Autonome Nationalisten

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Autonome Nationalisten with an anti-capitalist banner, wearing clothing typical of left-wing black blocs.

Autonome Nationalisten ("Autonomous Nationalists," abbreviated AN) are German, British, Dutch[1] and to a lesser degree Flemish[2][3] neo-Nazis, who have adopted some of the far left's organizational concepts (autonomous activism), demonstration tactics (black bloc), symbolism, and elements of clothing, including Che Guevara T-shirts and keffiyehs.[4][5][6] Similar groups have also appeared in some Eastern European countries, beginning with the Czech Republic,[7] Ukraine,[8] Romania[9] and Greece, but their impact in these countries has been limited so far.[10]

History[edit]

Autonomous Nationalists adopted Black Bloc demonstration tactics from extreme-leftist antifascist groups

The phenomenon of the Autonome Nationalisten can be traced to "Freie Nationaliste" (Free Nationalists), "Freie Kräfte" (Free Forces) and "Freie Kameradschaften" (Free Comradeships) movements, which developed in the shadow of the Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands (NPD) (National Democratic Party of Germany) since the late-1980s. The police crackdown on the far-right after re-unification and the wave of banning in the early 1990s ("Deutsche Alternative", "Nationalistische Front", "Freiheitliche Deutsche Arbeiterpartei", among others) forced most of the local extreme far-right militant groups to split into "autonomous nationalist cells" of 5-20 members without a formal membership. Instead of conducting regular meetings, they started to use phones and later Internet for communication and organizing.[11] Local cells formed loose umbrella networks in the regions to coordinate actions.[12] In 2008, Germany's Autonomous Nationalists were estimated to number approximately 400 people, 1% of the country's neo-Nazis.[13][14] The German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which provides domestic intelligence for the government, estimated the number of active participants of the far right movement in 2008 around 40,000.[15] According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), currently there are 75 extreme-right organizations in Germany with 50,000 members.[16]

The emergence of the Autonome Nationalisten was controversial within the German far right milieu, both because some older activists of the German extreme right objected to their "leftist" image and because the NPD feared they would complicate its efforts to take part in mainstream politics.[10] Also controversial was that Autonome Nationalisten had occasionally expressed sympathy for Islamic extremism, as well as Hezbollah and Hamas for their opposition to Zionism and what is deemed "American imperialism".[1] Autonome Nationalists have also been seen wearing tee-shirts depicting Osama bin Laden.[1]

The Autonomous Nationalists in Europe made themselves visible starting from 2003–2004 and are now considered more violent than other members of the European far right.[5][13]

Message[edit]

Researchers view the syncretic political movement of the Autonomous Nationalists in Europe as a "strategic concept, organization and subculture – all three terms are possible for the designation of this phenomenon."[10] They emphasize that,

autonomous nationalism as a political tendency certainly punches above its weight. It has influenced and sparked debates within the German far right, as well as within fascist youth movements in other European countries. As such it opens up questions over the future of fascist organisation in Europe, at a time when network politics appears to exert stronger mobilising factors than traditional organisational structures.[17]:297

The Autonomous Nationalists were ideologically inspired by Strasserism.[10] Presently, the message of AN is based on anti-globalist, anti-capitalist, and anti-imperialist ideas and promotes complete organizational decentralization and autonomy inside the movement.[18]

The adoption of codes and symbols of the far left "Autonome Antifa" by the "Autonome Nationalisten" coincided with the persistence of vibrant alternative subcultures of the radical left and rejection of traditional skinhead cultural-political templates of behavior of the extreme right.[19] The AN thus see themselves as 'autonomous' from established neo-Nazi programs and structures, developing their own ideological discourse, street message, action repertoire, music scenes and fashion codes.[20] These are often meant to display anti-capitalist and anti-systemic rebellion and opposition to globalization and 'American cultural imperialism'.[17] The AN also raised some social and economic issues, including poverty.[21] At present time, they are firmly entrenched in the neo‐Nazi movement.[22]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Autonome neo-nazi’s op de linkse toer?, Gebladerte Archief (Dutch)
  2. ^ Autonomous Nationalist United Kingdom
  3. ^ 全国各地求人情報ブログ (Belgian Dutch)
  4. ^ Sunshine, Spencer (Winter 2008). "Rebranding Fascism: National-Anarchists". The Public Eye 23 (4): 14. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  5. ^ a b Glet, Alke (November 2009). "The German Hate Crime Concept: An Account of the Classification and Registration of Bias-Motivated Offences and the Implementation of the Hate Crime Model Into Germany's Law Enforcement System". The Internet Journal of Criminology: 16. 
  6. ^ Sundermeyer, Olaf (27 April 2009). "Autonome Nationalisten: Rechte Schläger im Kapuzenpulli". Der Spiegel (in German). Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  7. ^ Mareš, Miroslav. National and Right-wing Radicalism in the New Democracies: Czech Republic. Paper for the workshop of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation on “Right-wing extremism and its impact on young democracies in the CEE countries”, September, 2012.
  8. ^ See: Автономні націоналісти України (Autonomous Nationalists of Ukraine) (Ukrainian)
  9. ^ Romania: Extremists offer Roma women payoffs for sterilization, Budapest Telegraph, May 17, 2014.
  10. ^ a b c d Mareš, Miroslav (25 March 2010). "Transnational Activism of Extreme Right Youth in East Central Europe". Paper (first draft) for the International Conference "Far right networks in Northern and Eastern Europe”, Uppsala University, March 2010: 5–6. 
  11. ^ Jan Schedler. ‚Modernisierte Antimoderne‘: Entwicklung des organisierten Neonazismus 1990-2010. In: J. Schedler, A. Häusler (Hrsg.). Autonome Nationalisten Neonazismus in Bewegung. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2011, p. 17-35.
  12. ^ Robert Grimm (Manchester Metropolitan University). The geographic distribution of the extreme right in Germany, September 25, 2012.
  13. ^ a b Nicola, Stefan (20 May 2008). "Germany's new neo-Nazis". UPI. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  14. ^ Berg, Stefan; Markus Deggerich and Sven Röbel (3 June 2008). "Extremist Violence the Norm in Parts of the Country". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  15. ^ Rachel Nolan. Neo-Nazi Fashion: Thor Steinar and the Changing Look of the German Far Right, Spiegel Online International, November 20, 2008.
  16. ^ Extremism Across Europe, Southern Poverty Law Center. Accessed on 17 May 2014.
  17. ^ a b Schlembach, Raphael. The ‘Autonomous Nationalists’: new developments and contradictions in the German neo-Nazi movement, Interface: A journal for and about social movements, Volume 5 (2): 295 - 318, (November 2013).
  18. ^ Sommer, Bernd. Anti-capitalism in the name of ethno-nationalism: ideological shifts on the German extreme right, Patterns of Prejudice, V. 42, No. 3 (2008): 305-316.
  19. ^ Von Rainer Brahms. Mehr als eine Randerscheinung: Moderner Style, alte Inhalte, Lotta, No. 31, Summer 2008.
  20. ^ Schedler, Jan. The Devil in Disguise: Action Repertoire, Visual Performance and Collective Identity of the Autonomous Nationalists, Nations and Nationalism, V. 20, No. 2: 239-258, (2014).
  21. ^ Autonomous Nationalists
  22. ^ Schedler, Jan und Alexander Häusler (Hrsg.). Autonome Nationalisten Neonazismus in Bewegung. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2011.

Further reading[edit]

  • Rechtsextremismus in Berlin, Senatsverwaltung für Inneres und Sport. (German)
  • Decker, Oliver, Marliese Weißmann, Johannes Kiess, und Elmar Brähler. Die Mitte in der Krise. Rechtsextreme Einstellungen in Deutschland. Berlin: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 2010. (German)
  • Braun, Stephan, Alexander Geisler, und Martin Gerster. Strategien der extremen Rechten: Hintergründe - Analysen - Antworten. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2009. (German)
  • Hafeneger, Benno, und Sven Schönfelder. Politische Strategien gegen die extreme Rechte in Parlamenten: Folgen für kommunale Politik und lokale Demokratie : Eine qualitative Studie. Berlin: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 2007. (German)
  • Peters, Jürgen. "Autonome Nationalisten" die Modernisierung neofaschistischer Jugendkultur. Münster: Unrast, 2009. (German)
  • Roth, Roland. Demokratie braucht Qualität!: Beispiele guter Praxis und Handlungsempfehlungen für erfolgreiches Engagement gegen Rechtsextremismus. Berlin: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 2010. (German)
  • Schedler, Jan. Autonome Nationalisten. In: Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, Nr. 44/2010, S. 20-26, (2010). (German)
  • Schedler, Jan und Alexander Häusler (Hrsg.). Autonome Nationalisten Neonazismus in Bewegung. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2011. ISBN 978-3-531-17049-7 (German)
  • Schedler, Jan. The Devil in Disguise: Action Repertoire, Visual Performance and Collective Identity of the Autonomous Nationalists, Nations and Nationalism, V. 20, No. 2: 239-258, (2014).
  • Schlembach, Raphael. The ‘Autonomous Nationalists’: New developments and contradictions in the German neo-Nazi movement, Interface: A journal for and about social movements, Volume 5 (2): 295 - 318, (November 2013).

External links[edit]