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Germany

Germany Bans Two Organizations for Holocaust Denial

German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble shut down two far-right organizations on grounds that they deny the Holocaust took place.

Man with black combat boots

Germany banned several extremist organizations

The minister accused the groups of being "reservoirs of organized Holocaust deniers" who distribute anti-Semitic propaganda and praise the Nazis over the Internet.

Authorities raided 30 locations looking for evidence early on Wednesday, May 7, taking evidence with them, a statement from Schaeuble said.

"Rightwing extremism has many faces, among them young neo-Nazis and similarly old Nazis," Schaeuble said. "They have in common their rejection of our free democratic principles."

Groups harbor racists

Collegium Humanum (CH) and its subsidiary organization, Bauernhilfe (Aid to Farmers), were the two groups identified by the Interior Ministry. The CH was founded in the 1960s and has long been monitored by domestic security services.

A third related group, the VRBHV, was described as working to "rehabilitate those persecuted for denying the Holocaust."

They have their bases in the western German states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Hesse.

Members accused of inciting hatred

The state was obliged to use its powers, as these "moral arsonists" were the breeding ground for racist violence, Schaeuble said.

German law prohibits inciting hatred or denying the atrocities committed by Nazis, which include the murder of six million Jews in Europe during World War II. Germany led a push within Europe to pass legislation which made inciting racism and xenophobia a crime throughout its 27 member states.

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