BONN (Jul. 13)
There is “reason for concern” over the increased number of neo-Nazi incidents and the greater readiness on the part of rightwing extremists to achieve their political aims by violent means, Interior Minister Gerhard Baum told a press conference marking the release of the annual report of the West German security services. He added, however, that the activities of extreme rightwing groups do not constitute a danger for the democratic system in the Federal Republic.
According to the report, there were in 1979 69 neo-Nazi organizations with a total of 21,000 members. The biggest organization is the National Democratic Party with 9500 members (compared with 10, 100 members in 1978).
Baum observed that the measures taken by state authorities during 1979 caused a decrease in violence perpetrated by Nazis, a decrease which continued through the first months of this year. The Interior Minister mentioned the ban imposed at the start of 1980 on the neo-Nazi paramilitary “Whersportgruppe Hoffmann, “but added that the authorities should remain on the alert.
On Palestinian terrorism in West Germany, the report listed several cases of unsuccessful attempts by the Fatah organization (which is the most influential group in the Palestine Liberation Organization) to kill Jewish personalities or to blow up various targets in the Federal Republic and in West Berlin. It also said that, as a revenge action against the arrest of a Fatah terrorist in West Germany, Palestinian terrorists bombed the West German Embassy and the Lufthansa Airline office in Beirut.
The report failed to mention that several Palestinian terrorists, who were arrested and sentenced in West Germany, were released after the representative of the PLO in Bonn threatened the government that members of its organization might react.