The National Democratic Party
The National Democratic Party (Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands, or NPD) is Germany's oldest nationalist party and one of the few patriotic organizations not yet banned by the government. It was formed on November 28, 1964, by leading members of the disbanded Deutsche Reichspartei and several smaller patriotic groups. At that time the NPD was led by Adolf von Thadden, while other active members included the noted revisionist historian Udo Walendy, ex-Wehrmacht General Artur Wilhelm Schmitt, and rocket pioneer Dr. Hermann Oberth. Among those offering their early support and assistance was Britain's Fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley. In a letter of December 16, 1964, to leading NPD member Wolfgang Frenz, Mosley wrote enthusiastically of his hopes for the new party, stressing that it is "of the greatest importance . . . to support the formation of a nationalist party for Europe."
The NPD grew rapidly during the 1960's, gaining elected representatives in seven West German provincial parliaments. Initially it was held together by a common commitment to German unification and an end to occupation by foreign armies. The party lacked a radical ideology, however, and this was highlighted when it lost most of its support to established conservative politicians who adopted some of the NPD's goals during the 1970's. At the end of that decade, therefore, the then chairman, Martin Mussgnug, began a restructuring which combined the dropping of much of the early conservative political rhetoric with an emphasis on the ideological education of members. Thereafter the party began concentrating upon building a strong organizational infrastructure, rather than upon short-term electioneering. Consequently, after the partial reunification of Germany in 1990, the NPD was able to gain considerable strength in the eastern part of the country: the former German Democratic Republic. In fact, the party's largest regional organization is currently in Leipzig.
Under Udo Voigt, who has headed the party since 1996, the NPD continues to pursue a revolutionary political course and seeks the active cooperation of serious, like-minded organizations worldwide. In September 1996 the NPD's youth organization sponsored a European Youth Congress attended by 400 German nationalists and representatives of racial nationalist organizations from across Europe and North America, with the National Alliance representing the United States.
Udo Voigt was born in the city of Viersen in 1952 and joined the German Air Force (Bundesluftwaffe) in 1972 after completing his professional training in airplane construction. He later completed his officership in the German Army (Bundeswehr) and continued his schooling at training centers in the United States and Greece. He left the Bundeswehr in 1984, having attained the rank of captain. In the following years he studied political science at the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, receiving a degree in 1987.
Voigt joined the NPD in 1968, when he was 16 years old, and ten years later he was a branch leader in Freising. In 1982 he became a member of the NPD's leadership council in Bavaria, and two years after that joined the party's national leadership board. In 1984 Voigt was appointed as head of the NPD's education center at Iseo in northern Italy, where his seminars helped to educate the current party leadership. The same year he was given control of security matters, schooling members of the NPD security troop at the regional and national levels.
In 1986 Voigt became part of the Parteipräsidium, the NPD chairman's advisory committee, and in 1992 was elected NPD chairman for Bavaria. In 1995 he became vice-chairman of the party and in 1996 was elected chairman of the NPD.
Like his predecessor as NPD chairman, Günther Deckert, Voigt is being hounded by the German government because of his political views. He is currently the subject of police investigation for alleged "defamation of the state and its symbols," which is a criminal offense under the current German regime. His offense was a statement he made at the NPD party congress on May 1, 1996. Voigt compared German democracy with the Communist system in the former German Democratic Republic in its suppression of nationalist political activity across Germany: "We live once again in a police state in which we have no right of freedom of speech. . . . Those who criminalize people for voicing their opinions are themselves criminals."
Interview with Udo Voigt
The following interview with NPD Chairman Udo Voigt was given to National Alliance member Wolfgang Keller for National Vanguard on August 9, 1996.
NV: Mr. Voigt, could you tell us something about the current state of freedom of speech and freedom of the press in the Federal Republic of Germany?
Voigt: First of all, I must make clear that I am giving this interview in a land in which there is no law which explicitly guarantees the right to freely express one's opinions. For this reason National Vanguard readers would be advised to read between the lines. Individuals uttering forbidden statements, including statements made in foreign countries, may face criminal charges in Germany. Subjects which are absolutely taboo include the so called "Holocaust," the Third Reich, and the question of alleged "German guilt" for World War Two. We do not live in a democratic, constitutional state, as claimed by Germany's current government, but rather in a police state. The "Office For The Defense of The Constitution" (Verfassungsschutz) carefully checks statements which are made publicly and decides which opinions are "democratic" and which are "anti-constitutional."
Regarding "freedom of the press" in modern Germany, I must say the following: The major media (newspapers, television, and radio) regularly boycott events organized by the NPD. The established journalists are either direct or indirect products of postwar "re-education."
NV: How would you envision a Germany under NPD leadership?
Voigt: I would say that there are four major points regarding our vision of a future Germany: First, politicians will do their utmost to serve the people, rather than to be served by them; second, Germany will honorably take her place among the world's nations as an equal partner and will no longer tolerate the blackmail methods used by her enemies because of "the past"; third, there will be a new economic as well as a new social order, which will ensure an honored place for the German family and which will give financial support to young Germans in order to enable them to raise children--the most precious resource of our people; and fourth, aliens (Ausländer) will be welcomed as guests, but should live and work in their own countries.
NV: How do you see Germany cooperating with other countries in the future?
Voigt: Needless to say, the persisting roles of "victor" and "vanquished" will be finally cast aside. We would view the formation of a worldwide confederation of nationalists as a step in the right direction. We currently enjoy friendly relations with the Ukrainian National Party (UNA), which has 25 representatives in [the Ukrainian] parliament. We are also on good terms with Spanish nationalists. Recently we have been collaborating successfully with the U.S.- based National Alliance.
NV: Could you tell us something about the general membership of the NPD? How many members do you have, and what sort of people join the NPD?
Voigt: The Verfassungsschutz has estimated that we have approximately 6,000 members nationwide. This estimate is roughly accurate. Demographically speaking, the NPD is a party of grandparents and grandchildren. What I mean by this is that the generation in the middle is noticeably missing. This missing generation is the one that was "reeducated" and which has become materialistic as a result of the economic prosperity of the 1950s.
NV: Would you describe the National Democratic Party as the political successor of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, or NSDAP) in Germany?
Voigt: No. The NSDAP was tailor-made for Adolf Hitler and Germany's post-World War One political situation. It was also representative of a Zeitgeist which no longer exists in this country.
NV: This being the case, please explain to our readers the Weltanschauung of the NPD.
Voigt: I would describe the NPD as the only party in Germany which has a Weltanschauung. The NPD acknowledges the laws of Nature, of which man is a part. This is the main point that separates NPD philosophy from the destructive philosophies of liberalism and Communism. The NPD also acknowledges the natural law of the inequality of human beings. Our beliefs are in clear opposition to the position taken by the established parties. We see man as a product of his genetic inheritance: a product which is only partly influenced by his upbringing and other social factors. We base some of our policy on the research of modern sociologists such as Konrad Lorenz and Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt.
NV: How realistic are the NPD's chances of realizing its political goals through the electoral process?
Voigt: The NPD has not given up its aspirations of rising to political power. It will be only a matter of time until we are finally able to break the media conspiracy of silence. Similarly, it will only be a matter of time until economic decline leads to the ultimate decline of the system itself. We believe that this particular situation might arrive much sooner than many people realize. For example, who believed in 1988 that the Berlin Wall would soon be no more?
NV: To what degree is the NPD's political outlook a continuation of the pre-1945 German political traditions.
Voigt: In the realm of politics and economics, the NPD sees the "national" and "social" questions respectively as being inseparably intertwined. In fact, we see this unity as the only ray of hope for the many peoples who inhabit this planet. National Socialism achieved in Germany more than all the Communist states achieved in 70 years. But Germany lost the war, and her current masters have made every form of national resistance to their tyranny illegal. It should also be said that the NPD is the only currently legal political party which has stated clearly: Our fathers were not criminals.
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