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March 17 (Bloomberg) — A study funded by Germany’s Interior Ministry showed that more than twice as many German boys belong to anti-immigrant or neo-Nazi groups than claim membership of the major political parties’ youth organizations.

Out of more than 26,000 youths surveyed in 2007 and 2008, 4.9 percent of boys said they belonged to a “right-wing group or ‘Kameradschaft’,” the study by Hanover-based research institute KFN showed. That compares with as many as 2 percent that belong to youth organizations for established parties.

“It’s shocking that these right-wing groups can be more successful at mobilizing our youth than the established parties,” KFN Director Christian Pfeiffer told reporters today in Berlin. While a comparison between such groups is inexact, since many established party youth clubs charge membership fees, Pfeiffer said it was instructive.

Last month, about 6,000 German skinhead and neo-Nazi groups in the eastern city of Dresden staged one of their biggest demonstrations since German reunification in 1990. The groups, mostly made up of youths tied to the anti-immigrant National Democratic Party, used the 64th anniversary of the 1945 firebombing of Dresden on Feb. 14 to hold a “mourning march.”

(full story here)

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