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16 Arrested in Major Crackdown on Neo-nazis in West Berlin

Police reported today that 16 persons had been arrested during the weekend in a major crackdown on Neo-Nazis in West Berlin. Helmut Koenigshaus, a police spokesman, said 60 policemen were involved in the operation which included searches in II apartment houses in various parts of the city.

Koenigshaus said the “unusual action” had been taken to prevent establishment of a branch of the extremist “Action Front National Socialists.” All Nazi organizations are banned in West Berlin by orders of the Allied Powers.

Michael Kuehnen is the leader of the group, known to live in a secret place in Paris and wanted in West Germany for a variety of offenses, including display and distribution of anti-Semitic material.

WEAPONS, ANTI-SEMITIC PROPAGANDA FOUND

Several dozen of Kuehnen’s supporters were in one of the flats. Police said they found in that apartment and in others various weapons and anti-Semitic propaganda. The arrests included two men, aged 31 and 44; one woman, 21; and 13 youths aged 16 to 22. The youths were released after a brief detention. The adults have been remanded in police custody on grounds they violated the Allied ban.

Several of those arrested were in Nazi uniforms. Police said they confiscated much material on the goal of the meeting, including a proposed platform for the planned neo-Nazi branch.

In a related development, Dietmar Schlee, Interior Minister of the Baden Wuerttenberg State, expressed deep concern over what he called the increasing tendency of neo-Nazis to resort to violence. He said that in 1983, neo-Nazis were involved in 80 violent actions throughout West Germany, of which II were described as terrorist attacks. In 127 cases, arms and ammunition had been found in possession of neo-Nazis.

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