BONN, Germany (AP) _ German police arrested 41 neo-Nazis in weekend raids aimed in part at cracking down on youths planning to demonstrate next week on the anniversary of the death of Rudolf Hess, one of Hitler's closest aides.

In Koenigs Wusterhausen, southeast of Berlin, and in Gotha, in Thuringia state, police raided nighttime gatherings where right-wingers were bellowing songs and giving the Hitler salute. Roadblocks outside Stuttart on Saturday night netted 19 arrests. Most arrested in the raids were booked and released.

Police say neo-Nazis are planning rallies next weekend to mark the seventh anniversary of Hess' death at age 93 in Spandau prison.

A Hess-day rally by 500 neo-Nazis last year in Fulda created a national scandal and cost several senior police officers their jobs.

Hess parachuted into Scotland in 1941, claiming he had a secret plan for peace. He was sentenced to life imprisonment at the Nuremberg war crimes trials and died Aug. 17, 1987, in the Berlin prison administered jointly by the wartime Allies.

British authorities called his death a suicide. Hess' family claimed he was murdered, making him a cult hero for neo-Nazis.