The government has banned the music of several neo-Nazi rock groups, including one that urges Germans to kill Turkish children and rape their mothers.
President Richard von Weizsaecker, meanwhile, appealed for protection for Jews and foreigners, who have been the targets of young rightist thugs."A society which allows the lives of refugees or those who think differently to be threatened attacks itself at its very core," Weizsaecker said in a speech in Frankfurt to members of Germany's Jewish community.
"The state has a responsibility to ensure all its citizens enjoy a life free from fear," he added.
German officials have been groping for ways to halt right-wing violence, mostly directed at foreigners, that has left 16 people dead this year.
A federal censorship office said Wednesday that it was outlawing numerous songs from at least five so-called "skinhead" bands.
The ban prohibits the sale, manufacture and distribution of the groups' music, but the government has given no indication that it intends to prosecute band members themselves or to take action against Rock-O-Rama, a Cologne-based record firm that markets and sells skinhead music worldwide.
Tony Robson, a researcher for Searchlight, a monthly magazine in London that monitors neo-Nazi activities worldwide, likened the music ban to the government's recent attempts to outlaw neo-Nazi gangs. He said rock groups, just like the organizations, would only reform under new names.
Lawmaker Roland Sauer said the bands affected are Endstufe (Final Stage) of Bremen; Noie Werte (New Values) of Stuttgart; Kahlkopf (Bald Head) of Oberursel and Sperrzone (Prohibited Area) of Bruchsal. The music of the notorious Stoerkraft (Disturbing Force) was banned in October.
Sauer said in addition to the catalogs of the five groups, the government banned a song called "Kanaken," a German racial epithet for foreigner.
The song urges neo-Nazis to "annihilate" Turks, Germany's largest immigrant group, and says: "Kill their children, rape their women."