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German extremists torch home of Rheinmetall CEO over Ukraine arms supplies

Although the arson resulted in minimal property damage, it highlights the growing extremist opposition to Germany’s military aid to Ukraine.
German extremists torch home of Rheinmetall CEO over Ukraine arms supplies
Armin Papperger, Chief Executive Officer of Rheinmetall AG. Photo: Rheinmetall AG
German extremists torch home of Rheinmetall CEO over Ukraine arms supplies

Left-wing extremists in Germany carried out an arson attack against the head of major arms manufacturer Rheinmetall in protest of weapons sales to Ukraine. They announced this in an anonymous statement on social media.

“We placed an incendiary device on Armin Papperger’s garden house on the night of April 28 to 29, 2024,” the unidentified group stated in a post on Indymedia. “Rheinmetall is one of the beneficiaries of the so-called ‘Zeitenwende’ [and holds] various old tank types that could now be sold to Ukraine with ammunition and at a hefty profit.”

The “Zeitenwende” (turning point) refers to Germany’s new security strategy towards Russia.

The “old tanks” likely refer to German Leopard tanks that were stored for years in warehouses in Belgium and, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, were sold to Rheinmetall for repair and refurbishment.

As the British Telegraph suggests, the arsonists may have links to the German Red Army Faction [RAF], as the post ended with the rallying cry “Free Daniela” – referring to the high-level RAF militant Daniela Klette, who was arrested in 2024 after three decades in hiding.

As Europe’s 5th largest arms maker, Rheinmetall recently opened a new factory in Lower Saxony to ramp up artillery shell production for Ukrainian forces. 

German police stated that the arson attack caused limited damage to Mr. Papperger’s property in Lower Saxony, and firefighters quickly brought the blaze under control.

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