Ku Klux Klan in Germany
By Angela Matheson
Racism is on the rise in Germany. The magazine Der Spiegel published a poll last week showing that one in three Germans believe the Jews contributed, in part, to their mass extermination by the Nazis during the second world war.
Attitudes like these, which would have been considered unspeakable 10 years ago, are now common currency in Germany.
Even the Ku Klux Klan has set up office. The KKK made its debut on German soil in November on national TV. Reporters from the RTL Plus television station received an invitation to the cross-burning ritual from contacts in the neo-Nazi movement.
The crew was led through a forest thicket at night to a clearing outside Känigs-Wusterhausen, near Berlin, where men bearing swastika flags and SS badges mingled with the pointed hoods and white robes of the KKK.
Under a burning cross, the grand wizard, US citizen Dennis Mahon, offered the cameras his views on the racist violence sweeping Germany, which included thousands of attacks on foreigners and refugee centres last year.
"I am happy to see this. The German Volk seems to realise that it is losing its future through the presence of foreigners", he said. "They have a very high birth rate and are destroying the German Volk. Every means are justified, and I mean every, to rescue your nation."
The KKK has been trying to gain a foothold in Germany since the 1960s. During the early 1980s investigators established a link between neo-Nazi groups in the Frankfurt area and Klan members at the US army base in the region.
Now, the KKK connection is no longer underground. On his 10-day tour of Germany, Mahon visited the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where 74,000 people died. Mahon said he was not impressed, and denied that the Holocaust took place.
The KKK now has an estimated membership of 2500 Germans.