National Democratic Party of Germany

National Democratic Party of Germany

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The National Democratic Party of Germany – The People's Union , is a far right
Far right
Far-right, extreme right, hard right, radical right, and ultra-right are terms used to discuss the qualitative or quantitative position a group or person occupies within right-wing politics. Far-right politics may involve anti-immigration and anti-integration stances towards groups that are...

 German nationalist
Nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

 party. It was founded in 1964 a successor to the German Reich Party . Party statements self-identify as Germany's "only significant patriotic force". On 1 January 2011 the far right German People's Union
German People's Union
The German People's Union is a nationalist political party in Germany. It was founded by publisher Gerhard Frey as an informal association in 1971 and established as a party in 1987. Financially, it is largely dependent on Frey....

  merged with the NPD, and the party name of the National Democratic Party of Germany was extended by the addition of 'The People's Union'.

The party is often described as a neo-Nazi organization, and has been described as "the most significant neo-Nazi party to emerge after 1945". The German Federal Agency for Civic Education, or BPB, has criticized the NPD for working with members of organizations which the federal courts later found to be unconstitutional and were disbanded, while the German federal intelligence agency, the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, classifies the NPD as a "threat to the constitutional order" because of its platform and philosophy, and it is under their observation. The NPD rejects this depiction, calls it an attempt to discredit their politics and states that they stand for the interests of the German people and for the German state.

It is currently represented in two of Germany's sixteen state parliaments with no seats at the federal level. Udo Voigt
Udo Voigt
Udo Voigt is a German politician and former leader of the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany since 1996. He is a former aviation engineer and captain in the German army.- Political career :...

 has led the NPD from 1996 to 2011., he is succeeded by Holger Apfel
Holger Apfel
Holger Apfel is the leader of the right-extremist National Democratic Party of Germany and has served as a member of the Saxon Parliament since 2004...

.

Platform and philosophy



The NPD's political philosophy coincides with the notion of a third political position
Third Position
Third Position is a revolutionary nationalist political ideology that emphasizes its opposition to both communism and capitalism. Advocates of Third Position politics typically present themselves as "beyond left and right", instead claiming to syncretize radical ideas from both ends of the...

, an idea which developed amidst criticisms of both liberal capitalism and communism
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

. The NPD also endorses certain beliefs about human nature. NPD leader Udo Voigt
Udo Voigt
Udo Voigt is a German politician and former leader of the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany since 1996. He is a former aviation engineer and captain in the German army.- Political career :...

 states that the philosophy of the NPD differs from both communism and social liberalism
Liberalism
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

 in that it acknowledges people as unequal products of their societies and environments, largely governed by what is called natural law
Natural law
Natural law, or the law of nature , is any system of law which is purportedly determined by nature, and thus universal. Classically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human nature and deduce binding rules of moral behavior. Natural law is contrasted with the positive law Natural...

. Voigt states that the party is also influenced by the views of modern ethologists
Ethology
Ethology is the scientific study of animal behavior, and a sub-topic of zoology....

 such as Konrad Lorenz
Konrad Lorenz
Konrad Zacharias Lorenz was an Austrian zoologist, ethologist, and ornithologist. He shared the 1973 Nobel Prize with Nikolaas Tinbergen and Karl von Frisch...

 and Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt
Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt
Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt is founder of the field of human ethology. In authoring the book which bears that title, he applied ethology to humans by studying them in a perspective more common to volumes studying animal behavior....

.

The NPD calls itself a party of "grandparents and grandchildren" because the 1960s generation in Germany, known for the leftist student movement
German student movement
The German student movement was a protest movement that took place during the late 1960s in West Germany. It was largely a reaction against the perceived authoritarianism and hypocrisy of the German government and other Western governments, and the poor living conditions of students...

, strongly opposes the NPD's policies. The NPD's economic program promotes social security
Social security
Social security is primarily a social insurance program providing social protection or protection against socially recognized conditions, including poverty, old age, disability, unemployment and others. Social security may refer to:...

 for Germans and control against plutocracy
Plutocracy
Plutocracy is rule by the wealthy, or power provided by wealth. The combination of both plutocracy and oligarchy is called plutarchy. The word plutocracy is derived from the Ancient Greek root ploutos, meaning wealth and kratos, meaning to rule or to govern.-Usage:The term plutocracy is generally...

, but it does not oppose private property
Private property
Private property is the right of persons and firms to obtain, own, control, employ, dispose of, and bequeath land, capital, and other forms of property. Private property is distinguishable from public property, which refers to assets owned by a state, community or government rather than by...

. Voigt has demanded the "dismantling" of the "liberal-capitalist system".

The NPD argues that NATO fails to represent the interests and needs of Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an people. The party considers the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 to be little more than a reorganisation of a Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

-style Europe along financial lines. Although highly critical of the EU, as long as Germany remains a part of it, the NPD opposes Turkey's incorporation
Accession of Turkey to the European Union
Turkey's application to accede to the European Union was made on 14 April 1987. Turkey has been an associate member of the European Union and its predecessors since 1963...

 into the organisation. Voigt envisions future collaboration and continued friendly relations with other nationalists and European national parties.

The NPD's platform says that Germany is larger than the present-day Federal Republic, and calls for revision of the post-war border concessions. At one point, a map of Germany was shown on the party website omitting the border that divides Germany from Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

. The NPD also failed to color in the Oder-Neisse Line
Oder-Neisse line
The Oder–Neisse line is the border between Germany and Poland which was drawn in the aftermath of World War II. The line is formed primarily by the Oder and Lusatian Neisse rivers, and meets the Baltic Sea west of the seaport cities of Szczecin and Świnoujście...

, the border which established the limits of federal Germany to the east and was agreed upon with Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 in 1990.

The 2005 report of the Verfassungsschutz federal agency contains the following description:
"The party continues to pursue a "people's front" of the nationals [consisting of] the NPD, DVU, and forces not attached to any party, which is supposed to develop into a base for an encompassing "German people's movement". The aggressive agitation of the NPD unabashedly aims towards the abolition of parliamentary democracy and the democratic constitutional state
Liberal democracy
Liberal democracy, also known as constitutional democracy, is a common form of representative democracy. According to the principles of liberal democracy, elections should be free and fair, and the political process should be competitive...

, although the use of violence is currently still officially rejected for tactical reasons. Statements of the NPD document an essential affinity with National Socialism
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

; its agitation is racist
Racism
Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature...

, antisemitic
Anti-Semitism
Antisemitism is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. According to a 2005 U.S...

, revisionist
Historical revisionism (negationism)
Historical revisionism is either the legitimate scholastic re-examination of existing knowledge about a historical event, or the illegitimate distortion of the historical record such that certain events appear in a more or less favourable light. For the former, i.e. the academic pursuit, see...

, and intends to disparage the democratic and lawful order of the constitution."



International connections



Voigt has held meetings with various proponents of white nationalism
White nationalism
White nationalism is a political ideology which advocates a racial definition of national identity for white people. White separatism and white supremacism are subgroups within white nationalism. The former seek a separate white nation state, while the latter add ideas from social Darwinism and...

, including American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 politician David Duke
David Duke
David Ernest Duke is a former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan an American activist and writer, and former Republican Louisiana State Representative. He was also a former candidate in the Republican presidential primaries in 1992, and in the Democratic presidential primaries in...

.

Early history


The NPD achieved success in the late 1960s, winning local government seats across West Germany. In 1966 and 1967, it won 15 seats in Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

, 10 in lower Saxony
Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony is a German state situated in north-western Germany and is second in area and fourth in population among the sixteen states of Germany...

, 8 in Hesse
Hesse
Hesse or Hessia is both a cultural region of Germany and the name of an individual German state.* The cultural region of Hesse includes both the State of Hesse and the area known as Rhenish Hesse in the neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate state...

, and several other seats. However, it did not then and has never since received the minimum 5% of votes in federal elections that allow a party to send delegates to the German Parliament
Bundestag
The Bundestag is a federal legislative body in Germany. In practice Germany is governed by a bicameral legislature, of which the Bundestag serves as the lower house and the Bundesrat the upper house. The Bundestag is established by the German Basic Law of 1949, as the successor to the earlier...

. The NPD came the closest to that goal in the 1969 election, when it got 4.3 percent of the vote. An economic downturn, frustrations with the emerging leftist youth counter-culture and the emergence of a coalition government
Grand Coalition (Germany)
In modern Germany, grand coalition describes a governing coalition of the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats, as they are the two largest parties.-Weimar Republic:...

 between the center-right Christian Democratic Party
Christian Democratic Party
Christian democratic parties are those political parties that seek to apply Christian principles to public policy. The underlying Christian democracy movement emerged in 19th-century Europe, largely under the influence of Catholic social teaching, and it continues to be influential in Europe and...

 (CDU), the Christian Social Union
Christian Social Union of Bavaria
The Christian Social Union in Bavaria is a Christian democratic and conservative political party in Germany. It operates only in the state of Bavaria, while its sister party, the Christian Democratic Union , operates in the other 15 states of Germany...

 (the CDU's present-day sister party), and the center-left Social Democratic Party
Social Democratic Party of Germany
The Social Democratic Party of Germany is a social-democratic political party in Germany...

 (SPD) helped pave the way for those NPD gains. The coalition government had created a vacuum in the traditional political right wing
Right-wing politics
In politics, Right, right-wing and rightist generally refer to support for a hierarchical society justified on the basis of an appeal to natural law or tradition. To varying degrees, the Right rejects the egalitarian objectives of left-wing politics, claiming that the imposition of equality is...

, which the NPD had tried to fill. The historian Walter Laqueur
Walter Laqueur
Walter Zeev Laqueur is an American historian and political commentator. He was born in Breslau, Germany , to a Jewish family. In 1938, Laqueur left Germany for the British Mandate of Palestine. His parents, who were unable to leave, became victims of the Holocaust...

 has argued that the NPD in the 1960s cannot be classified as a neo-Nazi party.

Yet, when the coalition fell apart, around 75 percent of those who had voted for the NPD drifted back to the center-right. During the 1970s, the NPD went into decline, suffering from an internal split over failing to get into the German Parliament
Bundestag
The Bundestag is a federal legislative body in Germany. In practice Germany is governed by a bicameral legislature, of which the Bundestag serves as the lower house and the Bundesrat the upper house. The Bundestag is established by the German Basic Law of 1949, as the successor to the earlier...

. The issue of immigration
Immigration to Germany
On 1 January 2005, a new immigration law came into effect that altered the legal method of immigration to Germany. The political background to the introduction of the new immigration law being that Germany for the first time ever acknowledged to be an "immigration country." Although the practical...

 spurred a small rebound in popular interest from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, but the party only saw limited success in various local elections.

Electoral history


In the 2004 state election
Saxony state election, 2004
The Saxony state election of 2004, was conducted on September 19, 2004, to elect members to the Landtag of Saxony.-Outcome:* The most striking result of the election, gaining international attention, was the entrance into the Landtag of the nationalist NPD, which won 12 seats. Its strength was...

 in Saxony
Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

, the NPD won 9.2% of the overall vote. The NPD currently sends 8 representatives to the Saxony state parliament, the Landtag
Landtag
A Landtag is a representative assembly or parliament in German-speaking countries with some legislative authority.- Name :...

, having lost 4 representatives in the 2009 elections. The NPD maintained a non-competition agreement with the German People's Union (DVU) between 2004 and 2009. The third white nationalist-oriented party, the Republicans
Republicans (Germany)
The Republicans is a national conservative political party in Germany. The primary plank of the program is opposition to immigration. The party tends to attract protest voters who think that the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union of Bavaria are not sufficiently conservative...

 (REP), has so far refused to join this agreement. However, Kerstin Lorenz, a local representative of the Republicans in Saxony, sabotaged her party's registration to help the NPD in the Saxony election.

In the 2005 federal elections
German federal election, 2005
German federal elections took place on 18 September 2005 to elect the members of the 16th German Bundestag, the federal parliament of Germany. They became necessary after a motion of confidence in Chancellor Gerhard Schröder failed on 1 July...

, the NPD received 1.6 percent of the vote nationally. It garnered the highest percent of votes in the states of Saxony
Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

 (4.9 percent), Thuringia
Thuringia
The Free State of Thuringia is a state of Germany, located in the central part of the country.It has an area of and 2.29 million inhabitants, making it the sixth smallest by area and the fifth smallest by population of Germany's sixteen states....

 (3.7 percent), Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (3.5 percent) and Brandenburg
Brandenburg
Brandenburg is one of the sixteen federal-states of Germany. It lies in the east of the country and is one of the new federal states that were re-created in 1990 upon the reunification of the former West Germany and East Germany. The capital is Potsdam...

 (3.2 percent). In most other states, the party won around 1 percent of the total votes cast. In the 2006 Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state election, the NPD received 7.3% of the vote and thus achieved state representation there, as well.

The NPD had 5,300 registered party members in 2004. Over the course of 2006, the NPD processed roughly 2,000 party applications to push the membership total over 7,200. In 2008, the trend of a growing number of members has been reversed and NPD's membership is estimated at about 7000.

The 2001–2003 banning attempt


In 2001, the federal government, the Bundestag
Bundestag
The Bundestag is a federal legislative body in Germany. In practice Germany is governed by a bicameral legislature, of which the Bundestag serves as the lower house and the Bundesrat the upper house. The Bundestag is established by the German Basic Law of 1949, as the successor to the earlier...

, and the Bundesrat jointly attempted to ban the NPD in a trial before the Federal Constitutional Court
Federal Constitutional Court of Germany
The Federal Constitutional Court is a special court established by the Grundgesetz, the German basic law...

, the Bundesverfassungsgericht, the highest court in Germany with the exclusive power to ban parties if they are found to be "anti-constitutional". However, the case was thrown out in 2003 after it was discovered that a number of the NPD's inner circle were in fact undercover agents or informants of the German secret services, like the federal Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz. They include a former deputy chairman of the party and author of an anti-Semitic tract that formed a central part of the government's case. Since the government assemblies were unwilling to fully disclose their agents' identities and activities, the court found it impossible to decide which moves by the party were based on genuine party decisions and which were controlled by the secret services in an attempt to further the ban. “The party was, in part, responding to the government's dictates”, the court said. “The presence of the state at the leadership level makes influence on its aims and activities unavoidable”, it concluded.

Horst Mahler
Horst Mahler
Horst Mahler is a former German lawyer and advocate of radical ideologies. He once was an extreme-left militant, a founding member of the Red Army Faction. Subsequently he became a Maoist and later shifted to the extreme-right. He was for a time a member of the National Democratic Party of Germany...

 (NPD), a former member of the far left
Far left
Far left, also known as the revolutionary left, radical left and extreme left are terms which refer to the highest degree of leftist positions among left-wing politics...

 terrorist organisation Red Army Faction
Red Army Faction
The radicalized were, like many in the New Left, influenced by:* Sociological developments, pressure within the educational system in and outside Europe and the U.S...

, defended the NPD before the court. In May 2009, several state politicians published an extensive document which they claim proves the NPD's opposition to the constitution without relying on information supplied by undercover agents. This move was intended to lead up to a second attempt to have the NPD banned.

Merger with DVU


At the 2010 NPD party conference at Bamberg it was announced that the party would ask its members to approve a merger with the German People's Union
German People's Union
The German People's Union is a nationalist political party in Germany. It was founded by publisher Gerhard Frey as an informal association in 1971 and established as a party in 1987. Financially, it is largely dependent on Frey....

 (DVU). After the merger on 1 January 2011 the party name of the NPD was extended by the addition of 'The People's Union'. Between 2004 and 2009 the two parties had agreed not to compete against each other in elections. However, on January 27, 2011, the Munich Landgericht (regional court) in a preliminary injunction
Preliminary injunction
A preliminary injunction, in equity, is an injunction entered by a court prior to a final determination of the merits of a legal case, in order to restrain a party from going forward with a course of conduct or compelling a party to continue with a course of conduct until the case has been decided...

 declared the merger null and void.

World War II and Holocaust commemoration controversies



On 21 January 2005, during a silence in the Saxon state assembly in Dresden
Dresden
Dresden is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near the Czech border. The Dresden conurbation is part of the Saxon Triangle metropolitan area....

 to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi Auschwitz extermination camp
Auschwitz concentration camp
Concentration camp Auschwitz was a network of Nazi concentration and extermination camps built and operated by the Third Reich in Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany during World War II...

, twelve members of the NPD walked out in protest. The NPD was upset that a moment of silence was being held for those who died in the Auschwitz camp and that none was being given for those who died during the bombing of Dresden in World War II
Bombing of Dresden in World War II
The Bombing of Dresden was a military bombing by the British Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Force and as part of the Allied forces between 13 February and 15 February 1945 in the Second World War...

, with the anniversary of both events falling relatively close to each other. Holger Apfel
Holger Apfel
Holger Apfel is the leader of the right-extremist National Democratic Party of Germany and has served as a member of the Saxon Parliament since 2004...

, leader of the NPD in Saxony
Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

 and deputy leader of the party nationwide, made a speech in the Saxon State Parliament
Landtag of Saxony
The Landtag of Saxony, also referred to as the Parliament of Saxony or the Saxon Parliament, is the German state of Saxony's legislature...

 in which he called the Allied forces of the United States of America and Britain
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 "mass murderers" because of their role in the bombing. His colleague, Jürgen Gansel went on to describe the bombing itself as a "holocaust of bombs".

Voigt voiced his support and reiterated the statement, which some controversially claimed was a violation of the German law which forbids Holocaust denial
Holocaust denial
Holocaust denial is the act of denying the genocide of Jews in World War II, usually referred to as the Holocaust. The key claims of Holocaust denial are: the German Nazi government had no official policy or intention of exterminating Jews, Nazi authorities did not use extermination camps and gas...

. However, after judicial review, it was decided that Udo Voigt's description of the 1945 RAF bombing of Dresden as a holocaust was an exercise of free speech and "defamation of the dead" was not the purpose of his statement.

In 2009, the NPD joined the Junge Landsmannschaft Ostdeutschland
Junge Landsmannschaft Ostdeutschland
Junge Landsmannschaft Ostdeutschland is a nationalist and revanchist, German youth organization, that the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution has described as “partially far-right”. Most of its activities take place in the eastern parts of Germany...

 in a demonstration on the anniversary of the Bombing of Dresden in World War II
Bombing of Dresden in World War II
The Bombing of Dresden was a military bombing by the British Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Force and as part of the Allied forces between 13 February and 15 February 1945 in the Second World War...

. 6.000 people took part in the event.

Activism and controversy


The NPD's strategy has been to create "national free-zones" and circumvent its marginal electoral status by concentrating on regions where support is strongest. In March 2006, musician Konstantin Wecker
Konstantin Wecker
Konstantin Alexander Wecker is one of the best-known German singer-songwriters ; he also works as a composer, author, and actor.- Life and work :...

 tried to set up an in-school anti-fascist
Anti-fascism
Anti-fascism is the opposition to fascist ideologies, groups and individuals, such as that of the resistance movements during World War II. The related term antifa derives from Antifaschismus, which is German for anti-fascism; it refers to individuals and groups on the left of the political...

 concert in Halberstadt
Halberstadt
Halberstadt is a town in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt and the capital of the district of Harz. It is located on the German Half-Timbered House Road and the Magdeburg–Thale railway....

, Saxony-Anhalt
Saxony-Anhalt
Saxony-Anhalt is a landlocked state of Germany. Its capital is Magdeburg and it is surrounded by the German states of Lower Saxony, Brandenburg, Saxony, and Thuringia.Saxony-Anhalt covers an area of...

 two weeks before the state elections. The NPD argued that because of politics, the date and the in-school venue, the concert "was an unacceptable form of political campaigning." In protest, the NPD vowed to buy the tickets and turn up en masse at Wecker's show, which led local authorities to cancel the event. The Social Democrats and the Greens
Greens
Greens may refer to:*Leaf vegetables such as collard greens, mustard greens, spring greens, winter greens, spinach, etc.-Politics:Supranational* Green politics* Green party, political parties adhering to Green politics* Global Greens...

 were outraged by the decision, which the Central Council for Jews
Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland
The Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland is a federation of German Jews organizing many Jewish organisations in Germany. It was founded on July 19, 1950, as a response to the increasing isolation of German Jews by the international Jewish community and increasing interest in Jewish affairs by the ...

 called "politically bankrupt".

The NPD was going to sponsor a march through Leipzig
Leipzig
Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...

 on 21 June 2006, as the 2006 World Cup
2006 FIFA World Cup
The 2006 FIFA World Cup was the 18th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 9 June to 9 July 2006 in Germany, which won the right to host the event in July 2000. Teams representing 198 national football associations from all six...

 was going on. The party wanted to show its support for the Iranian national football team, which was playing in Leipzig
Leipzig
Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...

, and Iranian President
President of Iran
The President of Iran is the highest popularly elected official in, and the head of government of the Islamic Republic of Iran; although subordinate to the Supreme Leader of Iran, who functions as the country's head of state...

 Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. However, the NPD decided against the demonstration; only a counter-demonstration took place that day, in support of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. During the World Cup, the party's web site stated that due to the prevalence of people of non-German descent on the German national football team, the team "was not really German".

Later in 2006, the party designed leaflets which said "White - not just the color of a jersey! For a true National team!" This leaflet was never mass-distributed, but copies were confiscated during a raid on the NPD's headquarters, when authorities had been hoping to find material linking the party to Nazism. Patrick Owomoyela
Patrick Owomoyela
Patrick Owomoyela is a German footballer who plays for Fußball-Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund, having previously played for Lüneburger SK, VfL Osnabrück, SC Paderborn 07, Arminia Bielefeld and Werder Bremen...

 was later informed about the poster after it was noted that the image depicted a footballer wearing a white jersey with Owomoyela's number on it. Owomoyela, of Nigerian descent, had played for the German national team in the years before the World Cup and proceeded to file a lawsuit against the party. The party was able to delay the procedures but in April 2009 three party officials (Udo Voigt
Udo Voigt
Udo Voigt is a German politician and former leader of the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany since 1996. He is a former aviation engineer and captain in the German army.- Political career :...

, Frank Schwerdt and Klaus Bieler) were sentenced for Volksverhetzung
Volksverhetzung
Volksverhetzung is a concept in German criminal law that bans the incitement of hatred against a segment of the population. It often applies in, though it is not limited to, trials relating to Holocaust denial in Germany...

 (Voigt and Bieler to 7 months on probation, Schwerdt to 10 months on probation).

In November 2008, shortly after the 2008 United States Presidential Election
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

, the NPD published a document entitled "Africa conquers the White House" which stated that the election of Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 as the first African-American President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 was the result of "the American alliance of Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 and Negroes" and that Obama aimed to destroy the United States' "white identity
White nationalism
White nationalism is a political ideology which advocates a racial definition of national identity for white people. White separatism and white supremacism are subgroups within white nationalism. The former seek a separate white nation state, while the latter add ideas from social Darwinism and...

." The NPD claimed that "A non-white America is a declaration of war on all people who believe an organically grown social order based on language and culture, history and heritage to be the essence of humanity" and that "Barack Obama hides this declaration of war behind his pushy sunshine smile." The NPD also stated that the extensive support for Obama in Germany "resembles an African tropical disease."

In September 2009, another incident involving the NPD and a football player of the German national team was reported. In a television show of a regional channel, NPD spokesman Beier called midfielder Mesut Özil
Mesut Özil
Mesut Özil is a footballer who plays for Spanish La Liga club Real Madrid and for the German national team. Özil has been a youth national team member since 2006, and a member of the German national team since 2009. He gained international attention during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and was nominated...

 a "Plaste-Deutscher" ("Plastic German" or "ID Card German"), meaning someone who is not a born German, but one that is made by naturalization, particularly for certain benefits. The German Football Association
German Football Association
The German Football Association is the governing body of football in Germany. A founding member of both FIFA and UEFA, the DFB organises the German football leagues, including the national league, the Bundesliga, and the men's and women's national teams. The DFB is based in Frankfurt and is...

 announced that they would immediately file a lawsuit against the NPD and their spokesman, if requested by Özil.

During Operation Cast Lead in 2009, the NPD planned a "holocaust vigil" for Gaza
Gaza
Gaza , also referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories.Inhabited since at least the 15th century BC,...

 in support of the Palestinians. Charlotte Knobloch, the head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said "joint hatred of everything Jewish is unifying neo-Nazis and Islamists." Knobloch, who broadly associated Palestinians with Nazis, claimed German-Palestinian protestors "unashamedly admitted" that they would vote for the NPD during the next election.

In April 2009, the party was fined 2.5 million Euro
Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

 for filing incorrect financial statements, resulting, according to Deutsche Welle
Deutsche Welle
Deutsche Welle or DW, is Germany's international broadcaster. The service is aimed at the overseas market. It broadcasts news and information on shortwave, Internet and satellite radio on 98.7 DZFE in 30 languages . It has a satellite television service , that is available in four languages, and...

, in "serious financial trouble" for its administration.

On 23 September 2009, four days before the federal elections, German police raided the Berlin headquarters of the NPD to investigate claims that letters sent from the NPD to politicians from immigrant backgrounds incited racial hatred. The NPD leader in Berlin defended the letters saying that "As part of a democracy we're entitled to say if something doesn't suit us in this country".

Party leaders of NPD

  • Friedrich Thielen
    Friedrich Thielen
    Friedrich-Georg "Fritz" Thielen was a German politician with the Christian Democratic Union , the German Party, the Gesamtdeutsche Partei and the National Democratic Party of Germany ....

     1964–1967
  • Adolf von Thadden
    Adolf von Thadden
    Adolf von Thadden Von Thadden was born at the noble estate of Gut Trieglaff near Greifenberg in Pomerania – was a leading far right German politician...

     1967–1971
  • Martin Mussgnug
    Martin Mussgnug
    Martin Mussgnug was a German politician and former leader of the National Democratic Party of Germany ....

     1971–1990
  • Günter Deckert
    Günter Deckert
    Günter Deckert is a far-right German political activist. He was the leader of the far right National Democratic Party of Germany . He has served five years in prison in Germany for various offences, including Holocaust denial and incitement to racial hatred...

     1991–1996
  • Udo Voigt
    Udo Voigt
    Udo Voigt is a German politician and former leader of the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany since 1996. He is a former aviation engineer and captain in the German army.- Political career :...

     1996–2011
  • Holger Apfel
    Holger Apfel
    Holger Apfel is the leader of the right-extremist National Democratic Party of Germany and has served as a member of the Saxon Parliament since 2004...

     2011–present

See also

  • Irredentism
    Irredentism
    Irredentism is any position advocating annexation of territories administered by another state on the grounds of common ethnicity or prior historical possession, actual or alleged. Some of these movements are also called pan-nationalist movements. It is a feature of identity politics and cultural...

  • Politics of Germany
    Politics of Germany
    The Federal Republic of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic, based on representative democracy. The Chancellor is the head of government, while the President of Germany is the head of state, which is a ceremonial role but with substantial reserve powers.Executive power is vested in the...

  • List of political parties in Germany
  • Frank Rennicke
    Frank Rennicke
    Frank Rennicke is a German singer-songwriter from Braunschweig in Lower Saxony. He is linked with the far right political scene in Germany, and describes himself as a "national bard"....


External links