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Why the NPD Shouldn't Be Silenced

The far-right National Democratic Party's behavior at a recent memorial ceremony for Holocaust victims prompted many to ask why the party isn't banned. But most of DW's readers felt the NPD has a right to a voice.

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Does the NPD have the right to freedom of speech?

I think that the NPD should not be banned. Their party has just as much right to voice their beliefs as the Greens, CDU and the SPD. How long are people going to label the Germans Nazis? That was 60 years ago. This is a different age now. These people just want jobs for Germans, their social money to go to Germans and not "Ausländer". Some might view their comments differently, but behind closed doors I'll bet it is a different story. -- Michael Fuller/USA

The NPD should not be banned as a party unless they are a viable threat to overthrow the German government by violent means rather than through the election process. They have the right to freedom of speech. In a constitutional democracy, who would be entitled to decide to ban the party short of an amendment to the consitution through the means set up for that process? -- John Thomas

Trends in many EU countries illustrate that far-right parties are here to stay and NPD/CVU could gather enough votes in 2006 to enter the Bundestag. The German unemployment rate is increasing and government reforms are highly unpopular. I think the increasing pessimism in the public about the state of the economy will give the NPD/DVU more votes. However, the most effective way to oppose these far-right groups is not through left-wing violence. The federal and state governments should work actively to improve the economical condition of Germany and initiate more actions for multicultural harmony. The NPD/DVU hate of non-Germans is a tragic result of an ignorant ideology. -- Atilla A. Iftikhar

It may come as a shock but in a true democracy even unpopular speech is protected. If only "correct" speech is free then you do not have freedom of speech. One would think this principle would by now be fundamental in a free society. -- JL Ronish

NPD should not be banned yet, however if their policy and rhetoric worsen then the party should be banned from all states. It is possible they will encourage more hate and even violence against people they consider "un-patriotic". Such intimidations could lead to physical assaults by NPD supporters which cannot be tolerated by the government. The neo-Nazis and other extremists propagating hate and violence should not be tolerated by the society. Unfortunately, it seems considerable supporters in the former East enjoy such political parties. -- Atilla A Iftikhar

I've just returned from Iraq. The US, my country, claims it is building democracy there. Is this conceivable? People point to Germany and Japan as successes. Does Germany have a democracy? A year or two ago your Parliament expelled a Syrian member for comparing Israelis to Nazis in treatment of subject peoples. Now this NPD speaker in the Saxony parliament has his microphone turned off for calling the bombing of Dresden mass-murder by Anglo-American gangsters. And his party is under banning threat. Is that democracy? My theory of democracy is that it grows from inside a community, indeed is the growth of community as people learn to trust each other. Did the "Allied" foster-fathers of the German nation only delay Germany's development of democracy by imposing a democratic constitution? What do Germans think? -- Chris Rushlau

After reading the article, the only thing I can say is that Silvana Koch-Merin, Markus Soeder, Michael Muller and Christina Weiss will be out of work. At least a new generation of politicians will take care of the German interests, instead of somebody else's. The construction of so many foreign memorials, with any excuse, is appalling and a way to try to form the wrong idea in the German people before the general elections. Vielen Dank! -- Luis Iñarra

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  • Date 26.01.2005
  • Author DW staff (jp)
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/6AUl
  • Date 26.01.2005
  • Author DW staff (jp)
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/6AUl