 pandemic was a unifying theme.
Various Swiss speakers at the kick-off event at the beginning of November made reference to the pandemic - for example, they criticised the vaccination or the obligation to wear masks. One speaker said: "That's when it clicked for me. I understood who David is and who Goliath is within this system. And today I understand that this is also due to the monetary system." In Switzerland, the authorities have so far done very little publicly to combat this movement.
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This can be used to make purchases in the pseudo-state's web shop, for example. There, individuals can purchase self-knitted socks, herbal medicines and even horses.
According to extremism expert Dirk Baier and the head of the Institute for Delinquency and Crime Prevention at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), the "Kingdom of Germany" is primarily concerned with one thing: making money. "There are assets here that can be siphoned off. In my view, it's a kind of scam," say Baier.
Fraudsters are always looking for new markets, which is why they are now coming to Switzerland. He warns against paying into these funds: "Ultimately, it means investing your money in Monopoly money."
Once you have exchanged "Neue Deutsche Mark", you can't get it back. Several people registered for the KRD in Basel - and opened a bank account at the same time. Payments were made on the spot in euros and Swiss francs. Covert footage of the event shows this happening.
Research shows that a number of Swiss citizens already have bank accounts with the "royal bank". The KRD's plans were explained at the event in Basel: among other things, several "currency exchange points" are planned in Switzerland where cash can be exchanged for the "royal" currency.
Rejection of civic duties
A licence is required for such transactions. The movement does not have this licence either in Switzerland or in Germany, where it is based. At the beginning of the year, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) banned several KRD services in Germany and also sealed off the locations.
Several people from Switzerland spoke at the event. They spoke about their companies, which they operate from Switzerland - within the KRD system. One speaker explained to the audience how he wants to free himself from his civic duties: "I don't want to pay any more taxes in 2024. I no longer want to finance these system structures," he said.
"I don't want to pay health insurance any more. I want to create a solution for all Swiss citizens, simply for everyone in this country, because the only way a system will come to an end is if it is no longer fed."
The Freie Musikschule Basel (free music school Basel), which rented their premises to the Citizens of the Reich, firmly distanced itself from the groups ideals when asked. They did not know that it was a Citizens of the Reich event.
The "Kingdom of Germany" had not issued a statement by the editorial deadline.
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