Thousands of neo-Nazis descend on German village for rock concert
The eastern German town of Themar, population 3,000, found itself the unwilling host of around 4,500 neo-Nazi supporters attending a right-wing concert on Saturday.
The "Rock against Foreign Domination" event had been peaceful as of early Saturday evening, with police spokesman Patrick Martin saying the security plan for the concert was holding.
Around 1,000 police from Thuringia and other German states were deployed to secure the event and prevent clashes between concert-goers and counter-demonstrators.
Only several hundred of the 2,000 registered non-local counter-protesters arrived for the event.
* Participants take part at for one of Germany's biggest right-wing music festivals in Themar, Germany (Reuters)
Before entering the concert grounds, which were gated off by high metal fencing, the event's attendees were searched by police. - s
Some wore T-shirts bearing the words "the Storming of Themar."
As of Saturday afternoon, 10 incidents had been reported of illegal display of "symbols of unconstitutional organizations" (which could include Nazi symbols), as well as eight incidents of criminal property damage, illegal drug use or verbal abuse, all committed under the influence of alcohol, police said.
The concert itself is scheduled to be held on a field inside a tent large enough to accommodate 5,000 people.
Although citizens' initiatives, churches and private individuals had called for protest, the town of Themar was generally quiet.
The concert is due to continue until midnight.