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Ban of German Party Weighed As Furore Rises over Cologne Incident

December 30, 1959
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A spokesman for the West German Ministry of the interior yesterday outlined the steps planned to determine whether the German Reichs. Party was engaging in “subversive activity” in the Christmas Eve desecration of the Cologne synagogue, and subject to a ban.

He said a special commission has been named to make the investigation as to whether the basic law of the West German Republic has been violated. He said the Commission’s findings would be presented to the Federal Cabinet, which would then decide whether the matter should be referred to the Federal Constitutional Court. That court, in 1952, banned the neo-Nazi Socialist Reich Party, many of whose leading members are now active in the German Reichs party.

(The London Daily Express reported from Bonn today that Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who staked his political life on the premise that Nanism and anti-Semitism are dead in West Germany, was facing a political crisis because of the desecration of the synagogue at Cologne.)

The Ministry of the Interior of North Rhine-Westphalia ordered the arrest of several persons belonging to the Cologne chapter to which the two 25-year-old men arrested in the desecration belonged. Police meanwhile disclosed there was evidence that the Cologne party leadership knew in advance about the plan to desecrate the newly-rebuilt Cologne synagogue which was dedicated personally last October by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer.

The Bonn Interior Ministry spokesman said the action of Otto Wilhslm Meinberg in expelling the two synagogue desecrators was done to “disguise the anti-democratic and anti-Semitic ideology” of the party.

As the furore over the incident continued to grow, Wili Richter, chairman of the German Trade Union, demanded in a telegram to Chancellor Adenauer that strong measures be taken against “rightist elements who seek to revive the criminal Nazi past.”

The Christian Democratic Information Service yesterday severely condemned “all race hatred and violence,” and called the synagogue desecration “an alarm signal to the German people to watch out against Nazi revivals.”

Heinz Galinski, chairman of the Berlin Jewish Community, demanded that rightist organizations be investigated and prosecuted.

It was announced, meanwhile, that Wursburg police had started a search for persons who, on Christmas night, desecrated a Protestant Church and a monument to Nazi victims in Heidingsfeld. A new anti-Semitic incident was reported in Seligstadt, in Hesse, where only one Jew lives. This man, Isaac Hamburger, received an unsigned letter which called all Jews gangsters, and said all Jews should be executed. The recipient, who is 85, lost all of his family in the Nazi murder camps.

The letter to him said that persecution of German Jews would start again when Chancellor Adenauer no longer was in power. The letter also contended that profanation of a Christian cemetery in Seligstadt was done by Jews.

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