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Central memorial agreed for neo-Nazi victims

The Local · 20 Nov 2011, 10:11

Published: 20 Nov 2011 10:11 GMT+01:00

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The Bundestag lower house of parliament has held talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel and German President Christian Wulff over the most appropriate way to remember the murder victims, parliament chief Norbert Lammert said.

"We are all agreed that there should be an event," he told the Tagesspiegel Sunday edition.

“How such a commemoration should take place depends on the views and expectations of the victims' families," he added.

Germany is reeling after the recent discovery of a small far-right group believed to be responsible for the unsolved murders of eight men of Turkish origin and a Greek between 2000 and 2006 as well as a policewoman in 2007.

Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger promised compensation to loved ones and said she was concerned that a probe into neo-Nazi violence might reveal more crimes.

"I fear that at the end of the investigation, we will uncover more victims of xenophobia than we are aware of today," the minister told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

"Even if financial help cannot undo the suffering, I will attempt to give the victims' families a sign of our solidarity with compensation from my budget," Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said.

The murders have reheated the debate in Germany as to whether to ban the far-right NPD party.

Lammert said that authorities should examine any possible links between the cell and the NPD but appeared sceptical as to the effectiveness of a ban.

"We should not be under the illusion that banning the NPD would dispel far-right attitudes," he said.

Yet a survey published on Sunday showed that 70 percent of those questioned would support banning the controversial party, which has elected representatives in the state parliaments of Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

The poll, conducted by Emnid for the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, showed that 22 percent did not agree with the idea of banning the party.

A group demonstrated for an NPD ban in Munich on Saturday, carrying photographs of some of the victims of the terror group.

Banning a political party is a complicated matter in Germany – it is a procedure for the Constitutional Court.

Story continues below…

An attempt to ban the NPD in 2003 failed due to the presence of intelligence agency informants at the top of some sections of the party and some fear this could be repeated.

Chairman of the parliamentary committee on domestic affairs, Wolfgang Bosbach told the paper, “Who will guarantee us that a new ban application will be successful? Another failure would be a great success for the NPD and a huge embarrassment for the state.”

DAPD/AFP/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:48 November 20, 2011 by arbeitsbiene3
Banning the NPD is a bad idea and will be counterproductive and could jeopardize what little freedom of speech, we do have. After banning the NPD, which unpopular party or group will be next?

Freedom of expression and freedom speech within the law should be for all citizens regardless how extreme the views and opinions are.
13:20 November 20, 2011 by nolibs
This headline if purposely misleading and false. It should say, 70 percent of Bild am Sonntag readers, who responded to this poll want to ban the NPD.

After finding the link (http://www.bild.de/politik/inland/npd-verbot/70-prozent-der-deutschen-fuer-npd-verbot-21115350.bild.html), there is no mention of how many responded, or the weighting of the poll either. The Bild am Sonntag has a readership of 2.1 million on Sundays.

Of course, since Germany has a population of 82,329,758 (est), I would not say that "most" is appropriate even if all 2.1 million Bild readers responded to this poll.

@arbeitsbiene3 - you are correct, the banning of a party is not the right way to go in a free society. Nor is outlawing certain subjects and speech.
14:13 November 20, 2011 by HelloOutThere
There is a German saying: "Wie man's macht, man macht's verkehrt": Loosely transtalted: "How you do it, you do it wrong."

If the NPD was banned there would be some people who would be pleased by this decision, but there would also be some people (not only the ones who belong to NPD or support its ideas) who would not be pleased.

Some say that in a real democracy everybody must have the right to tell her or his opinion no matter how wrong it is and even if this opinion is against real democracy.

Other wonder why you should tolerate intolerance.

I think it's a difficult question.
15:15 November 20, 2011 by Klaipeda
As awful as the killers are, it sounds strange erecting a memorial to the victims. Also, are these people racists or neo-Nazis. A neo-Nazi is someone that is for re-establishing National Socialism as a political party in Germany. I get the feeling any time there is a racially motivated act in Germany they label the people NAZIS. Turkey was our ally in WW I and Germany had good relations with them in WW II. Hitler tried to get them to fight on Germany's side in WW II. There was no hatred of Turks. There was no hatred of Arabs either, many of whom sympathized with Germany because of their mistreatment by their racist British colonists. Iran had good relations with Germany too because the British attacked their country too. There were no anti-Muslim feelings in Germany during WW II. And India's Subhas Chandra Bose, a high ranking Indian nationalist and close associate of Ghandi came to Germany to escape the British racists and he recruited thousands of Indians who fought on Germany's side when he created the Free India Legion. The Free India Legion's 4,500 members fought in the waffen SS. But today's Germany wants to further blacken National Socialist Germany by saying they hated Turks and everyone else too! You people have holocaust on the brain. The allies hatred and propaganda was brought into German schools and media and this is the result.

In fact, I would say there are more ethnic problems in todays Germany towards Turks and Muslims than during WW II. But in today's Germany, if it involves racism it must be a NAZI. The "NAZIS", as the Americans and British call them were national liberators. They wanted to free all the darker races from brutal British oppression (India, Arab lands, etc.). This was said tongue in cheek, but its no less true than the lie that the British, French and Americans told when they created Czechoslovakia and Poland by stealing German and Austrian land and saying they were freeing these people from German rule. The difference is when the "allies" did this they placed millions of Germans under foreign rule by unfriendly governments and they weakened Germany and caused major economic problems by chopping the country into pieces.

The Ukrainian government has produced a list of the people that they say deliberately murdered as many as nine million Ukrainians. All of the people on the list were Jewish and most were high ranking members in the USSR's secret service. Maybe Germany should erect a memorial to the murdered Ukrainians.
15:52 November 20, 2011 by Greysuede
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
17:55 November 20, 2011 by nolibs
@Klaipeda - It is odd isn't it, unless you look at the reason behind it....to create a class of victims and control the people. What better way to quash freedoms and speech than to make an entire class off-limits to criticism and to vilify those who oppose. Germany has already made discussions on a certain subject off-limits to any discussions, criticism, or questions already under threat of arrest. Pretty successfully I may add.
20:36 November 20, 2011 by raandy
This could be a blessing in disguise, if it is home grown terror ,nazi terror , you and all your family will be well compensated as aposed to islamic terror.
08:00 November 21, 2011 by wood artist
While a ban on the party might seem satisfying to some, the fact is you can't simply ban ideas, so the "party" will continue. There will, sadly, always be a few that believe in those doctrines, and it's probably better to allow them those beliefs. If they take action, then by all means penalize the acts. It's the old game of winning hearts and minds using guns and grenades. It's pretty well proven that that concept just doesn't work.

16:03 November 22, 2011 by mos101392
Build the memorial in the heart of NPD country!
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