Neo-Nazi ejected from inquiry

Click to follow
A parliamentary inquiry into the German army's links with neo- Nazis was plunged into farce yesterday when the key player showed up uninvited and was ejected from the premises.

Manfred Roeder, the convicted neo-Nazi terrorist who is at the centre of the scandal, was told he would not be called as a witness. "We will not provide extremists with a forum," declared the Social Democrat MP, Walter Kolbow.

Yesterday was the first, closed, meeting of the committee, convened at the end of last year after a spate of embarrassing revelations. Roeder's appearance by invitation at Germany's most prestigious military academy in 1995 and alleged links to the top brass head the list of "isolated incidents" involving the army and neo-Nazis.

Roeder had received material help from the army, including three vehicles, for his "charitable work" in East Prussia - he planned to repopulate former East Prussia with ethnic Germans from other parts of the former-USSR. The vehicles never reached their stated destination; Roeder sold them.

In an internal investigation, the defence ministry referred to the Roeder affair as a "striking mistake".