BONN (Sep. 8)
Police arrested at least 24 persons in a melee that broke out here yesterday during an election rally of the ultra right-wing National Democratic Party (NPD) addressed by party leader Adolf von Thadden. Police formed a protective cordon around the Beethoven concert hall where the rally was held. They dragged out scores of screaming left-wing students who heckled von Thadden with jeers and shouts of “sieg heil”, the Hitlerite salute. One of those arrested was said to be an NPD usher.
Von Thadden said yesterday that he was sure his party would poll eight to 12 percent of the vote in the forthcoming West German national elections and “possibly even more.”
Von Thadden told a press conference that he would be disappointed if his party polled only the five percent required to win seats in the Bundestag. He said he would resign if it got less. According to Von Thadden, the NPD contains no more ex-Nazis than any other West German party. He thought that the rioting which has attended many NPD election rallies recently would help rather than hinder his party’s chances. In reply to questions, he said the NPD would support Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger’s Christian Democratic Union “if it had logical proposals that we could support.” The NPD wants, among other things, to end the prosecution of Nazi war criminals. The party has also demanded the return to Germany of the Nazi territories lost in World War II.