Overview

Executive Summary:

Germany’s National Democratic Party (NPD) is a far-right political party that advocates racist, anti-Semitic and revisionist views. According to the German intelligence service, the NPD rejects the concept of liberal democracy.“Verfassungsschutzbericht 2013,” Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, 94, accessed November 29, 2014, http://www.verfassungsschutz.de/embed/vsbericht-2013.pdf. While it is hostile towards both the U.S. and Israel and has previously praised former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his extreme anti-American and anti-Israel views, the NPD has also expressed hostility to Muslims. The NPD considers the presence of immigrants in Germany—regardless of whether they hold German citizenship—to be an attack on the German ethnic community (“Volksgemeinschaft”). Therefore, the NPD advocates deporting immigrants to their respective countries of origin.“Verfassungsschutzbericht 2013,” Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, 95, accessed November 29, 2014, http://www.verfassungsschutz.de/embed/vsbericht-2013-kurzzusammenfassung.pdf.

Founded in the 1960s, the NPD was able to score its first electoral victories in the mid-1960s in the midst of an economic downturn. But despite some initial popularity among voters, the party was not able to sustain its success and was a largely marginal political force for the next three decades, with declining membership rates and financial difficulties. Following German reunification, the NPD was able to build a support base in many of the regions of former East Germany, entering several state parliaments in the late 1990s. At the same time, the NPD repositioned itself strategically, opening the party to neo-Nazis and became more radicalized in the process.

The NPD officially rejects violence and claims to seek change through the democratic process, but the party’s ideology appears to reject much of Germany’s democratic system.“Verfassungsschutzbericht 2013,” Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, 95, accessed November 29, 2014, http://www.verfassungsschutz.de/embed/vsbericht-2013.pdf. Though NPD members have been linked to violent and criminal activity and the party appears to have some links to the violent neo-Nazi scene, a direct connection to the NPD has been hard to prove.

Following a perceived rise in far-right crimes in Germany at the beginning of the 2000s, the German government attempted to ban the NPD. However due to the presence of a large number of government moles in the ranks of the NPD, the German Constitutional Court rejected the government’s application. Following the discovery of the neo-Nazi terrorist cell, National Socialism Underground (NSU), which is believed to have murdered at least 10 people (mostly of Turkish origin), the Bundesrat (a legislative body representing Germany’s 16 states) made a second attempt to ban the party in 2013. The Bundesrat renewed their bid to make the party unconstitutional in March 2016, amidst a surge in anti-migrant rhetoric from the NPD and its followers, and a rise in right-wing violence. In an unprecedented move, Germany’s top constitutional court has opened a hearing into a banning of the group.Ruth Bender, “Germany’s Top Court is Urged to Ban Extreme-Right Party NPD,” Wall Street Journal, March 2, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/germanys-top-court-is-urged-to-ban-extreme-right-party-npd-1456862021.

With the growing success of the center-right party Alternative für Deutschland (AFD) in recent state and European elections, the NPD has struggled to build on former regional-level electoral successes. Following state elections in 2014, the NPD is now only represented in one state parliament and has one MEP sitting in the European parliament. Given the competition from the AFD for the NPD's traditional constituency, the German intelligence service has suggested that the NPD may become even more extreme in the future to differentiate itself from the AFD.

Doctrine:

The NPD is a far-right extremist political party and has been described by the German intelligence service as “racist, anti-Semitic and revisionist.”Michelle Martin, “German party accused of neo-Nazi traits set for EU parliament,” Reuters, May 21, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/21/us-eu-election-germany-neonazis-idUSBREA4K0DY20140521. By the end of the 1960s, the group's membership numbered approximately 30,000, after which the number shrank noticeably.Richard Stoess, Rechtsextremismus im vereinten Deutschland (Berlin: Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung, 2000), 49. In the 1990s, the NPD radicalized further to the point of neo-Nazism.Armin Pfahl-Traughber, Der “zweite Frühling” der NPD (Berlin: Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, 2008), 24, http://www.kas.de/wf/doc/kas_14498-544-1-30.pdf; Toralf Staud, Moderne Nazis: Die neuen Rechten und der Aufstieg der NPD (Cologne: KiWi-Taschenbuch, 2005); Christoph Schulze, “Das Viersäulenkonzept der NPD,” in: Strategien der extremen Rechten, ed. Stephan Braun and Alexander Geißler (Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2009), 92-108; Armin Pfahl-Traughber, “Die ‘alte’ und die ‘neue’ NPD: Eine vergleichende Betrachtung zu Gefahrenpotential und Profil,” in: Strategien der extremen Rechten, ed. Stephan Braun and Alexander Geißler (Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2009), 77-91; Harald Bergsdorf, Die neue NPD: Antidemokraten im Aufwind (Munich: Olzog - Aktuell GmbH, 2007); Marc Brandstetter, Die NPD im 21: Jahrhundert: Eine Analyse ihrer aktuellen Situation: ihrer Erfolgsbedingungen und Aussichten (Marburg: Tectum-Verlag, 2006); Andrea Röpke and Andreas Speit, Neonazis im Nadelstreif: Die NPD auf dem Weg in die Mitte der Gesellschaft (Berlin: Links, 2008). Nowadays, the NPD spreads militant racism, anti-Semitism, and hostility toward the U.S., which the NPD considers to be “Jewish controlled.”Johannes Radke, “Wo ist eigentlich die Ostküste?” Zeit Online, September 7, 2009, http://blog.zeit.de/stoerungsmelder/2009/09/07/wo-ist-eigentlich-die-ostkuste_1382. The NPD represents a national “socialism” in order to protect against globalization.See “Warum lehnt die NPD die Globalisierung ab,” Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands (NPD), accessed November 29, 2014, http://npd.de/html/3481/artikel/detail/2101/; Patrick Gensing, “Die Angst der NPD vor dem ‘Volkstod’” Tagesschau, December 20, 2007, http://www.tagesschau.de/inland/meldung22508.html. The German intelligence service has classified the NPD’s ideology to stand in opposition to liberal democracy and it appears that the NPD supports an authoritarian state.“Verfassungsschutzbericht 2013,” Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, accessed November 29, 2014, 94, http://www.verfassungsschutz.de/embed/vsbericht-2013.pdf; “Verfassungsschutzbericht 2013,” Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, 95, accessed November 29, 2014, http://www.verfassungsschutz.de/embed/vsbericht-2013.pdf. At a NPD regional party conference in January 2013, the deputy regional NPD chair in Saxony Maik Scheffler reportedly described himself openly as an “enemy of the state”“Verfassungsschutzbericht 2013,” Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, accessed November 29, 2014, 96, http://www.verfassungsschutz.de/embed/vsbericht-2013.pdf.

The NPD calls for reversing the post–World War II shift of the German-Polish border and restoring Germany's borders to their status at the end of 1937.“Antwort der Deutschen Bundesregierung aufie kleine Anfrage der Abgeordneten Ulla Jelpke und der Fraktion der PDS,” Deutscher Bundestag, 14. Wahlperiode, Drucksache 14/6149, 2001, 2, http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/14/061/1406149.pdf. In addition, the NPD aims to revise the historiography of the Nazi period and leading Nazis have been praised by several NPD members.“Verfassungsschutzbericht 2013,” Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, accessed November 29, 2014, 100-101, http://www.verfassungsschutz.de/embed/vsbericht-2013.pdf. In the course of the party's radicalization since the 1990s, several militant neo-Nazis, among them individuals with previous criminal convictions, have entered the NPD's executive committees.Armin Pfahl-Traughber, Der ‘zweite Frühling’ der NPD (Berlin: Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, 2008), 24, http://www.kas.de/wf/doc/kas_14498-544-1-30.pdf.

The NPD tries to copy far-right parties and their efforts to break through the mainstream by criticizing Islam, but even more fundamentally, German neo-Nazis still cultivate an old-fashioned (biological) racism: “Members of other races always remain physically, mentally and spiritually a foreign body”Armin Pfahl-Traughber, Der ‘zweite Frühling’ der NPD (Berlin: Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, 2008), 24, http://www.kas.de/wf/doc/kas_14498-544-1-30.pdf. In the traditional pro-Islamic alliance policy of National Socialism, the NPD declares that Islam in Europe is indeed “a foreign body-like aggression Religion,” but that “domestic political opposition to Islam” does not bar “the foreign policy assessment of the Islamic world as the last bulwark against capitalization and the Americanization of the world.”Stephan Grigat, “Mein Feind und Freund: Rechte Parteien in Europa entdecken das iranische Regime als Partner,” Die Zeit, April 1, 2012, http://www.zeit.de/2012/14/P-Rechte-Parteien-Islam/komplettansicht. Accordingly, NPD officials hoped Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would be “a potential ally for a new Germany.”Stephan Grigat, “Die neue Achse Budapest-Teheran,” Unique, April 2012, http://www.univie.ac.at/unique/uniquecms/?p=1310. The NPD youth organization congratulated Ahmadinejad on his re-election. They were pleased that Ahmadinejad did not shun “the confrontation with the capitalist world power USA and its Zionist pedants Israel. […] His fearless standing up for the disenfranchised and oppressed Palestinians and for the freedom of research in contemporary history earned him the hatred of the Zionist rulers of Israel and the U.S.”Heribert Schiedel, “Heiliger Hass: Zur rechtsextrem-iranischen Freundschaft,” in Der Iran im Weltsystem: Bündisse des Regimes und Perspektiven der Freiheitsbewegung, ed. Stephan Grigat and Simone Dinah Hartmann (Innsbruck: Studien Verlag, 2010). One example of this “freedom of research” that the NPD youth mentioned explicitly was a Holocaust denial conference, that the Iranian leadership held in December 2006.Heribert Schiedel, “Heiliger Hass: Zur rechtsextrem-iranischen Freundschaft,” in Der Iran im Weltsystem: Bündisse des Regimes und Perspektiven der Freiheitsbewegung, ed. Stephan Grigat and Simone Dinah Hartmann (Innsbruck: Studien Verlag, 2010). Thus, the NPD appears to have no problem with inciting against Muslims in Europe while showing solidarity with the Islamist regime in Tehran.

The NPD considers the presence of immigrants in Germany—regardless of whether they hold German citizenship—to be an attack on the German ethnic community (“Volksgemeinschaft”). Therefore, the NPD advocates deporting immigrants to their respective countries of origin. “Verfassungsschutzbericht 2013,” Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, 95, accessed November 29, 2014, http://www.verfassungsschutz.de/embed/vsbericht-2013.pdf.

The NPD officially rejects violence and claims to seek change through the democratic process, but the party's ideology appears to reject much of Germany's democratic system. “Verfassungsschutzbericht 2013,” Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, 95, accessed November 29, 2014, http://www.verfassungsschutz.de/embed/vsbericht-2013.pdf. Though NPD members have been linked to violent and criminal activity and the party appears to have some links to the violent neo-Nazi scene, a direct connection to the NPD has been hard to prove.Toralf Staud, “Tarnmanöver der Gewaltbereiten,” Sueddeutsche Zeitung, February 3, 2012, http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/npd-distanziert-sich-von-terror-tarnmanoever-der-gewaltbereiten-1.1274437.

The NPD has long played a key role in building an international extreme-right network. The party was the powerhouse behind the European National Front (ENF). Since the ENF's demise, the NPD has realigned away from institutionalization and toward temporarily existing affiliations with other actors.Anton Maegerle, “Die Internationale der Nationalisten: Verbindungen bundesdeutscher Rechtsextremisten am Beispiel von NPD/JN zu Gleichgesinnten in ausgewählten osteuropäischen Staaten, in Strategien der extremen Rechten, ed, Stephan Braun and Alexander Geißler (Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2009), 461-473.

Following poor showings for the NPD in several state elections in 2014, members of the German intelligence service have suggested that the NPD might tie itself even closer to the neo-Nazi scene in order to attract more neo-Nazi voters and to distance itself from the Alternative für Deutschland (AFD), the party that is thought to have significantly contributed to the collapse of the NPD's vote in recent years. Frank Jansen, “Verfassungsschutz: ‘NPD wird eng mit Neonazis kooperieren,’” Der Tagesspiegel, September 15, 2014, http://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/rechtsextreme-nach-den-wahlen-verfassungsschutz-npd-wird-eng-mit-neonazis-kooperieren/10703248.html.

Organizational Structure:

The NPD is organized the same way as other German political parties (with a federal executive board, state associations, etc.), in accordance with the German Political Parties Act. Udo Pastörs, a known hardliner,“Hardliner Pastörs ist neuer NPD-Chef," Die Zeit, January 10, 2014, http://www.zeit.de/politik/deutschland/2014-01/pastoers-neuer-npd-chef. stepped down as chair in November 2014. He was replaced by Frank Franz, who reportedly belongs to a more moderate wing of the NPD.Christina Hebel, “Neuer NPD-Chef Frank Franz: Pastörs' Erbe setzt sich durch,” Der Spiegel, November 1, 2014, http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/npd-parteitag-rechtsextremisten-waehlen-frank-franz-zum-vorsitzenden-a-1000556.html. The party has about 5,900 members.Andreas Foerster, “Die NPD ist eine sterbende Partei,” Frankfurter Rundschau, December 4, 2012, http://www.fr-online.de/politik/npd-die-npd-ist-eine-sterbende-partei,1472596,21035138.html.

The NPD has three sub-groups, the Young National Democrats (“Junge Nationaldemokraten”), the Circle of National Women (“Ring Nationaler Frauen”) and the Local Politics Union of the NPD (“Kommunalpolitische Vereinigung der NPD”).“Verfassungsschutzbericht 2013,” Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, 103-104, accessed November 29, 2014, http://www.verfassungsschutz.de/embed/vsbericht-2013.pdf.

Financing:

Germany's political party legislation mandates that each political party receives 0.85 euros in public funding for every valid vote it gets in European, federal, or regional elections until a party receives four million votes, after which it receives 0.70 euros per vote. In order to be eligible, parties must secure 0.5 per cent of the vote in European, federal, and regional elections. Parties also receive 0.38 euros in public matching funds for every euro they receive in donations (for donations up to 3300 euros).Entscheidung in Karlsruhe: NPD muss vorerst auf staatliche Finanzierung verzichten,” Der Spiegel, November 11, 2013, http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/npd-muss-vorerst-auf-staatliche-finanzierung-verzichten-a-933021.html. Accordingly, the NPD receives state resources proportionate to its limited electoral success and donations.In 2013, NPD received €1,253,278,41 from state resources. See “Festsetzung der staatlichen Mittel für das Jahr 2013,” Deutscher Bundestag, February 21, 2014, http://www.bundestag.de/blob/195536/cbe31f83de48d58d9973662c534ca7fe/finanz_13-data.pdf. Since May 2014, the NPD has had one MEP in the European parliament and receives EU funding as well.

The NPD also received significant financial support in the past from neo-Nazi Jürgen Rieger until his death in May 2010. He joined the party in 2006.Ralf Wiegand, “NPD verliert wichtigen Geldgeber,” Sueddeutsche Zeitung, May 17, 2010, http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/neonazi-juergen-rieger-tot-npd-verliert-wichtigen-geldgeber-1.150873.

In November 2013, the German Constitutional Court fined the NPD 1.27 million euros due to errors in the party’s financial accounting. The fines are being deducted from the NPD’s forthcoming public funding, and thus the party currently is not receiving public funds until the entire amount of the fines has been deducted.“Entscheidung in Karlsruhe: NPD muss vorerst auf staatliche Finanzierung verzichten,” Der Spiegel, November 11, 2013, http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/npd-muss-vorerst-auf-staatliche-finanzierung-verzichten-a-933021.html.

Key Leaders

  • Udo Pastörs

    Head of the NPD parliamentary party in the state parliament of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and since January 2014, Chair of the NPD
  • Udo Voigt

    Former party Chair, Member of European Parliament (MEP)
  • Frank Franz

    Party chair
  • Frank Schwerdt

    Deputy party leader
  • Jens Pühse

    General secretary
  • Sascha Rossmüller

  • Karl Richter

    Party leader
  • Arne Schimmer

  • Andreas Storr

    Federal treasurer of the NPD
  • David Petereit

  • Jürgen Gansel

  • Andy Knape

  • Patrick Wieschke

  • Jörg Hänel

  • Ronny Zasowk

    Deputy party chair
  • Edda Schmidt

History

 

Violent Activities

  • February 13, 1999: A group of young right-wing extremist hound asylum-seeker Omar Ben Noui through the small town Guben, Brandenburg. In his panic, Noui kicks in a glass door, injures himself, and bleeds to death. One of the men involved in the hounding is Alexander Bode, who is sentenced to two years in prison. During Bode’s trial, he allegedly damages a memorial marker to Omar Ben Noui. Nine years later, Bode becomes an NPD candidate in a municipal election in Neissestadt.Sandra Dassler, “Guben fürchtet wieder um seinen Ruf," Der Tagesspiegel, September 11, 2008, http://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/brandenburg/kommunalwahlen-guben-fuerchtet-wieder-um-seinen-ruf/1321874.html.
  • Summer 2000: Right-wing extremists attack a Turkish kebab shop. Among them is Patrick Wischke, who is sentenced to two and a half years in prison.Birger Menke, “Neonazis und NPD: Unter Kameraden," Der Spiegel, November 23, 2011, http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/justiz/neonazis-und-npd-unter-kameraden-a-799340.html. Wischke is now a member of the NPD’s federal executive committee. http://www.npd.de/html/3471/artikel/parteivorstand/.
  • 2004: Together with another NPD member, the deputy head of the parliamentary NPD faction in the state parliament of Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Stefan Koester, beats a young woman during a demonstration. He was convicted by a court in 2006.Lisa Erdmann, Christina Hebel, and Björn Hengst, “Debatte über NPD-Verbot: Partei der Schläger," Der Spiegel, February 23, 2012, http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/debatte-ueber-npd-verbot-partei-der-schlaeger-a-815695-2.html.
  • August 2009: NPD city council member Axel Thieme hits a student demonstrator in Dortmund in the face, smashing his glasses and injuring his eye. A court convicts Thieme in February 2011 for assault and orders him to pay a fine.Lisa Erdmann, Christina Hebel, and Björn Hengst, “Debatte über NPD-Verbot: Partei der Schläger," Der Spiegel, February 23, 2012, http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/debatte-ueber-npd-verbot-partei-der-schlaeger-a-815695-2.html.
  • December 2010: During municipal elections in the city of Trier, the head of the local NPD, Safet Babic, takes part in an attack on a 21-year-old student who had ripped down NPD election posters. Babic is convicted and his appeals fail. Following his conviction, he is barred from serving on the city council.Lisa Erdmann, Christina Hebel, and Björn Hengst, “Debatte über NPD-Verbot: Partei der Schläger," Der Spiegel, February 23, 2012, http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/debatte-ueber-npd-verbot-partei-der-schlaeger-a-815695-2.html.
  • August 30, 2014: Former NPD candidate Steffen Richter threatens Katharina König, a member of the far-left party Die Linke, while she is campaigning. Richter references an earlier beating König had suffered by a group of right-wing extremists.Andres Speit, “Wir klären das wie in den 90ern," TAZ, September 2, 2014, http://www.taz.de/!145205/.

Designations

Designations by the U.S. Government:
None.

Designations by Foreign Governments and Organizations:
None.

Associations

Ties to extremist entities:

Freedom Party of Austria (officially until 2010)Heribert Schiedel, Extreme Rechte in Europa (Wien: Edition Steinbauer, 2011), p. 93-95.

National Front (France; officially until 2013)“Front National zu Gast auf NPD-Veranstaltung," http://nrwrex.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/sbe-front-national-zu-gast-auf-npd-veranstaltung/. As recently as August 2013, an official delegation of the National Front participated in a NPD meeting. See “‘Deutschland ist kein souveräner Staat!’ ‘Brainstorming’ vor dem Wahlkampf-Endspurt: Inspirierende NPD-Sommeruniversität im Saarland," in Deutsche Stimme October 2013, 12.

Jobbik

Reports indicate both Jobbik and the NPD are interested in establishing links between the two groups. In February 2007, then NPD chairman Udo Voigt travelled to Budapest for an annual meeting of European neo-Nazis. In addition, in 2008, the NPD publication Deutsche Stimme published an interview with Jobbik’s chairman Gábor Vona. The interview was conducted by Benedikt Frings, a former NPD candidate in the 2005 regional election in North Rhein-Westphalia. The NPD has said that it seeks to build “informal contacts” with Jobbik.Jannis Bruehl, “Den Westen fest im Blick," Sueddeutsche Zeitung, May 17, 2010, http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/neonazis-in-ungarn-und-die-npd-den-westen-fest-im-blick-1.112091.

Hizb ut-Tahrir

Hizb ut-Tahrir is an Islamist group which has been banned in Germany since 2003. In October 2002, leading members of the NPD, including then-chairman Udo Voigt and the party’s lawyer Horst Mahler, took part in a Hizb ut-Tahrir event at a Berlin university.Andreas Ulrich, “Dolch im Herzen," Der Spiegel, 47/2002, November 18, 2002, http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-25718128.html.

Ties to countries:

Russia

NPD officials appear to be in contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his circle.Heinrich Vogel, “Sehnsucht nach einfachen Antworten und Führern," Focus Online, August 25, 2014, http://www.focus.de/politik/experten/vogel/putin-wir-vertrauen-dir-sehnsucht-nach-einfachen-antworten-und-fuehrern_id_4084169.html. During the current Ukraine crisis, the NPD has sided firmly with Russia, arguing that the problem was the European Union’s actions, not Russian expansionism, and rejecting Ukrainian membership in NATO. But the NPD’s support for Russia did not begin with the crisis in Ukraine. In 2012, the NPD chapter in Saxony-Anhalt stated in a publication, “While the West is getting increasingly tangled up in the web of Zionist wizards, Putin is leading his Russia boldly to new strength, freedom and independence. The German people can only dream of such political heroes at the moment.”Sebastian Hesse-Kastein, “Warum die NPD in Wladimir Putin ein Vorbild gefunden hat," MDR Nachrichten, April 15, 2014, http://www.mdr.de/nachrichten/putin-npd100_zc-e9a9d57e_zs-6c4417e7.html. According to the NPD, “a mental and national rebirth of Europe can only take place on the pillars of a Russian-German friendship.”Richard Herzinger, “In Europa bilden sich üble Bündnisse für Putin,” Die Welt, May 7, 2014, http://www.welt.de/debatte/kommentare/article127739762/In-Europa-bilden-sich-ueble-Buendnisse-fuer-Putin.html.

Iran

In the past, the NPD has sought to demonstrate its solidarity with the Islamic Republic of Iran and particularly former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.See Anton Maegerle, “Die iranische Rechtsextremismus-Connection," in Vierteljahresheft Tribüne: Zeitschrift zum Verständnis des Judentums, 2nd Quarter 2006, http://www.doew.at/cms/download/42gbn/re_maegerle_iran_re.pdf; Anton Maegerle, “Solidarität mit Ahmadinedschad," in Tribüne: Zeitschrift zum Verständnis des Judentums, 3rd Quarter 2009, http://www.doew.at/cms/download/52kb7/re_maegerle_iran.pdf. Thus, NPD officials hoped for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “as a potential ally for a new Germany.”Stephan Grigat, “Die neue Achse Budapest-Teheran," Unique, April 2012, http://www.univie.ac.at/unique/uniquecms/?p=1310. The NPD youth organization congratulated Ahmadinejad on his re-election: They were happy that Ahmadinejad did not shun “the confrontation with the capitalist world power USA and its Zionist pedants Israel. […] His fearless standing up for the disenfranchised and oppressed Palestinians and for the freedom of research in contemporary history earned him the hatred of the Zionist rulers of Israel and the U.S.”Heribert Schiedel, “Heiliger Hass: Zur rechtsextrem-iranischen Freundschaft," in Der Iran im Weltsystem. Bündisse des Regimes und Perspektiven der Freiheitsbewegung, ed. Stephan Grigat and Simone Dinah Hartmann (Innsbruck: Studien Verlag, 2010). One example of this “freedom of research” that the NPD youth mentioned was a Holocaust denial conference that the Iranian leadership held in December 2006. During the 2006 football world championship in Germany, the NPD staged several protests to demonstrate its solidarity with Iran. The NPD’s then-chair, Udo Voigt, even wrote on the party website that “Germany and the world need a visit of the Iranian head of state.”Anna Bilger, “Rechtsextremismus: NPD unter iranischer Flagge," Der Spiegel, June 19, 2006, http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/rechtsextremismus-npd-unter-iranischer-flagge-a-422195.html. During an interview with Iranian journalists in 2010, Voigt downplayed the Holocaust, saying, “The six million cannot be true. No more than 340,000 could have died in Auschwitz. The Jews always say that because one Jew died and because he is a Jew, it is a crime. But there is a difference if we pay for 6 million or for 340,000.”“NPD-Chef verharmlost Holocaust," Sueddeutsche Zeitung, May 17, 2010, http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/npd-und-iran-npd-chef-verharmlost-holocaust-1.357038.

Ties to other groups:

The NPD is believed to have a number of connections to neo-Nazi groups. In November 2011, the anti-fascist blog Gamma published data from an online chat forum called, “Hard to Hate” which was allegedly used by some leading neo-Nazis. The data was provided by a former member of the forum and dates back to 2009. In the forum, one member, an alleged former NPD candidate during local government elections in 2009, stated that the NPD is nothing more than “a pragmatic tool for our political work.”Birger Menke, “Neonazis und NPD: Unter Kameraden," Der Spiegel, November 23, 2011, http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/justiz/neonazis-und-npd-unter-kameraden-a-799340.html. At a different point he declared that the NPD youth organization should “establish itself as a closed ideological unit to develop leaders and personalities based on the [national socialist] model.”Birger Menke, “Neonazis und NPD: Unter Kameraden," Der Spiegel, November 23, 2011, http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/justiz/neonazis-und-npd-unter-kameraden-a-799340.html. The 2013 intelligence report of the Interior Ministry of the state of Mecklenburg Vorpommern appears to echo these assertions, stating that “the neo-Nazi squad appear[s] to pursue the goal of using the NPD as a vehicle for their own political ambitions.”Verfassungsschutzbericht 2013," Ministerium fuer Inneres und Sport, 54, http://www.verfassungsschutz-mv.de/cms2/Verfassungsschutz_prod/Verfassungsschutz/content_downloads/Verfassungsschutzberichte/Verfassungsschutzbericht_2013.pdf.

Media Coverage

  • Analysis of Group

    Almost since its inception in the 1960s, the NPD was widely discussed in the German and at times international media. Described by the German...

Rhetoric

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Udo Voigt, NPD Member of European Parliament, 2014

“We want to make sure that even in 50 years' time an Italian, a Frenchman, an Englishman, an Irishman and a German are still recognizable as European and cannot be mistaken for Ghanaians or Chinese.” Michelle Martin, “German party accused of neo-Nazi traits set for EU parliament,” Reuters, May 21, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/21/us-eu-election-germany-neonazis-idUSBREA4K0DY20140521.

Udo Voigt, NPD Member of European Parliament, 2014

“We say Europe is the continent of white people and it should remain that way.” Michelle Martin, “German party accused of neo-Nazi traits set for EU parliament,” Reuters, May 21, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/21/us-eu-election-germany-neonazis-idUSBREA4K0DY20140521.

Udo Voigt, NPD Member of European Parliament, 2014

“We want to make sure that even in 50 years’ time an Italian, a Frenchman, an Englishman, an Irishman and a German are still recognizable as European and cannot be mistaken for Ghanaians or Chinese.”Michelle Martin, “German party accused of neo-Nazi traits set for EU parliament,” Reuters, May 21, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/21/us-eu-election-germany-neonazis-idUSBREA4K0DY20140521.

NPD slogan, European parliamentary election, 2014

“Money for granny instead of Sinti and Roma.”Michelle Martin, “German party accused of neo-Nazi traits set for EU parliament”, Reuters, May 21, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/21/us-eu-election-germany-neonazis-idUSBREA4K0DY20140521

Udo Voigt, NPD Member of European Parliament, 2014

“We say Europe is the continent of white people and it should remain that way.”Michelle Martin, “German party accused of neo-Nazi traits set for EU parliament,” Reuters, May 21, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/21/us-eu-election-germany-neonazis-idUSBREA4K0DY20140521.

Udo Pastörs, December 2013

There will be no “mercy” for German democrats on the “day of reckoning.” “Diese Zitate sollen die NPD überführen,” Die Zeit, December 3, 2013, http://www.zeit.de/politik/deutschland/2013-12/npd-verbot-antrag-zitate.

NPD Hamburg chapter website, October 16, 2013

“The puppets of Zion include next to Barack Obama nearly all politicians of the Federal Republic of Germany and the western world… Israel is a source of unrest in the Muslim world and took part in many murders and wars… George W. Bush and the other ‘hawks’ always talk about a last war that is meant to lead to peace. To think this thought to its logical end can only lead to the demand: ‘Bombs on Israel.’”“Verfassungsschutzbericht 2013,” Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, 99, http://www.verfassungsschutz.de/embed/vsbericht-2013.pdf.

NPD Bavaria Facebook page, April 4, 2013

“It may be that our opponents are causing us a bit of extra work but that doesn’t bother us. They achieve with these measures only that the contempt for this system of so called democrats becomes even bigger and that the resistance against the dictatorship of self-proclaimed do-gooders will be even firmer.”“Verfassungsschutzbericht 2013,” Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, 96, http://www.verfassungsschutz.de/embed/vsbericht-2013.pdf.

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