The central Federal government of Germany has formally abandoned its attempt to legally ban the National Democratic Party (NDP), apparently after new assessments showed that the chances of success were slim and another failure would benefit the nationalists.
The undemocratic attempt to ban the NDP gained new momentum last year after three individuals—not members of the party—were linked to “lone wolf” attacks on nonwhite immigrants in Germany. Two of the three committed suicide after botching a bank robbery, and the third, a female, remains in custody awaiting trial.
The three individuals claimed to be the “National Socialist Underground” and although there is no such organization, the “democrats” running Germany decided to try and ban the nationalist NDP which has representation at state level in some of the constituent German states.
A similar attempt was made in 2002, when the central government made a formal application to have the NDP banned, citing a large number of extremist public comments, leaflets, and publications which the party had put out.
The case collapsed when it was revealed—in court—that all of the extremist material submitted as “evidence” had in fact been manufactured by the state’s security police and inserted into the party through its paid agents.
The German Constitutional Court threw the case out and the NDP experienced an increase in support following the revelation that it had been targeted by a taxpayer-funded dirty tricks operation.
Germany’s upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, agreed last December to present its own case against the NPD to the Karlsruhe-based Constitutional Court.
But the decision by the cabinet not to join the Bundesrat, which represents Germany’s 16 federal states, will weaken that body’s case.
News reports said the official cabinet statement acknowledged the Bundesrat’s application “with respect,” but that it found submitting its own additional application to outlaw the NPD “unnecessary.”
The NDP, or the “National Democratic Party of Germany—The People’s Union” (German: Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands—Die Volksunion, NPD), to give it its full name, was founded in 1964.
The NPD achieved its greatest success in the late 1960s, when it won a number of seats in Bavaria, lower Saxony, Hesse, and several local council victories.
However, its failure to enter the central German parliament caused splits and a downturn in its fortunes, and the party has only really started growing again in the last ten years or so.