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Thuringia faces growing neo-Nazi activity

The Local · 16 Nov 2010, 11:07

Published: 16 Nov 2010 11:07 GMT+01:00

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The state Interior Ministry registered some 1,213 criminal offences for 2009, among then the desecration of Jewish memorials with severed pig heads and a hacker attack on the Buchenwald concentration camp website.

But the reported crimes are only a small fraction of what is a much larger problem in the state, said Yvonne Proß, a counsellor at the Thuringian Emergency Service for victims of violence caused by far-right extremism (THO).

“One can be certain that the number of unreported cases is somewhat higher.

Particularly when it comes to victims of violence,” she said.

In addition to physical violence, perpetrators have taken to following, threatening and intimidating their victims.

“Stalking the people without touching them, intimidation methods such as 'home visits,' or putting stickers near apartments – the effects of non-physical violence should not be underestimated,” Proß said.

In these cases, victims can’t prove that a crime has been committed, and many choose not to file police reports for fear of retribution or a bad experience with the authorities.

Filip Heinlein, who sits on the Sonneburg county council for the Green party, was brutally beaten one year ago by three neo-Nazis there, and said that authorities have become part of the problem by downplaying the significance of such attacks.

“Though the perpetrators called out ‘Sieg Heil’ and other anti-Semitic slogans, and some belong to the right-wing extremist group the Freie Kameradschaft in Sonneberg, the judge did not want to recognise what was really behind it,” Heinlein said of his case.

Neo-Nazi groups are taking advantage of this tendency to remain silent within communities, according to MOBIT, a Thuringia-based initiative against far-right activity.

“In recent years we’ve observed more far-right groups settling into club houses and procuring real estate,” MOBIT consultant Christian Rühl said. “Group meetings or neo-Nazi concerts are declared birthdays or private parties. That greatly impedes banning such gatherings.”

In these cases communities have little leverage to prevent such events, he said.

But the advocacy groups have made some progress in working against the trend on a community level, they said.

This year MOBIT will work together on a new initiative with both the Thuringia state sporting association and the football association, Rühl said.

Story continues below…

“It is very welcome that the associations have recognised there is a problem,” he said. “For a long time it was simply ignored.”

State authorities also plan to begin a fiercely disputed programme against extremism this year, the Social Affairs Ministry said. Thuringia opposition politicians have criticised delays in implementing the scheme, in addition to demanding a stronger focus on right-wing extremism.

The state cabinet is expected to approve the initiative by December.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:12 November 16, 2010 by Wabit
I have said this in the past many times and I continue to say it again today and shall continue to say it tomorrow..........

Why oh wny do governments refuse to "Profile" these Neo-Nazi filth!!!!

Release the names of the people involved in such pathetic movements and show the world just what human garbage is responsible for their anti social behaviour!

Let us show the world from under which rock these creatures have have crawled from.ie..

1) Their name

2) Occupation if working

3) How long unemployed if not working

4) Qualifications (if any)

5) Any criminal convictions

6) Same information about their parents although parents not to be named.

Very soon a picture would emerge of the calibre of the members of such movements and in very simple and basic terms it would "Name & Shame" these sick individuals. Yet sadly governments will not do anything like public profiling for we are told that even these sick scum have "Rights".... Well innocent folk are paying a high price to protect the "Rights" of the Noe-Nazi Brigade!!!
15:50 November 16, 2010 by Johnne
yawning,if they like, they should vote for that guy on the pic as the next bkanzler. I think there´s no need of begging the authorities,they´ll wake up someday.
18:44 November 16, 2010 by USMC-Goose
To Wabit, just hope that when the government finally does what you want, that they don't suddenly determine that you need "profiling".

I don't agree with these Nazi a-holes, but as long as they do not infringe on the rights of others, I'll defend their right to think what they want. We have the same problem here in America, the KKK and the Black Panthers are the same organization with differently colored members.

It is a slippery slope you trod upon when taking freedom away from certain groups. I believe that's what happened around the 1930's in Germany if I recall.
20:53 November 16, 2010 by JAMessersmith
Nazi... blah, blah, blah... Nazi... blah, blah, blah...

I get the feeling The Local is somehow obligated to print Nazi stories everyday.
06:11 November 17, 2010 by wenddiver
They'll out grow it. Provide them with jobs, an outlet for their youthful enthusiasim (Afganistan???), a woman to to keep them occupiedwith problems (Maybe we could send you Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan and the cast of Sex and the City), and a leader to apologize for whatever they do (President Obama will be available to lead/apologize for them after 2012), and land to put down roots (North Dakota, Australian outback, Brazil, Downtown Paris, Argentina, or Texas???).
05:17 November 18, 2010 by wouldlike2comeback
well, maybe when germany quits drinking the nazi kool-aide -the leaders themselves will take this threat a little more seriously. what is the excuse nowadays? hummm lets see, you can not blame it on high unemployment, starving people, or having too many Juden around to blame it on. So what is the point of these far right? desacreting Juden cemetaries, for what, the land? dont worry, now you got rid of all us nearly, 60 yrs ago, now you are stuck with so-called problematic turks, and muslims/arabs. the same ones mr hitler made a pact with 60 odd years ago, with the mufti. so now they think its okay to take over germany, how ironic. enjoy, your new populations germans!!

before long you wil be wishing to have your Juden back in a NY heartbeat. in the last century we took 129 nobel prizes, how many have the arabs taken, what's thatyou say? only 7? is it because they are mostly hell bent on destruction rather than constuctive inventions like we do? and dont worry nobama will not be around in office after his term is up...most likely.
11:29 November 19, 2010 by mixxim
Are those who spray anti police or abusive graffiti on walls so much better than those who spray a swastica on the wall? Do the Russians have pro Stalin graffiti in stations?

Are the Vikings who murdered and pillaged throughout Europe so much better? (OK they did not have gas!)
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