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Controversial Neo-nazi Film Pulled in Face of Controversy

December 10, 1993
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A neo-Nazi film, supported with subsidies from several German state governments, has been withdrawn from distribution under pressure from its sponsors after it provoked a swarm of controversy here.

The film, “Profession: Neo-Nazi,” was playing in two theaters but was blasted by critics who said it violated German law prohibiting anti-Jewish statements without response.

Those who have seen the film said its director, Winfried Bonengel, allows neo-Nazi Bela Althans to rave on about Auschwitz lies without any opposition.

A German newspaper reported Monday that Ignatz Bubis, head of the German Jewish community, was going to ask that criminal charges be brought against Althans and others over at least 10 passages in the film that he said violate German law.

Bonengel defended the film as a portrayal of neo-Nazis as they really are.

The film has provoked and worried the Jewish community for weeks and was prevented from opening by opponents in at least one city, Hamburg.

The German state governments that helped finance the film — Hesse, Hamburg, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Pomerania — themselves asked that the film’s distribution be stopped.

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