Landser (band)

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Landser
Origin Berlin, Germany
Genres Rock Against Communism, hard rock, oi!
Years active 1991–2003
Past members Michael Regener
André Möhricke
Jean-René Bauer
Christian Wenndorff

Landser ([ˈland.zɛɐ]) was a German neo-Nazi rock band. Landser is an old-fashioned German colloquialism for a low-ranking soldier. The band, which is outlawed in Germany, was previously called Endlösung (Final Solution), and was founded by members of the neo-Nazi group Die Vandalen - Ariogermanische Kampfgemeinschaft (The Vandals - Aryan Germanic Combat Association), which was founded in 1982.[1]

They performed only one concert that was open to the public, and did so wearing masks. However, they held several private concerts in restaurants in Berlin, Germany. Landser had their CDs manufactured abroad, mainly in the United States, Canada and Eastern Europe. The music is distributed online, by underground dealers through peer to peer networks or purchased from music labels in the United States and in some European countries where their music is legal (mostly in Eastern Europe and the United Kingdom).

History[edit]

Landser was formed in 1991 as an unnamed, non-political punk band playing songs in both German and English. The music started taking a racist direction in late 1991, and in early 1992, the name "Endlosung" was applied to the band. In mid-1992, the band changed its name to Landser and started singing entirely in German.

Landser's first major release was Das Reich kommt wieder (The Reich Will Rise Again) in September 1992. Shortly after its release, Landser played their only public concert, wearing masks. Their other albums include Republik der Strolche (Republic of Rascals, 1995), Rock gegen Oben (Rock against the Top 1997) and Ran an den Feind, (Engage the Enemy, 2000), which includes a remake of the 1940 German military march "Bomben auf England", retitled "Bomben auf Israel". The song "Rudolf Hess" from Rock gegen Oben glorifies Nazi Rudolf Hess as a martyr and, in "Sturmführer", Michael Regener, the band's leader, pays tribute to his grandfather, who was a Waffen Schutzstaffel (SS) officer. The track "Verkauft und Verraten" (Sold Out and Betrayed) from Rock gegen Oben compares life in East Germany, where Regener was born, to life in modern Germany. In it, he says that he "can still see the snipers lurking in the watchtowers" and at the end, he exclaims that he has been "sold out and betrayed by the fucking Democrats".

Most of their songs espouse an aggressively nationalist perspective of the world and are highly critical of the Federal Republic of Germany, its surveillance and censorship agencies (i.e. the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz), liberalism and the Left. A number of songs speak against communists, pedophiles and homosexuals, as well as ethnic minorities in Germany, such as the Jews, Turks, blacks and Poles. Some of their songs are non-political and inspired by German drinking songs. Others praise German icons such as Frederick the Great or take an anti-drug stance.

Legal action[edit]

In Germany, the band has been deemed a criminal organization and it's three members were fined and ordered to perform community service. The court also found all three men guilty of "incitement of the masses" and "spreading hate propaganda" in addition to "forming a criminal organisation"

Bassist Andre Moehricke and drummer Christian Wenndorff both received a year and nine months’ probation after the judge said they helped investigators and expressed remorse. While the band's leader, Michael Regener was sentenced to more than three years in prison. This was the first time a band had been declared illegal in Germany and its members jailed. On March 10, 2005, the German Federal Court of Justice, Germany's highest court, rejected Regener's appeal of his sentence.

Due to Andre Moehricke and Christian Wenndorff making long statements to the police and courts to receive shorter sentences, Michael Regener dissolved the band forever. He stated his former friends and band members had "liberty expensively bought, at the price of honour!"

All Landser albums were indexed. As a result of the indexing, two compilation albums, "Rock gegen ZOG" and "Tanzorchester Immervoll", were released containing all the songs that did not have forbidden lyrics.

Regener was still producing CDs while waiting for his appeal. After the forced breakup of Landser, Regener founded a new band in 2004, Die Lunikoff Verschwörung (The Lunikoff conspiracy). They have made several CDs, including 2004's Die Rückkehr des Unbegreiflichen, Amalek Vol. 1 & 2, and 2005's Niemals auf Knien. The lyrics of these CDs were vetted by lawyers to make them not actionable according to German law. On October 21, 2006, approximately 750 neo-Nazis launched a protest outside the jail where Regener was being held, demanding his release.[2]

In January 2007, under German law because Michael Regener had already served two-thirds of his jail sentence his lawyers filed for probation. The justice sentencing court of Berlin agreed with probation and suspended the remaining time. The Federal prosecutors office took the case to the court of appeal against the Berlin decision and on March 19th 2007 the original sentence was upheld. He was released early March 2008.

Discography[edit]

All these albums are indexed, but used copies are still available from other countries and they circulate on peer-to-peer sites.

  • Das Reich kommt wieder (1992)
  • Republik der Strolche (1995)
  • Rock gegen Oben (1997)
  • Ran an den Feind (2000)
  • Endlosung - Final Solution (2001, compilation of pre-Landser demos recorded when the band were still calling themselves Endlosung)
  • Rock gegen ZOG - hepp-hepp! ...und noch einmal (2002, compilation)
  • Tanzorchester Immervoll... jetzt erst recht (2002, compilation)

See also[edit]

References[edit]