Themes

After 1945, National Socialist attitudes remained widespread in Germany, and Hamburg was no exception. Many city officials and pillars of the community were former Nazis, despite the British military government's denazification measures. Under British control all extreme right-wing political parties were banned, so adherents claimed an emphatically nationalistic-conservative stance as camouflage in order to form the first parties and youth organisations. There were attacks on anti-fascists by both individual and organised right-wingers. Anti-Semitic insults continued to be part of everyday life.

After the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949, soldiers' associations and extreme right-wing parties emerged, such as the Hilfsgemeinschaft auf Gegenseitigkeit der Waffen-SS (HIAG) or the Sozialistische Reichspartei (SRP), which was banned in 1952 as a successor party to the Nazi Party. Former Nazi Party functionaries, such as the former Hamburg Gauleiter Karl Kaufmann, joined together in secret networks. In 1953, British investigators arrested a multi-regional circle of high-ranking former Nazis, including Karl Kaufmann, who had planned to infiltrate and overthrow the FDP.

Beginning in 1959, the number of anti-Semitic incidents throughout Germany and in Hamburg began to rise. In the 1960s, there was also an increase in the number of neo-Nazis in Hamburg. It was during this decade that the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) became the most influential force on the extreme right. It narrowly failed to gain seats in the Bundestag in 1969.