Alex Constantine - July 28, 2009
The NPD doesn't stay out of the headlines for long
German prosecutors have charged a state parliamentarian of the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) with inciting racial hatred. Prosecutors in the southwest city of Saarbruecken said on Monday they had laid charges against Udo Pastoers, 56,for labelling Germany a "Jews' republic" at a rally in the city in February.
Pastoers, the NPD's parliamentary leader in the eastern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, tried unsuccessfully to become the party's national leader earlier this year.
Prosecutors said his statement deliberately recalled anti-Semitic propaganda used by the Nazi's to disparage Germany's Weimar Republic government of the 1920s. He is also accused of maligning Turkish immigrants during his address, allegedly referring to Turkish men as "semen cannons" who were overwhelming the country with their offspring.
Prosecutors said Pastoers made further "anti-Semitic statements, personal attacks, historical distortions and tasteless remarks which were not, however, of criminal significance."
The state parliament in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania voted to lift Pastoers' immunity earlier this month, clearing the way for charges after an investigation was opened in March. He is expected to appear in court later this year.
Germany's domestic intelligence agency monitors the NPD and has described it as racist, anti-Semitic and historically revisionist. Many German politicians want to shut the party down because they regard it as a threat to democracy.
Although the NPD has no seats in Germany's national parliament, the Bundestag, it does hold a significant number of seats in the legislatures of two of Germany's formerly communist eastern states - Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. ...