So you start off with a definition of Reichsburger. At some point in the mid-1980s.....someone out of West Berlin (this is before the Wall came down)....dreamed up the idea that the 1919 German Constitution was still in effect....meaning that the Weimar Republic still existed. I know....this would typically take a lot of marijuana and a fair amount of booze to really believe.
So this guy started to refer to himself as a Reichsburger....a citizen of the old Weimar Republic.
This was all before the internet and the story marginally got out because of minimum reporting by the newspapers mostly. We could say that it filled up space and made people laugh to some degree.
So, as the 1990s come and go....the Wall comes down....and there's more chatter about this Reichsburger stuff.
Around a decade ago, German cops started to notice more of this claim to the Reichsburger business....with some people having weapons and this wild idea that the group (probably numbering in the hundreds at that point) might be more than just a small nutcase group.
If you go and ask the Interior Minister about the group....he'll tell you that after the Islamic terrorists, and the neo-Nazi types.....this is one of the other major problems he has as a threat.
Why this comes up? Well....from the G-20 Summit episode in Hamburg.....a number of reporters had their accreditation removed. Local cops couldn't explain why....just that the federal folks ordered their accreditation to be removed.
Today, it comes up via ARD....that one guy has dug into his case and what the federal folks admit is that he's on the Reichsburger citizen list.
This guy was in total disbelief. He's been a reporter for a regional public-TV network (NDR) for a number of years and hasn't ever been associated with the Reichsburger business. What he did realize was that in 2015....for a very brief period as a journalist, he covered the Reichsburger business in the northern region of Germany. A member of the club? No, or at least he says he never officially joined the group.
How did his name get associated? No one can say.
My humble feeling is that there is some inside presence of the federal cops to the Reichsburger business, and that he reports back names, car tag numbers, etc.....to some central office. If you had ten reporters attending meetings....he'd report the ten reporters and they likely went into a database of 'bad-boys'. The same thing would likely happen with some reporter covering radical jihad in Germany, the neo-Nazis, etc.
No one will explain all of the reporters who lost their accreditation.....but I would take a guess that almost all of them were people who got onto some insider database for the federal German cops and that's how things went badly for them at the G-20 Summit.
Guilt by association? More or less.
If you go and read over what the German federal cops claim....there are around 12,000 to 13,000 Reichsburger folks in Germany today. The sad thing is that maybe half of them are people like this reporter who simply went to hear the chatter at some meeting and to understand their politics, and the federal cops simply bean-counted them into the numbers.
In a way, the Reichsburger folks are like a cult of sorts. It's been 98 years since the Reichsburger episode was created, and around seventy years since it dissolved. It lasted roughly 27 years. Amusingly enough....no one seems peppered up to dream up another cult-group claiming Prussian-burger status, from the Kaiser period.