A barn belonging to a couple in a northern German village who have been outspoken opponents of local neo-Nazis has burned down in what police say appears to be a case of arson.

Police said Thursday that the fire in the village of Jamel broke out shortly after midnight, and the thatched building burned down completely.

Jamel, in the sparsely populated state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, is known as a far-right stronghold. Horst and Birgit Lohmeyer, owners of the barn, have vociferously opposed neo-Nazis, holding their own music festival to promote democracy and tolerance.

Horst Lohmeyer said in a statement that the couple suspect the fire was laid in reaction to a recent announcement that they were being awarded a prominent prize for moral courage.