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Germany Bans Neo-nazi Group

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A neo-Nazi paramilitary organization active in south Germany was banned by the government yesterday as unconstitutional after a police raid on its headquarters yielded a quantity of military equipment and propaganda material. Interior Minister Gerhart Baum said the group, known as the “Wehrsportsgruppe,” masqueraded as a sports organization while it planned to overthrow the democratic system by force.

The “Wehrsportsgruppe,” said to have 400 members, was described as the largest neo-Nazi militant organization in West Germany. According to Baum, its self-styled “fuehrer,” 42-year-old Karl-Heinz Hoffmann, hoped to achieve Nazi goals. The organization was founded seven years ago and was active among youth in Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg.

Police who searched its headquarters in a castle near Nuremberg found a quantity of small arms and ammunition and an armored vehicle used for training. Additional arms and ammunition was found in the homes of 32 members aided by police Wednesday night. Hoffman may be brought to trial.

In another development, three young members of the neo-Nazi “Kampfgruppe Priem” were arrested in Freiburg, south Germany yesterday, according to police, the youths aged 15,17 and admitted to vandalizing and desecrating a Jewish cemetery in Breisgoustadt last month. Police said the youths had anti-Semitic publications and swastikas.

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