WASHINGTON — These are strange times for Germany’s far-right National Democratic Party, the racist, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic party often accused of being a neo-Nazi organization.
The party has faced a number of attempted bans in a country where publicly supporting Nazi ideology is legally prohibited (at one point, 30 of the party’s 200 top officials turned out to be paid government informants), but lately its wounds have been entirely self-inflicted.
First, there was the case of Ina Groll, aka. Kitty Blair, a former porn star who quit the business in order to become the public face of the party, whose rank-and-file members more typically tend to be heavily tattooed men with shaved heads.
Groll was a hit, inveighing against the dangers posed by immigrants and minorities on her Facebook page. However, the party recently cut ties with their new public face when it was learned that she had participated in interracial sex scenes in her previous career.
Now, in what the German press has dubbed the "Peniskuchen-Affair," NPD General Secretary Peter Marx — the second-highest-ranking figure in the party — has stepped down after he was photographed at a birthday party featuring a penis-shaped cake. Marx had reportedly been instrumental in recruiting Groll, who was also at the penis-cake party. Party head Udo Pastors described the photos as "unsavory," which could be either a moral or culinary judgment.
The NPD recently attempted to sue President Joachim Gauck after he referred to them as "loonies." That was before any of this happened.
If anything, all of this seems like a good argument against banning the NPD. They seem perfectly capable of sabotaging themselves.
Joshua Keating is an editor and writer at Slate.