“Reich citizen” Heinrich Reuss is said to have prepared a coup d’etat. He was arrested in his apartment building in Frankfurt’s Westend.
Frankfurt – At the Nationwide raid against the Reich citizen scene with 25 arrests in eleven federal states Frankfurt played a special role yesterday. The Frankfurt real estate entrepreneur Prince Reuss, whose first name was Heinrich XIII. is accused of being the ringleader of the group preparing a coup d’état. Officials arrested the 71-year-old yesterday in his apartment building in the west end. The prince’s offices in the north end were also searched.
The operation began early in the morning: at 6:01 a.m., special forces from the Federal Police, the Federal Criminal Police Office and the State Criminal Police Office entered the inconspicuous old building in the north end and gained access to the offices on the first floor. There, Reuss runs a company with two business partners that has the task of “coordinating business interests”. In the office, the investigators found masses of folders with the letters “FRG” written on their yellow spines in thick black permanent markers. “Reichsbürger” use these letters for the Federal Republic, which they do not recognize. However, the officials in the north end did not find the prince.
Prince Heinrich Reuss from Frankfurt: A polite, well-groomed elderly gentleman in the focus of the “Reichsbürger” raid
From the police operation it is more likely in the street. Passers-by are surprised at the large police presence: “Is what I heard on the radio true?” asks a man. “Reich citizen? Here?” The older gentleman? Of all things? He’s always so polite, says a stunned neighbor. “I accepted countless packages for him. Who knows what that was,” says a shocked man.
A polite, elderly gentleman with an impeccable appearance and conspiracy-theoretical ideas: when he was arrested in his house, an old building in the west end, Heinrich Reuss was wearing rust-colored corduroy trousers, a blue denim shirt and a mustard-colored tweed jacket. He combed back his graying, chin-length hair. He doesn’t resist.
Reuss’ conspiracy ideological thoughts can be understood in speeches. In it he claims, in line with the “Reichsbürger” ideology, that Germany is not a sovereign state, but merely a “united economic area”. The German Reich had “not perished under international law”.
“Reichsbürger” raid also in Frankfurt: coup d’etat in the palace prepared
The prince is said to have hatched his coup plans not only in Frankfurt, but above all in his hunting lodge on the Saale. The property is said to have served the citizens of the Reich for their meetings at which they are said to have planned the overthrow of the federal government.
In Frankfurt, the real estate entrepreneur, who is said to own 16 properties in the city, rarely appeared in public, behaved inconspicuously and led an apparently completely normal life.
While police officers comb the building in Frankfurt’s Westend, passers-by whisper. No one there thinks it possible that a “Reichsbürger” lives right in their neighborhood who wants to overthrow the government, storm the Bundestag and kidnap politicians. After the planned coup, the Frankfurt Reuss should have been installed as head of state, it is said.
Prince Reuss in Frankfurt: head of a Germany-wide terror network?
The search also lasted until the afternoon in the north end. Police officers guard the front door. Postmen, parcel carriers and residents are stopped and checked before they are allowed to enter the building. A cargo cyclist quickly drives past the property and calls out: “Where are the citizens of the Reich on this street?”
As the day progressed, more and more people came into the otherwise quiet street, pointing their fingers at the house and talking about the raids. The police have now covered the windows with black foil to shield prying eyes. “I don’t even want to imagine that such terrible crimes were planned here,” says one woman.
Neighbors are shocked that the man who “always comes to the office on his bike and greets him in a friendly way” is said to be the head of a Germany-wide terror network. “He’s quiet and actually unobtrusive,” they say, although nobody knows him better. (Sabine Schramek/pit/han)