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Saturday, 5 August, 2000, 20:20 GMT 21:20 UK
German swoop on neo-Nazis
Dusseldorf bomb site
Demonstraters pause before the site of the Dusseldorf attack
Police in eastern Germany have carried out a series of raids on suspected neo-Nazi sympathisers, arresting nearly 100 people to prevent them attending a rally.

The extreme right-wing National Democratic Party (NPD) had called for demonstrations near the city of Weimar on the anniversary of the death of a young neo-Nazi there.

Police had banned the protest.

Hitler and his followers were beaten militarily 55 years ago, but in the year 2000 they're still not politically defeated

Author Ralph Giordano
The NPD was allowed to hold a rally in the northern city of Tostedt and one report said there were clashes between NPD supporters and anti-fascist protestors.

In Duesseldorf, more than 1,000 people have held a demonstration against the extreme right.

Just over one week ago, a shrapnel bomb exploded near a commuter railway station in the city, injuring 10 immigrants from the former Soviet Union, six of them Jewish.

Dusseldorf anti-fascist rally
A banner reading "Nazis Out" at the rally
Holding banners that read "Fight Fascism" and "Stop the Nazi Terror", the protesters marched past the site of the bomb attack.

Participants spoke out against the growing wave of violence which targeted Jews and immigrants.

"It's true that Hitler and his followers were beaten militarily 55 years ago, but in the year 2000 they're still not politically defeated," the author, Ralph Giordano, told the crowd.

'One has to be afraid'

Elisabeth Debener, an 81-year-old who lived through the Nazi years said she thought it was already too late to prevent the attacks.

"We're in a situation in which one has to be afraid," she said.

The German Government is considering banning the NPD.

But Interior Minister Otto Schilly told Der Spiegel magazine that the move could backfire by sending NPD members underground and making them more militant.

The minister said he may deploy border police in vulnerable areas "to provide people with visible state protection".

Der Spiegel also said video surveillance of railway stations would be carried out by border patrol officers to monitor the movements of neo-Nazi activists.

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See also:

30 Jul 00 | Media reports
Germany agonises over bomb attack
12 Mar 00 | Europe
Violence at neo-Nazi march
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