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Ex-nazi, Member of the Green Party, Resigns from the Bundestag

March 15, 1983
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Werner Vogel, who won a seat in the Bundestag in the March 6 elections and was named its temporary Speaker, resigned from parliament yesterday after acknowledging that he had been a member of the Nazi Party and the SA (Storm-troopers) when Hitler came to power in 1933.

His admission created severe embarrassment for the Green Party on whose ticket Vogel was elected and which appointed him temporary Speaker in accordance with the tradition that the oldest member of a newly elected Bundestag presides at its first session. Vogel is 75.

The Green Party, in parliament for the first time, is rooted in pacifist and environmental movements, disapproves of West Germany’s membership in NATO and opposes the deployment of American nuclear weapons in West Germany. It holds 27 seats in the 498-seat Bundestag.

Vogel disclosed that he had been not only a card-carrying Nazi and member of an SA unit but served in the Interior Ministry of the Third Reich which implemented anti-Jewish statutes and supervised the gestapo and secret police. But he insisted he had done nothing “to reproach myself for.”

Vogel was to have presided at the opening session of the new Bundestag on March 29, at which time a permanent Speaker will be elected.

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