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'Only a neo-Nazi ban will force the police to act'
Photo: DPA

'Only a neo-Nazi ban will force the police to act'

Published: 06 Dec 2012 14:23 GMT+01:00

The premiers of the country's 16 federal states, which comprise the upper house of parliament, on Thursday voted unanimously to outlaw the the far-right party despite concerns it could fail like an effort in 2003.

Funke said a successful ban and the consistent and decisive prosecution of neo-Nazis would be a fitting response to the shocking racist murders of nine people across Germany by the so-called National Socialist Underground (NSU), a neo-Nazi terror gang.

"It would a legacy that would show respect to the victims and their families - it would be a suitable reaction," said Funke, a professor at Berlin's Free University Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science.

It would also force the police and intelligence services to crack down on far-right violence and intimidation, he said.

Only Germany's Constitutional Court has the power to ban a political party - and it requires an application from either the upper or lower house of parliament, or the government to consider the idea. That application must be backed with legal arguments and proof to show that a party is aggressively working against the constitution.

"It is possible but it depends on making the proposal carefully and this is where the real work will be needed. They have to ensure that the material submitted is free of influence from informants," he said.

The 2003 attempt to ban the NPD failed when it emerged that undercover informants for the intelligence services were behind much of the evidence showing the party was anti-constitutional.

Careful checks to restore credibility

Funke said any submission for a ban should only be made once an independent investigator had checked the files for any hint of informant involvement. This could be a way for the police and intelligence agencies to restore their badly damaged credibility in the eyes of the court, he suggested.

"The Constitutional Court might not believe the submission was clean of informants, but an independent investigation could help to clear that up," he said.

The NPD was, he said, a neo-Nazi organisation, acting as the political arm of groups some of which had already been banned for outright for violence and outright fascism.

"Some liberals want to have the party out in the open, and of course that is a reasonable argument. But there is a problem with that - I think even in comparison to other West European democracies - a big problem: We have about 1,000 violent attacks a year, at least. We have 13,000 active and potentially violent neo-Nazis, and this continues."

He said there was a direct link between the NPD and aggressive neo-Nazis who attack or intimidate people on the bus or in the street. "It feeds them ideologically and gives them a sense of legitimacy.

"These violent guys or the gang use this party - they join and then leave again depending on circumstances. And although the party says that de jure there is no link, de facto there is."

A ban to force the police to act

And not only does the fig-leaf of legitimacy need to be removed from the NPD's supporters, Funke said just as important was that banning the party would force the police and security services to take the subject seriously.

"There is a playing down and denial of the problem, like you saw with many people [from the authorities] giving evidence to the commission of inquiry into the NSU attacks. People were saying it wasn't their problem, and that the real danger was presented by Islamists - and before that they were focussing on the [left-wing terror group active in the 1970s and 1980s] RAF."

He said this was demonstrated by the statement of Kurt Biedenkopf, the former state premier of Saxony who once said Saxons were "immune to right-wing extremism."

And the police and intelligence services needed to be shaken awake and forced to take the problem seriously. "They are not in good shape, we have seen that," he said, referring to the catalogue of serious errors of practice and judgement made across many security services during the years that the NSU terror gang were committing racial murders.

A decisive move was needed to force German democratic forces to be strong enough to deal with the problem of right wing extremism, he said.

"This is the first chance we have had since reunification to ban the party, and we need to stop that racist, anti-Semitic shit," he said.

Hannah Cleaver (hannah.cleaver@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

15:13 December 6, 2012 by maxbrando
When will you Germans learn that you cannot outlaw ideas? You have made this mistake several times before. Fools need to called out and debated, and foolish ideas need to be outed and ridiculed./ Criminals need to be prosecuted.
16:27 December 6, 2012 by american25276
the nazi's already got there a**s handed to them once its not like they can do anything
18:26 December 6, 2012 by sonriete
An interesting opinion piece presented as a news article. He says this is the first chance since reunification to ban the party. Really?? I thought something was done in 2001 and rejected, and that having done that it swelled up the party's support. They say there is a 50% chance it will work this time, that is also means 50% chance it will be rejected again, probably with the same consequences. If that is the case they will win more votes and hence be awarded more of our tax money. When one has a strong opinion about something, there is always a strong temptation to leave out the inconvenient facts to make your case look better, but that is not how it will be argued in Karlsruhe .
19:53 December 6, 2012 by Kennneth Ingle
Were the other political parties to represent the population, not just their own clientele, the nationalists would have little chance to form a successful party. As it is, no party in parliament deserves to be called a representative of the German citizens.

The Neo Nazis use this deficit for their own purposes. A real democracy would not have this problem!

Of course there will always be extremists in the field of politics (left and right), just as there are in religions, but to forbid such organisations just forces them into the underground. It does nothing to remedy the roots of the trouble, that can only be achieved by having the better arguments.

In this case, despite all the brainwashing done by the media, little has been said which might convince anybody with a set opinion.

Fear is always a bad master. It would seem that this call for a ban, is nothing more than the fright of losing voters to the NPD, rather than fighting extremism. There have been times, when both the Greens and Linkspartei were regarded as extremists, why do they still exist?
21:22 December 6, 2012 by TheCrownPrince
A democratic system doesn't need to tolerate a party that wants to abolish the system itself. The Nazis once claimed loudly and proudly that they would use the democratic institutions of the Weimar Republic only to destroy them in the end. In contrast to anglo-american traditions in Germany the basic right of free speech is NOT sacrosanct. It's one of the most important basic rights, sure, but only one basic right among others and open for weighing up with other basic rights and constitutional principles. If the constitutional court has enough evidence that a party is actively plotting against the democratic system which is enshrined in the constitution, then a ban will be (and must be) the consequence. Everything else would be a paradoxon.
22:40 December 6, 2012 by wxman
Surpressing bad ideas by surpressing ideas is not the answer. Totalitarianism with good intentions is no better than totalitarianism with bad intentions.
15:46 December 7, 2012 by libsarescum
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
18:40 December 7, 2012 by LightningSun33
I really don't even understand this. Do they actually think they can get rid of NS people by outlawing a party? And are they actually silly enough to think that NS equals hate/skinhead/et cetera? No matter what they do, no matter what they "outlaw", those NS people who live in Germany will still be there and will always be there. Why doesn't the government do more productive things with their time than trying to outlaw the NPD? There are plenty of important issues in Germany that need to be addressed.
04:14 December 8, 2012 by Johannantoinette
Yes, Thecrownprince, and many HAPPILY voted for them for it. Many would choose a righteous benevollent dictator over corrupt "democracy" anyday.

american25276, seems like you too are having your asses being handed to you. that doesn't stop us from learning from our mistakes and modernize ourselves to become a movement of 21st century. Look at you allied countris today, in such a sorry state you are.
05:13 December 8, 2012 by Matt in Florida
One day Germany will be free again, until the occupation of the American forces is gone, it is still under Uncle Sam's thumb. It's time to let Germany be Germany again. USA would not allow foreign troops inside it's borders? The war is over 1945. Let Germany enjoy the same freedom the USA does.
17:39 December 8, 2012 by raandy
Banning the party is extreme itself.I doubt doing so will solve the core problems that attract people to it.A similar attempt was tried and failed in 2003.

I would think letting them voice their arguments in parliament and then defeating them is better than silencing them or forcing them underground.
19:26 December 8, 2012 by Heidegger555
The central question is:

Will nationalist sentiment in Germany automatically be labelled as 'neo-nazi,' for all eternity??

To those familiar with the language of the mass media in the BRD the answer is obviously yes. People who are not intimately familiar with the pervasive culture of self-hatred in what remains of Germany will have a hard time understanding this.
20:52 December 8, 2012 by Leo Strauss
@Heidegger555

Perhaps you meant patriotic instead of "nationalist" when you posed this very important question?
23:09 December 8, 2012 by Heidegger555
@Leo Strauss

Patriotism is irreconcilable with the parasitic BRD which daily acts against the interests of the German people. A nationalist is a patriot who understands the history and the political problem today and believes that this 'Dem deutschen Volke' still means something.

How about this: "Lang lebe das deutsche Reich !!" Illegal to say this in the BRD?? Is this a 'nazi' phrase?? For certain 'patriotic pride' in the German history, people, culture, language, scientific achievements, etcetera, also gets thrown under the bus.
13:26 December 9, 2012 by Leo Strauss
@Heidegger555

OK, so you see yourself as the original 19th century German nationalists did, fighting against a foreign occupier here in Germany?
16:24 December 9, 2012 by Heidegger555
@Leo Strauss

How I see myself is irrelevant; the German nation first existed over a thousand years ago so 'original 19th century nationalists' is very misleading; the fight against the foreign occupiers (and their numerous German helpers) at this point in time is being fought at the level of awareness/media; the situation both in the BRD and the greater west is so unique to our times that I don't see the parallel it seems you are aiming at.
19:45 December 9, 2012 by Leo Strauss
@Heidegger555

I agree with your thoughts regarding the state of things here in Germany and the West at the moment.

I brought up the 19th century nationalists because, as you know, there was no national consciousness of what it meant to be German before this time. Yes, there was perhaps a German nation a thousand years ago as you say, but that is a modern idea that we have assigned to these peoples who would have identified themselves with their tribes and later with their kingdoms and duchies rather than "Germany" or even Germania, which was a Roman concept.

I would describe myself as a patriot rather than a nationalist but each has to decide for himself. Iss jut- ich will nicht mit Dir streiten, und wir sollten nicht. Iss nur eine Kleinigkeit. :)

PS Do you listen to Christoph Hörstel?
22:30 December 9, 2012 by Heidegger555
Ja Strauss dass will ich auch nicht. Entschuldigung wegen meinen Ton... hab die Denkrichtung deiner paar Fragen irgendwie falsch interpretiert. Schon gut. Nein Christoph Hoerstel kenne ich nicht. Frohen Advent.
22:45 December 9, 2012 by Leo Strauss
@Heidegger555

Dir auch. Und ein frohes Julfest dazu. :)
11:40 December 12, 2012 by LecteurX
Hello and sorry for the interruption of your nice little chat and for reverting to the language used on this site - which also happens to be the language of the foreign colonial occupier... As a foreigner living in Germany (*shudder*), I would be keen to better understand the point made by Leo Strauss and Heidegger555 so it would be great if they could explain what they mean by:

- "what remains of Germany" -> Does that mean that Germany is shrinking or disappearing and if so in which sense?

- "parasitic BRD that daily acts against the interests of the German people" -> What are those "interests of the German people"? In which way does the BRD act against them? What would you call acting in favour of these "interests"? What regime / ruler of the past best examplifies this?

I'm asking it very plainly and it sounds stupid, but the thing is, I already have an idea of which answers you might have (no, I'm not thinking of the 3rd Reich...) but because your points were very vague, I thought it would be better to get you to explain them so that I know what you exactly talk about rather than just guessing - and possibly guessing wrong.

Thanks!
14:05 December 12, 2012 by Heidegger555
"what remains of Germany" can be interpreted not only geographically as we all know, but more importantly,by approaching the culture and the language,The the educational system, the image this people has of itself. Go see the sh-tty Lion King musical in Hamburg or whatever other crap has been shipped over from the usa... "pop culture" (vomit) in the land of Bach, Beethoven, and Wagner... listen to the German that the kids are speaking on the Ubahn... and I don't mean the turkish 'Germans' or what have you. This is the land that few generations ago was the world leader in so many diverse fields it would take half a day to count them all. In the usa it used to be you could not get a PhD without learning German. That reminds me we now we have the 4 year/Bachelor's Degree idea imported from the usa as well.

The German family is dying out, the German people are dying out. 1.3 babies for every 2 Germans... 2.1 is the bare minimum needed to sustain a country. Of course the figure is actually much lower than 1.3 as about 33% of all the newborns in the country are sub-saharan Africans, Arabs,Turks, Russians, on and on.

The state is a parasite in that it transfers the great wealth and potential of this land to the E.U., to the Israelis, to the bankers, to the millions of immigrants who offer ZERO to this/our people, all in a very transparent effort to accelerate the process of utterly stamping out the German-ness of the people living in the center of Europe.

It is illegal to question in any profound way the path we have taken the last 80 years... but it's ok to say 'fick den Deutschen, scheiss auf den Deutschen, etc...' Volksverraeter ex-foreign minister Joshka Fischer has pretty much said the same thing, albeit in a somewhat more banal vein.

Does this answer your question??
17:57 December 12, 2012 by LecteurX
Heidegger - Thank you for your honest answer, though it's incomplete. You didn't tell me what would be a way to defend what you called the "interests of the German people" and which regime / ruler was best at doing that in history. I'd be keen to read this from you.

Even those "interests" are still unclear to me, apart from, as I can understand from your post, preserving the language, culture and ethnicity of the German people and possibly in the purest possible form and with little foreign influence (at best without foreign diplomas or musicals). I don't know if that's the way to guarantee a happy society, but anyway, let me tell you where I disagree with that opinion:

1. The BRD has achieved nothing short of a miracle: making Germany one of the most prosperous and respected nations in the world. This definitely worked in favour of the German people. In 1945, the Germans were starving and had been bombed back into Stone Age. Building prosperity was one of the best things the BRD has done for its people, as opposed to the previous regimes, which brought Germany on the brink of annihilation through suicidal wars.

2. What is the "German people"? Just like most Europeans, the Germans of today (minus the recent immigrants) are the descendents of white Europeans who kept mixing with each other for centuries. In the case of the Germans, the majority of these ancestors, but not all of them, had been ancient Germanic tribes speaking Germanic languages. Did the Celts, the Wends or the Huguenots leave Germany at some point or did they eventually blend in? It's obvious around Berlin that Slavs used to live in the area for a long time and left traces of their language in the names of towns and villages. Genetically speaking, any white person is as much at home in Germany as anywhere else in Europe.

3. I come from a country which also has a great past and is quite defensive about its language and culture, and I hear the same tired arguments there, sometimes. But before American pop culture was popular in Germany, you had King Friedrich der Große who would speak and write in French rather than in German. That's just the way things come and go with cultures and languages.

4. Being a foreigner here makes me strongly disagree with your statement about the immigrants "who offer ZERO to Germany"... For example, French immigration in Germany produced the Gendarmenmarkt, Theodor Fontane, the asparagus craziness and lots of everyday words. It is possibly the same with most groups coming in. Even Beethoven was half-Dutch. That's before we mention the skilled foreigners contributing to the German economy.

5. Why is Joschka Fischer a Volksverräter? I looked up this term and it sounds like a word that's very much favoured by some circles of people I'd rather have nothing to do with. Fischer's enduring popularity shows he can't have had it all wrong.

I don't think we're gonna agree here, but if you care to answer, I'll read what you write.
00:18 December 13, 2012 by Heidegger555
You are talking about the Indo-European peoples, the Germans are the most distinct ethnic group in that lot, the Celts/Gauls to the west, the Slavs to the east. Yes there has been a good of mixing between these groups (go to Italy)... but generally the Germans have remained homogeneous through the centuries. Maybe genetically speaking they are dominant opposed to the celtic... most of England is about 85-90% Anglo-Saxon ie. German, same for the Netherlands and a big slice of northern France. These people created what we know today as the 'modern' white world, USA, Canada, Australia, and so on.

I referred to the 'millions' of non-european immigrants who basically are busy setting up parallel societies in the heart of Germany and who have little or no respect for the language/customs/culture, and who without the generous aid offered by the socialist international (BRD) would never be there in the first place. I can understand that one could easily misinterpret my statement... let me clarify, I have absolutely no problem with my fellow europeans who want to live in Germany, providing they respect this land and its' people, difficult as that may be with the daily negative bombardment that our enemies' shower down upon us.
14:53 December 13, 2012 by LecteurX
Most of your post reads like folkish mythology to me... You totally lost me about the Germans being the most "distinct" and "homogeneous" of Indo-European peoples, Heidegger. A big part of current Southern and Western Germany were Celtic lands for centuries until the "Great Migrations" (or "Invasions", for the Romans) took place; lots of place-names there have proven Celtic origins, like Trier, Mainz, Worms, Mosel, possibly Wien too, etc, which is not surprising since the regions around the Alps were the heartland of the first Celtic cultures, from where the Celts then expanded to other areas. If the original names stayed on, then so did the people...

Same thing in current eastern Germany with all the Slavic names. There are lots of German people with common German surnames which are originally Slavic, like for example Kretschmer (and all the variants), which is originally Sorbic or Czech (Krčmár means "innkeeper"). There's nothing good or bad about that, it's just the facts, which are better than myths.

Also, Germany's location in the centre of Europe, along the path of many trade roads, made it a good place for foreigners to settle, armies to invade, etc, every time making the area less "homogeneous".

Even Immanuel Kant claimed he had Scottish ancestors, because there were so many Scots in the Memel area back then.

I don't know what you mean by Germans being "genetically dominant as opposed to the Celtic", but that is at best very very lousy "science". In any case, there are lots of places in Europe with Germanic names, where people nevertheless don't speak a Germanic language, because the original Gallo-Roman culture/language survived and the Germanic "invaders", after conquering the place, blended in and eventually became Latinized. Just a few examples include: Lombardy, Catalonia (Gothlandia), Burgundy, Andalusia, Normandy, Lorraine, or indeed, France.

I see you are indeed a very staunch nationalist. There is possibly nothing wrong with that (except that German nationalism almost destroyed Germany - twice) but I fail to see why there is a need to be so defiant of the BRD and of foreigners, or to invent a mythical past to be proud of. Germany's real past is great enough without having to invent myths. Germany's present is great too: never has the country been so wealthy, admired and respected, never has the German language been so popular and taught abroad. When Schiller and Goethe were writing their greatest works, the German nobility would still speak German only to their servants and to their horses.

I don't know how much "respect" you expect from foreigners but most Germans around me seem to be happy with my attitude and that of most other foreigners. One thing I know for sure, is that if the majority of Germans around me spoke like you and said stuff like "Volksverräter" and "genetic dominance" and all that, I would have left the country pretty quick and never looked back.

Good day to you.
16:46 December 13, 2012 by Heidegger555
"German nationalism almost destroyed Germany twice"

This is a completely laughable phrase. Learn the real history.

Genetics: it is what it is, regardless of whether I say it or not. Generally speaking the white ie. indo-european races will be dominated when mixed with whoever... I merely supposed that within the indo-european family the germanic tends to dominate over and against the celtic... this by way of explaining why England is roughly 85/90% anglo-saxon origin. Let me say again I am not an expert by any means and would more than welcome true expert opinions.

Names of places, when who spoke French and what have you, proves nothing.

Let me say again, that until roughly 120 years ago the Germans (much like the Polish) were the most ethnically homogeneous in Europe... this despite being in the crossroads and all the wars.

Germany has "never been so respected and admired..." Yeah sure I see that all the time in the mass media, in the movies, in the newspapers. As soon as someone throws out the absurd idea that the German people should run their own country people start bleating "neo-nazi neo-nazi." When a German criticizes the regime in Israel it's "anti-semite" and "Holocaust!!" That's respect and admiration let me tell you.

Remember: China for the Chinese, Nigeria for the Nigerians, Mexico for the Mexicans, Korea for the Koreans, Iran for the Iranians, Germany for whoever the fck wants to knock on the door.
21:32 December 13, 2012 by blacksunne88
The NPD is a democratic people's party representing German interests.That is why it must be banned. Only professional fools and traitors are welcome in the so-called Federal Republic's political system. Germany has been a colony since 1945 and everyone knows it. So spare us the charade.
11:03 December 15, 2012 by Sastry.M
Why should the so called 'democratic nations' in the West resort to 'force good' diktats? What is the democratic virtue upheld by a government which forces the manifesto of any party which speaks of national interest onto a branded tag as Nazi? Is it indicative of championing free speech? Was it not the intelligence head of Nazi Regime who was contracted to institute the C.I.A under the leadership of Allen Dulles? How come the free speech and democratic governances of erstwhile middle east dictatorships could be accommodated with super west recognition in earlier decades and suddenly turned sour at the 21'st beginning?

Even the present Federal German Governments in the Berlin parliament houses dedicated "Dem Deutschen Volke" nationally had fallen in disfavor for failing to comply with democratic virtues of their western partners beginning Iraq and as latest as the Libyan Replacement. Looks like the motto of present day humanity is to 'sprinkle death by democracy and create confusion with irresponsible free speech' and yet not change the possessive gravitational pull of the Earth even by a milligram.
21:31 December 17, 2012 by LecteurX
Heidegger - One of the greatest things that ever came out of Europe (and mostly out of Germany) is modern science. It is quite unfortunate that most of your posts consistently belie this wonderful heritage of modern rationality and propagate outdated fairytales and discredited mytholgy instead.

So, back on Planet Science, according to most academic research on the genetic history of European peoples, Europe is the most genetically homogeneous continent, and it has been observed and proved through the study of various genetical markers that the various peoples that inhabit this continent: they are remarkably similar to each other on genetic level. The very few European populations that show a high level of "internal homogeneity" and are significantly distinct from other Europeans' genetic background are the few geographically isolated non Indo-European peoples (the Sami of Lapland, Finns, Basques, but not the Magyars of Hungary) plus a few insular Indo-European peoples that remained considerably isolated for long periods of time, mostly Icelanders and Sardinians, and to a lesser degree, the insular Greeks. The other populations of Europe show some genetic variation towards each other, but only to a very small degree, with very small "genetic distances" from people to people. Please refer to Luigi Cavalli-Sforza's publications on the matter.

There is no academic consensus on the genetic heritage of the current English population, but most research supports the view of over 50% of pre-Germanic heritage (Celtic and even pre-Celtic). Any serious linguistical and cultural study of England reveals that a couple of Celtic languages survived several English regions well into the Middle Ages, in particular Cornish of Cornwall that was widely spoken until the 17th century. The population of Britannia became English-speaking (ie culturally Germanic) through social and economic processes, and to a lesser degree only, ethnic factors.

But then anyway, "Germanic", "Celtic" or "Slavic" peoples are much more defined as ethno-linguistic groups and certainly not as clearly established gene pools.

You will find that Mexico, China, Nigeria and Iran are culturally, ethnically and genetically far more diverse than Germany or that the whole of Europe; Korea is a bit of an exception, indeed a remarkably homogeneous place.

But then I was not aware that Germans were not running their own country. They're even accused of running Europe! Who is running Germany then?
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