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Shofar FTP Archive File: orgs/american/adl/german-neo-nazis/adl.012993

From: (Nigel Allen)
Subject: ADL issues report on investigation of German neo-Nazis
Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 28 Jan 1993 19:42:47 GMT

Here is a press release from the Anti-Defamation League.

 ADL Issues Report on Investigation of German Neo-Nazis
 To: National and Foreign Desk
 Contact: Myrna Shinbaum, 212-490-2525, ext. 145, or
          Irwin Suall, 212-490-2525, ext. 279, of
          the Anti-Defamation League

   NEW YORK, Jan. 27  -- In the face of the surge in violence 
and neo-Nazi activities in Germany in 1992, the
Anti-Defamation League (ADL) conducted an on-site investigation of
neo-Nazi racism on the German scene.
   Melvin Salberg, ADL national chairman, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL
national director, said, "We considered it crucial to take a close
look of our own, by sending a fact-finding team to Germany to
determine how serious is the threat from the extreme right to Jews
and other minorities, as well as to democracy itself.  Our
investigation involved direct observations of the neo-Nazi scene and
consultations with law enforcement intelligence officials."
   "The German Neo-Nazis: An ADL Investigative Report," is the
product of the team's research.  It states that the level of ethnic
violence had risen to a post-war peak in reunified Germany, and the
combined rolls of the extreme rightist groups which precipitated it
have grown to between 40,000 and 60,000 members.  A postscript to the
report says that while the Government was initially slow to respond,
it has since taken actions which have reduced the threat from the far
   During the upsurge, according to the report, attacks on foreign
guest workers and asylum seekers reached staggering levels, arousing
alarm throughout the world; Jewish individuals and institutions were
also targeted by far-right extremists.
   "Extremist outrages in just the first two weeks of October, for
example," Salberg and Foxman said, "included a startling list of
Jewish targets, with Holocaust memorial sites and Jewish cemeteries
the most frequent marks." Other instances cited include the chanting
of anti-Semitic slogans by parading neo-Nazis, harassment of Jewish
leaders, and the defacing of buildings with anti-Semitic stickers.
   The investigation by the ADL fact-finding team reveals eastern
Germany to be the power base of the resurgent neo-Nazi movement,
where a noticeable percentage of the new adherents come from the
ranks of the defunct communist apparatus of the former East German
state.  Neo-Nazi groups which the investigators observed in eastern
Berlin were found to be "far better equipped with sophisticated
cellular phones and other electronic equipment than are the police"
and to possess superior weaponry, obtained on the black market from
former Soviet and East German military forces.
   "Compounding this problem," Salberg and Foxman said, "is the fact
that some police officers are apparently sympathetic to the
    The report names two American neo-Nazis, Gary Lauck of Lincoln,
Neb., and George Dietz of Reedy, W.Va., as well as Ernst Zundel of
Canada, as suppliers of Nazi propaganda materials to Germany.
Lauck is identified as the most important supplier of German
language Nazi propaganda.  Dietz, a German emigre who once belonged
to the Hitler Youth, is reported as maintaining an active network of
contacts with German Nazis.  Zundel is named as a distributor of
materials denying the reality of the Holocaust through an "agent" in
   The report also points to the fact that the ranks of German
neo-Nazism have been buttressed by thousands of so-called Skinheads,
shaved-headed youths dedicated to racism and violence.  "A key
element in the Skinhead subculture," it reveals, "is music, which
serves as a recruiting tool, a propaganda weapon, a celebration of
the gang ethic, and as a clarion call to violence through the use of
rousing, hate-filled lyrics."
   The report cites an open-air concert in Massen last October
sponsored by the neo-Nazi group called German Alternative, attended
by 1,500 Skinheads, many armed with axes, baseball bats and the
makings for firebombs.  Following the concert, Skinheads attacked a
bus load of Polish tourists, smashing windows and beating anyone in
the vicinity.
   The ADL leaders noted hopefully that since the completion of ADL's
investigation there have been some positive developments.  The German
Government has banned three neo-Nazi groups and many extremists have
been arrested.  Additional police officers have been assigned to the
units which monitor the far right, and there has been a decline in
incidents of violence.
   "We are encouraged by these measures," say Salberg and Foxman,
"and urge the German Government to continue to apply all of its
constitutional powers until the neo-Nazi menace is gone from the
   From Jan. 11-15, Salberg and Foxman led a group of ADL national
leaders in meetings with Chancellor Helmut Kohl and other high
officials to discuss their concerns about the recent neo-Nazi
violence and to share with them the League's experience in developing
programs to combat intolerance and bigotry.  The chancellor said that
anti-Semitism is rejected by the vast majority of the German people,
but added that he recognized the need for such educational programs.
   The report was prepared by the Fact Finding Department of the ADL
Civil Rights Division in cooperation with the International Affairs
Division.  Copies are available from the ADL Department of Public
   Founded in 1913, ADL is a civil rights/human relations
organization that combats anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry and
discrimination, and which promotes harmonious relations between
diverse religious and ethnic groups.
Nigel Allen, Toronto, Ontario

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