Neo-Nazi web sites reported to flee Germany

New York Times/August 21, 2000
By Agence France-Presse

Berlin -- German far-rightists are transferring their Internet sites to access providers in the United States in order to evade a crackdown by German authorities, N.D.R. radio reported today.

In a report on neo-Nazi activities, the radio said that around 90 rightist groups had transferred their sites to the United States as Germany has sought ways to fight a recent wave of violence that left an African immigrant dead and 10 other immigrants injured.

Among other measures, Germany is currently examining the possibility of a ban on the far-right National Democratic Party.

Nearly 360 hate-mongering Internet sites used by neo-Nazis have been identified by the domestic security agency in northern Germany's Lower Saxony region, the radio said in a statement issued ahead of its broadcast. The agency's spokesman, Rüdiger Hesse, told the radio that neo-Nazi sites had become more aggressive as the German debate on the far right has recently intensified. Some, he said, provided instructions on how to make bombs.

In early August, the Internet was accused by Paul Spiegel, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, of fostering neo-Nazi activities.

Mr. Spiegel urged authorities to investigate the Internet, where he said "something is happening today that we have never known before."

The German federal domestic security service, which has identified around 320 neo-Nazi Internet sites, reports on its own site that "right-wing extremists have made extensive use of the Internet since mid-1997 as a means of communication."

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