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Book Extolling Waffen Ss Scored As a Menace to West German Youth

November 30, 1981
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A book extolling the Waffen SS, written by a former member of the notorious Nazi security police, has been branded a menace to West German youth for spreading neo-Nazi ideas. Not surprisingly, it has been praised in neo-Nazi publications.

The angry controversy surrounding “Ich War Dabei” (“I Was At It”) by Franz Schoenhuber has put it on the best seller list. The publisher, Langen-Mueller Verlag, said the first two editions have sold better than expected and a third edition is in preparation.

Public figures and journalists in Munich and elsewhere have attacked the book and have demanded that the author resign from his post as honorary chairman of the Bavarian Journalists Association. Schoenhuber has refused. Only a few weeks ago, he was reelected vice chief editor of the Bavarian State television and radio station.

The neo-Nazi newspaper National Zeitung called the work “The Book of the Year.” But an organization of journalists associated with nationwide trade unions said it should be blacklisted because of its dangerous affect on German youth. They said the book propagates Nazi ideas, citing passages in which Schoenhuber praises the “Waffen SS as brave and sincere men who wanted to establish a system of “real National Socialism.”

Former members of the Waffen SS are still active. They organize regular meetings which have become scenes of anti-Nazi protests in recent years. They are also organized into an official political lobby with influence on government policy in the state-run pension fund and other areas.

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