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NPD leader admits using Nazi terrorist as driver

The Local · 13 Mar 2012, 11:47

Published: 13 Mar 2012 11:47 GMT+01:00

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Frank Schwerdt, deputy leader of the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) admitted having had one of the self-styled National Socialist Underground (NSU) members as a driver at least once in the 1990s.

The terrorist organization murdered at least ten people, including a policewoman, and robbed several banks in the past decade. They have also been linked with at least one bombing in Cologne in 2004.

Speaking in a TV interview aired on Monday evening on the ARD state broadcaster, Schwerdt, one of three NPD deputy leaders, confirmed that Uwe Mundlos had worked for him as a driver at least once in the late 1990s.

Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt, died in a campervan surrounded by police in November last year, after a bank robbery. One shot the other and them himself. Their alleged accomplice Beate Zschäpe turned herself in a few days later.

Schwerdt’s admission is likely to fuel the argument for a ban on the NPD, as it adds to evidence of a link between the political party and violence.

A photo dated January 17, 1998 also shows Schwerdt with Zschäpe at a demonstration in the eastern German town of Erfurt. Ten days later, Zschäpe and Mundlos went underground, and police failed track them down until last November.

Schwerdt also admitted meeting André K., a suspected accessory to the NSU, in Berlin three weeks later. He claimed that André K. asked him to provide support for the group and he refused.

Schwerdt has been a member of the NPD since the 1960s, and is considered a key figure in its educational work. Media reports say he was an important ideological influence on Ralf Wohlleben, another suspected NSU accessory currently in custody for supplying a weapon to the trio.

Dawn raids on suspected neo-Nazis

In a separate development, German authorities arrested 24 people in dawn raids on Tuesday, targeting 33 suspected members or supporters of a neo-Nazi group.

The 6:00 am raids were part of a probe into the banned group Aktionsbuero Mittelrhein, prosecutors in the western German city of Koblenz said in a statement.

They also launched a probe into allegations of grievous bodily harm, serious breach of the peace and use of banned symbols.

"Nineteen of the accused were arrested for membership of a criminal organisation, three for supporting a criminal organisation and two for participating in a serious breach of the peace," the prosecutors said.

According to prosecutors, the "Aktionsbuero Mittelrhein" gathered information about political opponents and then "outed" them publicly in a bid to intimidate them.

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"All participants were aware that a climate of hate was being created and fears were being stoked," the statement added.

"Another area of activity was the openly violent acts against members of the left-wing scene, both locally and further afield," added the prosecutors, who also stressed there was no link to the NSU.

The Local/DAPD/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:25 March 13, 2012 by klaus stoiber

Imagine hiring a person to be your driver. You happen to belong to a nationalist party that is anti-immigrant and pro german.

This driver then decides to kill people, and then they try to associate you with that murderer just because you belong to this nationalist anti-immigrant party.

This is the mindset of germans today, too accept what the mass media tells them to believe,and to not ask VALID questions about your own history.

Banning the NPD wont work, as neo nazis will still exist. You can ban a party,ban gatherings, but you cannot ban a mindset, hence the attempts by the mass media controlled by the new world order to bombard innocent and unsuspecting germans into accepting anything they say on TV.

The other reason for a call to ban the NPD is quite obvious. The mainstream parties are scared that they NPD may erode away their majorities in state parliaments, forcing them to form uncomfortable alliances with opposition parties just to stay in power.
09:01 March 14, 2012 by hereward
So now theGermans will all be subject to repetitive strain injury,through constantly checking under thier beds,just in case a nazi miht be hiding under there.does it not say somewhere,in one of those "bits of paper"something about freedom to hold political views without interference?human rights declarations are a bit inconvienient these day what!
10:15 March 14, 2012 by Louis Prince
If you talk about oppressed Nations Germany is definitely up there. It's fine to say the black people in the US is oppressed, they aren't really, but you can say it and for that reason alone, even if they were oppressed they won't feel oppressed as they are openly being sympathised with. Germans on the other hand are made out to be the bad guy, although a very high percentage of Germans have strong right wing principles, they are barred from expressing their beliefs by the media as it is not 'socially acceptable' and that is a lie.
10:26 March 14, 2012 by MaKo
Some of these comments appear to be conflating Germans with Neonazis. There's a pretty big difference between finding out that, say, your housekeeper is a Neonazi and having your picture taken with Beate Zschäpe. But put the two together and it is dubious. Considered apart from political affiliation, Zschäpe is either a murderer or an accomplice to murder. People with connections to murderers get investigated. It is prudent for the German authorities to do so. I don't see any victims here.
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