• Germany's news in English
 

Neo-Nazi ban compared to persecution of Jews

Published: 21 Dec 2012 11:07 GMT+01:00

"I like to remind people of the Third Reich," Christian Democratic Union politician Marco Schulz wrote in the Pommernblog, a conservative news blog in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. "There certain citizens were even marked so everyone could see that this person was an enemy of the state, because of their opinion or religion. ... I personally can't and won't accept it when people in our democratic society are prejudiced against because of their point of view."

Schulz was responding to a local controversy where CDU councillors sat down with two NPD counterparts for a coffee in a local bar, during a break in a council meeting.

The meeting was photographed by the Anklam's independent mayor himself Michael Galander, who told the regional Nordkurier newspaper that he'd wanted to document who was taking the fight against Nazis seriously. "They definitely weren't talking about the gardening," he said, before adding that he didn't want to publish the photos, but keep them for his personal "political diary."

The mayor's actions caused its own controversy among the CDU, whose local council leader Karl-Dieter Lehrkamp told the Nordkurier, "My colleagues thought it was a silly joke at first. These Stasi methods by the mayor do not help build mutual trust."

Lehrkamp also defended his councillors' meeting as mere politeness. He said the CDU had always sat at the same table in that bar, and at some point the NPD's Michael Andrejewski had asked if he could join them. "What would you do if someone asked you that question in a public bar?" he said, and underlined that the CDU was not in official dialogue with the NPD.

Following the many outraged comments on his blog post, Schulz backtracked on its message. "If I offended anyone with my article, then I apologize," he told the paper, saying that he had now seen that his formulation had been liable to misinterpretation. He had not meant to present the NPD as victims. "I stand for a free democratic order and do not tolerate anyone who violates that."

Schulz, a member of both the Anklam town council and the Vorpommern-Greifswald district council, also works as a police officer and was previously a mayoral candidate.

The German parliament is currently attempting to ban the NPD in the Federal Constitutional Court, on the grounds that its positions directly threaten the German constitution.

But a former constitutional court judge, Dieter Grimm, wrote to Bundestag President Norbert Lammert this week, warning that the NPD's statements could simply be dismissed as xenophobia and racism, and not a direct threat to the German constitution.

Grimm also warned that even a successful bid would face a stern challenge from the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

The Local/DAPD/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

12:13 December 21, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
'There certain citizens were even marked so everyone could see that this person was an enemy of the state, because of their opinion or religion. ... I personally can't and won't accept it when people in our democratic society are prejudiced against because of their point of view.'

One big difference. The Jews and other persecuted groups were forced to wear markings.
15:09 December 21, 2012 by jg.
The NPD look a lot more like the Nazis than any of the Nazis' victims.
18:40 December 21, 2012 by StoutViking
OK, now I truly seen it all...

If he would have compared them to persecuted communists and anarchists at the time, I would have understood but... Wait, maybe it's a joke and we simply don't get it?
Today's headlines
Mediterranean migrant crisis
Germany to take most in refugee quota project
The German navy rescues refugees in the Mediterranean. Photo: DPA.

Germany to take most in refugee quota project

Germany found out on Wednesday it will have to take in the largest number of refugees under the European Commission's new quota system which aims to rehouse 60,000 people over the next two years. READ  

Foreign investors rate Germany Europe's best
A worker assembling motors at a Magdeburg factory. Photo: DPA

Foreign investors rate Germany Europe's best

Germany is behind only China and the USA as a destination for foreign investment, a study has shown. READ  

Cologne evacuates 20,000 after bomb find
The bomb is burrowed deep in the ground. Photo: DPA

Cologne evacuates 20,000 after bomb find

Authorities In Cologne have begun the biggest evacuation since Second World War of around 20,000 people after a 1,000 kg bomb was found in the north-east of the city. READ  

Merkel 'deceived' public on No-Spy treaty
Photo: DPA

Merkel 'deceived' public on No-Spy treaty

Chancellor Angela Merkel's government tricked the public into believing the USA was prepared to sign a so-called 'no-spy agreement' with Germany ahead of elections in 2013, a report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung claimed on Wednesday. READ  

Forbes: Merkel still world's mightiest woman
Photo: DPA

Forbes: Merkel still world's mightiest woman

Chancellor Angela Merkel tops the Forbes list of the world's most powerful women for the fifth straight year but Hillary Clinton is snapping at her heels, the magazine said on Tuesday. READ  

German public shop with renewed confidence
People throng the halls of the Milaneo shopping centre in Stuttgart. Photo: DPA

German public shop with renewed confidence

Consumer confidence in Germany is at its highest in 13.5 years, as the positive economic outlook and low inflation persuade consumers to open their purses, a poll found on Wednesday. READ  

Shocked fishermen hook a shell of a catch
Locals enjoy the normally tranquil Seeburger See

Shocked fishermen hook a shell of a catch

A couple of friends who went for a quiet spot of fishing on Lake Seeburg in Lower Saxony on Monday got the fright of their life when they pulled up their net to find an artillery shell inside. READ  

10 facts to celebrate Leipzig's 1,000th birthday
Leipzig's impressive skyline. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

10 facts to celebrate Leipzig's 1,000th birthday

This weekend the city of Leipzig is celebrating its 1,000th anniversary, since it was first mentioned by the chronicler Thietmar of Merseburg in 1015. The Local gives some insight into one of Germany's most vibrant cities. READ  

Police tighten borders ahead of German G7
File photo: DPA

Police tighten borders ahead of German G7

German authorities have reintroduced border controls two weeks before the leaders of the G7 economies gather in Elmau, southern Bavaria. READ  

North Germany feels pain of Russia sanctions
Photo: DPA file photo

North Germany feels pain of Russia sanctions

Schleswig Holstein's exports to Russia have dropped by 31 percent, state finance minister Reinhard Meyer said in comments reported by the Hamburger Abendblatt on Tuesday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Travel
Why the train strike is bad for passengers and workers
National
Meet Germany's Eurovision hope
Business & Money
Is 2015 a new moment for jobsharing?
Features
How the LGBT rights movement was born in Germany
National
Why you don't make bomb jokes at the airport
National
Why Germany needs a little less tipple
National
Who Germans and Americans trust... and don't
Politics
What the UK election means for Germany
National
Why Germany is great for mums
Features
The Germans with GI dads
Five ways Germany falls short on gay rights
Travel
Giant tortoise found riding Munich rail
National
FCK CPS? A-OK with court
Politics
Opinion: Brexit's dangers for Germany
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
National
Minister shows off top Denglisch
National
Germany's 'other genocide' in Africa
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,641
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd