Udo Voigt - Treptow-Köpenick
Udo Voigt

Udo Voigt (born 1952 in Viersen) is a German politician and leader of the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany since 1996. He is a former aviation engineer and captain in the German army.

Since the last election in September 2006 Voigt is an elected member of the Berlin Bezirksverordnetenversammlung (BVV) in the Treptow-Köpenick district. Previously he has been unsuccessful at the European Parliament elections and when running for mayor of Saarbrücken.

He joined the NPD in 1968 and was elected as leader (German: Vorsitzender) in 1996, succeeding Günter Deckert who had been arrested in 1995 and was in prison until 2000.

In 2005, Voigt compared the Bombing of Dresden in World War II to the Holocaust; some suggested this was a violation of Germany's laws on Holocaust denial, but the Hamburg public prosecutor deemed the comment an exercise of free speech and declined to prosecute.

Udo Voigt with David Duke

Some would describe Voigt as the most dangerous man in Germany today. For more than 10 years he has been the chairman the (NPD), a position that makes him the leader of about 7,000 right-wing extremists.

The party's headquarters, an old two-story building on Seelenbinderstrasse in Berlin's Köpenick neighborhood, is like a fortress. To enter the building, through its reinforced-steel door, one has to pass through a beefed up security system. Monitors inside record every movement transmitted by cameras in the courtyard and on the roof. When the master of the house drives up, burly men jump out of his mid-range sedan to secure the area.

Voigt has good reason to be taking security precautions. In addition to militant anarchists, the entire German state, including its intelligence apparatus, has set its sights on Voigt and his followers. All parties represented in the German parliament, the Bundestag, are constantly looking for ways to fight his right-wing realm — either by attacking his party outright or investigating its finances.

Voigt tries to portray himself as a squeaky-clean politician fighting against the supposedly decrepit "establishment parties." He describes himself and his supposed national mission with these words: "I am proud to be the chairman of such a united community of action."

That seems a bit of an overstatement. In the Hesse state election campaign, for instance, the NPD put forward Marcel Wöll as its candidate, a man with a criminal record who appears to specialize in friendly fire.

Röbel, Sven. Internal NPD Documents Reveal Chaos: Germany's Right Wing Extremists in Disarray. Spiegel Online.

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