Germany's new Nazis clash with left

FRESH from their stunning election victory last weekend, neo-Nazis in east Germany took the campaign into the streets yesterday, only to see their thunder stolen by the extreme left.

Rallying at the Leipzig monument commemorating the defeat of Napoleon, thousands of blackshirted thugs of the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) cowered behind police lines as masked combatants of the ultra-left pelted them with bottles, ball-bearings and paving stones. More than 6,000 police troops and border guards fought to maintain order; their water cannons directed mostly against the punks flying the red flag.

The NPD had hoped for a 15,000-strong crowd but could only muster 4,000. They and their red-and-black banners were bused into the city after a court in Leipzig ruled overnight that the demonstration could not be banned.

In the morning, police cordoned off the centre of Leipzig, keeping both sides away from the shopping district, and erected roadblocks on all main thoroughfares into the city. They let the buses pass, after confiscating weapons from passengers.

The left, however, had already arrived for an anti-Nazi concert on Thursday night, and laid on a welcome for their adversaries by covering the 300ft tall monument with a banner declaring "Fascism - never again". It was the ultra-left who opened yesterday's proceedings by charging police lines and hurling stones and petrol bombs. Four people, including two police officers, were injured in the ensuing battle, and dozens arrested.

The neo-Nazis maintained discipline, however, and patiently listened to their speakers. Holger Apfel, head of the NPD's youth wing, was cheered when he called for deporting foreigners who were supposed to steal jobs from Germans and sponge off the country's welfare system.

It was these kind of slogans that netted another right-wing party, the German People's Union (DVU), nearly 200,000 votes in last Sunday's Saxony- Anhalt elections. The NPD's spokesmen yesterday again rejected an alliance with the DVU "phantom party", even though the latter has just scored the biggest triumph for the German extreme right since the war.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk