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Measures Against Neo-nazism Proposed

The ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD) has proposed measures that would close the gaps in existing legislation aimed against neo-Nazism in West Germany. The recommendations, submitted to the government, are the result of a thorough study and evaluation of hearings held last year on the dangers of neo-Nazism. The party concluded, however, that in general, laws now in effect are fairly tight.

But it accepted the recommendations of prominent officials and social scientists who testified of an open meeting of the SPD’s parliamentary faction. They included an amendment to a paragraph which forbids spreading Nazi propaganda material produced after the Federal Republic was established. The amendment, which the SP) supports, would make it a criminal offense to circulate such material which antedates the Federal Republic, including, presumably, Hitler’s biography, “Mein Kampf.”

Another amendment would extend the ban on the display of Nazi placards and symbols to such materials that are produced abroad, regardless of the country of origin. The present law applies only to Nazi material produced in West Germany.

The SPD will also examine an amendment that would explicitly forbid the circulation of allegations that the death camp gas chambers never existed. Under present law, persons circulating that falsehood cannot be prosecuted unless they identify the people who allegedly fabricated the gas chamber “story” in order to collect reparations. It is understood that the Federal government will carefully study the SPD proposals but no official comment is available yet.

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