The police in Bielefeld had forbidden the neo-Nazis of the party "The Rights", on the day of commemoration of the November pogroms of 1938, to march through the city. But the administrative court Minden tipped the demonstration ban. On Saturday, the far-right party in the East Westphalian city was able to protest the detention of Holocaust denier Ursula Haverbeck.
Haverbeck is serving a two-year prison sentence in Bielefeld, partly because he said in an interview: "There were no gassings in Auschwitz."
NRW Minister of the Interior Reul: deployment is a "provocation without equal"
According to the Bielefeld newspaper "Neue Westfalische", according to the police, about 230 neo-Nazis took part. As the newspaper reports online, the police estimated the number of counter-demonstrators at 14,000.
They followed the call of the "Bielefeld Alliance Against Right" and protested under the motto "Fascism is not an opinion, but a crime!".
The Bielefeld Alliance is an association of groups from politics, churches and associations. The police were on the ground with a massive squad, water cannons and riders.
North Rhine-Westphalia's Minister of the Interior Herbert Reul (CDU) had condemned the demonstration planned by the party "Die Rechte" in Bielefeld on 9 November. The march in honor of a Holocaust denier is a "provocation unparalleled," he said Monday in Dusseldorf at a conference on the fight against right-wing extremism.
And in the Diet he revolted: "I find it unbearable, if the day exactly 81 years after the vile pogroms, a demo of the party rights takes place," scoffed Interior Minister Reul on Friday in the state parliament. "Even though we can not ban him, I assure our Jewish fellow citizens and Israeli friends that we in North Rhine-Westphalia will do everything legally possible, to drain the water from these Jews haters, "said Reul.
The chairman of the Jewish Community in Bielefeld, Irith Michelsohn, said according to the "Neue Westfalische "that she still found it" unbelievable "that a neo-Nazi demonstration had been allowed in court on the anniversary of the Reichsprogromnacht. Many have said to her that they feel this as a provocation. The deployment of the neo-Nazis was very frightening for the Jewish community in Bielefeld and for the Jewish society in Germany, Michelsohn said. After the election results in Thuringia, it was questionable from their point of view whether Jews in Germany were still wanted. She also observed that anti-Semitism in the middle of society again becomes socially acceptable.
But in the face of the several thousand demonstrators, she would have hope that there was still something like true democracy, so the chairman of the Jewish Community Bielefeld.
Neo-Nazi demonstration as a provocation
The Minden court had argued that Haverbeck's denials of mass murders were not the subject of the rally, so the elevator should take place on the historic anniversary. Minister of the Interior Reul said he had seen no promising options for a contradiction. He had to justify why he had no influence to appeal. The rally was a "pure provocation right spinner," he scolded.
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(See #www.therefore, you will find texts that appeared in a Supplement to the Tagesspiegel on the fight against anti-Semitism)
"If the persecution and murder of millions of Jews and many other people is to be downplayed and the Nazi regime glorified, we have to contradict it all the more loudly," said the network on its website. The Alliance claims to include organizations from the school, political, sports and church.
There should also be a human chain and a vigil in front of the Bielefeld Synagogue. There should also be a memorial service near the town hall on the site of the former synagogue, which had been burned down by the National Socialists during the November pogroms of 1938. A memorial stone reminds of it.
The Bielefeld Alliance had also received support from football Bundesliga club Arminia Bielefeld. He had asked his members last week to participate in the counter-demonstration. After before the home game last Sunday in front of the stadium entrances found flyers for the demo of the right, the club called for a cleaning action. Around 100 fans took part in it. "It is a good thing that we can rely on our fans if we stand against right-wing extremists," said a spokesman for the Catholic News Agency. (Tsp, KNA, epd, dpa)