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Crackdown on Neo- Naiz in Germany

February 5, 1979
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Twelve persons have been arrested in the past week and weapons and literature seized in a police crackdown on a neo-Nazi gang in central West Germany. The suspects were arrested in raids on their homes in five towns. Prosecutor Hermann Weichert said the 26-year-old gang leader, whose identity was not disclosed is in tail. The others were released.

All the suspects face charges of criminal conspiracy and advocating illegal neo-Nazi activities, Weichert said. He said that five submachine guns, an automatic rifle, pistols, ammunition and more than 15 pounds of plastic explosives were confiscated in the raids.

In a development related to neo-Nazism, a former army officer being tried on neo-Nazi charges described West Germany as a “Jewish republic” and said German Jews should be deprived of their citizenship and placed under “guest law” requiring them to behave as guests.

Former Lt. Michael Kuehnen, 23, told the court last week that his arm was to have the constitutional ban on the Nazi Party lifted or to reestablish it under a new name. He and a 21-year-old student, Friedheim Puetzmann, are charged with spreading Nazi propaganda, inciting racial hatred and glorifying violence. Kuehnen, who was discharged from the army in 1977 for his extremist views, said the Nazi propaganda found on him had come mainly from the United States.

Meanwhile, West German justice Minister Hans-Joachim Vogel said today he thought it probable that the law would be changed to allow continued prosecution of Nazi war criminals after the present time limit expires in December He said in a radio interview that there had been a shift in public opinion towards abolishing the statute of limitations. This was prompted, he observed, by the screening last month of the American NBC-TV series, “Holocaust.”

According to press reports, a record 15 million viewed the last part of the four-part series, with 41 percent of the viewing public tuned in. This was up from 32 percent or II million viewers, who watched the first installment.

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