Why do people suffer from NPD

Right-wing extremism

Just being anti-constitutional is not enough for a party ban. A party must also show an actively combative, aggressive attitude towards the existing order - and want to remove this order, so the Federal Constitutional Court wants. Proponents of a ban say that the NPD has this attitude - and they cite further arguments. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's Interior Minister Lorenz Caffier (CDU), the Attorney General of the State of Brandenburg, Erardo Rautenberg, the SPD politician Eva Högl, the activist Bianca Klose and Bekir Alboga, Deputy Secretary of the DITIB and for them a member of the German Islam Conference and the Integration Summit Opinion on the possible application for a ban on the NPD.

What are the reasons for a ban on the NPD? We asked representatives from politics, science and practice for their arguments. (& copy Federal Agency for Civic Education / bpb)

Lorenz Caffier: The NPD is a spiritual arsonist

Lorenz Caffier (CDU) has been Minister of the Interior of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania since 2006 and spokesman for the CDU-led interior ministries and interior authorities of the federal states for the planned party ban proceedings against the NPD. A well-fortified democracy, according to Caffier, should forbid a party that is outside the constitutional framework - and finally turn off the money.

The free democratic basic order anchored in our Basic Law is the foundation of our society. It is the highest good of the German constitutional order and therefore particularly protected. This means: Our democracy is defensible and the Federal Constitutional Court can prohibit parties that are aggressively directed against the free democratic basic order. This is exactly the case with the NPD. The party is outside our constitutional framework and must therefore be banned. The protagonists of the party place their work in the tradition of the NSDAP. The NPD maintains a close alliance with neo-Nazi comradeships. The NPD is the intellectual arsonist for xenophobic crimes from the ranks of the comradeships close to it. A ban on the NPD is important, also in order to weaken right-wing extremism in its entirety. The most important source of money for right-wing extremism in Germany is state party funding. The NPD is represented in two state parliaments. The Schwerin state parliament is also the involuntary stage for the dull slogans of the MPs from the NPD. It is unbearable for me that the taxpayer has to help finance this party and its inhuman agitation. With a ban on the NPD, this source of finance would dry up once and for all. But a ban alone is not enough. Extremist ideas and political opinions cannot be forbidden. Opinions can only be changed and influenced through democratic policy work. The political forces of the democratic parties on the ground on the ground must ensure that our citizens feel that their concerns are being taken seriously. It must not be the case that the NPD goes to Hartz IV consultation hours or advice on exemption from the license fee to catch votes. Each of us is called upon to promote the free democratic basic order and to live it. The enemies of our democracy must never again have a chance to gain a foothold in our country or even to gain strength.

Prof. Dr. Erardo Cristoforo Rautenberg: What the NPD is propagating is poison for our country

The NPD denigrates the democratic system, with its public appearance it is increasingly placing itself in the tradition of the NSDAP - for Erardo Cristoforo Rautenberg, Attorney General of the State of Brandenburg and member of the SPD, it is therefore clear that an NPD ban is necessary and also before the European Court of Justice.

Once the maxim was not to revalue the NPD by means of an application for a ban, as long as the voters clearly let them fail over the five percent hurdle again and again. But those times are over because the NPD has been in the state parliaments in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Saxony for several years. This means that the NPD is allowed to spread its ideas with taxpayers' money, which is an unbearable state for me. Because the NPD propagates populist, unrealistic solutions to social problems, it denigrates the democratic system - which is symbolized by the demonstrative use of the black-white-red colors of the Wilhelmine Empire and the Third Reich - it incites against foreigners, it stirs up racist prejudice - which means an attack on the basis of our European community of values ​​and is poison for a country that lives from exporting abroad - and has increasingly placed itself in the tradition of the NSDAP with its public appearance. Examples of this are her events on the day of national mourning, which, like the Nazis in the past, she calls "Heroes' Remembrance Day". The police should no longer be obliged to enable such a party to exercise the right to demonstrate against blockade actions by counter-demonstrators.

Political life in a democracy means controversy, in particular because the parties privileged by the Basic Law offer different solutions to social problems on the basis of different programs. However, all parties are united by a basic democratic consensus based on the value system of our Basic Law and the commitment to our democratic constitutional state. This is what distinguishes the NPD from democratic parties. Only the Federal Constitutional Court can decide whether the NPD is not only unconstitutional but also unconstitutional and therefore to be prohibited (Article 21, Paragraph 2 of the Basic Law).

I consider a renewed application for a ban on the NPD to be necessary and a ban also achievable. The prerequisite for this, however, is that all informants are actually withdrawn from the party's management bodies and that the material collected for a ban procedure does not come from them. Because only because of this did the first ban proceedings fail. Skeptics point out that the European Court of Human Rights could decide differently after a successful ban application, but the European legal area will be aware that after the genocides of the Nazi era Germany will not tolerate any party that ties in with the tradition of the NSDAP . I also consider the damage caused by the NPD as a party by spreading its ideas with financial support from the state to be greater than that which could threaten underground activity in the event of a ban. After all, a ban on the NPD in no way makes it unnecessary to deal with the ideas of its supporters, so that civil society will continue to be challenged.

Eva Högl: It is unbearable that the NPD is financed through tax money

The fight against right-wing extremism is a social task. For the SPD member of the Bundestag Eva Högl, this also includes a ban on the NPD, among other things because the party would then lose its access to public funds. A ban, according to Högl, would also make it clear that the NPD is not a democratic party.

Right-wing extremism is not a marginal phenomenon in Germany. Racist and misanthropic attitudes are anchored in all parts of society. Combating them is therefore a social and state task and concerns us all. The commitment against right-wing extremism and for democracy and tolerance also includes a ban on the NPD.

The NPD is not only unconstitutional, but also, in my opinion, unconstitutional. Her inhuman program turns in a radically militant way against our Basic Law and very explicitly against the human dignity anchored in Article 1: The NPD categorizes people, disparages them and denies them their right of residence and the right to life in certain areas. It has the declared aim of abolishing our democracy and our rule of law - even that by fighting means.

It is unbearable for a party with these goals to finance its political activities with taxpayers' money. About 40 percent of the NPD income comes from state pots, with this money, among other things, they pay for their inhuman posters. A party ban would deprive the NPD of public funds, which they use for anti-constitutional actions and to strengthen the right-wing extremist scene as a whole. In addition, they lose monetary benefits such as access to infrastructure, work equipment and company vehicles, which they receive through public offices: At present, the NPD has the right to occupy our public spaces. She is allowed to meet in town halls, she can organize marches and even has to be protected by the police. Here in Berlin, too, right-wing extremists take to the streets and threaten people, for example on May 1st in Schöneweide. With a ban, we can prevent the NPD from continuing to occupy our public spaces.

A party ban has - rightly - to overcome very high hurdles and is also not the quick solution to right-wing extremism. Nevertheless, it is our task to fight the NPD with all legal means and thus to prevent them from further instrumentalizing our democracy for the realization of their anti-constitutional goals. A strong democracy is characterized by the fact that it clearly shows its enemies the red card and, if necessary, uses the utmost means.

Bianca Klose: The NPD is not a democratic party

As long as the NPD is not banned, people consider it a democratic party. That shouldn't be, believes Bianca Klose from the "Mobile Advice Against Right-Wing Extremism" (MBR). The advice center was founded by her in 2001 with the aim of mobilizing civil society to take an aggressive stand against the law. Education about the NPD and its undemocratic goals was one of the tasks of the MBR from the start. For Klose, a ban on the party would help to weaken the right-wing scene. She believes that the concern that her partisans would radicalize themselves after a ban and go underground is unfounded.

We see again and again that citizens are appalled that the NPD has not yet been banned. This often leads to the false assumption that it is therefore democratic. But the NPD is not an ordinary, democratic party and does not want to be one. According to her self-image she only has this status by necessity, temporarily. The aim of the NPD is the abolition of democracy. It represents inhuman, anti-democratic positions and strives for an authoritarian structured "people's community".

In addition, the party works very openly with the actionist milieu of the "Free Comradeships" and acts as a legally secure mainstay and reliable partner for young people who are prepared to use violence, such as the "Autonomous Nationalists". This makes the NPD the most powerful part of organized right-wing extremism in Germany! And that's why it should be banned.

A ban on the NPD would be a major setback for the entire right-wing extremist scene. Arguments that a party ban would strengthen the influx, that the scene would become even more radical or that the organization was simply renaming itself contradict all experiences. The opposite is true: the property and the entire infrastructure would be withdrawn and there would be a ban on re-use. As a rule, you hardly hear anything from the organizations concerned after a ban. A ban on the NPD would weaken the scene, and it would take many years to rebuild a party with comparable structures. How many parades and right-wing rock concerts that are registered as a party event disguised would have to be canceled? How many violent neo-Nazis would suddenly lose their well-paying job with the NPD?

Of course, right-wing extremism, racism and anti-Semitism in minds and institutions will remain a long-term social challenge even without the NPD. But there is no reason to further promote such an ideology through privileges that a party in Germany is entitled to. A ban can only be part of an overall strategy that must be supported by as many social groups as possible. The fight against this inhuman ideology can only be successful if the problems are identified, anti-fascist activists are not criminalized and civil society initiatives against right-wing extremism are secured and promoted in the long term.

Dr. Bekir Alboğa: An NPD ban weakens the right-wing "fight for the heads"

Bekir Alboğa heads the department for intercultural and interreligious cooperation of the Turkish-Islamic Union of the Institute for Religion (DITIB). In his opinion, a ban on the NPD could seriously disrupt the organizational structure of the extreme right. It would also have a signaling effect - but only, according to Alboğa, if one did not stop at a ban, but if this were part of an overall strategy against right-wing extremism.

First of all, it must be emphasized that the question of an NPD ban is extremely complex and there are many good arguments for and against a ban. My main argument for banning the NPD is that right-wing extremism would be deprived of an organizational basis for operations. This applies above all to financial aspects, including party financing. Without the NPD there would be an operational unit and no less actor integrated into the democratic party system who legitimizes himself as "democratic". Because they act as the apparently conservative Biedermann party, which supposedly stands for ordinary Germans on the street and for "good old values". A ban would therefore weaken part of the "fight for the heads" strategy. However, it is clear that this "fight for the heads" is increasingly turning to the Internet and social media and is increasingly scoring points with less sanctioned hostility towards Islam and Muslims.

For the right-wing extremist scene, however, an NPD ban is unlikely to have any major effects. On the one hand, party-bound right-wing extremism is declining, at least that's what the current report on the protection of the constitution shows. On the other hand, the strategies of the right have already changed. As Matthias Quent from the University of Jena has already shown [1], right-wing extremists are increasingly going over to spreading out in rural areas and presenting themselves there as "carers". Other parts of right-wing extremism are increasingly migrating to other organizations, such as Free Comradeships or the Autonomous Nationalists, which are not affiliated with parties.

And yet a ban on the NPD would be a signal to society, albeit a problematic one. If one tries to solve the problem of right-wing extremism through a pure control paradigm (bans, laws, police measures), the signal could also be: "Well, now we have banned right-wing extremism, and that's good too." The ability for social self-reflection (creation paradigm) could suffer and the many conditions and reasons for this problem could not be addressed any further. A ban on the NPD would only be a positive signal if it was incorporated into an overall strategy that also incorporated the context in which it came about.

Should the NPD be banned? Arguments for and against a ban (& copy bpb)
In addition, a ban on the NPD would certainly hardly help to restore the trust of migrants in the security authorities. This trust has been severely shaken by the NSU scandal. It is therefore more than questionable whether a ban on the NPD would have a positive effect in this regard. In any case, this cannot be assumed in the short term. Much more needs to be done than a ban. In particular, relevant internet presences, internet forums and social media activities as an often impunity-free space for right-wing radical groups must increasingly be addressed as a problem and deprived of their breeding ground. Overall, the overall context with the basic conditions that enable this questionable breeding ground and prepare the way for right-wing radicalism must flow into an overall solution concept. In this respect, a ban can be one, but not the sole part of the solution concept.