Germany’s former chief of domestic intelligence, Hans-Georg Maassen, is reportedly under investigation by the BfV, the country’s domestic intelligence agency, for his alleged involvement in a right-wing conspiracy to assassinate Chancellor Olaf Scholz. According to a report by Bild tabloid, the BfV has requested data on Maassen from the German Federal Police as part of its investigation. The requested information appears to be related to a phone call between Maassen and a witness in the so-called ‘Reich Citizens’ conspiracy case.
In December 2022, German police arrested a group of alleged coup plotters in a series of large-scale raids throughout Germany. The suspects were found to have stockpiled firearms and were allegedly planning to storm the German parliament and kill Chancellor Scholz. The group was reportedly led by Heinrich XIII, Prince of Reuss, who would have assumed control of Germany if the coup had been successful.
The ‘Reich Citizens’ are a loosely organized far-right movement that rejects the legitimacy of the German state after World War II. More than 50 individuals were investigated in connection with the suspected plot at the time.
The witness in the case claims to have contacted Maassen after a search took place in his apartment building. The details of the conversation have not been disclosed by Bild.
Maassen, who was dismissed by then-interior minister Horst Seehofer amid a major scandal, expressed his outrage at the investigation and stated that he would demand information about the data kept on him by his former subordinates. He also took to Twitter to criticize the BfV, suggesting that the agency was being misused to protect the government and persecute its critics.
This investigation comes four years after Maassen’s dismissal, which occurred in 2018 when he questioned reports of violence against foreigners in the city of Chemnitz. Maassen expressed skepticism about the authenticity of videos depicting the violence, which sparked significant public outrage. He clarified that he intended to question the media and politicians’ immediate acceptance of the videos, rather than denying the violence altogether.
Maassen has faced criticism for his social media posts, which his critics have accused of containing anti-Semitic content and promoting conspiracy theories. His party, the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), attempted to expel him over tweets about “eliminatory racism against whites.” However, the party commission rejected the move last month.
This recent investigation into Maassen’s alleged involvement in a right-wing conspiracy reflects ongoing concerns about extremism in Germany. It underscores the importance of maintaining vigilance against radical ideologies and ensuring the safety of democratic institutions and public figures.