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Germany’s Ruling Party to Launch Campaign to Counter Extremism

A special committee of the ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD) has recommended a series of activities to counter rightwing extremists in West Germany. The group, established by the SPD’s central committee, intends to launch a major public campaign against neo-Nazism beginning January 1, 1983, the 50th anniversary of Hitler’s ascension to power.

According to the recommendations, SPD members throughout the country will be mobilized to participate in the campaign which will include a thorough study of German organizations which resisted the Nazis during the Third Reich; a score of anti-Nazi demonstrations that will involve having thousands of SPD members visit former concentration camps and other sites that are reminders of Nazi barbarism; and the publication of scores of books dealing with anti-Semitism, hatred against foreigners and other aspects of neo-Nazism.

The SPD will also urge the authorities to enlarge and change certain textbooks so that they will include more information on the Nazi era and up date recent studies on neo-Nazi attitudes and activities in present day Germany.

The recommendations were made in view of increased neo-Nazi violence in the country and following a government-initiated public opinion survey which showed that 13 percent of the West German population favors what is defined as extreme rightwing attitudes.

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