Overview

Executive Summary:

Germany’s National Democratic Party (NPD) is a far-right political party that advocates racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-Muslim 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. The NPD is hostile towards both the United States and Israel and has praised former Iranian president and Holocaust denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 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”) and 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.

The NPD was founded in 1964. Despite some initial popularity among voters during the 1960s, the party was not able to sustain its success and became a marginalized political force for the subsequent three decades, during which time the group experienced financial difficulties and a steep decline in membership. Following German reunification in 1990, the NPD grew its support base in many of the regions of former East Germany, entering several state parliaments in the late-1990s.  During this time, the NPD strategically repositioned itself by opening the party up to neo-Nazis and becoming more overtly radicalized.“Verfassungsschutzbericht 2013,” Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, accessed November 29, 2014, 100-101, http://www.verfassungsschutz.de/embed/vsbericht-2013.pdf. According to 2015 statistics from the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV), Germany’s domestic intelligence service, NPD has a membership of 5,200 people.“Right-wing Extremist Membership (Overall View)”, Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV), accessed December 15, 2016,  https://www.verfassungsschutz.de/en/fields-of-work/right-wing-extremism/figures-and-facts-right-wing-extremism/right-wing-extremist-following-2015.

According to the German intelligence service, the NPD opposes liberal democracy and appears to support an authoritarian state. Though the NPD officially rejects violence, racist gangs have reportedly carried out violence on behalf of the group.Madeline Chambers, “German treads cautiously in court case to ban far-right party,” Reuters, August 18, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-npd-insight-idUSKCN10T14W. The NPD claims to pursue change through Germany’s democratic process but ultimately, according to the German Interior Ministry, the party’s intention is to systematically combat Germany’s democratic constitutional state.“Verfassungsschutzbericht 2013,” Bundesministerium des Innern, 101, https://www.verfassungsschutz.de/embed/vsbericht-2013.pdf. German authorities have charged the NPD with violating constitutional bans on Nazi symbols and propaganda, but the group and its members have not been convicted in court.“Germany’s highest court to rule on nationalist NPD party ban,” Deutsche Welle, November 11, 2016, http://www.dw.com/en/germanys-highest-court-to-rule-on-nationalist-npd-party-ban/a-36252425.

German authorities attempted to ban the NPD first in 2003, following a perceived rise in far-right crimes. The investigation collapsed, however, after it was revealed that many key party members were undercover law enforcement or paid informants.“Germany’s highest court to rule on nationalist NPD party ban,” Deutsche Welle, November 11, 2016, http://www.dw.com/en/germanys-highest-court-to-rule-on-nationalist-npd-party-ban/a-36252425. 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 far-right violence. In an unprecedented move, Germany’s top constitutional court opened a hearing into banning the group. On January 17, 2017, the Federal Constitutional Court rejected the proposed ban on the NPD. The court noted that the NPD resembles the Nazi party and its objectives were unconstitutional, but ruled that the NPD did not have enough political weight to pose any actual threat to Germany’s democratic system.“Germany’s top court rules against ban on far-right NDP,” Guardian, January 17, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/17/germany-s-top-court-rules-against-ban-on-far-right-ndp; Ben Knight “A guide to Germany’s far-right groups,” Deutsche Welle, June 17, 2017, http://www.dw.com/en/a-guide-to-germanys-far-right-groups/a-39124629. However, in June 2017, German government passed legislation to deny federal funding to any political party with aims hostile to the German constitution in a move specifically intended to target the NPD and incapacitate it by other legal means.Jefferson Chase, “Bundestag cancels German government funding of non-democratic parties,” Deutsche Welle, June 22, 2017, http://www.dw.com/en/bundestag-cancels-german-government-funding-of-non-democratic-parties/a-39372750; “German ends state funding for far-right NPD party,” The Local, June 23, 2017, https://www.thelocal.de/20170623/germany-ends-state-funding-for-far-right-npd-party.

Though the party saw an upswing in support in the mid-2010s, NPD has been losing voters to competing far-right group Alternative für Deutschland (AfD). In the September 2016 election for one state assembly, the group’s proportion of votes fell below the 5 percent of votes needed to maintain a seat.“The decline and fall of Germany’s ‘neo-Nazi’ NPD,” Deutsche Welle, September 7, 2016, http://www.dw.com/en/the-decline-and-fall-of-germanys-neo-nazi-npd/a-19532536. As such, the NPD is no longer represented in any parliament in Germany, and was slated to lose about 1.4 million euros in state funding.“The decline and fall of Germany’s ‘neo-Nazi’ NPD,” Deutsche Welle, September 7, 2016, http://www.dw.com/en/the-decline-and-fall-of-germanys-neo-nazi-npd/a-19532536. Despite having faced a constitutional ban, major electoral setbacks, and a loss of federal funding, the group retains substantial influence in parts of German civil society, and group’s leaders retain a degree of influence in Germany and in Europe.“The decline and fall of Germany’s ‘neo-Nazi’ NPD,” Deutsche Welle, September 7, 2016, http://www.dw.com/en/the-decline-and-fall-of-germanys-neo-nazi-npd/a-19532536; Madeline Chambers, “German treads cautiously in court case to ban far-right party,” Reuters, August 18, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-npd-insight-idUSKCN10T14W; “German ends state funding for far-right NPD party,” The Local, June 23, 2017, https://www.thelocal.de/20170623/germany-ends-state-funding-for-far-right-npd-party. Former NPD chair Udo Voigt, for example, serves as an NPD representative in the European Parliament. Before being elected to the position, Voigt had received a 10-month suspended sentence for incitement and expressing support for Hitler’s Schutzstaffel (SS).Madeline Chambers, “German treads cautiously in court case to ban far-right party,” Reuters, August 18, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-npd-insight-idUSKCN10T14W.

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 considerably.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). The NPD spreads militant racism, anti-Semitism, and hostility toward the United States, 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 also opposes same-sex marriage, which was legalized in Germany in June 2017.Lizzie Dearden, “Germany’s constitutional court rejects ban on ‘neo-Nazi’ NPD party, Independent (London), January 17, 2017, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/germany-npd-ban-federal-constitutional-court-ruling-neo-nazi-anti-semitism-refugees-racism-national-a7530806.html.

The NPD promotes a nationalist form of “socialism” in an effort to resist immigration and the economic effects of 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. According to the German intelligence service, the NPD opposes liberal democracy and appears to support 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 an 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, several NPD members have praised leading members of the Nazi party while seeking to revise the history of the Nazi period.“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 become members of the NPD’s executive committee.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 has attempted to emulate populist rhetoric by criticizing Islam. However, German neo-Nazis continue to perpetuate racist ideas, including by saying that “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. 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 also advocates Germany’s exit from the European Union and NATO.Lizzie Dearden, “Germany’s constitutional court rejects ban on ‘neo-Nazi’ NPD party, Independent (London), January 17, 2017, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/germany-npd-ban-federal-constitutional-court-ruling-neo-nazi-anti-semitism-refugees-racism-national-a7530806.html.

Organizational Structure:

The NPD is organized similarly to mainstream German political parties, in accordance with the German Political Parties Act. The group has a federal executive board and state chapters. 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. The party had a membership of 5,200 as of 2015.“Right-wing Extremist Membership (Overall View)”, Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV), accessed December 15, 2016,  https://www.verfassungsschutz.de/en/fields-of-work/right-wing-extremism/figures-and-facts-right-wing-extremism/right-wing-extremist-following-2015.

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 percent 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, up to 3,300 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. As a result of losing parliamentary seats in the September 2016 state assembly elections, the NPD will lose about 1.4 million euros in funding from the state.“The decline and fall of Germany’s ‘neo-Nazi’ NPD,” Deutsche Welle, September 7, 2016, http://www.dw.com/en/the-decline-and-fall-of-germanys-neo-nazi-npd/a-19532536. On June 23, 2017, the lower house of German parliament voted to end financing for “parties hostile to the constitution,” a measure meant to target the NPD.AFP, “Germany ends state funding for far-right NPD party,” The Local, June 23, 2017, https://www.thelocal.de/20170623/germany-ends-state-funding-for-far-right-npd-party. Since May 2014, the NPD has had one MEP in the European parliament and receives EU funding.Remi Adekoya, Helena Smith, et al., “Meet the new faces ready to sweep into the European parliament,” Guardian,  May 26, 2014, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/26/meet-the-new-faces-in-the-european-parliament; Nikolaj Nielsen, “EU parliament mulls funding ban for far-right party,” May 13, 2016, https://euobserver.com/institutional/133428. The NPD also received significant financial support from neo-Nazi Jürgen Rieger, who belonged to the party from 2006 until his death in May 2010.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 were deducted from the NPD’s public funding.“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. In June 2017, the German government passed legislation to deny federal funding to any political party with aims hostile to the German constitution in move specifically intended to target and incapacitate the NPD, following the rejection of a proposal to ban the party earlier in the year. Under this law, the NPD will not have access to federal funding for at least six years.Jefferson Chase, “Bundestag cancels German government funding of non-democratic parties,” Deutsche Welle, June 22, 2017, http://www.dw.com/en/bundestag-cancels-german-government-funding-of-non-democratic-parties/a-39372750; “German ends state funding for far-right NPD party,” The Local, June 23, 2017, https://www.thelocal.de/20170623/germany-ends-state-funding-for-far-right-npd-party.

Key Leaders

  • Udo Pastörs

    Former Party Chairman
  • Udo Voigt

    Former Party Chairman, Member of European Parliament (MEP)
  • Frank Franz

    Party Chairman
  • Frank Schwerdt

    Former Deputy Party Chairman (Deceased)
  • Jens Pühse

    Former Party Committee Member for Foreign Affairs
  • Sascha Rossmüller

    Board Member
  • Karl Richter

    Party leader
  • Arne Schimmer

    Party Committee Member for Economic Policy
  • Andreas Storr

    Former Federal Treasurer, Party Member and Member of Sachsen State Parliament
  • David Petereit

    Deputy Head of NPD Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
  • Jürgen Gansel

    Party Member and Member of Sachsen State Parliament
  • Andy Knape

    Head of Junge Nadionaldemokrated, NPD’s youth wing
  • Patrick Wieschke

  • Jörg Hänel

    Member of NPD’s Federal Executive Committee
  • Ronny Zasowk

    Deputy Party Chair
  • Edda Schmidt

    Party Member

History

 

Violent Activities

  • February 13, 1999: A group of young right-wing extremists chase 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 pursuit 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, a future member of the NPD’s federal executive committee, 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.
  • 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 is 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 the face in Dortmund, 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 local NPD head Safet Babic participates in an attack on a 21-year-old student who had ripped down NPD election posters. Babic is convicted and loses his appeals. 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, the member 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 appears 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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