Right wing group tricks state into selling manor

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18 Oct, 2011 Updated Tue 18 Oct 2011 11:01 CEST
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A person suspected of being associated with an alleged neo-Nazi group has bought a manor from the state of Thuringia, apparently breaking rules on selling state property to extremists.

It was sold earlier this year for about €320,000 to a woman who claimed she wanted to hold seminars there and rent the building to others.

But according to the website of Der Spiegel, no-one apparently noticed that she was also a known member of a group called Memorial, which claims to remember the German victims of World War II.

This group is widely considered a front for neo-Nazis and holocaust deniers. In a letter seen by the Thüringer Allgemeine newspaper, the group's head Wolfram Schiedewitz invites members to the manor and describes World War II as Germany’s “fight for existence.”

He declined to comment on the invitation but confirmed that the building would be a club meeting place.

Fabian Virchow, a specialist on extremists at the Düsseldorf University, said the purchase was part of a strategy “of the extreme right to build and strengthen their infrastructure.”

Because the club doesn’t officially own the manor, it has been able to skirt regulations banning the sale of government property to extremists, he told Spiegel

Martina Renner, a spokeswoman for the Left party in Thuringia’s parliament, called the situation a “scandal” and said the state should investigate how the sale was allowed to happen.

But because the sale was legal, it appears nothing can be done about it.

The Local/mdm

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2011/10/18 11:01

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