View Full Version : Germany Tightens Restrictions to Prevent NS March Marking 1945 Surrender

Mac Seafraidh
Sunday, February 13th, 2005, 02:13 AM
BERLIN (AP) - Germany's government proposed new laws Friday to combat far-right demonstrations, timed to include a planned May march in Berlin on the 60th anniversary of the Nazi surrender at the end of the Second World War.

Also Friday, police sealed off part of downtown Munich for an annual security conference, bracing for thousands of anti-war protesters and an expected appearance by U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

The proposals for laws against the rightist gatherings came in response to a rising Nazi threat and would target anyone who glorifies or plays down Nazi crimes, said Interior Minister Otto Schily, Germany's top law-enforcement official.

"We have observed a revival of the far right for some time and with great concern and we have to get clarity on what legislative options we have to combat it," Schily told a news conference.

Recent far-right gatherings "match ever more strongly the...imprint of the historic marches of the Nazi regime," he said.

The government will submit the new law next week so it can be passed in time to prevent the far-right march May 8.

German leaders have been sparked into action because the National Democratic party, which won nine per cent of the vote in a state election last fall, plans to demonstrate near Berlin's landmark Brandenburg Gate and the site of a new national Holocaust memorial.

The new measures would tighten German laws on public assemblies near sites that recall the Nazi era, such as memorials and former concentration camps and allow state governments to ban demonstrations that can be expected to disparage Nazi victims.

The far-right party - known by its German initials NPD - provoked renewed outrage last month when its 12 legislators walked out of Saxony's state parliament before a moment of silence to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, prompting politicians to call for an outright ban.

The security conference will also draw top government officials from Russia, Egypt, Iran and Germany. NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and UN chief Kofi Annan also are scheduled to address the weekend gathering, which defence experts and policy-makers traditionally use for frank exchanges in an informal atmosphere.

Security for the 240 participants was tight as Bavarian authorities braced for an estimated 5,000 protesters Saturday. About 4,000 police were called out, barriers blocked car and streetcar traffic around the conference hotel and snipers manned surrounding rooftops.

German President Horst Koehler opened the conference Friday evening by underlining the link between security and development, urging rich countries to boost development aid.

"Without security there can be no economic development," he told delegates at a private dinner, said a text released by his office.

"But experience also shows that sustained poverty among wide swathes of the population can threaten a country's stability."

Rumsfeld had said he couldn't make the conference but his spokesman said Thursday he would likely be able to come in an announcement that came shortly after German prosecutors declined to investigate him on war-crimes allegations related to the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal. The complaint was filed in Germany by a group of New York City lawyers.

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This is total bullshit. I compare it to the Holocaust guilt crap by far and Jews blaming Germans. The Jews have made the common American think the Germans are evil. This will be the ultimate ban, as the "SH" Salute was banned. I really think violence will errupt. I hope antisemitic are shouted in unison with glee!!! No Turks included either!!!