• Germany's news in English

Squabbling neo-Nazis set for election drubbing

AFP/The Local · 31 Jul 2009, 14:55

Published: 31 Jul 2009 14:55 GMT+02:00

The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution’s (BfV) Brandenburg and Saxony Anhalt branches believe the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD) and the German People’s Union (DVU) have squandered support they built up at previous elections.

At the Potsdam launch of a campaign against right-wing extremism, Winfriede Schreiber, head of the Brandenburg branch, said the dissolution of the “Germany pact” between the parties had “clearly weakened” the far-right camp.

Under the electoral pact, the parties had agreed not to run candidates against one another. Its dissolution means the parties are likely to split the far-right vote.

Volker Limburg, head of the Saxony-Anhalt office, said right-wing extremists in his state had failed to build the cross-state networks necessary to fight in September's federal and state elections.

The trend within the scene is moving towards more isolated and regional right-wing extremist groups, he said.

The NPD has been relying on using loosely organised neo-nazi gangs to build local support, he said.

The prediction follows fears of rising neo-Nazi violence, with recent figures showing a 30 percent rise last year in far-right crime.

The NPD now holds seats in the state parliaments of Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania but the DVU holds none. Neither party has won the necessary 5 percent federally to gain a seat in the Bundestag, the lower house of parliament.

The far-right scene has had only limited success recruiting new members, the BfV said. In Saxony-Anhalt, the number of party members sank in the past year from 350 to 280.

The number of autonomous far-right supporters dwindled from 270 to 240. In Brandenburg, however, the NPD managed to attract 50 new members to grow to 300.

The NPD and, in particular, its youth wing, the Junge Nationaldemokraten are increasingly dominated by neo-nazis, Limburg said. Senior party officials move freely between the party structure and the neo-nazi scene.

Story continues below…

Furthermore, the Organisation of Neo-Nazis in Comradeship, which represented autonomous nationalists, seems largely to have broken up.

In its place, loosely connected organisations have cropped up, mostly on the internet, Schreiber said. Cross-state cooperation was “rare if it happened at all.”

Currently there are 25 far-right groups in Brandenburg and 16 in Saxony-Anhalt. They often use concerts as meeting points, he added.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
This Week in History
75 years since one of Holocaust's worst massacres
Photo: DPA

On Thursday, German president Joachim Gauck spoke in Kiev 75 years after the Nazis slaughtered 33,771 Jews during one of the worst single massacres of the Holocaust.

Six things you need to know about troubled Deutsche Bank

Shares in Deutsche bank plunged on Friday morning, dragging down other European banks and markets worldwide. Here are six things to know about Germany's biggest lender.

Deutsche Bahn jacks up prices for first time in 3 years
Photo: DPA

Germany's main rail provider, the state-owned Deutsche Bahn (DB), announced on Friday that it will raise prices on long-distance train travel.

Baby found alive in suitcase with skeleton in Hanover
File photo: DPA.

A baby has been found alive, along with the skeleton of another infant inside of a suitcase in Hanover, police reported on Friday.

Morocco to speed up repatriation of illegal migrants
Photo: DPA

Morocco has agreed to streamline the procedures for the repatriation of citizens living illegally in Germany, the royal court said late on Thursday.

890,000 refugees arrived in Germany last year - not 1.1m
Photo: DPA

Previous reports had suggested that around 1.1 million people entered Germany to seek asylum last year. But now the German government has confirmed the number was actually lower.

Racist attacks cast cloud over Dresden Unity Day planning
A police vehicle in Dresden. Photo: DPA.

As Dresden prepares to host Germany’s national Unity Day celebrations on Monday, the capital of the eastern state of Saxony is upping security after a mosque was targeted by a homemade bomb.

Sinking Deutsche Bank stock sends shock across Europe
Photo: DPA

Shares in Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank plummeted on the Frankfurt stock market on Friday, dragging other European banks and global markets down with it, after reports some customers were pulling money out.

The Local List
10 things you never knew about German reunification
Reunification celebrations in Hanover in 2014. Photo: DPA

With German Unity Day (October 3rd) happening on Monday, Germans are looking forward to a three-day weekend. But did you know these facts about reunification and German Unity Day?

Munich pharmacy’s nighttime porno show draws crowd
Photo: DPA

When a police patrol in Munich's Sendlinger Tor area noticed a crowd gathered outside a pharmacy window they went to investigate. But the onlookers weren't interested in a new line of flu medicine.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd