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Success of Neo-nazi Party in Germany Evokes Jewish Concern

The surprising success of the ultra-right-wing National Democratic Party — which is considered a neo-Nazi group — in the elections last Sunday in the province of Hesse, West Germany, polling more than 200,000 votes and securing 10 percent of the total ballot was viewed with concern by major Jewish organizations in the United States and in other countries. As a result of its victory, the NDP will hold 8 of the 96 seats in the Hesse Parliament, being the first time that it won seats in a state parliament.

The American Jewish Committee issued a statement today emphasizing that it has sent a mission recently to West Germany to investigate the rising tide of rightist sentiments there and that this mission expressed its anxieties both during its visit in Germany and on its return to the United States.

“Sunday’s results, which show the rising strength of the National Democratic Party, not only confirm the fears of our mission,” Morris B. Abram, president of the American Jewish Committee, said in his statement. “They go beyond these fears since Hesse, a Socialist stronghold, disturbingly now seems to have become infected with the neo-Nazi virus. The American Jewish Committee hopes that the Bonn Government will redouble its efforts to maintain an alert in which the growth of the National Democratic Party and all other extreme-rightist elements is carefully observed, using the schools, the churches, the mass media, and the courts to counteract these growing vestiges of Nazism.”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews and the British section of the World Jewish Congress expressed concern today, in separate statements, over the electoral success of the National Democratic Party in the Hesse state elections. A spokesman for the Board of Deputies said also that the Board’s foreign affairs committee was giving the development its immediate consideration.

Jacob Halevy, chairman of the WJC British section declared that the NDP was led by former active members of the Nazi Party and “staunch supporters” of Hitler’s policies. He added that the German people “must take the warning.”

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