Germany seeks neo-Nazi evidence in raids on youth group
Seeking evidence of neo-Nazi propaganda, German police mounted nationwide raids Thursday on a far-right group that runs summer camps for boys and girls, reported dpa.
Politicians have demanded that Heimattreue Deutsche Jugend (HDJ) be outlawed.
Police raided more than 100 homes and offices in almost every state of the country to seize computer hard drives and documents that could be used in evidence to ban HDJ, the Interior Ministry in Berlin said.
The ministry said the political tendencies of HDJ were neo-Nazi.
"Leisure activities that seem at first glance to be non-political, such as camping, serve to inculcate children and teenagers in National Socialist ideas at an early stage and turn them into far-right bigots later on," it said.
No one was arrested, but the ministry said that if the evidence was adequate, HDJ would be banned.
Germany has banned a series of neo-Nazi groups, seizing their funds and prohibiting their members from re-organizing.
A HDJ summer camp this year north of Berlin was widely reported on in the German media.
Under the Nazis, children were forced to join a national children's organization, the Hitler Youth or HJ.
Among politicians who said a ban on the HDJ was long overdue was the chairman of the Bundestag committee on the interior, Sebastian Edathy. "They are obviously an anti-constitutional group," he said.