German officials shut down two extremist organisations

German security officials shut down two extremist organisations accused of Holocaust denial | the Daily Mail Last updated at 16:55pm on 7th May 2008

German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has banned two far-right organizations he described as organised Holocaust deniers.

Schaeuble, Germany’s top security official, said in a statement released by his ministry on Wednesday that the organizations’ activities violated the nation’s constitution. Denying the Holocaust is a crime in Germany.

‘The organisations are reservoirs of organised Holocaust deniers,’ Schaeuble said.

‘Their activities include disseminating anti-Semitic propaganda and praising the tyranny of the Nazis’, Schaeuble said. They distribute the propoganda over the Internet and in printed leaflets, he added.

The two groups were identified as Collegium Humanum and Bauernhilfe e.V., with bases in the western German states of North Rhein-Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Hesse.

Authorities confiscated material seized in searches of 30 premises in the various states early Wednesday, the statement said.

Meanwhile, in the eastern state of Saxony, where the far-right National Democratic Party holds seats in Parliament, a new report showed the party’s membership in the state had dropped.

According to a state organisation that tracks extremism, the party lost 150 members in 2007, dropping to 850.

But the number of people belonging to an informal group that supported the National Democratic Party doubled to 500, said state interior minister Albrecht Buttolo.

Meanwhile, the state reported an increase in crimes with a right-extreme background to 2,144 in 2007 over 2,063 in the previous year.

The rise was attributed to more confrontations with left-wing extremists. Of those crimes, 90 involved violence, up from 77 the previous year.

Saxony is the stronghold of the National Democratic Party, where it has the most members despite the recent drop. It has been in Parliament since 2004, when it won 9.2 per cent of the vote.”