National Democratic Party Dissolves West Berlin Branch, Blames Mayor Schutz

The extreme right-wing National Democratic Party (NPD) voluntarily dissolved its West Berlin branch yesterday and cancelled a party congress that was scheduled to take place here. The move, taken after lengthy discussions between NPD chairman Adolf von Thadden and Berlin party officials, was intended to block all possible Allied action against the reputedly neo-Nazi party and to avoid repercussions from the East.

Mayor Klaus Schutz of West Berlin had requested the post-war Allied occupying powers -United States, Britain and France – two weeks ago to take steps to outlaw the NPD. On Tuesday, East German Interior Minister Friedrich Dickel warned Mr. Schutz to expect “possible consequences” from the East unless the NPD was banned in Berlin. Mayor Schutz, obviously irritated, said today that the East German warning did not influence him in the least. He told Mr. Dickel in effect to mind his own business, JTA correspondent Alfred Wolfmann reported. But Mayor Schutz said he strongly favored banning the NPD.

His request to the Allied authorities had been approved by the Berlin Senate (city government) but it angered Federal authorities in Bonn who have maintained that whatever action is taken on the NPD should be uniform throughout West Germany. However. Bonn authorities did not interfere with Mayor Schutz’s request on grounds that West Berlin is a separate problem. The NPD blamed Mayor Schutz’s “shameful machinations” for their decision to liquidate the party branch here and said that “in the future it will not be possible to link the NPD directly or indirectly to any moves taken against Berlin.”

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