chapter  6
31 Pages

Contemporary Right-Wing Extremism in Germany

WithIan J. Kagedan

An examination of the dynamics of contemporary right-wing extremism in Germany is of particular importance within a broader consideration of the problem in Western democracies and nascent democracies in Central and Eastern Europe. The reunification of Germany in 1990 saw a variety of political parties on the more extreme right of the spectrum gain sufficient electoral support to elect members to various levels of government. These parties also merited the attention of the traditional mainstream parties, whose past voters contributed, in varying proportions, to the extremists' success. The Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands (NPD) based in Stuttgart, is the oldest of the major extremist right-wing parties, advocating the restoration of all the Third Reich's territories and taking a strong antiforeigner stance. Apart from the strident denunciations of extremist right-wing activism emanating from traditional opposing forces on the left, the German public was slow to respond to the increasing level of antiforeigner and antiminority violence in the early 1990s, just after reunification.