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GERMAN neonazi outfit The Right’s planned rally in the Hessian town of Kassel proved a damp squib on Saturday after 10,000 anti-fascists took to the streets to oppose them.
The Right had planned an incendiary march through the town, whose prefect Walter Lubcke was assassinated by neonazi Stephan Ernst last month.
The party, which chose repeat Holocaust-denier Ursula Haverbeck as its lead candidate for the European elections, said it would march in protest at “disgusting” media coverage of Lubcke’s murder, which portrayed it and other far-right organisations as extremist.
But the local Alliance Against the Right mobilised on such a scale that the fascists were outnumbered 100 to one. Local Left party councillor Stephanie Schury said that more than 120 organisations and groups “from trade unions, churches and political parties” had taken part in the giant counter-demonstration. By contrast, estimates of the size of the far-right march stood at about 120 individuals.
Mayor Christian Geselle said the town’s residents could be “proud” that they had scared off the far right. “Our town, which was almost completely destroyed by the terrible second world war instigated 75 years ago by the National Socialist German Reich, has learned from history,” he said.
Police are investigating whether one of the banners borne by The Right’s marchers was merely spelt incorrectly or contained a sinister allusion to the Holocaust. It called for a “national gegenofenssive” — “gegenoffensive” means counteroffensive in German, but by dropping an “f” and adding an “s” police say they may have been juxtaposing the German word for “oven” and the SS, the nazi terror organisation which played the main role in the extermination of six million Jews.
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