Neo-Nazism in West Germany

April 12, 1967

Report Outline
Rightist Activity in Germany Politics
Rise of Hitler and National Socialism
Postwar Effort to Erase Nazi Influence

Rightist Activity in Germany Politics

Expected Right-Wing Gains in April Elections

Elections on April 23 in the West German states of Schleswig-Holstein and Rheinland-Pfalz will be closely watched in Bonn and in foreign capitals for indications of radical right-wing political strength. The National Democratic Party (N.P.D.), variously described as a conservative-nationalist or neo-Nazi political movement, is expected to capture as much as 15 per cent of the popular vote in the two states.

Such a showing would cause consternation in Germany and, to an even greater extent, in foreign countries. When the N.P.D. won 7.4 per cent of the popular vote in Bavarian state elections last November, it was recalled that the Nazi Party's share of the poll in Bavaria was 6.1 per cent in 1928 —only five years before Hitler came to power in Berlin. In short, many Europeans and Americans who remember the rise and fall of the Nazi Third Reich are asking themselves: Can it happen again?

Origins of Neo-Nazi Party; Leaders and Policies

The party that has stirred concern about a possible Nazi revival is only two and one-half years old. Founded in November 1964, the N.P.D. set out to bring all existing right-wing political groups under a single party banner. It evidently has succeeded in doing so. The party now has around 21,000 enrolled members, of whom at least 3,500 were once active Nazis; about 1,200 of them were Nazis prior to 1933. These “alte Kaempfer” (old warriors) are responsible in large part for shaping the party's press and propaganda policies.

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