BONN (Sep. 22)
The extreme rightwing National Democratic Party held two political rallies this week despite attempts by local authorities to prevent the meetings.
Authorities in Bonn and Erlangen, in Bavaria, had attempted to prevent the neo-Nazi party from holding the rallies in their respective cities. But party organizers appealed to the courts, which gave the green light for the meetings.
Only 30 people came to the rally in Bonn, while 100 people participated in the Erlangen rally. In both cases, the demonstrators were outnumbered by the police and leftist protesters.
Gunter Deckert, chairman of the National Democratic Party, spoke at both rallies.
Deckert stood at the center of a recent national scandal after a state court in the southwestern city of Mannheim gave him a one-year suspended sentence and a fine for denying at a public rally that the Holocaust ever took place and for making derogatory remarks against the Jews.
Holocaust denial and making statements aimed at inciting racial hatred are punishable offenses under German law.
Meanwhile, some 100 neo-Nazis rampaged through the eastern German town of Jena last Friday, chanting neo-Nazi slogans such as “foreigners out” and “Germany for the Germans.”