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West German Government Will Consider Ban on Extremist National Democratic Party

A West German press spokesman said today that the Government would discuss the entire question next week of seeking a ban on the extremist National Democratic Party, which has been widely denounced as neo-Nazi. The spokesman made the announcement at a press conference in reply to a question from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger’s coalition Government is divided on the advisability of such action.

The spokesman and a representative of the Interior Ministry denied that the Ministry’s State Secretary Heinrich Koppler said last week that the NPD should not be prohibited. Prohibition will be sought, he said, if a Government decision to that effect is finally taken, by an effort to obtain a Constitutional court ruling that the party is unconstitutional.

In another development, Dr. Kiesinger’s Christian Democratic Union’s parliamentary group decided today to introduce the issue of extension of the present statute of limitations for the prosecution of Nazi war criminals into Parliamentary debate as soon as possible. If no action is taken, the statute will go into effect next December 31, barring the start of any new prosecutions as of that date.

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