Neo-Nazism in Germany

February 18, 1953

Report Outline
Political Activity by Neo-Nazi Elements
Postwar Position of Ex-Nazis in Germany
Complex Political Forces in Bonn Republic

Political Activity by Neo-Nazi Elements

A Series of disquieting events during the early weeks of 1953 has brought to world attention the resumed political activity of unrepentant Nazi elements in West Germany. The first of these was the arrest by British occupation authorities in mid-January of seven former Hitlerite officials. The ex-Nazis were held for investigation on the basis of information which indicated that they were propagating anti-Western views and policies, and were plotting eventually to take over control of the West German republic.

Need for continuing surveillance of neo-Nazi activities was emphasized three days after the British arrests by wide publication in Europe and the United States, Jan. 17, of press accounts of a recent American-sponsored survey of opinion in West Germany. The survey was reported to show, among other things, that there was no broad-based popular support among the German people for energetic suppression of Nazi tendencies.

Only small numbers of determined neo-Nazi activists have come to public notice to date, and their threat to the young Bonn republic can easily be exaggerated. Yet John J. McCloy, then U. S. High Commissioner for Germany, warned eight months ago that so long as extremist groups, either Nazi or Communist, continued to exist in West Germany “there is danger, and danger should not be minimized.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Holocaust and Antisemitism
Jun. 2008  Anti-Semitism in Europe
Feb. 12, 1993  Europe's New Right
Apr. 12, 1967  Neo-Nazism in West Germany
Feb. 18, 1953  Neo-Nazism in Germany
Jan. 05, 1953  Communist Anti-Semitism
Nov. 14, 1941  Anti-Semitism in the United States
Aug. 02, 1935  Anti-Semitism in Germany
Feb. 24, 1926  The Protection of Minorities in Europe
Regional Political Affairs: Europe