Bonn (Oct. 18)
Justice Minister Jurgen Schmude said here that spreading propaganda which denies that Jews were mass murdered in Nazi concentration camps should be an indictable offense. He added that so should similar denials of genocide in general.
Schmude was responding to criticism over the spread of Nazi propaganda in West Germany by the printed word and in the sale of Nazi emblems, in many cases imported from abroad. Critics have charged that there are too many loopholes in the law banning such activities. Schmude promised they would be closed and that the manufacture and import of Nazi emblems will be effectively banned.
The matter was raised in connection with the continued activities of neo-Nazis. One of them, Karl Heinz Hoffmann, has been arrested for murder. But until then he had continued to be active although his para-military Wurtsportesgruppe Hoffmann, which masqueraded as a sports club, was outlawed.
Meanwhile, the Nazi War Crimes Investigation Center in Ludwigsburg reported that 2000 cases against suspected Nazi war criminals are pending and preliminary investigations are under way in an additional 150 cases although no major trials are currently in progress.