Nasty Ditty Prosecutors Look into NPD Campaign Song

The public prosecutor's office in Berlin is examining a song on the far-right NPD party's Web site that refers to Himmler and Rommel and asks its followers to "punch" Michel Friedman, a former vice president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany.


Michel Friedman in an archive photograph from 2006.
DDP

Michel Friedman in an archive photograph from 2006.

A song by the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) praising Himmler and Rommel and threatening a prominent member of Germany's Jewish community is attracting the attention of the authorities. The Berlin public prosecutor's office is investigating the election ditty that features on the NPD's Web site.

The anthem, sung by "Karin," aims to encourage party members to come out and help distribute party material ahead of the elections in September, with the words: "With Himmler, Voigt and Rommel, one likes to throw one in, banging on the mail box, I give Friedman a punch."

Udo Voigt is the NPD party chairman, Erwin Rommel was the German Field Marshal during World War II while Heinrich Himmler was the head of the feared Schutzstaffel, or SS. Michel Friedman, meanwhile, is a well-known talk show host and former vice president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. The song also takes a swipe at Green Party leader Cem Özdemir, a German citizen born to Turkish parents.

Michael von Hagen, the chief prosecutor in Berlin, told the Tagesspiegel newspaper that his office was examining the content of the song to see if it is "relevant to criminal law." He said it was possible that the tune could be seen regarded as insulting to Friedman, as well a public call to take action against him.

Winfriede Schreiber, who heads the Brandenburg branch of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany's domestic intelligence agency, told the same newspaper in comments published on Friday that the song underscored the fact that "the NPD is increasingly blatant in showing its ties to National Socialism."

The Central Council of Jews meanwhile is looking at whether legal steps can be taken against the NPD. General Secretary Stephan Kramer said that the party used every opportunity to "incite violence and racial hatred."

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