Germany just averted its own Jan. 6, and maybe the Fourth Reich

By Andreas Kluth

07 Dec 2022 · 3 min read

Editor's Note

Extremists are getting more dangerous everywhere, writes Bloomberg columnist Andreas Kluth. Just look at this week's massive police raid in Germany, which disrupted plans for a full-blown coup.

The police raid was apparently the largest in postwar German history. Early on Wednesday morning, some 3,000 officers from various branches of federal and regional law enforcement swept across 11 of Germany's 16 states as well as locations in Austria and Italy, arresting at least 25 people - including a Russian woman - and questioning many more. Some of the suspects were heavily armed, a few even had training in the German army's special-operations units. One, an elderly aristocrat known as Heinrich (Henry) XIII, had already been designated as Germany's next leader.

With this crackdown, it appears, the Germans disrupted plans for a full-bore putsch. Fittingly, putsch is a German word that migrated into English. The Weimar Republic survived several attempted coups until it succumbed in 1933. The U.S. used to think it was immune to such sedition, until it too had to withstand an attack on its Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

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