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Neo-nazis Clash with Protesters at West German Unity Day Meeting

June 21, 1988
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Riot police separated neo-Nazis and anti-Nazi demonstrators in Muenzenberg, a town in the federal state of Hesse Friday.

About 150 anti-Nazis exchanged insults with about 100 members and supporters of the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party. About 30 helmeted cops armed with truncheons kept the two groups apart.

The occasion was a NDP meeting and rally marking German Unity Day, a national holiday celebrated in West Germany to commemorate the uprising of East Berlin workers against the Communist regime, 35 years ago.

The celebrants, including members of nearby Jewish communities, protested against the neo-Nazi presence. They were especially angered by a court decision which allowed the rental of a publicly-owned hall to the right-wing extremists.

The courts have routinely ordered local municipalities to honor rental agreements signed with neo-Nazi groups, As long as such groups are not outlawed, the courts ruled, there is no way to prevent them from renting meeting facilities.

In some cases, municipal officials knowingly and willingly rent to neo-Nazis. But often the officials are misled by groups using outlandish names to mask their neo-Nazi identity.

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