Article 21 of the German constitution
(Grundgesetz) states that political parties are very important for democracy. A party in Germany can only be banned if it can be proven that it violates the constitution. This can only be done in a lawsuit before the Federal Constitutional Court
So banning parties is very difficult. It has been made so to prevent a party being arbitrarily outlawed. Because of its experiences with Nazism and the GDR
, Germany is very careful when it comes to banning parties. In both of these dictatorships, free parties were banned and all power was held by a single party.
So far, two parties have been banned in the Federal Republic
of Germany: the Socialistische Reichspartei (Socialist
Reich Party or SRP), a successor to the National Socialist Party (NSDAP), in 1952, and the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) in 1956. In 2003, an application to ban the right-wing
Party of Germany (NPD) was turned down by the Constitutional Court on the grounds that procedural errors had been made.
Gerd Schneider/ Christiane Toyka-Seid