The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/d/deckert.gunther/press/voa.081294


Archive/File: fascism/germany voa.081294
Last-Modified: 1994/08/23

Source: Voice of America
DATE=8/12/94
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-163508
TITLE=GERMANY RIGHTWING (L)
BYLINE=EVANS HAYS
DATELINE=BONN
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  GERMAN JUSTICE MINISTER SABINE 
LEUTHEUSSER-SCHNARRENBERGER HAS  APPEALED TO ALL GERMANS TO SHUN 
NEO-NAZI AND OTHER RIGHTWING  EXTREMIST VIOLENCE.  V-O-A'S EVANS 
HAYS IN BONN REPORTS THE JUSTICE MINISTER WAS SPEAKING AS POLICE 
BRACED FOR A WEEKEND  OF POSSIBLE VIOLENCE INVOLVING RIGHTWING 
EXTREMISTS.  

TEXT:  THE JUSTICE MINISTER, SPEAKING IN BONN, SAID EVERYONE IN  
GERMANY MUST STAND TOGETHER AND REJECT WHAT SHE CALLED THE 
ENEMIES OF  FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY.  SHE SAID THERE MUST BE A 
CLEAR SIGNAL THAT EXTREMISTS HAVE  NO  PLACE IN GERMANY.

THE JUSTICE MINISTER ALSO SAID LOCAL AND FEDERAL POLICE WERE 
TAKING ALL NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS FOR THE WEEKEND.  NEWS REPORTS 
SAY LOCAL POLICE HAVE ALREADY DETAINED SEVERAL SUSPECTED 
NEO-NAZIS IN SEVERAL TOWNS IN ADVANCE OF THE WEEKEND.

AUTHORITIES ARE CONCERNED THAT NEO-NAZIS WILL, AS IN THE PAST, 
TRY TO MARK THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF RUDOLF HESS, A TOP 
AIDE TO ADOLF HITLER.  HESS HAS BECOME A CULT FIGURE AMONG 
RIGHTWING EXTREMISTS SINCE HIS SUICIDE AT SPANDAU PRISON IN 1987.

HESS'S FAMILY CLAIMS HESS WAS MURDERED AT SPANDAU, A CLAIM DENIED
BY AUTHORITIES.  HE WAS 93 AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH AND THE ONLY 
INMATE AT THE HUGE PRISON COMPLEX OUTSIDE BERLIN.

POLICE ARE WORRIED THERE COULD BE EVEN MORE TROUBLE AT THIS 
YEAR'S ANNIVERSARY BECAUSE OF A RECENT COURT RULING IN WHICH A 
PROMINENT RIGHTWING EXTREMIST WAS GIVEN ONLY A SUSPENDED JAIL 
SENTENCE AND A SMALL FINE FOR DENYING THAT THE HOLOCAUST TOOK 
PLACE.

SUCH CLAIMS ARE A CRIME IN GERMANY AND THE COURT RULING HAS 
SPARKED WIDESPREAD PUBLIC OUTRAGE.  

IN A WEEKEND NEWSPAPER INTERVIEW (WITH BILD ZEITUNG), CHANCELLOR 
HELMUT KOHL ATTACKED THE COURT'S RULING AS A SCANDAL THAT BROUGHT
SHAME ON GERMANY.

MR. KOHL SAID IN THE INTERVIEW HE WAS GENERALLY AGAINST POLITICAL
CRITICISM OF THE COURTS.  BUT HE SAID THIS WAS AN EXCEPTION.

IN ITS RULING, THE COURT SAID THE DEFENDANT -- NEO-NAZI LEADER  
GUENTHER DECKERT -- HAD SHOWN DEEP CONVICTION IN EXPRESSING HIS  
BELIEF THAT  NO  JEWS WERE KILLED BY THE NAZIS AT THE AUSCHWITZ 
CONCENTRATION CAMP.

CHANCELLOR KOHL AND OTHER GERMAN OFFICIALS HAVE SUGGESTED THAT 
ACTION BE TAKEN AGAINST THE JUDGES WHO MADE THE RULING. (SIGNED)

NEB/EH/MH/JWH

12-Aug-94 3:38 PM EDT (1938 UTC)
NNNN

Source: Voice of America


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