Increased activity in Germany by Palestinian extremist groups is noted in the 1976 internal security report of the West German Interior Ministry. The report also cites “increasing aggressiveness” by neo-Nazi groups, though their membership is estimated at only 600.
The document states that several cells of the extremist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) have been identified in Germany. Both the PFLP and two other Palestinian groups, the El Fatah and the Maoist “PDFLP” active in Germany, distinguish between members involved in “conspiratorial activity” and those seeking public support for their goals, the report notes. In 1976 the Palestinian extremist groups in Germany “made a determined effort to consolidate their organizational strength and win new members from among the approximately 8400 Arabs of Palestinian origin who have applied for political asylum in the Federal Republic.”
The report says applicants seeking membership in these groups are subjected to a “proba- tionary period.” In spite of this, membership increased from about 1000 to 1200 in 1976.
Statistical tables in the report show a sharp rise in the number of Palestinian groups represented in Germany. The number of organizations increased from 14 in 1974 to 21 in 1975 and 25 in 1976, while the number of “active branches” of all groups jumped from 57 (1973) to 83 (1974) and 95 (1976).
STRIDENT PERIODICALS ABOUND
Another table shows increases in periodical publications circulated by such groups from seven publications in 1974 to 10 in 1975 and 13 in 1976, including three published in West Germany. The report says German-language Palestinian periodicals call for the “destruction of the Zionist state,” for the “violent establishment of a ‘people’s’ democracy” in Jordan and the fight against the “reactionary systems” of other Arab states “dependent on imperialism.”
In the summer of 1976, the report states, German “affiliate organizations of the Palestinians called for donations of money and goods to aid fedayeen groups fighting in Lebanon and for the medical care of their fellow countrymen living there (in Lebanon).” During this period about 50 to 80 Arabs of Palestinian origin left the federal Republic to take part in the civil war in Lebanon, or to undergo training in the use of arms and explosives in Libya.
NEO-NAZI GROUPS ASSESSED
The report adds laconically that “some of them have since returned to the Federal Republic.” The report says right-wing German groups “posed no danger to German security in 1976” as shown by the severe defeat of the extreme right National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) in last year’s general elections.
The report says there are 15 neo-Nazi organizations in Germany with about 600 members. Their aim is to “replace the German constitutional democracy by a system of state similar to the Nazi dictatorship.” it notes a “considerable increase” in their activities since 1976 and an “increasing readiness to employ violence.” in several cases, police found arms, ammunition and explosives on property of Nazi supporters.
Nevertheless, the report says domestic and foreign news media often paid “disproportional attention” to neo-Nazi activity. It says such activity met with a hostile public reaction. “The few supporters of such groups do not constitute any potential for (accomplishing) neo-Nazi goals.” But the report conceded that such activities “should be taken into account as a factor that could possibly disturb public security.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.