Germany’s top court rules against banning Nazi-style party

January 17, 2017 10:30 pm
’s top court has confirmed that the country’s far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) adheres to policies similar to those of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party, but ruled against banning the political group.
Germany’s 16 federal states had taken action to outlaw the NPD amid growing anti-immigrant sentiments in the country. The country’s intelligence agency described the far-right party, which has 500 members, as racist and anti-Semitic.
The court said the NDP’s aims are in violation of the constitution, but ruled that there is not enough evidence suggesting the party would wield power.
“The NPD intends to replace the existing constitutional system with an authoritarian national state that adheres to the idea of an ethnically defined ‘people’s community’. However, currently there is a lack of specific and weighty indications suggesting that this endeavor will be successful,” the court ruling said.
“It appears to be entirely impossible that the NPD will succeed in achieving its aims by parliamentary or extra-parliamentary democratic means,” the ruling added.
So far, the NPD has failed to win seats in the federal parliament and it lost its last seat in a regional assembly in September. The party, however, is represented on local councils and it won a seat in the European Parliament in 2014.
Several senior NPD officials have been convicted of denying the Holocaust but the party denies any involvement in acts of violence.
“Identification with leading personalities of the (Nazi) party, the use of selected National Socialist vocabulary, texts, songs and symbols, as well as revisionist statements with regard to history demonstrate an affinity … with the mindset of National Socialism,” the ruling read.
Some politicians argue that the country should not legitimize the NPD by allowing it to exist, but others oppose a ban as a counterproductive measure which merely pushes its members to turn to underground activities.
Since World War II, Germany has banned two political parties, including the Socialist Reich Party, a successor to Hitler’s Nazi party, in 1952, and the Communist Party in 1956 in West Germany.
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