I Mean, Come On

The National Democratic Party of Germany recently raised a stink in Berlin – in a manner of speaking. The Associated Press reported:

A German far-right party is drawing criticism for its regional election posters with the slogan ‘step on the gas’ — picturing their leader on a motorcycle apparently revving the engine.

Martin Salm, head of the foundation that oversaw German compensation for Nazi-era slave laborers, said the signs appeared outside Berlin’s Jewish Museum Wednesday.

Given the Nazis’ use of gas chambers in the murder of 6 million Jews, Salm says the slogan is ‘disgusting, provocative and intolerable.’

But National Democratic Party leader Udo Voigt was quoted in Der Spiegel magazine saying that most people shown the poster saw no negative connotations and that ‘after 66 years you have to stop worrying about things from the past.'”

Yeah, get over that whole genocide thing. The reason why this is controversial is that the NPD (German acronym) is a neo-Nazi party – a fact the AP somehow missed; no doubt lost in the sea of objectivity. It would be the equivalent of a Klan group saturating Detroit with election posters that had as their slogan “Let’s Hang Out” emblazoned over a Confederate flag, with the AP describing the organization as “arch-conservative.” I mean, come on.

The NPD’s neo-Nazism is evident, first  in its links with other neo-Nazi groups that includes a longstanding association with the infamous National Alliance. Martin Lee wrote:

The NPD’s closest U.S. ally is Dr. William Pierce, head of the neo-Nazi National Alliance and author of the notorious hate novel, The Turner Diaries, which the FBI has called ‘the blueprint for the Oklahoma City bombing.’ In 1998 Pierce traveled to Germany to attend the NPD’s national convention. The leader of the NPD’s youth wing, Alexander von Webenau, subsequently visited Pierce at his remote, rural encampment in West Virginia. While there Webenau spoke at an invitation-only conference hosted by the National Alliance. Pierce also published an interview with NDP chief Udo Voigt.'”

The NA described the NPD this way on its website:

“The National Democratic Party (Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands, or NPD) is Germany’s oldest nationalist party and one of the few patriotic organizations not yet banned by the government. It was formed on November 28, 1964, by leading members of the disbanded Deutsche Reichspartei and several smaller patriotic groups. At that time the NPD was led by Adolf von Thadden, while other active members included the noted revisionist historian Udo Walendy, ex-Wehrmacht General Artur Wilhelm Schmitt, and rocket pioneer Dr. Hermann Oberth. Among those offering their early support and assistance was Britain’s Fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley. In a letter of December 16, 1964, to leading NPD member Wolfgang Frenz, Mosley wrote enthusiastically of his hopes for the new party, stressing that it is ‘of the greatest importance . . . to support the formation of a nationalist party for Europe.'”

Further proof of the NPD’s neo-Nazi orientation was revealed in a book by Olaf Sundermyer and Christoph Ruf, which relied on ex-NPD defectors:

“Some of the most disturbing revelations about the NPD, which began life in the mid-1960s, are provided by former members who were shocked by the violence of its members and their hero-worship of Adolf Hitler. Uwe Luthardt, a taxi driver, was in the NPD leadership for three years, but resigned after watching his party colleagues severely beat a punk rocker who had shouted ‘Goodnight white pride’ at the group. ‘It was the straw that broke the camel’s back,’ Mr Luthardt said.

He revealed that the party’s regional headquarters in Jena is deliberately called the ‘Brown House’ after Hitler’s Munich HQ. The cellars of the building contain a weapons cache, and are adorned with photographs of SS men. Party members sing the outlawed Nazi ‘Horst Wessel’ anthem and a song called ‘We’re Going to Build an Underground Train Line from Jerusalem to Auschwitz’.”

Mr Luthardt described how the party is funded by donations from expatriate Nazis and their families who fled to South America after the Second World War. Cash also comes from concerts staged by far-right skinhead rock bands. “The objective is to bring back the Third Reich,” he said.

An objective pursued by neo-Nazis. Why the AP couldn’t describe them as such isn’t exactly clear; what is clear is that if media like the AP are this incompetent in their reporting on something as transparently obvious as neo-Nazism and the NPD, then what else are they getting wrong?

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