With the help of massive police deployments throughout the country, German authorities prevented a series of neo-Nazi rallies planned over the weekend to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the death of Hitler deputy Rudolf Hess.
Unable to carry out their demonstrations in Germany, a group of some 100 rightists showed up in Luxembourg on Saturday, where they waved Nazi flags, threw stones at the German Embassy in downtown Luxembourg and clashed with local police, who eventually put an end to the demonstration.
Luxembourg police detained and later released some 90 demonstrators, most of whom were German, but included a few French supporters. Police escorted the detainees to the German border, where they were handed over to the German authorities. After questioning the detainees, the German police later let them go.
German neo-Nazis had submitted requests to hold rallies in 30 different locales, but all the requests were turned down. The organizers then launched an unsuccessful attempt to obtain court orders permitting them to demonstrate.
After the organizers announced their intention to demonstrate anyway, large police forces were deployed throughout Germany. Local police, reinforced by federal border police, were deployed at every potential trouble spot.
During the weekend, six right-wing youths were detained near the site of the Buchenwald concentration camp, where they were carrying Nazi emblems. Police suspected them of planning to desecrate the site, as happened three weeks ago, when 22 right-wing extremists vandalized the site of the former concentration camp.
Police arrested more than 100 neo-Nazis over the weekend, all of whom were suspected of engaging in unlawful activities.
Rudolf Hess was the longest surviving Nazi leader. He served as Hitler’s deputy at the beginning of World War II, but he 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 died on Aug. 13, 1987. Neo-Nazis have since attempted to mark the day of his death as a national day of neo-Nazi demonstrations.
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.