• Germany's news in English

Neo-Nazis march with burning torches through central Berlin

The Local · 5 Dec 2010, 11:48

Published: 05 Dec 2010 11:48 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The group of about 25 neo-Nazis marched through the district until they reached Turmstrasse underground station where they extinguished their torches, according to a report in Sunday’s Berliner Morgenpost.

They then ran off in different directions, but by that time a number of plain-clothes police officers had arrived at the scene and arrested four suspects, confiscating leaflets. The four men aged between 20 and 26 years old are being investigated on suspicion of incitement.

It seems the group were members of the ‘National Liberation Front’, a particularly radical group of neo-Nazis. The motivation for the short march is not clear.

Story continues below…

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

12:46 December 5, 2010 by raandy
Why all the paranoia,in a truly free country everyone has a right to their opinion as long as it is not disruptive. Singing Fascist songs,and carrying a torch,does not mean that tomorrow everyone will,....or does it?????
13:01 December 5, 2010 by ngwanem
@raandy: if a group of muslims walked through a neighborhood in berlin, koran in hand and shouting "Allah is Great", would you have consider it also a total freedom on their part?
14:19 December 5, 2010 by smaky
I would. As well as Christians shouting "Jesus is the greatest shepherd of all" with Bible in their hand. In my holy book it's called "freedom".

BTW: Do you compare Muslims to neo-Nazis? Chutzpah?
14:22 December 5, 2010 by raandy
ngwanem,,ABSOLUTLEY...I believe in religious freedom,,don't you????
15:13 December 5, 2010 by Johnne
@raandy:, you should ask native patriotic responsible Germans & jews that question. I don´t know how it is in your home country but here in Germany, neo-nazi groups are anti-germany.
15:20 December 5, 2010 by rgmx4u
Sh@t go, if the alternative is between nazi songs and holy book humping. How about ignoring both, it might go away all by itself?
15:52 December 5, 2010 by raandy
They are Germans ,Right? ,

I saw a few years ago in NYC where the neo nazis wanted to march through the Jewish neighborhood in the city ,ended up where the police had to provide protection for the nazi group,,how about communist are they also anti-German? You will always have anti somebody, anti German anti american groups are always present ,in a free society they have a right to demonstrate like everybody else,as long as they are peaceful. You also have the right not to listen or watch.
16:36 December 5, 2010 by Rüger
I agree with what the authorities did... Neo nazis have no place in this world..

Should we not try to promote peace rather than hate????
16:54 December 5, 2010 by smaky
It is irrelevant what "native patriotic responsible Germans & Jews" think, only the words in statutes and the law matter. That is what (not only) the patriotic Germans call "Rechtsstaat" after all.

The Fathers of the Basic Law had the opportunity to adopt an exemption clause agains the freedom of speech of neo-Nazis. It would have made sense shortly after the war, yet they did not do that. Therefore, even the neo-Nazis are equal to others as long as they act within the limits of the Basic Law.

In free democratic basic order singing songs must be protected, because " the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market."

In other words, here in Germany is "[d]as Grundrecht auf Meinungsfreiheit ... als unmittelbarster Ausdruck der menschlichen Persönlichkeit in der Gesellschaft eines der vornehmsten Menschenrechte überhaupt. Für eine freiheitlich-demokratische Staatsordnung ist es schlechthin konstituierend.¦quot; (BVerfGE 7, 198 (208) ­ Lüth).
18:09 December 5, 2010 by adipk
game is on, are we going to black era again?
20:20 December 5, 2010 by DOZ
The World be careful. The War on Terrorism is failing, and personal rights in the so-called free countries, is also quickly disappearing for reasons of protection. The climate is almost right for Neo-Nazi type groups to become favourable solutions to the West's failures at eradicating the Terrorists. Remember how Naziism got started in the first place.
20:45 December 5, 2010 by ryhntyntyn
@Smaky You are well off base actually. Neo-Nazis and the not so Neo ones have Meinungsfreiheit, but that doesn't equal Demo-Freiheit or even public expression of those opinions. When they go to get their permits, like everyone else, they have to show that their demo will not violate the law. And open expression of Nazi sympathies is illegal here. So that covers singing Nazi songs in public, or having Hitler as one's ringtone.

"Verboten ist es, seine Nazi-Gesinnung öffentlich zur Schau zu stellen. Und zwar meist unabhängig davon, ob ein Mensch damit politische Ziele durchsetzen will oder z. B. aus Langeweile ein Hakenkreuz in den Bahnwaggon ritzt."

The Bundesverfassungs Gericht has spoken on the subject very thouroughly (BVerfGE 124, 300 [321] and BVerfGE 124, 300 [327f.] This and other rulings allow that laws against expression of Nazi sympathies are exceptional and allowable, despite that they seem violate Meinungsfreiheit because the GG and the Rechtstaatprinzip on which it is founded is literally interpreted as the antithesis of Nazism.
22:46 December 5, 2010 by MaKo
What the (replaced explicative)!!!! What century is this?
01:16 December 6, 2010 by smaky
Oh, am I?

Freedom of speech does not cover public expression of opinion? What a innovative thought! Why do we have it then?

"When they go to get their permits like everyone else" - Everyone else does not need permits, because all Germans shall have the right to assemble peacefully and unarmed without prior notification or permission.

"Meinungsfreiheit, but that doesn't equal Demo-Freiheit." - I agree, it's lex specialis whis still has to be interpreted in the way which protects the freedom of speech,

"open expression of Nazi sympathies is illegal here." - I know it is. As well as Shoah denial and other victimless crimes. I also know that it is not the role of a parliament to legislate history.

"laws against expression of Nazi sympathies are exceptional and allowable" - I know this case and it's exactly what I'm writing about. The freedom of speech finds it limits in the provisions of general laws (Art. 5 II GG). "General" meaning not directed against specific opinion. Karlsruhe says it does not apply to the German Criminal Code because it is an constitutionaly immanent exception from this constitutional imperative. I have three simple questions then: if the Fathers of the Basic Law had the opportunity to adopt an exceptional clause sixty years ago and they did quite the contrary because they didn't think restriction is necessary, can we now go the opposite way without the explicit change of the constitution? Do we need stronger protection now than they needed shortly after a terrible war? Is our society and moral so weak that it will collapse because of plain words?
06:46 December 6, 2010 by wenddiver
Tommorow belongs to them, but only if somebody will loan them bail money tonight, ha, ha!

I am sure they are just high spirited youths, put them in the Army or the Police and ship them of to a foreign country to work of the excess energy. In 10 years they will be 36 and coplaining there isn't enough law and order.
08:18 December 6, 2010 by Johnne
@rhyntyntyn; good one.

@smaky; I guess you´re really proud to be fighting for some neo-nazi rights hmm???? good boy. let me tell you, I know people like you gain from the bad names this country and her citizens get everytime these groups express their stupidity,low-level illiteracy, and anger for their laziness "not unemployement" but laziness. While GERMANS are busy working their *sses off & hustling, these morons carry their hate banners singing nazi songs?? and you quote some unwanted paragraphs that protect their "freedom of speech" what is your own understanding of freedom?? nazism and facism?? I can´t understand why people like you see the truth but close your eyes to it..you know yourself that neo nazi groups represent the ideologies of hitler..are you saying hitler should be celebrated?? I guess you should comment on other articles if this is all you can write about neo-nazis.
09:54 December 6, 2010 by moistvelvet
That image of the black cross with crooked bits on the end, you know the one we are not supposed to mention or see, if it is illegal to show then again I'm just wondering why can The Local use it in their article?
12:55 December 6, 2010 by mixxim
While Governments throughout western Europe continue to ignore the concerns of their people, extremism will grow. These Nazis see numbers of Moslem extremists growing in their midst and their rulers pontificate. If support of nationalist parties attracts condemnation, why not other religious extremists?
19:06 December 6, 2010 by raandy
Come on Johnna,, so you do not like the Neo Nazis .not many people do ... but they should have the chance to demonstrate their stupidity as well as their lack of common sense.to who ever wants to listen..nothing to fear.when everyone has a piece of the socialist pie .
21:15 December 6, 2010 by secondlanguage
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
23:02 December 6, 2010 by Talonx
@ Secondlanguage

Firstly, I think it has less to do with how many Turks are in Berlin and more to do with Merkel and Seehofer throwing Sarrazin a bone and declaring multiculturalism dead after having not really tried it for the 30 years that the term ahs actually existed.

Secondly, I think you are spot on calling out the 'enlightened English speakers'. Though, I highly doubt most of them live in Germany. If they did they would at last have a marginal understanding of the situation concerning nazism. In my opinion, that understanding is, this issue isn't about free speech, it's about protecting the community from people that would seek to physically injur individuals within the community. I would not doubt their violent intent here in Germany or anywhere else in the world. I lived around the corner from where a family was attacked by a group of neonazis on new years eve 2007. Putting it all in perspective though, Germany isn't even in the top 5 when it comes to the number of neonazis in country (even with a ratio correction) and certainly not when it comes to violence from those groups.
10:38 December 7, 2010 by kkiwi54
I think the German anti-nazi laws are extreme (fascistic) and were adopted soon after the war in a misguided attempt to say to the world "look, we're good Germans now". Also, it should be remembered that most nazis were fairly ordinary people, the ones commiting the atrocities were relatively few in number and were obviously very unpleasant people (because of what they did - not because they were nazis). If a few so called "neo-nazis" want to march around acting tough and militaristic - so what! The only thing that matters is whether they hurt anyone - you can't legislate their thoughts.
14:36 December 7, 2010 by Jazzineva
I thank God and Germany that hateful spontaneous demonstrations on the street are illegal as they certainly should be. These empty headed thugs with their torches marched down MY street while I was in bed in pain peacefully watching TV. Talk about disturbing the peace! Even if they don't necessarily refer to Americans when they chant "Ausländer raus!", I was still extremely offended by them. I'd like to see all of them in jail! My only consolation after the incident was in learning they at least caught four of them. Their efforts to incite violence and hatred should not and can not be tolerated. This has nothing whatsoever to do with freedom of speech. They get their legal demos if they want. But screaming at me at the top of their lungs to get out of the country in front of my home on a quiet evening when I'm at rest cannot be justified. I say throw the whole bunch of them in jail!
20:42 December 7, 2010 by kkiwi54
Sounds like you can't tolerate intolerance;)
22:58 December 7, 2010 by Jazzineva
"To remain neutral in situations of injustice, is to be complicit in

that injustice." Desmond Tutu
Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
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
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
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
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd