Swedish neo-Nazi to set up shop in Berlin

Top German politicians have protested after it emerged that a prominent Swedish right-wing extremist with ties to German neo-Nazis is relocating to Berlin.

The move by Patrik Brinkmann, leader of the Continent Europe Foundation (Kontinent Europa Stiftelsen – KES), was announced on Thursday. The announcement led Christian Democrat Andreas Gram to lodge a protest with intelligence services in Berlin. Gram demanded an explanation as to why the regional parliament had not been informed.

“The aim of the Continent Europe Foundation leader Patrik Brinkmann is to move to Berlin by 2010 at the latest and create a Europe-wide Internationale of nationalists in cooperation with national organizations from all European people,” a statement from the organization said.

German intelligence agents view Brinkmann as a leading figure among right-wing extremists around the world. He founded the Continent Europe Foundation in 2004 in Sweden.

It now functions as a hub for extremists from around Europe, with two functionaries from Germany’s neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD) on its advisory board. It also has ties to the extremist German Peoples Union (DVU).

Based in the Swedish city of Jönköping, the foundation describes itself as seeking to establish a “greater European civilization” for a “new common identity.”

Because he was ill, Brinkmann’s press spokesperson spoke Thursday on his behalf at a DVU party convention at the Brandenburg state parliament building. The two groups met to introduce their joint proposal: “For a Democratic Brandenburg and a Europe of Fatherlands.”

The DVU, which has seats in the state legislature, aims to make the “Brandenburg parliament the first German state parliament to recognize Brinkmann’s manifesto for its future European policy,” the statement said.

In July 2008, German media reported that Brinkmann had bought a €3.3 million ($4.5 million) in the Berlin suburb Zehlendorf, saying authorities feared the city would become a for neo-Nazi activities throughout Europe.

At the time Brinkmann issued a statement saying he had “no plans of opening a training facility of any type,” calling media coverage “cruelly provoked hysteria.”

In February 2009, a group of neo-Nazis – reportedly part of a German-Swedish network – brutally attacked a group of trade unionists at a motorway rest stop after the two groups had been demonstrating on opposing sides in Dresden on the anniversary of the World War II allied bombing of the city.

Lead investigators issued arrest warrants for three Swedes involved in the attack.

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