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Germany

Jewish Leader warns of Far-right Rise

Germany is on the brink of a strong rise by the extreme right, the leader of the country's Jewish community warned on Tuesday, the 66th anniversary of a Nazi-ordered assault on Jews. With the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD) and the German People's Union (DVU) already agreeing an electoral alliance, and calls for the far-right Republikaner to join them, Paul Spiegel described the situation as being "five minutes to midnight". Spiegel said events that would have caused uproar a few years ago, such as the desecration of Jewish cemeteries and the exhortations of extremist parties, were failing to attract the same attention now. "Where is the outcry?" he asked in an interview with DeutschlandRadio. Pointing to the recent election of a committed neo-Nazi into the NPD's party leadership, Spiegel said such an event would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. Sixty-six years after over 7,500 Jewish shops were destroyed and 400 synagogues burned down on Adolf Hitler's orders in what became known as "Kristallnacht" or the Night of Broken Glass, Spiegel called for an "uprising of decent people". The Jewish leader said he had received little reaction to his proposal for a round table between representatives of the Jewish community, experts and politicians. (AFP)