BERLIN (Jan. 13)
A German right-wing extremist has been charged with inciting hatred against Jews.
The former leader of Germany’s far-right National Democratic Party, Gunter Deckert, was charged last Friday for allegedly making anti-Semitic comments in Nuremberg in August 2001.
Prosecutors did not reveal his comments, but said they echoed the hateful rhetoric of the Nazi era.
Deckert, 62, has already served time in German prisons for charges related to Holocaust denial.
He has been dropped from the membership rolls of the National Democratic Party, which now is headed by Udo Voigt.
The German government is nearing a decision on whether to ban the party for hatemongering.
Like the other two largest extreme right-wing parties in Germany — the Republicans and the German People’s Union — the NDP currently avoids making illegal statements, such as Holocaust denial, that might give the federal government grounds to ban them.
The right-wing extremists tend to describe themselves as victims who eventually will overcome an oppressive government campaign.
They are not averse to comparing themselves to the Jews of the 1930s.
On Jan. 6, the head of the Republicans, Rolf Schlierer, complained of a “pogrom” against his party and “an unspeakable campaign against the right.”
The federal government estimates that about 37,000 Germans hold extreme right-wing beliefs.
Along with a desire to trivialize the Holocaust, they also blame foreigners for unemployment and crime.