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Skinhead CDs Seized in Germany

September 6, 2000

BERLIN (AP) _ German police have seized about 6,400 CDs and more than 30,000 CD covers, videos, numerous posters with swastikas and other items from the skinhead music scene, authorities said.

Police in the eastern states of Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia raided 11 stores and apartments in the cities of Halle and Weimar where the materials were confiscated, police said Tuesday.

German media called it the biggest seizure of such material this year in Germany.

The raid comes amid an outcry at a series of violent right-wing attacks, including at least three killings, and a spread of neo-Nazi propaganda that politicians have pledged to counter.

Authorities in the northern town of Neumuenster, meanwhile, shut down a restaurant advertised on the Internet as a meeting point for neo-Nazis, mayor Hartmut Unterlehburg said Tuesday.

Town authorities said they withdrew Club 88′s license and ordered it shuttered because its holder was actively promoting the restaurant as a center for illegal right-wing activities.

``The closure is necessary and right,″ said Heide Simonis, governor of Schleswig-Holstein state, which includes Neumuenster.

About 400 right-wing extremists marched in the town Saturday against the closure of Club 88. Neo-Nazis use the number eight as a stand-in for H, the eighth letter of the alphabet, to get around a ban on Nazi slogans in public. The 88 stands for HH, or ``Heil Hitler.″

In the southern town of Constance, interior ministers and senior government officials from Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Switzerland and Liechtenstein pledged to shut down Internet sites glorifying racist violence, and to stop skinheads from disrupting sporting events.

``Early recognition and preventative measures must be strengthened internationally,″ the officials said.

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