Town celebrates victory over rightists with party

22nd August 2005, Comments 0 comments

22 August 2005, WUNSIEDEL, GERMANY - A German town that objected to neo- Nazis conducting pilgrimages to the grave of Adolf Hitler's deputy celebrated a 'day of democracy' Saturday after winning a court battle against the rightists.

22 August 2005

WUNSIEDEL, GERMANY - A German town that objected to neo- Nazis conducting pilgrimages to the grave of Adolf Hitler's deputy celebrated a 'day of democracy' Saturday after winning a court battle against the rightists.

More than 2,000 people turned out for the festival in Wunsiedel, north of Munich. Locals had been angered between 2001 and 2004 by mid-August parades of visiting neo-Nazis marking the August 17, 1987 death of convicted war criminal Rudolf Hess.

"We only suffered Hess to be buried in Wunsiedel out of mercy. It's not fair that the town is impugned for an act of charity," said the mayor, Karl-Willi Beck, who has led the fight against the neo- Nazis.

This year, the council bye-law banning a neo-Nazi march was challenged all the way to the federal constitutional court, but Wunsiedel, population 10,000, won. Police detained 30 neo-Nazis who tried to travel to the town Saturday in defiance of the ban.

Thousands of neo-Nazis had descended on Wunsiedel in previous years to hail the alleged 'martyrdom' of Hess, who was deputy leader of the Nazi party until his capture in Britain in 1941.

DPA

Subject: German news

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