A Munich appeals court has reversed the penalty imposed by a lower court on two persons who carried anti-Nazi banners in Munich last September during a memorial ceremony for the victims of a synagogue bombing in Vienna that occurred several days earlier. Two people were killed and 20 were injured in that terrorist bombing.
Fines of 800 Marks each were imposed on a 35-year-old teacher and a 32-year-old physician at the demand of the Bavarian State Prosecutor, who accused them of abusing the right of assembly. The judge ruled that the two had failed to get written permission for their demonstration.
But the appeals court, in reversing that decision, found that the accused were participating in a legal public ceremony of mourning organized by the Munich authorities and that the slogans on the banners they carried were consistent with the purpose of the ceremony and, therefore, there was no demonstration in the technical sense and no prior permission was required.
One of the banners read “Down With the Fascist Murder Gang.” The other criticized the Bavarian Interior Minister, Gerold Tandler, for his claim that the neo-Nazi Wehrsportsgruppe Hoffmann was “not really a dangerous organization” and that its members were “half mad” and not to be taken seriously.
The group, which masqueraded as a sports club until it was barred by the authorities earlier this year, is regarded as one of the most violent and dangerous of the neo-Nazi organizations that have cropped up in the Federal Republic. According to an official report by the Bonn government, it cooperates with the Palestine Liberation Organization and scores of its members have received training in terrorist tactics by El Fatah in Lebanon.
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.