BONN (Dec. 18)
The West German Cabinet has deferred a decision on whether to ask the Constitutional High Court in Karlsruhe to ban the extreme right-wing, reputedly neo-Nazi, National Democratic Party (NPD). State Secretary Gunter Diehl said at a press conference today that the Cabinet asked Interior Minister Ernst Benda to submit additional evidence to support a constitutional ban on the NPD. Mr. Benda’s ministry recently completed an extensive study of NPD activities which he said turned up ample evidence to have the NPD outlawed as anti-democratic under West German law. Mr. Diehl said that Cabinet ministers were impressed with the evidence but that there were difficult juridical questions that must be examined further before a decision was taken.
The leader of the NPD has threatened to publish documents purporting to expose Nazi and Communist pasts of members of Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger’s Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democratic Party unless they stop “defaming” the NPD as a successor to the Nazi Party. That characterization was applied to the NPD Sunday by Herr Benda. NPD chairman Adolf von Thadden said he wrote to Dr. Kiesinger warning him of the consequences of continued “defamation.” The right-wing leader also said that his party rejected the candidacy of Minister of Justice Gustav Heinemann, a Social Democrat, for the office of President of the Federal Republic and would vote against him. The NPD was believed to be supporting the candidacy of Gerhard Schroeder of the CDU, an arch conservative. It was disclosed recently that in 1933 Herr Schroeder filed for membership in the Nazi Storm-troops. Herr von Thadden said he did not think the Constitutional High Court in Karlsruhe would outlaw his party if a ban was requested by the Government on constitutional grounds.