Germany’s Far-Right Publishers: Court Battle

In Germany, the dismantling of a far-right publishing house, Der Schelm (“The Brigand”), revealed a vast undertaking to spread nauseating and dangerous ideas. Particularly lucrative, too, since the turnover of the structure was approaching one million euros…

Two men, aged 40 and 37, and a 38-year-old woman have been accused of belonging to and leading a criminal organization in Dresden, capital of the Land of Saxony, in eastern Germany. On July 21, the prosecutor unfolded the charges, pointing in particular to the distribution of books relaying far-right ideology and anti-Semitic remarks.

Their publishing house, Der Schelm, operated from the municipality of Röderaue and the neighboring Land of Brandenburg, but also on the internet, with an online distribution of books, from a dedicated site.

In a few months of activity, the three partners had sold nearly 46,000 copies of their books, for a turnover approaching €800,000 in December 2020. During the searches, the police got their hands on substantial stocks, an estimated value of €900,000.

The house was created in 2014 by Adrian Preißinger, a neo-Nazi music producer who cut his teeth in the newspaper of the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD), the main representative of the far right in the country. Moved several times, the headquarters of the structure even ended up in Thailand, for legal reasons, but the police, across the Rhine, have been interested in its activities for several years.

Arrested in June 2022, the three defendants have been released in the meantime, pending trial.

The beast still lurks

Among the three defendants, a certain Enrico Böhm, who was an NPD municipal councilor for the city of Leipzig. Böhm reportedly took over the management of Der Schelm’s operations in 2018, before bringing in another former NPD, Matthias B., reports the Leipziger Volkszeitung.

The obsessions of the extreme right and the NPD in particular thus fed the editorial line of the house, which published Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler – in an uncommented version – and other anti-Semitic Nazi texts. The structure ensured that these works were made available “ for scientific purposes ”, as the Leipziger Zeitung reminds us, which made it possible to cover their distribution with a veil of historical interest.

Other titles from the house allegedly proved that Jewish populations were committing more crimes or that the Holocaust was just a fabrication.

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