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Danish Neo-nazis Mark Suicide of Rudolf Hess

Some 150 Danish neo-Nazis and their European cohorts marched through the eastern city of Roskilde over the weekend to mark the eighth anniversary of the suicide of Hitler deputy Rudolf Hess.

Police in Roskilde, located near Copenhagen, offered protection to the neo-Nazi marchers from counter demonstrators, whose march was restricted to the other side of the city.

But at one point the two parade routes converged, and first fights broke out.

Police arrested demonstrators from both sides.

Hess was the longest surviving Nazi leader. he served as Hitler’s deputy at the beginning of World War II, but fled to Scotland in 1941, hoping to negotiate a separate peace treaty with the British.

British authorities arrested him and he was sentenced to life imprisonment during the postwar Nuremberg trials.

The sole remaining prisoner in Berlin’s Spandau Prison, Hess committed suicide on Aug. 13, 1987. Neo-Nazis have since attempted to mark the day of his death with demonstrations and with visits to his gravesite in the Bavavian town of Wunsiedel.

The neo-Nazi demonstration in Roskilde took place despite numerous protests against it, including sharp criticisms from Jewish leaders.

Danish neo-Nazis, led by 29-year old Johnny Hansen, are estimated to include 500 to 1,000 active militants.

As a result of Denmark’s policy of allowing freedom of speech, the country’s neo-Nazis will soon be able to start and operate their own radio station.

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