Hundreds of Mourners Attend Funeral of Prominent National Socialist in Chemnitz
Hundreds of mourners turned up at the funeral of a prominent National Socialist figure in eastern Germany's Chemnitz, with police out in force to ward off any violence in a city previously rocked by rioting.
There was no overt display of banned insignia by the silent, mostly male crowd lining the road leading to a cemetery for the funeral of Thomas Haller, the co-founder of a group called "HooNaRa" (Hooligans-Nationalists-Racialists).
But security forces were not taking any chances in the city rocked by riots last August over the fatal stabbing of a German man by two non-white migrants - an Iraqi and a Syrian.
The funeral was also taking place on a day when a trial opened against the 23-year-old Syrian accused in last year's killing.
Haller had for years provided security for fourth-tier football club Chemnitzer FC.
Earlier last month, fans of the club had paid tribute to him, with the stadium's video screen showing his picture during a minute's silence.
The city of Chemnitz, about 20 kilometres from the Czech border, has long had a hardcore National Socialist scene.
In the 1990s the city was an early hideout for the National Socialist Underground, the militant NS cell that was only uncovered in 2011 after it had murdered 10 nonwhites.
Last August, it made international headlines as Nationalists and far-right football hooligans went on the revenge through the city, searching people of nonwhite appearance, after the stabbing of a 35-year-old German, Daniel Hillig by Third World migrants.