Police remove left-wing demonstrators who stage protests along route, throwing stones and bottles

An Adolf Hitler lookalike attends a demonstration commemorating the 31st anniversary of the death of Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess, in Berlin Saturday, Aug 18, 2018. Hess died 1987 in a prison in Berlin. (Christoph Soeder/dpa via AP)

An Adolf Hitler lookalike attends a demonstration commemorating the 31st anniversary of the death of Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess, in Berlin Saturday, Aug 18, 2018. Hess died 1987 in a prison in Berlin. (Christoph Soeder/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — Hundreds of neo-Nazis waving flags with the colors of the German Reich marched through central Berlin Saturday, protected from counter-protesters by police in riot gear.

Berlin police spokesman Thilo Cablitz said officers had to physically remove some left-wing demonstrators who had staged sit-down protests along the route of Saturday’s march.

The far-right protesters, including an Adolf Hitler lookalike, wore white shirts to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the death of high-ranking Nazi official Rudolf Hess and carried banners with slogans such as “I regret nothing.”

People carry a banner reading ‘I don’t regret anything’ during a demonstration commemorating the 31st anniversary of the death of Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess, in Berlin Saturday, Aug 18, 2018. Hess died 1987 in a prison in Berlin. (Christoph Soeder/dpa via AP)

Hess, who received a life sentence at the Nuremberg trials for his role in planning World War II, died on Aug. 17, 1987.

Earlier this month, German police said 401 anti-Semitic crimes were reported throughout the country in the first half of this year, a 10.7 percent increase from the 362 hate crimes reported in the first six months of 2017.

The data also showed the vast majority of the crimes (349) were perpetrated by neo-Nazis or other far-right extremists. Police said six of the anti-Semitic crimes reported in 2018 so far were motivated by “religious ideology,” which would include attacks motivated by anti-Israel hatred.

But Jewish officials contested that claim, saying many more attacks were carried out by Muslim extremists than recorded by police.