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Extreme decline in voters and empty coffers: The NPD has seen better times. In addition, there are internal conflicts within the party. In Bavaria, the NPD tries the new state chairman Karl Richter. Apparently, he is striving again to work more closely with the violent neo-Nazis of the so-called Free Comradeships.

From: Ernst Eisenbichler

Status: 02/03/2014 | archive

The right-wing extremist National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) has been cracking for years. Some want to get out of the martial combat boots and bald corner. They prefer to appear in bourgeois clothing with a tie and collar so as not to scare off the middle class and to fish out of their votes. The others "don't think the current image is radical enough," observes the political scientist Hajo Funke.

Resigned from the NPD: Ex-Federal Chairman Holger Apfel

Holger Apfel advocated a moderate appearance of the NPD in public - and received severe criticism from part of the party. After lengthy quarrels in the NPD, Apfel first resigned from his position as federal chairman in December 2013 - for "health reasons," as it was called. A short time later he resigned from the party. The party and the right-wing scene had made him "increasingly tired and sick with their ongoing political trench warfare and personal hate campaigns," wrote Apfel.

New country manager wants to cooperate with comradeships

Karl Richter, new head of the Bavarian NPD and BIA city council in Munich

In Bavaria, too, the NPD offers a mixed picture: there was once a strategic alliance between free radicals and the right-wing extremists within the NPD. But their long-time state chairman Ralf Ollert followed a "Wischi-washi course" for many young Nazis and right-wing skinheads.

Radical party members, including at management level, subsequently left the NPD and, according to the findings of the Bavarian Office for the Protection of the Constitution, oriented themselves in so-called "cross-comradeship networks", for example in the "Free Network South". Ralf Ollert did not stand as a candidate at the last state party conference in November 2012. His successor is Karl Richter, deputy NPD federal chairman, who has been on the Munich city council since the Bavarian local elections in 2008 as the top candidate of the NPD camouflage list for citizens' initiative foreigners stop (BIA).

Nuremberg, 2007: joint parade of NPD and members of a Free Comradeship

According to the findings of the Bavarian Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Richter is increasingly relying on cooperation with neo-Nazi comradeships in the greater Munich area - a signal to the violent faction of the right-wing extremist scene. It remains to be seen whether they will accept the offer.

Poor results, financial hardship

Whether with or without a symbiosis with the free hardcore neo-Nazis: The NPD has been bobbing around in state elections in Bavaria for decades with values ​​below two percent. In 2008, 1.2 percent jumped out, in 2013 it was only 0.6 percent. In 2013, the NPD could not even compete in Upper Bavaria and Lower Franconia. In both administrative districts, she failed to collect the necessary number of supporter signatures. Only once - in 1966, shortly after it was founded - did the NPD make it into the Bavarian state parliament with 7.4 percent. The party currently sits in the parliaments of Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

In addition to poor election results, the federal NPD has been plagued by a massive financial problem for some time, which worsened in 2013. The Bundestag stopped the disbursement of the funds from the state party financing because the NPD has not yet paid a fine of 1.27 million euros for an incorrect statement of accounts. The Bayern-NPD is financially better off compared to other state associations.

Interior Minister Herrmann calls for a ban on the NPD

Interior Minister Herrmann: "The NPD is a dangerous party."

According to the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the party currently has 850 members in the Free State, making it one of the strongest state associations in Germany. Accordingly, the Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU) warns of her: "All in all, I think the NPD is anti-constitutional. It is a dangerous party." Herrmann strongly advocates a ban on the NPD. Since the series of murders against migrants, which the right-wing terrorist group NSU is accused of, became known, there has been intensive thought again about a ban on the party. In 2003, a prohibition procedure before the Federal Constitutional Court failed due to the massive use of V-men.

Against "Islamization" and euro positions of the NPD

"Overcoming the system", "national community", "foreign infiltration", "Germany for the Germans", "integration is synonymous with genocide" - the NPD uses these and similar slogans. Their basic orientation is folk-nationalistic and racist. With regard to the Bundestag and Bavarian state elections in 2013, the NPD declared the debate about the alleged "Islamization" of Germany to be a key issue.

"In Bavaria too, since 2013 it has been a matter of showing a clear profile against the advancing Islamization and foreign infiltration."

Holger Apfel, NPD federal chairman until December 2013 before the state elections

In terms of financial policy, the NPD rejects state guarantees for private banks and calls for a return to the D-Mark. The party often tries to spread right-wing extremist views in a disguised manner on civic issues such as nature conservation or social engagement: for example, giving kindergarten places primarily to German children. The Bavarian Office for the Protection of the Constitution classifies the NPD as right-wing extremist, its core statements are "in contradiction to the free democratic basic order of the Basic Law".