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National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD)

From Academic Kids

  1. redirectTemplate:Politics of Germany

The National Democratic Party (German: Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands, NPD) is a far right political party in Germany that was founded in the early 1960s as a successor to the German Empire Party: (German: Deutsche Reichspartei, DRP). Its current chief is Udo Voigt.

In 2003, the federal government, the Bundestag and the Bundesrat jointly attempted to ban it in a trial before the Bundesverfassungsgericht, the highest court in Germany and the only institution that has the power to ban parties, if it considers them anti-constitutional. However, the case was thrown out when it was discovered that a large percentage of the leadership were in fact undercover agents sent by the German secret services, to the point that the court found it impossible to decide which moves by the party were based on genuine party decisions and which were controlled by the secret services in an attempt to further the ban. Horst Mahler, former member of the left-wing terrorist organisation Red Army Faction, defended the NPD before the court.

The party has never managed to win the minimum 5% of votes in federal elections that allows a party to send delegates to the Bundestag, but it was represented in several state parliaments in the 1960s and won 9.2% (or 12 representatives to the state parliament, the Landtag) in the 2004 state elections in Saxony, after coming into a non-competition agreement with its major rival on the far right, the DVU, which states that only one of the two parties will compete in any given election. The third German far-right party, Die Republikaner, which is not quite as extremist as the other two, has so far refused to join this agreement.

On 21 January 2005 the discussion on whether to ban the NPD was revived after an incident in the Saxon state assembly in Dresden. During a silence to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz, twelve members of the NPD walked out in protest. The NPD was upset that a moment of silence was being held for those who died in the Auschwitz camp and that none was being given for those who died during the bombing of Dresden in World War II: the anniversary of both events falling relatively close to each other (the consensus among historians is that between 25,000 and 35,000 people died during the bombing). Holger Apfel, leader of the NPD in Saxony and deputy leader of the party nationwide, made a speech in the Saxon Landtag which he called the Allied forces of the USA and Britain "mass murderers" because of their role in the bombing. He described the bombing itself as a "Holocaust of bombs", employing an often used strategy of the NPD and many neo-Nazis of implying a moral equivalence between the bombing and the Holocaust. He went on to call the Social Democratic leader of the parliament, Cornelius Weiss, "an old Jew", to which Mr Weiss responded by comparing Mr Apfel to Joseph Goebbels. The Christian Democratic speaker of the parliament switched off Mr Apfel's microphone.

Later the same year the party used the slogan "Marx statt Hartz" (Marx instead of Hartz), a phrasing suggestive of sympathy for socialist ideas.

Chancellor Gerhard Schröder suggested that the government might try to place a ban on the party again, but others did not see why it would be any more successful than the failed attempt in 2003.

External link

fr:Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands no:Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands nl:Nationaal-democratische Partij van Duitsland pl:Narodowodemokratyczna Partia Niemiec sv:Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands

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