October 22nd, 2008

Alliance against neo-Nazi demonstration in Dresden

Dresden – A nationwide appeal has been launched to prevent the neo- Nazi demonstration on the anniversary of the allied firebombing of Dresden in February 1945. According to the newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau , the appeal "not to let far-right extremists march freely through Dresden" on 14 February 2009 was signed by the President of the Central Council of Jews, Charlotte Knobloch, the former Federal President, Richard von Weizsäcker, the leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), Franz Müntefering, Saxony's SPD leader and Deputy Prime Minister of this state, Thomas Jurk, the parliamentary party leaders Gregor Gysi (The Left) and Renate Künast (The Greens), the former Prime Minister of Saxony-Anhalt, Reinhard Höppner (SPD), the criminal defence lawyer from Dresden, Stefan Heinemann, and the rapper Smudo from the German group "Die Fantastischen Vier". The appeal states that the demonstration has become "the largest regular meeting of former Nazis and neo-Nazis of all kinds in Europe" in recent years and that Dresden, therefore, needs the support of the whole country in order to prevent the National Democratic Party (NPD) and other far-right groups from exploiting the memory of the victims of the firebombing in their election campaign next year. (22.10.2008)