David Irving, Holocaust Denial, and his Connections to Right Wing Extremists and Neo-National Socialism (Neo-Nazism) in Germany: Electronic Edition, by Hajo Funke

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<< 2.3 'Old' and 'new' RWE

2.4 Features and peculiarities of old and new RWE in Germany after 1945.

2.4.1.After 1945 the RWE world was inhibited for decades by the total political, moral and military defeat of NS. But despite the Allied repression of extremist attitudes in post-war west Germany the west-German population continued to display anti-Semitic prejudices in one way or another15 . According to first polls taken by the American occupying forces up to 40 % of the population identified with right-wing, anti-Semitic attitudes16 . In the late 1970s the well-known Sinus-study considered 13 % of the population as having a full scale RWE belief system17 . Similarly in the late 1990s according to different polls up to 30 % of the population identified with anti-foreigner sentiments or anti-Semitic beliefs.
2.4.2.Politically the FRG has experienced at least three waves of RWE:
  • in the late1940s (resulting in a ban on the SRP).
  • in the late 1960s (centred on the NPD and, after its 1969 election defeat, on Dr. Gerhard Frey's DVU).
  • since the late 1980s with Franz Schönhuber's newly founded Republicans, the DVU, and NPD, coupled and with militant neo-Nazi activists, operating partially beyond the pale of the 'established' RWE18 .
2.4.3.According to Richard Stöss RWE secured 1.4 million votes in the 1949 election (that is 5.7 % of the population). During the second RWE-wave in the late 1960s RWE secured 1.4 million votes (that is 4.3 % of the votes). The NPD narrowly failed to get   into parliament because of the 5 %- hurdle in the German voting system .19 In 1989 during the third RWE wave the Republicans, together with the DVU and NPD secured 2.5 million votes (that is 8.8 % of the votes in the European parliament's election).
2.4.4.Official membership of the 'organized' RWE went through ups and downs. First counts in 1954 registered 80,000 persons as members of organized RWE. By the early 1960s this membership had decreased to 20,000, before the numbers increasing again to 40,000, boosted by NPD memberships. The late 1960s saw an ebb back 20,000. In the early 1990s RWE membership was reckoned at some 40.000 again.20


15. Werner Bergmann and Rainer Erb, Antisemitismus in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Opladen, 1991)
16. Ibid
17. 5 Millionen Deutsche: "Wir sollten wieder einen Führer haben...".Die Sinus-studie über rechtsextremistiche Einstellungen bei den Deutschen, (Reinbek bei Hamburg, 1981).
18. Stöss, p. 23.
19. Ibid.
20. Ibid.
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<< 2.3 'Old' and 'new' RWE

accessed 12 March 2013