About 500 of the far-right demonstrators, outnumbered by thousands of opponents, marched today through the district of Prenzlauer Berg, once part of the former East Berlin.
Their 6-kilometre route had been approved by police under German laws protecting the constitutional right of everyone to demonstrate.
Several thousand of people protested against the Nazis, organizing sit-in and blocking the streets. Riot police manhandled some of those obstructing the Berlin route, among them the deputy speaker of the German parliament, Wolfgang Thierse, a Social Democrat. But in the end police told the rightists to turn round and march back the way they had come.
Another 300 far-rightists, including associates from Spain, Italy and the Czech Republic, suddenly showed up in another part of the city, apparently intent on an unauthorized march down the major Kurfuerstendamm boulevard of the city. Police detained 200 of them.
According to organizers, more than 10,000 people took part in the blockades of the "Alliance First May Nazifrei" in the districts of Pankow, Wedding and Prenzlauer Berg.