Andreas Stitzl: Ex-biathlon coach under Reich citizens suspicion
Biathlon trainer Andreas Stitzl has been prominently featured on the winter sports broadcasts when he has cheered on the German skiers. On Wednesday Stitzl fought in front of the administrative court of Munich for his rifle and his reputation.
The voice of Andreas Stitzl rolls over almost in front of the Munich Administrative Court, the biathlon coach fights briefly with tears. "Now I'm going to be emotional too," said the 45-year-old.
"I have to say in all decisiveness that I distance myself clearly and clearly from the so-called Reich citizenship scene. The same applies to right-wing radicalism. That is not me."
District Office took him firearms card
Stitzl, the former assistant coach of the national biathlon team, is fighting in court for his biathlon rifle, his career and his reputation. The district office Traunstein has taken away his firearms card, because there is the suspicion that the 45-year-old could be close to the so-called Reich citizenship movement, which does not recognize the Federal Republic of Germany as a state.
It was "frightening that I am associated with the assumptions," said Stitzl. He was above all in the years 2014 to 2018 with the national team a "representative of the Federal Republic of Germany definitely been". He always enjoyed listening to the national anthem. As a professional soldier, he also swore an oath to the Federal Republic.
"A difficult case"
He had requested a proof of citizenship in 2015. That was done for security reasons, because he had been traveling abroad so often. From the point of view of the Landratsamt Traunstein Stitzl made typical Reichsbürgert information, the authority withdrew him then the firearms card - also because he had called the office as a private enterprise.
"A difficult case," says Judge Florian Schlämmer on Wednesday at the end of a long day of negotiations. "A professional soldier who signs things so blatant here" - that was "already an announcement". The judgment will be announced on Thursday.
So-called Reich citizens do not recognize the state and German laws and refuse to pay taxes, social security contributions and fines. The Federal Ministry of the Interior estimated the scene to be about 19,000 people in 2018, compared to 16,500 the year before.
Reich Citizen shot at police officers
Under intensified observation of the authorities, the scene since the fatal shots of a "Reich citizen" on a police officer in Franconian Georgensgmünd in October 2016. Since then, so-called Reich citizens in the state were deprived of 778 weapons according to the Bavarian Ministry of Interior.
According to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, 910 "Reich citizens and self-administrators" were known as gun owners on 31 December 2018. Since the beginning of the observation in 2016, members of the scene have been deprived of at least 570 weapons permits.