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German Neo-Nazis Attempt to Hold ‘Free Palestine’ Demonstration Outside Synagogue

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Authorities in the northern Germany city of Braunschweig moved on Monday night to prevent a neo-Nazi group from holding a demonstration outside a former synagogue under the banner “Stop Zionism!”

The demonstration was promoted on social media by the far-right party Die Rechte, which told supporters to gather on the corner of Steinstrasse and Alte Kniehauerstrasse, near a plaque that commemorates the synagogue built there in 1875. The time to assemble was given as 7:33-7:45 p.m. on Tuesday, with each of the 12 minutes representing one of the years that the Third Reich existed.

Several politicians called for an outright ban on the demonstration, which urged “Free Palestine” alongside other anti-Zionist and traditionally antisemitic slogans.

“Disgusting and repulsive!” tweeted Christos Pantazis, a state representative of the center-left SPD party. “With this targeted provocation, this micro-party reveals its unconstitutional sentiments and should be forbidden.”

At a meeting on Monday night, city administrators in Braunschweig decided to ban the neo-Nazis from demonstrating “at that time and place.”

However, permission was given for a gathering elsewhere in the city at 8 p.m., with the conditions that no torches were allowed and coronavirus distancing protocols had to be observed.

The controversy this week over Die Rechte came less than a month after another neo-Nazi group — the NPD — held a demonstration in Braunschweig that was attended by about 50 participants.