German city “pulls the rug” from under neo-Nazi party

RIGHT-WING PARTIES ARE difficult enough to combat after they have seized power, after which they normally change the political rules and crush all opposition. But they are elusive in democratic societies as well, where they often become masters at flouting the spirit of democracy under the guise of freedom of peace and assembly. But a town in former East Germany has found a clever way to, as it were, pull the rug from under the feet of its own local neo-Nazi party while leaving its constitutionally guaranteed rights intact: It simply changed its address.

Riesa, population 34,000, is a picturesque Saxon industrial town located on the banks of the River Elbe. For the past ten years, Mannheimer Strasse has been the home of the local offices of the far right National Democratic Party (NPD) and its newspaper, the Deutsche Stimme (“German Voice”). Its politics are “conservative” in the eastern German sense of the word, with the Christian Democrats and the post-communist…



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