Right-wing Groups Lose Ground in West Germany – Security Services Say Arab Terrorists Still Menace

The extreme right-wing continued to lose ground in West Germany last year and poses no present danger to the State according to a report by the security services released by interior Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher at a press conference here.

The report cited the decline of the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD) and other radical right groups and a sharp drop in acts of terror and violence by right-wing extremists between 1971-72.

The overall membership in rightist groups declined slightly–from 25,000 in 1971 to 23,000 in 1972–and the number of such groups dropped from 129 to 123 in the same period. NPD membership fell from 28,000 in 1969 to about 14,500 last year. The party, while not broken, has been crippled by the lack of financial contributions and is no longer represented in the provincial parliaments, the report noted.

Other right-wing groups have also lost public support. These include Dr. Gerhard Frey’s Deutsche Volksunion; the Neue Rechte; the Nationalsozialistische Kampfsgruppe Grossdeutschland, made up of fanatical Nazis; and the militant secret organization Europacische Befreiungs front, the report said.

Acts of violence by right-wing extremists fell from 428 cases in 1971 to 263 cases last year. But radical right newspapers and periodicals enjoyed a rise in circulation and their number increased from 55 in 1971 to 60 in 1972. They now have a total circulation of over 200,000 of which the Deutsche National-Zeitung accounts for 112,000, the report said. But it concluded that the extreme right has little hope of influencing public opinion in West Germany today.

FATAH CELLS IN 15 GERMAN CITIES

The West German security services also reported that the Palestine Liberation Organization and various Arab terrorist groups aligned with it were the most serious perpetrators of violence in this country last year.

The report, published by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Cologne, said that “Nearly all Palestinian resistance groups advocate attacks on Israeli targets outside the Middle East crisis area and also on people and installations in states which they consider to support Zionism and imperialism.”

The report listed among the “conspiratorial cells” linked to the PLO, El Fatah and its information service, “Dijhaz Al Rasd”; the Maoist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine; and the Maoist Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Of these, El Fatah is the best organized and most effective, the report said. It had cells in 15 West German cities in 1972 and possibly in 23 cities now.

The report noted that the general union of Palestinian students and workers was banned in West Germany last Oct. in the aftermath of the Sept. 5 Munich massacre of 11 Israeli Olympic athletes. A West Berlin court upheld the ban a few days ago on grounds that it continues to be a menace to West German security.

According to the security services, the Palestinian students and workers unions had about 1500 members. Security authorities estimate that there are between 5000-8000 Palestinian aliens presently living in West Germany.

The report said that the Munich massacre led to counter-terrorist acts against Arabs. It mentioned the “Massada Action and Defense Movement” which claimed credit for an attack on a Palestinian bookshop in Paris last Oct. and is believed to be responsible for letter bombs mailed to Arabs here and for the attempted murder of a Jordanian medical student in Erlangen last Nov.

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