BONN (Aug. 26)
Germany’s governing Christian Democratic Union has rejected a proposal by the Jewish community to introduce summary courts to deal with the alarming rise in neo-Nazi violence.
Norbert Geis, the CDU’s parliamentary spokesman, said such a course would run the risk of making neo-Nazis seem like persecuted heros.
Summary courts proceed without the usual legal formalities to speedily dispose of cases of minor importance.
But Heinz Galinski, chairman of the German Jewish community, argued that they are needed now to confront increasing right-wing violence and to curb the circulation of anti-Semitic and other racist propaganda.
He said the situation is most serious in former East Germany, where democratic practices and traditions have yet to take hold after 40 years of Communist government.
Geis replied that the introduction of summary courts would bring back terrible memories of the Nazi past.
He suggested, however, that the judicial system should make new efforts to deal efficiently with politically motivated violence.
Geis explained that many of the courts in eastern Germany are not functioning because the Communist judges who were dismissed have not yet been replaced.