Neo-Nazi march prompts German foreign minister to warn of right-wing terror | News | DW | 03.05.2019
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Neo-Nazi march prompts German foreign minister to warn of right-wing terror

Hundreds of neo-Nazis marched with torches, flags and drums through the eastern German town of Plauen this week. The incident has put authorities in the state of Saxony back on the defensive.

Germany cannot "underestimate" the potential for right-wing terrorism, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Friday after several hundred neo-Nazis paraded with torches in eastern Germany two days earlier.

"If neo-Nazis march on our streets and there are more than 12,000 violence-prone right-wing extremists, then we cannot ignore that," he wrote on Twitter. "We must not leave the streets or the internet to radical right-wing extremists."

Read more: Young people drawn to far-right in eastern Germany

Members of The Third Way, a right-wing ultranationalist party, marched through the town of Plauen in the state of Saxony on Wednesday.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer condemned the march on Friday, German news agency DPA reported. It quoted the minister as saying he would do "everything that's possible in a free and democratic state to fight right-wing radicalism."

Seehofer refused to comment on whether authorities in Saxony had done enough to stop the gathering.

Read more: German intelligence to boost observation of right-wing extremists

Officials had approved The Third Way's application to march, and after the parade, they said there was no need for the police to intervene because the group's actions did not constitute "intimidation."

Support for far-right groups is relatively strong in Saxony, where thousands of anti-migrant activists gathered last year to protest against migrants who were accused of killing a German man. The anti-Islam group PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West) was also founded in the eastern German state and held many of its rallies in Dresden, Saxony's capital.

Saxony's conservative interior minister, Roland Wöller, said his ministry would probe the state's handling of Wednesday's parade.

amp/sms (AP, dpa)

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