First Nazi Party Formed in Switzerland
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First Nazi Party Formed in Switzerland

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The founder of the fledgling Swiss National Socialist Party said here yesterday that his immediate goal is to improve the image of the Nazis with the public and that he also intends to present a list for the communal elections to be held here next year.

While the press in general considers Ernst Meister a screwball, the formation of the first National Socialist Party in the country has evoked some concern among Jews. Most Jews interviewed, however, said that the open anti-Jewish attitudes of the party are not likely to generate wide support.

Meister, 40, agrees that the name and the image of his party leaves a lot to be desired, but not so the ideas it promotes. The former member of National Action, a fascist movement, and the vice president of its Zurich section, Meister told a local weekly, Zueriwoche, that “many in other parties support my ideas. The only problem is that they are irritated by the name. Our primary problem is one of image.”


But Meister said he has no intention of changing the name of his party and will do all he can to legitimize it with the public. In recent interviews he said that Switzerland is ripe for a new Nazi Party to rise to its previous glamor. Asked about the mass killing of Jews by Hitler, Meister said, “That is not so tragic. Again, the problem is the lack of a good image.”

He is described as an electrical enginner and according to press reports he lives alone in an apartment on Zaehringer Street. Meister reportedly has angered the National Action, from which he was expelled in 1983, because he is conducting a recruiting drive among its members and supporters, who are much less strident in their public statements. There is no indication of how many members Meister’s party has. Most reports note that it is composed of a few persons.

Nevertheless, the spokesman for the Public Ministry of the regional confederation, Roland Hauenstein, said that his office will carefully monitor the party’s activities. But he added that political activities in Switzerland that remain within the law and do not threaten the internal or external security of the state cannot be curbed.

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