BONN (Apr. 24)
An American neo-Nazi group based in Lincoln, Nebraska, has claimed responsibility for a new outbreak of Nazi activity in several West German cities last week, coinciding with Hitler’s birthday April 20. The worst act of vandalism was reported from Hanover where damage estimated at $50,000 was caused to the Jewish cemetery at Bothfeld and swastikas and Nazi slogans were painted on shops and public buildings. A special police unit has been formed to track down the culprits and police have offered a reward of $1200 for information leading to their arrest.
Vandalism was also reported in Kassel, Lueneburg and Zelsewer. A Hanover police spokesman told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that on the night of April 4 Nazi placards were pasted on tombstones. They contained swastikas and carried the inscription “Kampf den Judenpartein” (Fight the Jew parties). The parties referred to were all the German political parties from left to right. The placards were signed “NSD-AP (National Socialists of Germany-American Party) External Organization, P.O. Box 6414, Lincoln, Nebraska 68506.”
On the night of April 5, swastikas and slogans were daubed on the walls of the Lower Saxony Regional House of Assembly, a museum, a school, a pedestrian underground passage and two shops. Roetger Gross, the Interior Minister of the State of Lower Saxony, of which Hanover is the Capital, condemned the actions as a “malicious provocation against democracy.”
Referring to the current International Trade Fair in Hanover, Gross said the maligning of deceased Jewish citizens and the use of symbols from a “soul-less” past on a day “when the entire world is looking sympathetically at Hanover, constitutes an exceptional challenge.” The U.S. based Nazi group has claimed responsibility for previous acts of anti-Semitic vandalism in West Germany.