BONN (May. 21)
All of the racist and neo-Nazi video games found in Germany have been confiscated, German authorities say. But a nationwide investigation by the federal police has been unable to trace their origin.
The games, which award points for sending Jews or Turks to concentration camps, have been circulating underground. They are reported to have reached substantial numbers of youths in Germany and Austria, countries where the distribution of Nazi material is a criminal offense.
The Austrian government announced May 3 that it had “initiated legal proceedings in order to determine their origin, bring the author(s) to justice and stop further circulation.”
German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, meanwhile, urged Justice Minister Klaus Kinkel and Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble in letters sent May 10 to take action against those distributing the games.
“The use of computer games with a clearly racist and neo-Nazi content should be rigorously prosecuted,” declared Genscher, who met with Jewish leaders in New York earlier this month.
But so far the producers of the games have not been found.
A spokesman at federal police headquarters in Wiesbaden said serious efforts have been made to no avail to pinpoint where the games might have been produced.
Police in the federal state of Hesse questioned producers of a neo-Nazi board game who were arrested and prosecuted several years ago.
But they could establish no connection between the manufacturers of the board game, played with dice, and the sophisticated computer programmed games glorifying the Holocaust.
The police say they are not even sure the video games are produced in Germany.
But the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center thinks they probably are. About 140 of the neo-Nazi video and computer games were in circulation in Germany and Austria, the Wiesenthal Center reported May 8 at a news conference in Washington, where it demonstrated samples.