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Brandt Says National Democrats Do Not Pose Internal Threat to Germany

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Foreign Minister Willy Brandt agreed today with Chancellor Kiesinger that the ultra right-wing National Democratic Party (NPD) did not pose an internal threat to West Germany though it was dangerous from a foreign policy point of view. Mr. Brandt, who heads the Social Democratic Union, told a press conference that if the national elections were to be held this Sunday, the NPD would fail to poll the five percent of the vote required to enter the Bundestag.

Mr. Brandt said the reputedly neo-Nazi party was no internal threat because the overwhelming majority of the German population wanted nothing to do with it. He warned, however, that the party could build itself up from reaction to violent demonstrations that attend many of its public meetings. Mr. Brandt said that extremism from both left and right was unwanted.

The Public Service Workers trade union has written Chancellor Kiesinger and Interior Minister Ernst Benda demanding that action be taken to outlaw the NPD. The letter accused the right-wing party of setting up “storm troopers.” reminiscent of the Hitler era and said it was anti-democratic.

Chancellor Kiesinger told the West German newspaper, Die Welt this week that he did not consider the NPD to be neo-Nazi, but he said it was doing the work of Soviet Russia. He said the radical right-wing policies advocated by the NPD gave Russia the pretext for calling West Germany “revanchist” and “neo-Nazi.”

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