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Defense Documents

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

Table of Contents
2.4 Features and peculiar... >>

2.1 The question of a ban on extremist activities in the German legal system.

2.1.1.Although the definition applied to the protection of the constitution is very clear, the one applied to banning political parties is more diffuse. This is due to the decisive role political parties play within the political system, as defined by the constitution. According to article 21 of the Basic Law, political parties have a special role to play in the realization of the democratic sovereignty of the people. As this privilege is   guaranteed by constitutional law, only the Federal Constitutional Court [Bundesverfassungsgericht - BVG] can rule on if a political party violates this law. The initiative to ban a political party can only come from a constitutional institution, for example the federal government, or the upper and lower houses of parliament. The constitutional court has decided to ban a political party only twice since 1949. This was the case with the Socialist Reich Party [Sozialistische Reichsparte - SRP] in 1952 and the German Communist Party [Kommmunistische Partei Deutschland - KPD] in 1956. The argument was essentially that the constitutional law had been infringed by both parties.
2.1.2.To repeat: only constitutional organs are entitled to ask for a ban of a political party. And they in turn are free to decide whether to ask for such a prohibition or not. This means that a party that is not banned, but is nevertheless described as extremist by the OPC, is by no means necessarily democratic. It is therefore wrong to suggest, as Irving does in the case of the DVU, that a party is not extremist if it is not banned. In the case of the DVU the OPC is absolutely clear that the party is extremist and has extremist views (see below).
2.1.3.The procedure involved in banning political groups and associations (as aposed to parties) is different. In practice it is easier for official institutions to prohibit associations and societies that violate the Basic Law. This can be taken at the initiative of the Interior Ministries or ministers, both at a federal or state level. For instance in 1980 the militant military sport group 'Wehrsportgruppe Hoffmann' was banned as was the neo-Nazi group 'Volkssozialistische Bewegung Deutschlands/Partei der Arbeit' and it's youth wing 'Junge Front' in 1982. Michael Kühnen's neo-Nazi National Socialist's Action Front [Aktionsfront Nationale Sozialisten - ANS, later to become the ANS/NA, NA for National Activists] was likewise banned in December 1983. There were also a series of bans in the 1990s (see below).7


7. Ibid, p. 9 and chapter 3.
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2.4 Features and peculiar... >>