The image of a far-right extremist in Germany has changed, with shaved heads and steel-toed boots replaced by long, tousled hair, a décolleté decorated with a swastika and wide blue eyes staring out from behind wire-rimmed glasses. Over recent months, two women, Marisa and Beate, have become Germany’s most talked about far-right extremists. Their stories — one fictional, the other linked to a series of crimes — are forcing the nation to rethink the role played by women in its neo-Nazi scene, and prompting federal and state officials to convene special sessions to address whether the authorities are doing enough to stamp out rightist extremism.
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