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Series of Anti-jewish Incidents Follows Cologne Synagogue Desecration

December 31, 1959
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A spate of anti-Semitic incidents in various parts of West Germany has followed the Christmas Eve desecration of the recently-dedicated Cologne synagogue, official reports reaching the German capital today indicated.

At Brunswick, last night, swastikas were painted on the Monument to Victims of Nazism. The same Nazi symbol was found at dawn today painted on park benches in Brunswick. At Gelsenkirchen, the swastika was found this morning to have been smeared over the facade of a Catholic church.

Meanwhile, federal officials reported here that police at Offenbach were continuing to search for the the anonymous writer of a threatening letter received by a Jew, 85-year-old Isaac Hamburger.

Otto Meinberg, chairman of the Deutsche Reichs Party, the political group to which the two men arrested for the Cologne outrage belonged, denied here today implications of neo-Nazism, in the party’s program.

“The party,” said Meinberg, “is founded on principles of tolerance and right. What never anti-Semitic and anti-democratic tendencies exist within the party are due to East Germany Communist indoctrination.”

An official of the Christian Democratic Party, however, called Meinberg’s statement “poor Justification,” pointing out that the Deutsche Reichs Party is known for “its general rightist trend.”

Official government consideration of the possibility of banning the party was declared insufficient by another official, a spokesman for the Social Democratic Party. “It would not be enough to ban the Deutsche Reichs Party,” he said, “because there are many other groups engaging in anti-democratic activities.” He made it clear that he was referring specifically to various youth groups, so-called “refugee” organizations, and publishers of fascist literature in various parts of West Germany.

Some German newspapers today tied the Cologne incident to fascist propaganda disseminated by Ferenc Fiara, former press chief of a pro-Nazi Hungarian Government, who now lives in Germany, At Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalian police authorities were probing into reports that the men arrested for the synagogue desecration may have been connected with one of the Hungarian refugee groups. The men, however, are Germans, and not Hungarians. (See late news on page 2.)

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