"Think about it, but never show it"

But, in the northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, a very different face of the party is on display -- one that reveals Apfel's rhetoric for the charade it is.
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The Germanic Elhaz rune, the symbol of the Third Reich's "Lebensborn" program, which supported the production of racially pure Aryan children, hangs above the entrance. Welcome to a building called the "Thinghaus" in Grevesmühlen, the local headquarters of the NPD. (The name is inspired by the old Germanic word for a governing assembly, "thing.") Instead of being located in the midst of the populace, the building is in fact where the National Democrats are still to be found today: on the periphery -- on the periphery of the town, the periphery of society and the periphery of public beliefs.
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Neo-Nazi rock bands like Stahlgewitter, known to the authorities for its album "Auftrag Deutsches Reich" (German Reich Mission), perform at the Thinghaus on weekends. An appearance by a former Ku Klux Klan leader was only cancelled because German authorities put the American agitator on a plane back to the United States the day before.

The Nazi fortress in Grevesmühlen belongs to Sven Krüger, a right-wing extremist who is currently serving a four-year prison term for dealing in stolen goods and possession of a weapon without a permit. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Germany's domestic intelligence agency, believes that Krüger is the local head of the "Hammerskin Nation" in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, an American extremist group that is prepared to use violence and believes in the ultimate victory of the Nordic master race.
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It is arguably true that the ultra-extremists of the so-called Freie Kameradschaften ("free comradeships") -- small, loose-knit groups of right-wing extremists who are not officially organized as associations or political parties -- are more uninhibited in their expressions of hate and more prepared to use violence than the NPD. But, without the NPD, they would be nothing but local splinter groups. Only the NPD brings together the right-wing extremists, guaranteeing them nationwide notoriety and, at least in eastern Germany, a significant role as a regional party.


Conversely, the NPD wants to be associated with the street skinheads and with their visceral strength, which repeatedly manifests itself as raw violence. No one, least of all the leaders of the NPD, should be surprised that some of the presumed helpers of the Zwickau terrorist cell were, or still are, members of the party. After all, a hatred of the democratic German state is not just a characteristic of autonomous neo-Nazi groups, but also of the NPD. The desire to combat the state is the party's raison d'être. And the NPD's tactics involve pushing the boundaries of the legal as far as they can go -- even if the party has expressly distanced itself from the murders allegedly commited by the NSU.
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And there are parts of Germany where the NPD is indeed a political force. They are not, however, in the west, where the NPD has less than 500 members in a state like Baden-Württemberg in the southwest, with its population of 11 million. Neither does it have any seats in the national parliament, the Bundestag, having consistently failed to overcome the 5 percent hurdle in general elections.

But, in the east, the NPD holds seats in the parliaments of two states, Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, and it only narrowly failed to secure seats in the state parliaments of Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt. In the east, the NPD appeals largely to young men. The average age of party members is lower than that of any other party in the Bundestag. In a survey taken during the 2011 Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania state election, one in five respondents said that the NPD is a "party like any other."

Seen in this light, 3,000 can also be an intolerable number for a country of 82 million -- especially when the NPD shows its evil face, its intolerable side.
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And, according to Richter, anyone who has other "ideological roots and role models" should stick to the motto: "Think about it, but never show it."

Udo Voigt, the party's leading candidate in the Berlin parliamentary election, once pontificated that Hitler was "unquestionably" a "great German statesman," the July 20 plot to assassinate Hitler was "insidious" and that "a unique European lifestyle was subjugated and condemned" in the postwar Nuremberg trials.
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To reach their offices, one passes by a bulletin board with two posters in the middle. One reads "Freedom for Erich Priebke," and the other reads "Herbert Schweiger -- Unforgotten." Priebke, a former member of the SS, is serving a life sentence in Italy as a war criminal. Schweiger, who died in 2011, was part of Hitler's personal bodyguard unit, the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. Finally, in front of the politicians' office, there is a war painting that portrays the power and glory of German wars of aggression. The World War II work is called "Panzer im Sturm" ("Tanks Attacking").
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When Barbara Dabrowska, a journalist from Germany's Vice magazine, recently discovered a barbecue grill in front of the Thinghaus that had the words "Happy Holocaust" stamped into it in Gothic script, Köster had the presumption to say that perhaps someone was "poking a little fun at political repression in this country." It's the sort of remark only the NPD would find amusing.

In truth, anti-Semitism is one element of the enduring veneration of the Nazi era in NPD circles. Not even this legacy of the Third Reich's years of dictatorship and murder is off-limits to NPD politicians. In the Berlin state election campaign, for example, leading candidate Udo Voigt used a campaign poster that showed him on a motorcycle, next to the slogan: "Step on the Gas." Mainstream politicians denounced the poster, which was also displayed in front of the Jewish Museum in the Kreuzberg neighborhood, as an open allusion to the Nazi death chambers. spiegel


Nota: muitos alemães "ocidentais", tanto idosos como jovens, continuam descontentes com a unificação com a antiga RDA. Provavelmente têm razão! Aliás é nos "países de leste" (Hungria e Bulgária, nomeadamente) que o neo-nazismo tem mais expressão. Até se esquecem que Hitler os considerava, a uns, seres de terceira categoria,  a outros, "sub-humanos", sendo que húngaros e búlgaros tão exemplarmente fascistas e mafiosos não entravam sequer na categoria "humanos de terceira categoria"! (1ª: os "arianos", sendo os nórdicos o expoente máximo da "raça ariana"; 2ª: franceses e belgas, não deixando claro se aqui também entravam os italianos, os espanhóis e os tugas, o que me leva a crer que  não entravam e que Hitler os equiparava aos de "leste", só não o explicitando porque a Itália era aliada da Alemanha e Franco e Salazar eram "neutros" e fascistas; 3ª: polacos e outros de "leste", vindo depois as várias categorias de "sub-humanos" onde entrariam os dos balcâs...).

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