Far-right rally for Hitler′s birthday draws crowd of just 20 | News | DW | 20.04.2019
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Far-right rally for Hitler's birthday draws crowd of just 20

More than 2,000 people rallied in the western German town of Ingelheim in a demonstration against plans to celebrate the date. The Hitler rally went ahead after organizers got a ban overturned by a regional court.

Thousands of people packed into the center of the small German town of Ingelheim near Frankfurt on Saturday in protest at plans to celebrate Nazi-era dictator Adolf Hitler's birthday.

A right-wing group planned the rally to mark the 130th anniversary of Hitler's birth and expected 50 people to attend. But only 20 showed up, according to the German news agency DPA.

The Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper put the attendance of the Hitler rally even lower, at just 14.

Read more: German billionaire family to donate $11M over Nazi past

The newspaper reported that as the small group began their march at 3 p.m local time (1300 UTC) on Saturday, the counterdemonstrators made considerable noise, drowning out the speech of the right-wing leader.

The Hitler rally, which was held under the banner "Maintaining the homeland, promoting the family and shaping the future," was initially banned by city officials, who argued that it would violate "citizens' sense of dignity, custom and morals."

Riot police prepare for Hitler birthday rally (picture-alliance/dpa/B. Roessler)

Dozens of riot police were deployed to the German town in case of trouble between rival protesters

Organizers challenged the ban, a bid which a regional court granted, allowing the rally to go ahead.

Read more: Germany: Torch-wielding neo-Nazis march in Nuremberg

The larger rally saw protesters wave banners that read "More heart, less hate" and "Can we swap a Nazi for every refugee?"

Police said both rallies passed off peacefully.

On Friday, the World Jewish Congress urged European officials to take measures against a series of planned neo-Nazi gatherings over the weekend to mark the Führer's birthday.

Countries where neo-Nazi rallies were due to take place included Ukraine, Bulgaria, Italy and France.

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