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German Ministry of Justice Refuses to Ban Meeting of Ex-nazis

The Ministry of Justice said today that it would not ban a scheduled meeting in Munich on May 21 of the HIAG, the welfare agency representing veterans of the Waffen SS, the branch of the Hitler Elite Guard which served on military fronts during World War II. Plans for the meeting were protested Sunday by the Organization of Former Inmates of the Dachau concentration camp.

Fears were expressed in Parliament that some soldiers of West Germany’s army were being attracted to meetings of rightwing extremist groups. Some members noted that the Stahlhelm, a veterans group, was making increasing attempts to recruit members among the soldiers. The deputies were assured that rightwing radicalism would not be tolerated in West German forces but the Defense Ministry had no legal right to prevent soldiers from attending Stahlhelm meetings.