BONN (Sep. 10)
The head of the right-wing National Democratic Party which has been called neo-Nazi, said at a press conference here today that “neo-Nazism is not our business. We have nothing to do with it.” Adolf Von Thadden, the party chairman also, in effect, disavowed the anti-Israel views which his party was said to hold. He was asked by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent, in light of his criticism of Soviet policy, whether the NPD did not indeed share Soviet policy on the Middle East. Mr. Von Thadden replied: “You are mixing up the Deutsche National Zeitung with us. We are not of the same opinion as the Soldatenzeitung.” His reference was to the Deutsche National und Soldaten Zeitung, an extreme nationalist newspaper that has espoused Nazi philosophy and attacked Israel on many occasions.
Mr. Von Thadden was obviously impatient with questions pertaining to his party’s alleged neo-Nazi views. But he appeared anxious to hold forth at length on its chances in West Germany’s national elections which will be held next year. He predicted that the NPD, which now holds seats in seven of West Germany’s 11 state legislatures, will win ten percent of the national vote which translated into about 50 members of the Bundestag. West Germany’s lower house. He said the party would spend ten million marks (slightly over $2 million) on the election campaign but denied Soviet allegations that big West German industrial firms were aiding the NPD financially. He said that while the party would ask banks for credit, its campaign funds would come exclusively from contributions by members whom he numbered at 40,000. He said the NPD’s national campaign would be conducted along the lines of its successful campaigns in the states of Bremen and Baden-Wurttemberg. The latter state, reputedly a liberal stronghold, gave the NPD 9.8 percent of the vote in the last elections, the largest proportion it won in any German state.