A prepper's basement storage shelf in North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA.
Interior ministers of the federal and state governments are debating a motion to examine the allegedly right-wing extremist “prepper scene”, according to a media report on Thursday.
The topic is on the agenda at the Conference of Interior Ministers (IMK) on Thursday in Leipzig, Saxony, according to a report by the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND).
RND reported that the Christian Democrats (CDU), Christian Social Union (CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD) support the proposal to observe the "prepper scene", which they suspect is a right-wing extremist movemnet.
The German interior ministers want to find out the extent to which the prepper scene is radicalized, how many weapons it has and its connections to extremism - similar to their investigations into the “Reichsbürger” movement.
The term prepper is derived from the English term "to be prepared" and the movement has its roots in the US, where it is also know as the survivalist scene.
Preppers ready themselves in the event of the collapse of state order. Many of them prepare for worst-case scenarios such as chemical accidents, terrorist attacks and other conceivable catastrophes by stocking up on goods such as water, canned food and even gas masks.
A “Prepper-Gemeinschaft” (Prepper Association) also exists in Germany, though according to its website, it dissociates itself from right-wing and left-wing extremists.
During an anti-terrorist raid at the end of August, officials in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania searched the apartments and offices of six "preppers" in which two people were accused of preparing a serious criminal offence that could have endangered the state.
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s interior minister, Lorenz Caffier, has since appointed a commission to examine the prepper scene in the northeast.