Neo-Nazi Politics: Germany Preparing Renewed Effort to Ban the NPD - News - International
A past attempt to ban Germany’s far-right National Democratic Party failed, but alleged connections between the party and a murderous neo-Nazi terror cell have sparked renewed efforts. State interior ministers reportedly plan to create another proposal for outlawing the NPD.
As alleged ties emerge between Germany’s far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) and a murderous neo-Nazi terror cell, a growing chorus of politicians are calling for a ban on the party — and fast.
“The NPD-ban needs to happen now,” Saxony-Anhalt state governor Reiner Haseloff told daily Bild on Friday, adding that there was little doubt as to the organization’s unconstitutionality. “That they have maintained contact with the militant scene seems evident to me. In short: a confident, watchful democracy must deal with this threat.”
The renewed talk of an NPD ban is the result of Tuesday’s arrest of former NPD official Ralf Wohlleben, who is suspected of providing a gun for a trio of neo-Nazis who are thought to have murdered nine people of foreign origin and a policewoman. Police allege that 36-year-old Wohlleben was an accessory to six of the killings.
The case of the so-called Zwickau cell, named after the town where the group lived, has shocked Germans and brought “shame” to the nation, Chancellor Angela Merkel has said. Their alleged connection to the NPD, which holds seats in the state parliaments of Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in the east, could now be instrumental for advocates of banning the party.
Ole Schröder, a senior Interior Ministry official and member Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats, says that the alleged role of former NPD official Wohlleben in the case is decisive. “The investigators must now analyze whether Wohlleben was involved in the Zwickau terror cell intrigues on order from the NPD, or with the party’s knowledge,” he told daily Hamburger Abendblatt on Friday. “Was it an action by a party or an individual crime — this question will be decisive in the debate over an NPD ban.”