Around 300 right-wing extremists showed up on Friday in the small east German town of Ostritz, to mark the beginning of the neo-Nazi rock festival ‘Sword and Shield’.

Chairman of National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) in Thuringia Thorsten Heise expected 750 participants during the three-day event.

The festival started on the same day as the birthday of Former German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. Organised under the motto ‘Reconquista Europa – creating counterculture’, it will feature concerts, tattoo conventions and martial arts displays.

On the same day, a three-day counter-protest ‘Peace Festival’ began in downtown Ostritz, attracting around one thousand residents.

Minister President of Saxony Michael Kretschmer said “democracy is threatened by all forms of extremism, no matter whether it is religious or political.”

“We can see in Ostritz that people care about what reputation the community has and what happens here,” Kretschmer added.

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