Demonstrators Protest Nazi Rally

About 300 demonstrators marched through Mannheim today to protest a rally of about 800 Nazi supporters, many of whom wore black shirts and Nazi insignias. The pro-Nazi group handed out literature praising Hitler and other Nazi leaders and claiming that it was a myth that the Nazi were responsible for the extermination of six million Jews.

Before the rally began, police confiscated a stone memorial inscribed “Glory to Our Dead War Heroes.” They also seized a wreath for Col Joachim Peiper, a convicted Nazi war criminal presumed to have died in a fire at his home in a French village last July. The Mannheim City Council had banned the rally but the Karlsruhe Court had approved the meeting provided the stone memorial was not unveiled.

The unveiling had been planned by the tiny ultra-rightist German People’s Union Party, whose leader, Gerhard Frei, said, “Other countries can honor their fighting heroes. Why can’t we?” He charged that France had asked the German government to ban the demonstration.

Meanwhile, West Berlin police said they seized a bust of Hitler and a machinegun in a raid on an apartment today where 13 people were planning to set up a neo-Nazi party. Police said the group planned to establish a West Berlin branch of the outlawed National Socialist German Workers Party.

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