A notorious neo-Nazi fight promotion has been found conducting martial arts training activities at a public sports complex in Berlin.
The news comes just a few months after a significant government crackdown targeting far-right extremists groups holding illegal fight clubs in the country. The individuals engaged in this instance are believed to be associated with the fight promotion “Kampf der Nibelungen” based on t-shirts worn by a number of the involved parties.
The facility in question is used as a training ground for the soccer club SV Blau-Gelb Berlin, but is also available for public use. According to the report from a German media outlet, district officials were unaware of the activities but the Senate knew that “right-wing extremists trained sporadically in the Rennbahn sports facility”. The frequency of such meetings by the group at this particular facility is currently unknown.
There is considerable confusion and controversy as to how the group’s activities had previously gone unnoticed, particularly given that the sports center is a public space and is also frequently occupied by the previously mentioned soccer team.
Ferat Koçak, a member of the Berlin House of Representatives, was blunt in his assessment of the situation.
“Obviously, training took place underground,” said Koçak. “However, it seems unlikely that the association based there did not notice anything. Obviously, these trainings were tolerated there. This is a scandal.”
“Kampf der Nibelungen” is described by the German Domestic Intelligence Services website as “the largest and most renowned European martial arts event of the right-wing extremist scene.” It was first formally organized in 2013 and conducted 6 official events before an official government ban in 2019.
The fight promotion holds a connection to neo-Nazi figure Robin Schmiemann. Scmiemann is a co-founder of Combat 18, which was one of the primary groups involved in the April raids conducted by German authorities on the country’s right-wing fight clubs.
What’s your reaction to this news out of Germany involving a far-right MMA promotion?