BONN (Sep. 21)
Scuffles broke out last weekend when some 300 former SS members held a reunion in a gymnasium in the southern German town of Wuerzburg. The SS veterans, who tried to knock over television cameras when they entered the gymnasium which was decked out with their national flags and Nazi insignia, were pelted with apples and fled the hall when they were chased by stick-wielding Gypsies who had been inmates of Nazi concentration camps. Police intervened to protect the television crews.
The rally last Saturday, organized by a West German group formed to look after SS men and their families, was attended by more than 200 ex-members of the German Horst Wessel Division; some 80 ex-members of the Charlemagne Division which was made up of Frenchmen who fought on the Russian front after the division was organized in 1944; and other former SS soldiers from Norway, Holland, Belgium and Austria.
Later in the evening, when the SS veterans and their families were entering the gymnasium for a dance, Gypsies and about 100 members of the West German Communist Party again threw apples at them. The demonstrators carried placards reading, “Murderers, Out of Wuerzburg” and shouted. “You pigs have killed millions of people.”
When the SS veterans left the dance, six Gypsies, all of whom had concentration camp numbers tattooed on their arms, waved walking sticks and chased the former Nazis down darkened streets. Left-wing youths joined the chase. Three SS members were slightly injured, Wuerzburg Mayor Klaus Zeitler and the West German Foreign Ministry had earlier declared that there was no legal way to prohibit the rally.