Germany: Weekend of neo-Nazi marches

Aug. 21, 2006 at 12:31 PM
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BERLIN, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Neo-Nazi demonstrations and counter-activities dominated the streets in several German cities over the weekend, with 30 people arrested across the country.

Due to a large police presence, both political wings could be separated, leading to largely peaceful demonstrations.

Some 350 supporters of Germany's far-right National Democratic Party marched in the eastern German city of Jena to mark the anniversary of the death of Adolf Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess, while 1,800 people took the streets to protest the march. More neo-Nazi marches and counter-demonstrations took place in Berlin and Munich.

The Bavarian town of Wunsiedel, where Hess is buried, organized a "Day of Democracy," during which the citizens took the streets promoting a multicultural society with the slogan "Wunsiedel is colorful, not brown," in a reference to the traditional color of neo-Nazi movements in Germany.

According to Deutsche Welle Online, Wunsiedel Mayor Karl Willi Beck said he was pleased his city was able to keep "the neo-Nazis and leftist-yahoos from taking over the streets."

Several neo-Nazi crimes in the weeks before the FIFA Soccer World Cup sparked uncertainty among foreigners, but the event remained peaceful.

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