Members of a German extreme-right group who traveled to Greece earlier this week to help Greeks “defend their border,” as they claimed on social media, were told by local security services informed of their presence at the Greek-Turkish border to leave the country.
The group of 10 German and Austrian nationals are members of the Identitare Bewegung (Identitarian Movement), a far-right, nativist and anti-migrant group, which is the German branch of a larger Identitarian movement with branches in several western European countries, North America and New Zealand. They are champions of the “great replacement” theory, which advocates that white European populations are being gradually replaced by people of non-European descent.
The group traveled to Greece by car and entered the country on Wednesday through the Promachonas border crossing with Bulgaria (known as Kulata on the Bulgarian side), in the Serres regional unit.
The group had earlier posted photos on Twitter where they held Greek and Austrian flags as well as a banner that said, “No way – You will not make Europe your home.”
The presence of German far-right extremists in Greece was also reported by an official of Germany’s left-wing party Die Linke.
The Identitarian Movement has been officially classified as extreme-right by German intelligence. The leader of the movement, Austrian Martin Sellner, is currently under investigation for his links to Brenton Tarrant, the Christchurch shooter who killed 51 people and injured 49 in two mosques in the New Zealand city in March 2019.
Last year, members of the movement launched a vessel in the Mediterranean to confront migrant boats seeking to cross from Libya to Italy.
The first to be notified of their presence in Greece was the Serres police directorate, which informed security services.
Meanwhile, according to reports by Lesvos media, a separate group of Germans believed to belong to the same organization arrived on the eastern Aegean island Friday morning posing as reporters. One of them was reportedly hit on the head by an unknown assailant.