BONN (Oct. 21)
Widespread protests from both overseas countries and domestically failed today to halt the projected meeting of an association of former Waffen SS troops in Rendsburg in north Germany Sunday. The SS was composed of the elite of the Nazi Party.
The Rendsburg Senate granted permission to the HIAG, the welfare association of the former SS members who served with regular army units in World War II, to hold its 11th annual meeting. The Senate said there were no juridical grounds to ban the meeting.
Chancellor Ludwig Erhard’s Christian Democratic Party will send a Bundestag member and the Free Democratic Party, a coalition partner, will also send a representative to greet the HIAG meeting. However, the opposition Social Democrats decided that they would not send a representative, arguing that the former SS members would have to condemn the wartime crimes of the SS first.
Protests have been registered by former Dutch resistance fighters, by British organizations, Nazi victims organizations in West Germany and by the German Trade Union Federation which claims 6,000,000 members. Delegates to the meeting plan to demand the same financial benefits granted to soldiers of the regular army on completion of military service.