German Interior Ministry Reports Decrease in Anti-semitic Incidents

The West German Interior Ministry reported today that Nazi and anti-Semitic incidents in West Germany decreased again during 1963 after reaching a peak during the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem.

The report, which contended that the epoch of fascism had been ended for the German people for all time, said that during 1963, there had been 177 cases reported of such incidents as threats or insults to Jewish citizens, wall daubings, circulation of illegal anti-Jewish pamphlets and nine cases of Jewish cemetery vandalism.

Ninety-one of these cases had been cleared up by police, the report said, and 115 persons arrested. The report added that 57 per cent of those arrested were under 30 years of age and that an analysis of the cases showed that the culprits were acting from “deep political motives.”

The data on anti-Semitic incidents was part of a broad survey of reactionary groups in West Germany. The report said that at the end of 1963 there were 24,600 members of such groups, 3,000 less than in 1962. Interior Minister Hocherl warned, however, against under-estimating attempts by “certain people” to vindicate National Socialism by misusing discussion about responsibility for World War II.

The report said that some 17,600 of the total membership of rightwing groups belonged to four organizations and that there were four more groups with 3,000 members. The remaining 4,000 belong to 115 splinter groups each with an average membership of 35.

A “disturbing fact” cited in the report was the increased circulation of nationalistic publications from 191,010 to 223,000. In addition, the report said, 60 fascist periodicals and a large number of pamphlets came into West Germany from 16 countries, including Britain, the United States, France, Belgium, Italy and Sweden.

The report said that the most dangerous of such publications were those not identified with any group which present extreme attitudes on such issues as war guilt, the expellee and their “right to the homeland” and war criminals, The report stressed that such efforts must be checked, particularly where there was a risk of influencing young Germans.

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