BONN (Apr. 25)
The vice chairwoman of the extreme right-wing Republican Party in West Berlin, Alexandra Kliche, resigned from office Sunday and quit the party altogether. She cited heavy penetration of the party’s institutions and rank and file by neo-Nazis.
Her resignation dealt a severe blow to the new party and its chairman, Franz Schoenhuber, a former SS officer who claims that his group is “right of center” but by no means neo-Nazi.
Latest opinion polls in West Germany show that 8 percent of the population backs Schoenhuber’s party. If this prediction materializes in the general elections next year, it would create a political earthquake in the Federal Republic, which has been dominated by moderate, mostly centrist parties up till now.
Schoenhuber and other Republican officials have been lately involved in fierce arguments with Heinz Galinski, the chairman of the West German Jewish community. Schoenhuber repeatedly said that while he had nothing against Jews it was not his duty “to love Galinski because he is Jewish.”
Galinski accused Schoenhuber of adopting a Nazi style in spreading hatred against foreigners living in this country.
The Social Democratic Party in Munich, meanwhile, has circulated a brochure showing similarities between the Republicans and the Nazi Party.
IMITATING THE NAZIS
The SPD chairman in Bavaria, Wolfgang Metz, said the information campaign was the party’s duty, because both the Republicans and the Nazis started their activities in the federal state of Bavaria.
He added that, both in content and in style, the Republicans are largely imitating the Nazis, using displeasure with material conditions to mobilize support among low-income voters.
The general secretary of the ruling Christian Democratic Union, Heiner Geissler, said Sunday that his party rejects any form of cooperation with the Republicans. He was commenting on suggestions by some party officials that such cooperation would be necessary if the CDU continued to lose support in the polls.
The chairman of the Free Democratic Party, the junior coalition partner in Bonn, has also firmly rejected cooperation with the Republicans. He said his party is very concerned about the resurgence of right-wing political extremism.