Gary Lauck was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on May 12, 1953 to a German-American family. At age eleven, he moved to Lincoln, Nebraska with his family, his father becoming a professor of engineering at the University of Nebraska. Lauck skipped his senior year of high school and then attended the University of Nebraska for two years. By this point, he already held neo-Nazi beliefs. In 1978, he even shot his brother Jerry after a political dispute, but the brother survived. Eventually, Lauck moved to Chicago, where he would spend most of his adult life.
As leader of the NSDAP/AO he was in close contact with like-minded individuals and groups in Europe, notably Michael Kühnen with whom he worked closely from the 1970s. His contacts with the German neo-Nazi scene had begun in 1971 when as an 18 year old Lauck had established the Auslandsorganisation (overseas organisation) of the National Socialist Combat Groups, a militant German neo-Nazi group that was quickly banned by the German government. Lauck's NSDAP/AO was established following this ban. A noted Germanophile, Lauck sported a toothbrush moustache and used the Nazi salute as his regular greeting, whilst even speaking with an affected German accent.
Although based in the USA, Lauck spent much of time as an activist in Europe, particularly during the early 1990s when the NSDAP/AO extended its network of contacts considerably. He produced large volumes of neo-Nazi literature in several languages and also dealt in computer discs detailing the building of bombs, both of which were distributed across a network of European contacts. In 1990 he ensured that the NSDAP/AO would link up with the Swedish neo-Nazi group Sveriges Nationella Forbund, which became instrumental in forming the "Nordic National Socialist Bloc" with like-minded activists in Norway. That same year he played a leading role in helping Kühnen, Gottfried Küssel and Christian Worch establish a network of Gesinnungsgemeinschaft der Neuen Front cells across the former East Germany following German reunification. Two years later the NSDAP/AO also concluded an agreement with the National Socialist Movement of Denmark, which up to that point had been a leading organisation within the rival World Union of National Socialists (WUNS). The change occurred after Povl Riis-Knudsen, a leading figure in WUNS, had been expelled from the Danish Nazi movement for marrying a Palestinian woman. During the early days of the Yugoslav Wars Lauck's journal New Order ran a series of articles in support of Croatia and in particular Ustaše and the magazine was instrumental in recruiting neo-Nazi linked mercenaries to fight for the Croatian cause.
Lauck was arrested in Denmark in 1995, leading to a far right campaign in the USA against plans to extradite him to Germany, where he was wanted for distributing neo-Nazi propaganda. Nevertheless Lauck was deported to Hamburg where he was tried and found guilty of distributing neo-Nazi pamphlets. He was sentenced to four years imprisonment.
- Martin A. Lee, The Beast Reawakens, Warner Books, 1997, p. 246
- Stephen E. Atkins, Encyclopedia of Right-Wing Extremism in Modern American History, ABC-CLIO, 2011, p. 110.
- Toe Bjorgo & Rob Witte, Racist Violence in Europe, St Martin's Press, 1993, p. 86
- Bjorgo & Witte, Racist Violence in Europe, p. 87
- Bjorgo & Witte, Racist Violence in Europe, pp. 89-90
- Lee, The Beast Reawakens, pp. 297-298
- Lee, The Beast Reawakens, p. 343
- Lee, The Beast Reawakens, p. 378