BONN (Jan. 7)
Justice Minister Juergen Schmude disclosed yesterday that 19 persons have been killed and 223 wounded in West Germany as a result of neo-Nazi terrorism since September 1, 1978. He said that in the same period, 631 neo-Nazis were sentenced to prison terms for a wide variety of offenses ranging from murder to the vandalization of Jewish cemeteries and daubing swastikas.
Schmude, who is pressing hard for tightening the laws against neo-Nazi and extreme rightwing activities, said the country’s law enforcement agencies can cope with the problem. The Bundestag’s Justice Committee is presently studying proposals prepared by the Justice Ministry to close loopholes in existing anti-Nazi laws.
The draft bill is supported by the ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD) but some elements of its junior coalition partner, the Free Democrats and the opposition Christian Democratic Union (CDU), have expressed reservations.
Schmude said most offenses by rightwing extremists were categorized as “criminal agitation” which includes the circulation of Nazi propaganda material banned by law, the public display of Nazi symbols and incitement against Jews and other minorities.
He reported that in addition to the 631 neo-Nazis sentenced, 97 others are awaiting verdicts and the State Prosecutor has prepared indictments against 92 persons. Investigations are underway against 133 suspects. There are 60 right wing extremists presently in jail, 40 of them in remand custody and 16 are subject to police searches under arrest warrants.