Germany's states are making a renewed push to ban the country's best-known neo-Nazi party, arguing it
is basically the same as Hitler's
party, and is damaging democracy.
The states - represented in the upper house of parliament, the
Bundesrat - are due to submit their application for a ban to the
Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe on Tuesday.
It is the second
attempt to ban the NPD (National Democratic Party of Germany), after the
same court rejected a submission in 2003, because too much of the
crucial evidence was from party members who were acting as paid agents
of the security services.
That attempt was backed by the
government and Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, as well as the
Bundesrat. This time the Bundesrat is going it alone, after the other
two bodies decided a second attempt was unlikely to succeed.
This time around, the submission consists only of publicly available
evidence, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) newspaper reported -
as well as two reports from academics.
One of these talks of a
"continuity in ideological direction" from historical National Socialism
to the NPD. A second says that the actions of the NPD have "already led
to the limitation of public democratic life at the local level."
The NPD last got 0.8 percent of the vote in Lower Saxony's state
election, 1.2 percent in Bavaria and 1.1 percent in Hesse, while in
September's federal election they managed 1.3 percent. They have a total
of 13 state MPs in Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
The submission to ban the party claims the NPD wants to violently deport
foreigners and migrants, as well as those who have German citizenship
but do not met their narrow definition of being German enough.
It also argues that the NPD's, "rejection of the democratic
parliamentary system of government, its relativism of National Socialist
injustice and the relativism of the state's monopoly on the legitimate
use of force" counted as breaches of the basic order of peaceful
The FAZ also said that a security service report
included in the submission suggested that one in four of the NPD's
leadership nationally and in states, had criminal records for offences
including assault, criminal damage, trespassing, and propaganda-related
offences. Half of those convicted were, according to the report,
habitual offenders and had been given prison sentences for their crimes.
The Bundestag decided to make the submission a year ago in the wake of
the National Socialist Underground (NSU) case, in which a neo-Nazi
gang, which had some connections to NPD functionaries, are accused of
killing ten people over a period of seven years.
The Local Germany