German Locals Purchase Town's Entire Beer Supply Ahead of Far-right Music Festival: 'We Wanted to Dry the Nazis Out'

Hundreds of neo-Nazis who descended upon a German town for a far-right music festival were prevented from drinking alcohol once there thanks to a court-imposed banning order and the actions of angry local residents.

The Schild und Schwert Festival [Shield and Sword Festival] took place over the weekend in the town of Ostritz in Saxony. Ahead of the event, a court in Dresden, east Germany, imposed a ban on the sale of alcohol and possession of alcohol in order to prevent violence erupting, Deutsche Welle reported.

On Friday [June 21], the day the festival began, Saxony Police revealed that they had confiscated Around 4,200 liters (1,109 gallons) of beer from the white supremacists attending the event, with a further 200 liters also seized on the Saturday. The force continually tweeted images of their officers seizing alcohol during the festival.

"The alcohol ban at the meeting/event site of the Neo-Nazi meeting in Ostritz has been consistently enforced by our forces since yesterday," the force tweeted on June 22. "Alcoholic beverages are taken off before entering the premises."

Auch heute setzen wir das Alkoholverbot in #Ostritz weiter durch. Bei Vorkontrollen konnten wir bisher mehr als 200 Liter sicherstellen.

— Polizei Sachsen (@PolizeiSachsen) June 22, 2019

Predicting that some neo-Nazis would attempt to purchase more alcohol once they were at Ostritz, local residents took it upon themselves to stock up on hundreds of crates of beer from a local store.

"The plan was devised a week in advance. We wanted to dry the Nazis out," Ostritz activist, Georg Salditt, told the Bild newspaper (via BBC). "We thought, if an alcohol ban is coming, we'll empty the shelves at the Penny [supermarket]."

On the same weekend as the music festival were two counter-protests in the town, as well as a Peace Festival commemorating the 100th anniversary of the local soccer team.

Michael Kretschmer, Saxony's state premier, praised the initiative of the locals and the demonstrations against the neo-Nazis. "I am very impressed with how in such a small town…the citizens stand up to make it clear that right-wing extremists are not wanted here," Kretschmer told the DPA news agency.

Around 600 people are reported to have attended the neo-Nazi festival, with numbers dropping slightly by the second night.

In total, police said they dealt with 32 crimes over the weekend, including 16 violations of assembly law and 10 people allegedly displaying anti-constitutional organizations.

A 33-year-old bassist from a right-wing band playing at the festival was also arrested after changing into a balaclava mid-way through his performance, an offence under the country's anti-mask laws which prevent people from covering their faces in public.

neo nazi festival
Participants wearing T-shirts that read: "Division Guesten" arrive for a neo-Nazi music fest on April 21, 2018 in Ostritz, Germany. Sean Gallup/Getty