In 1982, Germany's business-friendly Free Democratic Party (FDP), today the junior coalition party of Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling conservatives, threw a party at the close of its federal convention. The invitations promising "disco and discussion" went out not only to party members who had participated in the convention in Berlin, but also to a selection of gays, lesbians - and pedophiles. The invitation bore the FDP logo, emblazoned at the bottom right, and explicitly welcomed "Lesbians and Liberals, Gossips and Sisters, Celebrities and Pederast.
Pedophiles and the FDP? Deputy party chair Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, who serves as Germany's Justice Minister, is sure there must be some mistake. "Pedophilia was not and is not an issue in the FDP. Not in the party's history and certainly not today," she told daily newspaper Die Welt threeweeks ago.
But that isn't true. Documents from archives linked to the FDP show that the classically liberal party decidedly did demonstrate tolerance and support for pedophiles' views in the early 1980s.
For one thing, the Young Democrats, the FDP's youth organization at the time, resolved at its general assembly in March 1980 to support the removal of Paragraphs 174 and 176, which forbid sexual abuse of children and teenagers, from the German Criminal Code.
This tolerance of pedophiles' views, though, went far beyond just the FDP-funded Young Democrats. From today's perspective it seems incomprehensible that the FDP ever discussed decriminalizing sex between adults and children. But in the wake of the massive societal changes brought about by the "1968 generation," many in the FDP, much like their counterparts in the Green Party during the same period, were no longer certain where the boundaries of tolerance should lie. And many in the party felt an obligation to aid the project of emancipation.
The FDP had connections even to those highest up in the pedophilia movement. In 1980, the highly active DSAP shared a post office box with the Humanistic Union (HU) in Düsseldorf. That organization's federal chair was Ulrich Klug, an FDP politician, since deceased, who served as state secretary in the justice ministry of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia from 1971 to 1974 and as justice senator in Hamburg from 1974 to 1977.
This makes it all the more strange that Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger now says the FDP doesn't need to examine its own past. There seems ultimately to be ample evidence that the party once lacked critical distance from proponents of pedophilia.
Voice of Russia, spiegel.de