German Police Under Fire for Handling of neo-Nazi Rally

Police did not intervene in the march, which started at a refugee's home and ended at the Nazi party's historic rally grounds in Nuremberg

FILE PHOTO: Riot police are pictured during the presentation of the special police unit in Bochum, western Germany, February 4, 2019.
\ WOLFGANG RATTAY/ REUTERS

Police in Germany are under fire for their handling of a neo-Nazi torch-lit march from outside a refugee's home to the Nazi party's historic rally grounds in Nuremberg last Saturday.

Two police officials in civilian attire watched over the march, a police spokesman said on Thursday, but did not intervene immediately because it would have been "tactically unproductive" for their own safety.

Police had previously conceded that they were unprepared for the gathering and said they regretted that a "right-wing group abused the historically-loaded site for their propaganda purposes."

The President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, said the march was an "unacceptable provocation."

Those involved must be known to the police and should be brought to justice, Schuster said.

"It's not about singling out individual police officers for criticism," he said. "It's about preventing such marches from happening again in future."