The outlawed neo-Nazi para-military organization, Wehrsportsgruppe Hoffmann, was responsible for the tomb Last that killed 12 people and injured 144 of the October fest in Munich last Friday evening West German General Prosecutor Kurt Rebmann declared yesterday. The outrage was the bloodiest act of terrorism since the establishment of the Federal Republic and marked a further escalation of neo-Nazi violence in the last few weeks.
The Wehrsportsgruppe Hoffmann, which masqueraded as a sports organization, was banned by the federal government last January but apparently has been maintaining contacts among its members since then. After the Munich bombing, police arrested six leaders of the group, including Karl-Heinz Hoffmann, 42, its founder and self-styled “fuehrer. ” A search of members” homes yielded a small quantity of explosives.
Last January the group was said to have 400 active members, making it the largest of the militant neo-Nazi organizations in West Germany. Police at that time confiscated military materiel, including an old armored vehicle, arms and ammunition. The group was said to be planning to overthrow the democratic system by violence.
Other neo-Nazi groups are also active. The National Democratic Party (NPD) called for the expulsion of all non-Germans from the country in an election film it produced which was broadcast on state television several days ago. A month ago two Vietnamese refugees were murdered in Hamburg by neo-Nazis and attacks have been made on hostels housing foreign visitors.
The spread of violence, culminated by the Munich explosion, has aroused new sensitivity to the neo-Nazi danger which had been played down. But with elections only a few days away, political parties are using the issue to accuse each other rather than to analyze the mistakes made in dealing with the phenomenon.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.