When you’re faced with an enemy that can’t be defeated through conventional means, the trick is to fight smarter not harder.
And that’s exactly what a small German town did when pitted against a group of neo-Nazis descended upon them for a weekend of drinking beer while rocking out to marching songs.
According to Deutsche Welle, a far-right music festival called the Schild und Schwert Festival [Shield and Sword Festival] was held in the town of Ostritz in Saxony on June 22-23. Sensing that marching music, neo-Nazis, and booze is a more combustible combination than hydrogen and sparks, a German court imposed a ban on the sale of alcohol to prevent any potential violence from erupting.
It turned out to be a wise move as the police confiscated around 4,200 litres of grog from the 600 or so white supremacists who rocked up to the town. As satisfying as hearing neo-Nazis getting their beer taken from them by the police is, the locals had an even better trick up their sleeve.
Predicting that the neo-Nazis would simply get around the alcohol ban by buying more in town, the townsfolk bought out all the beer available at the local store, leaving all the gathered white supremacists in a frustrated, thirsty mess.
This hoarding of beer would fall under the “just another Saturday” category for any other German town on any other weekend, but this act represented something of stand against neo-Nazism for the locals of Ostritz, which has a bit of an unsavoury reputation for far-right activism.
In addition to the lack of beer, the 600 thirsty neo-Nazis had to contend with the 1,400 or so police who were deployed to ensure no shenanigans would happen. It is reported that the number of attendees dropped on the second night though no reason was given why.
Maybe Nazi-tinged marching songs just don’t have the same power when you’re sober and being carefully watched by hundreds of cops.
All in all, the festival went off without too much drama as police dealt with “only” 32 crimes, including the arrest of the bassist from a right-wing band for wearing a balaclava, which is an offence under Germany’s anti-mask laws.
So to sum up Operation Beerbarossa, neo-Nazis had their grog taken from them, the locals bought out every drop of beer so they couldn’t get more, and they had to rock out while sober and under the watchful eye of police.
Sounds like it was a big success!