The owner of a long-running Swiss family firm that makes mattresses has been financially linked to the “White Rex” group, which is connected to right-wing extremism and has a neo-Nazi following.
On its website, White Rexexternal link describes itself as a “Russian mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, aggressive clothing, and sports gear company that advocates pan-European pride and traditional values.”
“White Rex encourages all Europeans to embrace the warrior spirit of their ancestors, and fight back against the modern world,” the promotional text goes on to state.
It also lists a Swiss company, Fighttex, which according to Swiss public television, SRFexternal link, distributes White Rex t-shirts and boxing gloves. These feature controversial images such as a Wehrmacht pistol, a white fist with a knuckleduster, Germanic warriors and patterns resembling swastikas.
The SRF programme Rundschau, together with the Tages-Anzeiger newspaperexternal link, found that the vice-president of a right-wing Swiss political party known as PNOS sits on the board of Fighttex.
Further research has linked the company to Peter Patrik Roth, who contributed half of its CHF100,000 ($101,000) share capital. Roth owns the mattress making factory Roviva, one of Switzerland’s oldest family businesses.
Roth would not comment directly on the media reports, but his lawyer told Rundschau: “My client enjoys the symbols, the sign language [of White Rex]. But this is not a political statement by my client.”
In its annual report this year, the Swiss Federal Intelligence Service (FIS) identified both right-wing and left-wing extremist groups as a potential threat to national security.