Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Report Shows That 89 Neo-nazi and Extremist Groups in Germany Have Combined Membership of 22,000

May 10, 1985
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Bonn government released a report today disclosing that as of 1984 there were 89 neo-Nazi and extreme rightwing organizations active in the Federal Republic, with a combined membership of 22,000, a 10 percent increase both in the number of organizations and in their membership.

These groups have shown an increased tendency to resort to violence and are a potential source of subversive activities which are relatively difficult to monitor, the report, prepared by the government Agency for the Protection of the Constitution, stated. It also devoted a section to Palestinian terrorist organizations operating in West Germany.

According to the report, many of the 89 organizations have a membership of only a few activists. The largest and most dangerous are the “German Peoples Union” with more than 12,000 members, led by Gerhard Frey, publisher of the Munich-based neo-Nazi weekly National Zeitung; and the National Democratic Party (NPD) with a membership of about 6,000. About a decade ago, the NPD participated in national, state and local elections.


A notable omission from the report is HIAG, the umbrella organizations of veterans of the Nazi SS and Waffen SS divisions which hold annual reunions, usually in small resort towns.

The SS “Totenkopf” (Deaths Head) division alumni held their get-together last week in the Bavarian town of Nesselwang, at a hotel owned by a neo-Nazi activist. Veterans of the “Hitlerjugend” and “Liebstandarte Adolf Hitler” divisions are meeting in Nesselwang later this month.

Since the conservative government of Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) took office, the activities of the former SS men have no longer been included in the government’s annual report on political extremism.

According to the report, neo-Nazis in West Germany committed 74 acts of violence in 1984, II of which were officially classified as terrorist attacks Police found large quantities of weapons and ammunition in their possession.

In a section devoted to political extremism among foreigners in the Federal Republic, the report noted that some 3,500 Arabs are organized into extremist groups which are a source of concern. Arab terrorism in Germany has been always directed primarily at Israeli and Jewish targets, the report said.

Recommended from JTA