How does the hospitality industry in east Germany deal with the growing problem of Neo-Nazi
guests? One region has found an original method: A brochure on how to identify Neo-Nazis. The brochure, intended for hotel, restaurant and pub owners contains guidelines on how to spot unwelcome far-right guests and keep them off the premises.
Britain's Independent newspaper reported that the initiative was launched by the state of Brandenburg, which, has been dogged by the emergence of far-right political parties and widespread anti-immigrant violence since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
Martina Münch, the Brandenburg's education minister told Germany's Der Spiegel: "One doesn't have to cater to right-wing extremists; you have to take a stand." She is one of the people behind the guide: 'How not to be fooled by right-wing extremists.'
According to The Independent, it is not surprising that Brandenburg is the German state that decided to take action. One unwitting owner of an establishment outside Berlin was duped into allowing his premises to be used for a party attended by more than 100 neo-Nazis earlier this year.
Olaf Lücke, the head of Brandenburg's Hotel and Restaurant Association, which helped produce the guidelines, said far-right groups often used bogus titles such as "The Society for History and Culture" to make bookings.
In one such incident, members of the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) claimed to be representing a "wine agency" when they booked the hotel for a "conference" in January. The event turned out to be the NPD's New Year's party and the hotel was surrounded by police.
The new guide contains a list of far-right symbols intended to help unwary hoteliers spot a neo-Nazi.
These include the "black sun" image, the "inverted swastika" and significant dates in the Nazi calendar often used for far-right bookings. Tourists planning to reserve a hotel room in Brandenburg on 20 April should not be surprised if they are turned down – the date is Hitler's birthday.
The far right regularly makes use of a clause in German law which obliges hoteliers to honor bookings once they have confirmed them.
Meanwhile, it was reported on Tuesday that police raided a group suspected of involvement in forming a far-right armed extremists' organization in Brandenburg, Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia.