February 10th, 2017

Verdict on the NPD is a missed opportunity

With the dismissal of the ban of the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) by the German Federal Constitutional Court, an important opportunity has been missed to take effective action against this inhuman party and to strengthen democracy. The NPD can, at present, spread its brown ideology and provide important logistical support in the right-wing scene with the help of hundred of thousands of euros of taxpayer money.

All the same, the verdict is not a success for the NPD. Instead, its real face has been revealed. The Federal Constitutional Court clearly confirmed the affinity of the NPD with National Socialism as well as its anti-Semitic attitude. The notion of the nation adopted by the NPD would violate human dignity. Its political concept would be focused on the marginalization and defamation of political groups. The NPD is an anti-constitutional party.

The President of the Central Council of Jews, Dr. Josef Schuster’s states the following on the verdict: “The Central Council of Jews in Germany has championed a ban on the NPD for many years. Thus the court verdict is disappointing. Jews are clearly the NPD’s stereotypical enemy. Therefore a ban would have been very important and encouraging for the Jewish community and other minorities as well as all those that do not fit this party’s worldview. At the same time, a ban would have also strengthened all those civil society actors, who have been championing against the NPD for years. The court does not see that the NPD stands a chance to become more politically successful and powerful in the future. We can only hope that the constitutional judges are right. Given the success of right-wing populist parties, the question arises, what has to happen, before a party is banned.”

The Central Council of Jews in Germany calls on those responsible at Federal and State level not to relax their efforts in fighting right-wing extremism. Furthermore, all legal possibilities to withdraw public funding for the NPD must be exhausted. Municipalities and initiatives that take on right-wing extremism in the field, require better and more sustainable support. Likewise, action has to be taken more consequently and more quickly against right-wing extremist criminal acts than has been the case to date. The request of the Federal Constitutional Court that those concerned and the freedom of the political process has to be protected effectively, definitely has to be taken into account. Precisely due to the verdict, there is a special responsibility in monitoring parties and groups with anti-constitutional views.

Berlin, 17 January 2017 / 19 Tewet 5777