Number of neo-Nazis rises in Germany: Report

BERLIN — The number of neo-Nazi activists in Germany went up between 2004 and 2005, according to the mass circulation newspaper Bild am Sonntag set to appear today.

Quoting Germany’s domestic counter-espionage agency it said the number of members of neo-Nazi groups had risen from 3,800 to 4,100 while right-wing extremists identified as resorting to physical violence had increased marginally, from 10,000 to 10,400.

However the overall number of activists on the broader extreme right had declined marginally from 40,700 to 39,000 because of a drop in the numbers of two of three right-wing parties, the Deutsche Volksunion (German People’s Union) and the Republicans.

The figures were quoted from the annual report, set to appear tomorrow, of the counter-espionage agency, known as the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

Concern at the possibility of racial violence has been increasing ahead of the World Cup scheduled to start on June 9, following several racist attacks in Berlin and eastern Germany in recent weeks.

The news magazine Der Spiegel said neo-Nazis would exploit the event by holding demonstrations to spread their ideas.

One rally has been scheduled for Leipzig on June 21 when Iran will be playing Angola. The neo-Nazis will back up anti-Semitic statements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Der Spiegel reported.

Konrad Freiberg, head of the German police federation, was quoted by the magazine as saying that the police would be unable to ensure safety during such demonstrations.

A member of Berlin’s regional assembly of Turkish origin was in hospital after being attacked by two men who called him a “dirty foreigner”, police said.

Gyasettin Sayan of the Left party suffered head injuries and bruising Friday after he was struck by a bottle in a street in his Lichtenberg ward in the east of the city.

The Lichtenberg district is known as a stronghold of neo-Nazis in Berlin, and Sayan’s party chief in the Berlin assembly, Stefan Liebich, said the attack confirmed earlier warnings by a former government spokesman to World Cup fans.

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AFP, via The Peninsula [Quatar], France
May 21, 2006

Religion News Blog posted this on Sunday May 21, 2006.
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