Clocks were set back to 1919 this week with the German Bundesrepublik acting robustly to suppress plans to overthrow the state by Russian-backed nationalists, at least if authorities can be believed.
Leading to the arrest of 27 Wednesday morning in a 3,000 man police operation, among those nicked was a loose network of military and policing personnel, survivalists, right-leaning businessmen, a former AfD aligned judge and Berlin MP, as well as a minor aristocrat from the Thuringian House of Reuss.
With authorities picking up their scent earlier this year following an abortive attempt to kidnap the German Health minister, there have been vague allegations of attempts to import arms from Croatia and to penetrate German military and intelligence services with a Russian citizen embroiled for good measure.
The grand aim of the endeavour was to destabilise the German Republic just enough to see the return of the pre-1919 Kaisseriech, culminating in the storming of the Reichstag no less.
With 130 locations raided, from survivalist depots to special forces barracks, the ringleader of the botched putsch was a 71 year old minor aristocrat Heinrich Reuss with a former AfD MP for Berlin for Birgit Malsack-Winkemann lined up to take up mantle of Minister for Justice.
While both the German public and Right at large woke up startled Wednesday morning, feelings of shock turned to amusement at the reality of the entire operation and allegations made.
While Federal Police initially claimed a haul of 50 weapons, the days following revealed those weapons to be a collection of hunting rifles (understandable considering the fact police raided hunting lodges and survivalist shops) and potentially even Swiss knives and brass knuckles, though statements have been purposefully ambiguous.
With authorities keeping mum beyond their initial press releases, journalists on all sides of the political spectrum began questioning the veracity of the government line. With rumours that senior media figures were given advance notice of the raids the week before, it should be remembered the extent to which the post-war German state actively commands media reporting through a slick combination of slush money, think tanks and regulations.
The inclusion of a Russian national among those nabbed, though without concrete evidence of links to the Kremlin, indicates that events Wednesday align a little too perfectly for the current state enforced narrative. In fact, while the label ‘Patriotic Union’ has been given to the plotters, it is unlikely that this even consisted of a real group in any sense.
With the AfD coming under increasing pressure for their alleged ambivalence towards the NATO cause, even being put under formal surveillance last year, the word on the street points to the farcical notion of an imminent coup being a precursor and excuse for potentially outlawing the party in months to come.
Not the first time in recent history such an audacious plot has been alleged, in 2019 authorities again foiled a coup attempt by disgruntled members of the military and intelligence community, in operations which garnered significantly less fanfare than what we wished this week.
The Irish press gallery been quick to smear nationalists at home of ties to the plot with guilt by association being extended to the Freedom Party owing to a platform given to the now arrested Birgit Malsack-Winkemann.
While grandiose at first, events of the week have seen the wheels come off initial statements by German Federal police as to the seriousness of the threat posed. With Ukraine rumbling on, nationalism emerging as a serious contender at home and abroad, and serious penetration of the security apparatus by the radical right, what was seen Wednesday was likely a manufactured plot to preempt German patriots getting ideas in the years to come.
Whatever way the path to power German nationalists take they will always have the American backed Berlin regime trying to thwart them at every turn.
The Kaiser is not set to return to his throne whatever the truth of the matter but one should not underestimate state chicanery against any nationalist movement poisoning real and viable threat to the status quo. The weight of history on its shoulders and hardwired into its constitutional DNA the German state is far suited to shooting first and asking questions later when it comes to any hint of nationalist militancy.