In 2020, the Thuringia Nature Conservation Foundation acquired around 338 hectares of forest from Heinrich XIII. Bought Prince Reuss, who is said to be a ringleader of a "Reich Citizens" group. According to the foundation, around 4.06 million euros were paid for the forest - around three million euros came from the Federal Environment Ministry via the "Wilderness Fund" funding program, and the Thuringian Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Nature Conservation also contributed around one million euros.
At that time, Thuringia used its right of first refusal under nature conservation law, as the Nature Conservation Foundation announced on its website on Friday. The MDR had previously reported on the business.
Henry XIII Prince Reuss (71) is suspected of being the head of "Reichsbürger" who are said to have planned a coup in Germany. At the beginning of December, 25 members of this group were arrested in a nationwide raid. The Reuss hunting lodge in Bad Lobenstein was also searched, and he himself was arrested in Frankfurt. The Federal Public Prosecutor's Office is investigating on suspicion of forming a terrorist organization. "Reich citizens" are people who do not recognize the Federal Republic and its democratic structures.
According to members of the Bundestag Legal Affairs Committee, more than 400,000 euros in cash and gold and silver coins were found during the searches.
Reuss was not personally known to the Thuringia Nature Conservation Foundation. There was no contact with him during the purchase, the communication went through the responsible notary, it said. There were no other transactions with Reuss.