© Reuters. Prince Heinrich XIII PR is seen inside a police car in this screenshot from Reuters TV, after 25 suspected members and supporters of a far-right group were arrested during raids across Germany, in Frankfurt, Germany December 7, 2022. Tilman Blasshofer
By Sarah Marsh
BERLIN (Reuters) – Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss is one of the last descendants of a dynasty that once ruled parts of eastern Germany. He is suspected of having hopes of becoming the country’s new leader in a violent coup aimed at overthrowing the democratic order.
The 71-year-old was one of 25 members and supporters of a far-right group planning the alleged coup who was arrested early Wednesday in raids, according to authorities. nationwide.
The real estate developer has for years openly supported the theory that life around the world would be better under a monarchy. He is descended from the House of Reuss, which for centuries ruled parts of present-day Thueringen until the 1918 German revolution that led to the establishment of the Weimar Republic.
Neither the House of Reuss nor the Office of Prince Reuss responded to requests for comment.
He said in a 2019 speech to the World Web Forum – the forum that describes itself as a gathering of progressive minds to empower radical positive change – that in the principality of Reuss, the people have “happy life” because the tax rate is only 10% and the structure is “frank and transparent”.
Heinrich said: “If things don’t go well, you just have to go to the prince. “Who should you look to today? Your MP, local, federal or EU? Good luck!”
In his speech, with anti-Semitism conspiracies, he said that Germany had been a vassal government since World War II and needed to regain its sovereignty through a peace agreement.
He said monarchies around the world including the French monarchy had been overthrown due to the interference of foreign powers who wanted to set up corporate structures in pursuit of profit. People have suffered the consequences, he said.
THE GORGEOUS ROOM EMPLOYEE
Prosecutors said on Wednesday Heinrich was in contact with a representative of Russia, whom the group considers a central point of contact to establish the new order. They said there was no evidence that representatives responded positively to the request. The Kremlin said there was no doubt about any Russian involvement in the alleged plot.
Heinrich was arrested at his home in Frankfurt, led out by police officers in tank tops with handcuffs, mustard-colored corduroy pants and plaid jackets, with long gray hair.
According to the Ostthueringer newspaper, police also searched his hunting lodge in Thueringen, where he was suspected of possessing weapons. The state in eastern Germany is known for the age-old power of the far right.
The federal prosecutor’s office declined to comment on the report, saying only that there had been a raid in that area.
It also declined to comment on how, if at all, Heinrich became involved in the far-right “Reichsbuerger” movement, which denies the existence of a modern German state, and which prosecutors say inspired inspired the group of suspects to be arrested.
The Reuss dynasty named all of its sons Heinrich or Henry after the end of the 12th century in honor of Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor, who bequeathed them the Weida and Gera estates, present-day towns in the state of Thueringen.
While officially, there are no more princes and princesses in Germany, some descendants like Heinrich continue to use the title. He named his financial services and real estate company, based in Frankfurt, “Buero Prinz Reuss”.
According to local media, the House of Reuss, now headed by Heinrich XIV living in Austria, however, formerly separate from Heinrich XIII, called him a conspirator preaching conspiracy theories.