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Part of Jewish history
Neo-Nazism borrows elements from Nazi doctrine, including ultranationalism, racism, ableism, xenophobia, homophobia, antiziganism, antisemitism, and initiating the Fourth Reich. Holocaust denial is a common feature, as is the incorporation of Nazi symbols and admiration of Adolf Hitler.
Neo-Nazi activity is a global phenomenon, with organized representation in many countries, as well as international networks. In some European and Latin American countries, laws have been enacted that prohibit the expression of pro-Nazi, racist, anti-Semitic or homophobic views. Many Nazi-related symbols are banned in European countries in an effort to curtail neo-Nazism.
- 1 History
- 2 Europe
- 3 Asia
- 4 Americas
- 5 Africa
- 6 Oceania
- 7 Analogous movements
- 8 See also
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Out of the ashes of the Reich, 1945–1950s
Following the defeat of Nazi Germany during the Second World War, the political ideology of the ruling party; National Socialism; was in complete disaray as the nation who spawned it lay in ruins. The final leader of the National Socialist German Workers' Party was Martin Bormann, carrying the title Chief of the Party Chancellery. Bormann had been in the Führerbunker with Adolf Hitler and was a member of a close circle of confidants during the last days of the Third Reich. He died on 2 May 1945 during the Battle of Berlin, but the Soviet Union did not reveal his death to the rest of the world, and his ultimate fate remained a mystery for many years. In a similar vein, conspiracy theories emerged about Hitler himself, that he had secretly survived the war and fled to South America or elsewhere.
In regards to the state itself, Hitler was succeeded as President of Germany by Karl Dönitz and Goebbels was succeeded as Chancellor of Germany by Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk. Although both of these men were de facto NSDAP members, they arranged the German Instrument of Surrender with the Allied powers and did not attempt to revive National Socialism after the war. Before the invasion of Germany, the NSDAP had organised Operation Werewolf, whereby partisans loyal to the regime would sabotage occupying forces. The lasts actions attributed to the Werewolfs were in July 1945, such as Ústí nad Labem, which led to the reprisal Ústí massacre. The NSDAP was officially dissolved on 10 October 1945 by the Allied Control Council, marking the end of "Old" National Socialism. A process of Denazification began, as well as this the Nuremberg trials took place, where many of the major leaders and ideologues were condemned to death by October 1946, others committed suicide.
In both the East and West, most of the surviving ex-party members and military veterans simply assimilated to the new reality and had no interest in constructing a "Neo-Nazism." There were a few exceptions; a number of National Socialist advocates such as Fritz Rössler had infiltrated the national conservative Deutsche Rechtspartei, which had 5 members elected in the 1949 elections. Rössler and others left that year to found the more radical Socialist Reich Party under Otto Ernst Remer. At the onset of the Cold War, the SRP favoured the Soviet Union to the United States. In Austria where national independence had been restored, the Verbotsgesetz 1947 had been adopted, which explicitly criminalised the NSDAP and any attempt at restoration. West Germany adopted a similar law to target parties it defined as anti-constitutional; Article 21 Paragraph 2 in the Basic Law. This led to the 1952 banning of the Socialist Reich Party and four years later the Communist Party of Germany for being opposed to liberal democracy.
The 1952 banning disorientated the nascent movement of German Neo-Nazism; some members joined the Deutsche Reichspartei of which Hans-Ulrich Rudel was the most prominent figure, while the younger members founded the Wiking-Jugend (modeled after the Hitler Youth). The Deutsche Reichspartei stood for elections from 1953 until 1961 and got around 1% of the vote each time. Rudel befriended French-born Savitri Devi who was a proponent of Esoteric Nazism. In the 1950s she wrote a number of books, such as Pilgrimage (1958) of prominent Third Reich sites and The Lightning and the Sun (1958), which claimed that Adolf Hitler was an avatar of the God Vishnu. She was not alone in this reorientation of National Socialism towards its Thulean-roots; the Artgemeinschaft, founded by former SS member Wilhelm Kusserow attempted to promote a new paganism. While in Austria, former SS member Wilhelm Lang founded an esoteric group known as the Vienna Lodge; he popularised occult concepts such as the Black Sun and ideas of Third Reich survival colonies below the polar ice caps.
The new political environment allowed Otto Strasser to return to Germany from exile in the mid-1950s. Strasser had been an activist on the left of the NSDAP, who after being expelled founded the Black Front in 1930. Strasser's brother Gregor Strasser and other elements of the NSDAP left were killed under Hitler's orders during the Night of the Long Knives. Strasser founded the German Social Union in 1956, as a Black Front successor, promoting a Strasserite "nationalist and socialist" policy. It was dissolved in 1962 due to lack of support. Other Third Reich associated groups existed in Germany since the 1950s; HIAG and Stille Hilfe; dedicated to advancing the interests of Waffen-SS veterans and rehabilitating them into the new democratic society. However, they did not claim to be attempting to restore National Socialism, instead working with the social democrats and Christian democrats.
"Universal National Socialism", 1950s–1970s
Neo-Nazism; tendencies closely correlating to or derived in part from National Socialism; also found expression outside of Germany and even in countries who fought against the Third Reich during the Second World War, such as the United States and the United Kingdom. These developments sometimes adopted Pan-European or "Universal" characteristics, beyond the parameters of German nationalism. The two main tendencies, with differing styles and even worldviews, were the followers of Francis Parker Yockey and those of George Lincoln Rockwell;[nb 1]
Yockey, a neo-Spenglerian author, had written Imperium: The Philosophy of History and Politics (1949) dedicated to "the hero of the twentieth century" (namely, Adolf Hitler) and founded the European Liberation Front. He was fundamentally anti-American and was interested more in the destiny of Europe; to this end, he advocated a National Bolshevik-esque red-brown alliance against American culture and influenced 1960s figures such as SS-veteran Jean-François Thiriart. The Pan-European Yockey was also fond of Arab nationalism, in particular Gamal Abdel Nasser, as well as this he saw Fidel Castro's Cuban Revolution as a positive and visited officials there. Yockey's views impressed the likes of Otto Ernst Remer and the radical traditionalist philosopher Julius Evola. He was constantly hounded by the FBI and was eventually arrested in 1960, before committing suicide. Domestically, Yockey's biggest sympathisers were the National Renaissance Party, including the likes of James H. Madole, H. Keith Thompson and Eustace Mullins (protégé of Ezra Pound) and the Liberty Lobby of Willis Carto.
Rockwell, on the contrary came from an American conservative background; he was first politicised by anti-communism and opposition to racial integration, before becoming anti-Jewish. In response to his opponents calling him a "Nazi", he theatrically appropriated the aesthetic elements of the NSDAP, to "own" the intended insult. In 1959, Rockwell founded the American Nazi Party and instructed his members to dress in imitation SA-style brown shirts, while flying the flag of the Third Reich. In contrast to Yockey, he was pro-American and cooperated with FBI requests, despite the party being targeted under COINTELPRO due to the mistaken belief that they were agents of Nasser's Egypt during a brief intelligence "brown scare." Later leaders of American white nationalism came to politics through the ANP; including a teenage David Duke and William Luther Pierce of the National Alliance. Although they soon distanced themselves from explicit self-identification with Neo-Nazism.
In 1961, Rockwell founded the World Union of National Socialists with Colin Jordan of the British National Socialist Movement, adopting the Cotswold Declaration. French socialite Françoise Dior was involved romantically with the NSM's Jordan and his deputy John Tyndall. She was a friend of Savitri Devi, who also attended the meeting. Like the American Nazi Party, the National Socialist Movement wore quasi-SA uniforms. The party was involved in streets conflicts with the Jewish 62 Group. Later on, in the 1970s, Tyndall's earlier dalliance with neo-Nazism would come back to haunt the National Front, which he led, as they attempted to ride a wave of anti-immigration populism and concerns over British national decline. Televised exposes on This Week in 1974 and World in Action in 1978, showing their neo-Nazi pedigree, damaged their electoral chances. Rockwell was killed by a disgruntled former member in 1967 and Matthias Koehl took control of the ANP. Strongly influenced by Savitri Devi he gradually transformed it into an esoteric group known as the New Order.
Aisde from these Anglosphere movements, other groups existed in Europe. For instance in Franco's Spain, certain SS refugees; most notably Otto Skorzeny, Léon Degrelle and the son of Klaus Barbie; became associated with CEDADE (Círculo Español de Amigos de Europa). The organisation disseminated Third Reich apologetics out of Barcelona and intersected with neo-Nazi advocates from Mark Fredriksen in France to Salvador Borrego in Mexico. Aside from this, in Italy, some splinter groups from the post-fascist Italian Social Movement considered National Socialism a reference; particularly Ordine Nuovo and Avanguardia Nazionale, involved in the anni di piombo. One of the ideologues associated with this, Franco Freda, created a "Nazi-Maoist" synthesis. In Germany itself, the various Third Reich nostalgic movements coalesced around the National Democratic Party of Germany in 1964 and similarly in Austria the National Democratic Party in 1967. Although more publicly cautious than earlier groups, they were clearly identified as the primary sympathisers of the NSDAP past.
Holocaust denial and subcultures, 1970s–1990s
Holocaust denial; the claim that six million Jews were not deliberately and systematically exterminated as an official policy of the Third Reich and Adolf Hitler; became a more prominent feature in the 1970s. Before this time, Holocaust denial had long existed as a sentiment among neo-Nazis, but had not yet been systematically articulated as a theory with a bibliographical cannon. Few of the major theorists of Holocaust denial (who call themselves "revisionists") can be uncontroversially classified as outright neo-Nazis (though some works such as that of David Irving forward a clearly sympathetic view of Hitler and the publisher Ernst Zündel was deeply tied to international neo-Nazism), however, the main interest to the neo-Nazi movement was by denying the Holocaust, they hoped to rehabilitate their political ideology in the eyes of the general public. Did Six Million Really Die? (1974) by Richard Verrall and The Hoax of the Twentieth Century (1976) by Arthur Butz are popular examples of Holocaust denial material.
Key developments in international neo-Nazism during this time include the radicalisation of the Vlaamse Militanten Orde under former Hitler Youth member Bert Eriksson. They began hosting an annual conference; the "Iron Pilgrimage"; at Diksmuide, which drew kindred ideologues from across Europe and beyond. As well as this, the NSDAP/AO under Gary Lauck arose in the United States in 1972 and challenged the international influence of the Rockwellite WUNS. Lauck's organisation drew support from the National Socialist Movement of Denmark of Povl Riis-Knudsen and various German and Austrian figures who felt that the "National Democratic" parties were too bourgeois and insufficiently National Socialist in orientation. This included Michael Kühnen, Christian Worch, Bela Ewald Althans and Gottfried Küssel of the 1977-founded ANS/NS which called for the establishment of a Germanic Fourth Reich. Some ANS/NS members were imprisoned for planning paramilitary attacks on NATO bases in Germany and planning to liberate Rudolf Hess from Spandau Prison. The organisation was officially banned in 1983 by the Minister of the Interior.
During the late 1970s, a British subculture came to be associated with neo-Nazism; the skinheads. Portraying an ultra-masculine, crude and aggressive image, with working-class references, some of the skinheads joined the British Movement under Michael McLaughlin (successor of Colin Jordan), while others became associated with the National Front's Rock Against Communism project which was meant to counter the SWP's Rock Against Racism. The most significant music group involved was Skrewdriver, led by Ian Stuart Donaldson. Together with ex-BM member Nicky Crane, Donaldson founded the international Blood & Honour network in 1987. By 1992 this network, with input from Harold Covington, had developed a paramilitary wing; Combat 18, which intersected with football hooligan firms such as the Chelsea Headhunters. The neo-Nazi skinhead movement spread to the United States, with groups such as the Hammerskins. It was popularised from 1986 onwards by Tom Metzger of the White Aryan Resistance. Since then it has spread across the world. Films such as Romper Stomper (1992) and American History X (1998) would fix a public perception of neo-Nazism and skinheads being synonymous.
New developments also emerged on the esoteric level, as former Chilean diplomat Miguel Serrano built on the works of the likes of Carl Jung, Otto Rahn, Wilhelm Landig, Julius Evola and Savitri Devi to bind together and flesh out already existing theories. Serrano had been a member of the National Socialist Movement of Chile in the 1930s and from the early days of neo-Nazism had been in contact with key figures across Europe and beyond. Despite this, he was able to work as an ambassador to numerous countries until the rise of Salvador Allende. He delivered his magnum opus in 1984, Adolf Hitler: The Ultimate Avatar. Serrano claimed that the Aryans were extragalactic beings who founded Hyperborea and lived the heroic life of Bodhisattvas, while the Jews were supposedly created by the Demiurge, concerned only with coarse materialism. Serrano claimed that a new Golden Age can be attained if the Hyperboreans repurify their blood (supposedly the light of the Black Sun) and restore their "blood-memory." As with Savitri Devi before him, Serrano's works became a key point of reference in neo-Nazism.
Lifting of the Iron Curtain, 1990s–present
With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union during the early 1990s, neo-Nazism found fertile ground in the East for their ideas, as hostility to the triumphant liberal order was high and revanchism a widespread feeling. In Russia, during the chaos of the early 1990s, an amorphous mixture of KGB hardliners, Orthodox neo-Tsarist nostalgics (ie - Pamyat) and explicit National Socialists found themselves strewn together in the same camp. They were united by opposition to the influence of the United States, against the liberalising legacy of Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika and on the Jewish Question, Soviet Zionology merged with a more explicit anti-Jewish sentiment. The most significant organisation representing this was Russian National Unity under the leadership of Alexander Barkashov, where black-uniform clad Russians marched with a red flag incorporating the Swastika under the banner of Russia for Russians. These forces came together in a last gasp effort to save the Supreme Soviet of Russia against Boris Yeltsin during the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis. As well as events in Russia, in newly independent ex-Soviet states, annual commemorations for SS volunteers now took place; particularly in Latvia, Estonia and the Ukraine.
The Russian developments excited German neo-Nazism who dreamed of a Berlin—Moscow alliance against the supposedly "decadent" Atlanticist forces; a dream which had been thematic since the days of Remer. The likes of Zündel visited Russia and met with Russian National Unity luminaries such as ex-KGB general Aleksandr Stergilov. Despite these initial aspirations, international neo-Nazism and its close affiliates in ultra-nationalism would be split over the Bosnian War between 1992 and 1995, as part of the breakup of Yugoslavia. The split would largely be along ethnic and sectarian lines. The Germans and the French would largely back the Catholic Croats (Lauck's NSDAP/AO explicitly called for volunteers, which Kühnen's Free German Workers' Party answered and the French formed the "Groupe Jacques Doriot"), while the Russians and the Greeks would back the Orthodox Serbs (including Russians from Barkashov's Russian National Unity, Eduard Limonov's National Bolshevik Front and Golden Dawn members joined the Greek Volunteer Guard). Indeed, the revival of National Bolshevism was able to steal some of the thunder from overt Russian neo-Nazism, as ultra-nationalism was wedded with veneration of Joseph Stalin in place of Adolf Hitler, while still also flirting with National Socialist aesthetics.
The major postwar far-right party was the Austrian National Democratic Party (NDP), until it was banned in 1988 for violating Austria's anti-Nazi legislation, Verbotsgesetz 1947. The Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) served as a shelter for ex-Nazis almost from its inception. In 1980, scandals undermined Austria's two main parties and the economy stagnated. Jörg Haider became leader of the FPÖ and offered partial justification for Nazism, calling its employment policy effective. In the 1994 Austrian election, the FPÖ won 22 percent of the vote, as well as 33 percent of the vote in Carinthia and 22 percent in Vienna; showing that it had become a force capable of reversing the old pattern of Austrian politics.
Historian Walter Laqueur writes that even though Haider welcomed former Nazis at his meetings and went out of his way to address Schutzstaffel (SS) veterans, the FPÖ is not a fascist party in the traditional sense, since it has not made anti-communism an important issue, and it does not advocate the overthrow of the democratic order or the use of violence. In his view, the FPÖ is "not quite fascist", although it is part of a tradition, similar to that of 19th-century Viennese mayor Karl Lueger, which involves nationalism, xenophobic populism, and authoritarianism. Professor Ali Mazrui, however, identified the FPÖ as neo-Nazi in a BBC world lecture.
Barbara Rosenkranz, the Freedom Party's candidate for the Austrian presidential election, 2010, is controversial for having made allegedly pro-Nazi statements. Rosenkranz is married to Horst Rosenkranz, a key member of a banned neo-Nazi party, who is known for publishing far-right books. Rosenkranz says she cannot detect anything "dishonourable" in her husband's activities.
The volume Rechtsextremismus in Österreich seit 1945 (Right-wing Extremism in Austria since 1945), issued by DÖW in 1979, listed nearly 50 active far right organizations in Austria. Their influence waned gradually, partly due to liberalization programs in secondary schools and universities which emphasized Austrian identity and democratic traditions.[according to whom?] Votes for the RFS (Ring Freiheitlicher Studenten), the Freedom Party's academic student organization, in student elections fell from 30% in the 1960s to 2% in 1987. In the 1995 elections for the student representative body Österreichische Hochschülerschaft (Austrian Students' Association), the RFS got 4% of the vote. The FPÖ won 22% of the votes at the General Election in the same year.
A radical non-parliamentary, anti-democratic far-right organization active in Austria was the VAPO (Volkstreue Außerparlamentarische Opposition) founded by the Austrian neo-Nazi Gottfried Küssel in 1986, who publicly declared himself to be a member of the US-American neo-Nazi organization NSDAP/AO since 1977. Neither an association nor a party, the VAPO was loosely organized in "Kameradschaften" (comradeships) and it defined itself as a "battle alliance of nationalist groups and persons" with the aims of "reestablishing the NSDAP" and the "seizure of power". In 1993 Küssel was repeatedly convicted on charges of "NS-Wiederbetätigung" (re-engagement in national socialism) under the Austrian anti-Nazi law (Verbotsgesetz 1947) and sentenced to ten years in prison. The VAPO de facto disbanded in the course of the imprisonment of its leading figures, much of which was due to its loose organizational structure. Due to procedural errors Küssel's sentence was revoked by the OGH (Austrian Supreme Court) and his trial was reheld in 1994 at the end of which he was sentenced to eleven years in prison.
A Belgian neo-Nazi organization, Bloed, Bodem, Eer en Trouw (Blood, Soil, Honour and Loyalty), was created in 2004 after splitting from the international network (Blood and Honour). The group rose to public prominence in September 2006, after 17 members (including 11 soldiers) were arrested under the December 2003 anti-terrorist laws and laws against racism, antisemitism and supporters of censorship. According to Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx and Interior Minister Patrick Dewael, the suspects (11 of whom were members of the military) were preparing to launch terrorist attacks in order to "destabilize" Belgium. According to the journalist Manuel Abramowicz, of the Resistances, the extremists of the radical right have always had as its aim to "infiltrate the state mechanisms," including the army in the 1970s and the 1980s, through Westland New Post and the Front de la Jeunesse.
A police operation, which mobilized 150 agents, searched five military barracks (in Leopoldsburg near the Dutch border, Kleine-Brogel, Peer, Brussels (Royal military school) and Zedelgem) as well as 18 private addresses in Flanders. They found weapons, munitions, explosives and a homemade bomb large enough to make "a car explode". The leading suspect, B.T., was organizing the trafficking of weapons and was developing international links, in particular with the Dutch far-right movement De Nationale Alliantie.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
The neo-Nazi white nationalist organization Bosanski Pokret Nacionalnog Ponosa (Bosnian Movement of National Pride) was founded in Bosnia and Herzegovina in July 2009. Its model is the Waffen-SS Handschar Division, which was composed of Bosniak volunteers. It proclaimed its main enemies to be "Jews, Gypsies, Serbian Chetniks, the Croatian separatists, Josip Broz Tito, Communists, homosexuals and blacks". Its ideology is a mixture of Bosnian nationalism, National Socialism and white nationalism. The group is led by a person nicknamed Sauberzwig, after the commander of the 13th SS Handschar. The group's strongest area of operations is in the Tuzla area of Bosnia.
The government of the Czech Republic strictly punishes neo-Nazism (Czech: Neonacismus). According to a report by the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic, neo-Nazis committed more than 211 crimes in 2013. The Czech Republic has more than 150 members of various neo-Nazi groups. One of them is group Wotan Jugend, based in Germany.
In 2006, Roman Ilin, a Jewish theatre director from St. Petersburg, Russia, was attacked by neo-Nazis when returning from an underground tunnel after a rehearsal. Ilin subsequently accused Estonian police of indifference after filing the incident. When a dark-skinned French student was attacked in Tartu, the head of an association of foreign students claimed that the attack was characteristic of a wave of neo-Nazi violence. An Estonian police official, however, stated that there were only a few cases involving foreign students over the previous two years. In November 2006, the Estonian government passed a law banning the display of Nazi symbols.
The 2008 United Nations Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur's Report noted that community representatives and non-governmental organizations devoted to human rights had pointed out that neo-Nazi groups were active in Estonia—particularly in Tartu—and had perpetrated acts of violence against non-European minorities.
In Germany, immediately after World War II, Allied forces and the new German government attempted to prevent the creation of a new Nazi movement through a process known as denazification. However, with the onset of the Cold War it had lost interest in prosecuting anyone. Many of the more than 90,000 Nazi war criminals recorded in German files were serving in positions of prominence under Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. Not until the 1960s were the former concentration camp personnel prosecuted by West Germany in the Belzec trial, Frankfurt Auschwitz trials, Treblinka trials, Chełmno trials, and the Sobibór trial. The government had passed laws prohibiting Nazis from publicly expressing their beliefs. Displaying the swastika became an offense punishable by up to one year imprisonment. Nevertheless, some former National Socialists retained their political beliefs and passed them down to new generations. The extreme-right National Democratic Party of Germany was formed in 1964.
After German reunification in the 1990s, post-National Socialist groups gained more followers, mostly among the younger generation in the former East Germany. They have expressed an aversion to people from Slavic countries (especially Poland) and people of other national backgrounds who moved from the former West Germany into the former East Germany after Germany was reunited. According to the annual report of Germany's interior intelligence service (Verfassungsschutz) for 2012, at the time there were 26,000 right-wing extremists living in Germany, including 6,000 neo-Nazis. The neo-Nazi organizations are not outlawed in Germany, although Holocaust denial is a crime, according to the German Criminal Code (Strafgesetzbuch § 86a) and § 130 (public incitement).
In April 1967, a few weeks prior to an election, a military coup d'état took place in Greece and a fascist military government ruled the country from 1967 to 1974. It was called the "Regime of the Colonels", and was headed by Colonel George Papadopoulos. The official reason given for the coup was that a "communist conspiracy" had infiltrated all levels of society.
The contemporary Greek political party Golden Dawn (Χρυσή Αυγή - Chrysi Avyi), which found its roots in Papadopoulos' regime, has been described as subscribing to neo-fascist and neo-Nazi beliefs and practices.
Although there have been persistent rumors about an active support of the coup by the U.S. government, there is no evidence to support such claims. The timing of the coup apparently caught the CIA by surprise.
The far right political is generally labelled neo-Nazi, although the group rejects this label. A few Golden Dawn members participated in the Bosnian War in the Greek Volunteer Guard (GVG) and were present in Srebrenica during the Srebrenica massacre.
Golden Dawn has spoken out in favour of the Assad regime in Syria, and the Strasserist group Black Lily have claimed to have sent mercenaries to Syria to fight alongside the Syrian regime, specifically mentioning their participation in the Battle of al-Qusayr.
In the elections of 6 May 2012, Golden Dawn received 6.97% of the votes, entering the Greek parliament for the first time with 21 representatives. Due to no coalition amongst the elected parties so as to form a Greek Government, new elections were proclaimed.
In the elections of 17 June 2012, Golden Dawn received 6.92% of the votes, entering the Greek parliament with 18 representatives.
The Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism reports that on 17 May 2011 in Leek, Groningen, antisemitic graffiti was found at a Jewish school. The graffiti consisted of a swastika and the text "C18", or Combat 18, a neo-Nazi organisation active throughout Europe. The number 18 refers to the initials of Adolf Hitler, A and H being the first and eighth letters of the alphabet, respectively.
Although several small far-right and anti-semitic organisations exist, most notably NOP and ONR, they frequently adhere to Polish nationalism and National Democracy, in which Nazism is generally considered to be against ultra-nationalist principles, and although they are classed as nationalist and fascist movements, they are at the same time considered anti-Nazi. Some of their elements may resemble neo-Nazi features, but these groups frequently dissociate themselves from Nazi elements, claiming that such acts are unpatriotic and they argue that Nazism misappropriated or slightly altered several pre-existing symbols and features, such as distinguishing the Roman salute from the Nazi salute.
There are a few Russian neo-Nazis that openly admire Adolf Hitler and use the swastika as their symbol. Russian neo-Nazis are characterized by racism, antisemitism, homophobia, Islamophobia and extreme xenophobia towards people from Asia. Their ideology centers on defending Russian national identity against what they perceive as a takeover by minority groups such as Jews, Caucasians, homosexuals, Central Asians, East Asians, Roma people, and Muslims. There is also a widespread gay rights Nazi skinhead subculture with its own Vkontakte group, GASH, and an alleged 1700 members in Moscow alone.
Russian neo-Nazis have made it an explicit goal to take over the country by force, and have put serious effort into preparing for this. Paramilitary organizations operating under the guise of sports clubs have trained their members in squad tactics, hand to hand combat and weapons handling. They have stockpiled and used weapons, often illegally.
Some observers have noted a subjective irony of Russians embracing Nazism, because one of Hitler's ambitions at the start of World War II was the Generalplan Ost (Master Plan East) which envisaged to exterminate, expel, or enslave most or all Slavs from central and eastern Europe (e.g., Russians, Ukrainians, Poles etc.). Russian neo-Nazis deny the authenticity of this plan and instead emphasize the 1939-1941 Nazi-Soviet alliance. At the end of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, over 25 million Soviet citizens had died. In a 2007 news story, ABC News reported, "In a country that lost more people defeating the Nazis than any other country, there are now an estimated 50,000 to 70,000 neo-Nazis, half of the world's total."
The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 caused great economic and social problems, including widespread unemployment and poverty. Several far right paramilitary organizations were able to tap into popular discontent, particularly among marginalized, lesser educated and unemployed youths. Of the three major age groups — youths, adults, and the elderly — youths may have been hit the hardest. The elderly suffered due to inadequate (or unpaid) pensions, but they found effective political representation in the Communist Party, and generally had their concerns addressed through better budget allocations. Adults, although often suffering financially and psychologically due to job losses, were generally able to find new sources of income.
Russian National Unity (RNE), founded in 1990 and led by Alexander Barkashov, has claimed to have members in 250 cities. RNE adopted the swastika as its symbol, and sees itself as the avant-garde of a coming national revolution. It is critical of other major far right organizations, such as the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR). Historian Walter Laqueur calls RNE far closer to the Nazi model than the LDPR. RNE publishes several news sheets; one of them, Russky poryadok, claims to have a circulation of 150,000. Full members of RNE are called Soratnik (comrades in arms), receive combat training at locations near Moscow, and many of them work as security officers or armed guards.
On 15 August 2007, Russian authorities arrested a student for allegedly posting a video on the Internet which appears to show two migrant workers being beheaded in front of a red and black swastika flag. Alexander Verkhovsky, the head of a Moscow-based center that monitors hate crime in Russia, said, "It looks like this is the real thing. The killing is genuine ... There are similar videos from the Chechen war. But this is the first time the killing appears to have been done intentionally."
Neo-Nazi activities in Sweden have previously been limited to white supremacist groups, few of which have a membership over a few hundred members. The main neo-Nazi organization as of 2017 is the Nordic Resistance Movement. Nordic Resistance Movement self-identifies as a National Socialist political party. In addition to Sweden, they are also active in Norway, Finland, and Denmark.
The neo-Nazi and white power skinhead scene in Switzerland has seen significant growth in the 1990s and 2000s. It is reflected in the foundation of the Partei National Orientierter Schweizer in 2000, which resulted in an improved organizational structure of the neo-Nazi and white supremacist scene.
Apart from neo-fascist Grey Wolves and the Turkish ultranationalist Nationalist Movement Party, there are some neo-Nazi organizations in Turkey such as the Turkish Nazi Party or the National Socialist Party of Turkey, which are mainly based on the internet.
The Indian subcontinent (similar to Iran) has had cultural links to the "Aryan race" and has often been a topic of discussion on race theories.
In 1940, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar said, "There is no reason to suppose that Hitler must be a human monster because he passes off as a Nazi or Churchill is a demigod because he calls himself a Democrat. Nazism proved undeniably the saviour of Germany under the set of circumstances Germany was placed in. Who are we to dictate to Germany... or Italy to choose a particular form of policy of government simply?" "Surely Hitler knows better than Pandit Nehru does what suits Germany best. The very fact that Germany or Italy has so wonderfully recovered and grown so powerful as never before at the touch of Nazi or Fascist magical wand is enough to prove that those political ‘isms’ were the most congenial tonics their health demanded."
While swastika symbols have always been around (in a religious context), some right wing citizens have started using it as a propaganda tool, with claims of it being loaned by India to Europe.
Also home to the "Aryan" sector in the Indian subcontinent, present day nation of Pakistan also has a section of their populace that enjoys a pro Nazi sentiment. Adding to their Indo-Aryan roots, is the waving blaze of anti-Semitism due to the staunch opposition to the state of Israel.
Neo-Nazi activity is not common or widespread in Israel, and the few reported activities have all been the work of extremists, who were punished severely. One notable case is that of Patrol 36, a cell in Petah Tikva made up of eight teenage immigrants from the former Soviet Union who had been attacking foreign workers and homosexuals, and vandalizing synagogues with Nazi images. These neo-Nazis were reported to have operated in cities across Israel, and have been described as being influenced by the rise of neo-Nazism in Europe; mostly influenced by similar movements in Russia and Ukraine, as the rise of the phenomenon is widely credited to immigrants from those two states, the largest sources of emigration to Israel. Widely publicized arrests have led to a call to reform the Law of Return to permit the revocation of Israeli citizenship for – and the subsequent deportation of – neo-Nazis.
Neo-Nazism is a growing political force in Mongolia. From 2008, Mongolian neo-Nazi groups have defaced buildings in Ulaanbaatar, smashed Chinese shopkeepers' windows, and killed pro-Chinese Mongols. The neo-Nazi Mongols' targets for violence are Chinese, Koreans, Mongol women who have sex with Chinese men, and LGBT people. They wear Nazi uniforms and revere the Mongol Empire and Genghis Khan. Though Tsagaan Khass leaders say they do not support violence, they are self-proclaimed Nazis. "Adolf Hitler was someone we respect. He taught us how to preserve national identity," said the 41-year-old co-founder, who calls himself Big Brother. "We don't agree with his extremism and starting the Second World War. We are against all those killings, but we support his ideology. We support nationalism rather than fascism." Some have ascribed it to poor historical education.
The National Socialism Association (NSA) is a neo-Nazi political organisation founded in Taiwan in September 2006 by Hsu Na-chi (Chinese: 許娜琦), at that time a 22-year-old female political science graduate of Soochow University. The NSA has an explicit stated goal of obtaining the power to govern the state. The Simon Wiesenthal Centre condemned the National Socialism Association on 13 March 2007 for championing the former Nazi dictator and blaming democracy for social unrest in Taiwan.
The group was formed in 1952 by Davud Monshizadeh, a professor at Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, who served with the SS and had been injured while fighting in Berlin. Before this the name had been used informally to refer to those in Iran who supported and helped fund Adolf Hitler during the Second World War. Monshizadeh would go on to serve as a Professor of Persian Studies at Alexandria University and Uppsala University. Despite building up a minor support base in Iranian universities, the party did not last long. It has been claimed that the party received funding directly from Reza Pahlavi and some Georgian-Iranians for a time. The official logo is the Simorq flag. The emblem is the Simorq bird which was taken from the Shahnameh (Book of Kings) at the centre.
Several Brazilian neo-Nazi gangs appeared in the 1990s in Southern and Southeastern Brazil, regions with mostly white people, with their acts gaining more media coverage and public notoriety in the 2010s. Some members of Brazilian neo-Nazi groups have been associated with football hooliganism.
Their targets have included African, South American and Asian immigrants; Jews, Muslims, Catholics and Atheists; Afro-Brazilians and internal migrants with origins in the northern regions of Brazil (who are mostly brown-skinned or Afro-Brazilian); homeless people, prostitutes; recreational drug users; feminists and—more frequently reported in the media—homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgender and third-gender people. News of their attacks has played a role in debates about anti-discrimination laws in Brazil (including to some extent hate speech laws) and the issues of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Neo-Nazism in Canada began with the formation of the Canadian Nazi Party in 1965. In the 1970s and 1980s, neo-Nazism continued to spread in the country as organizations including the Western Guard Party and Church of the Creator (later renamed Creativity) promoted white supremacist ideals. Founded in the United States in 1973, Creativity calls for white people to wage racial holy war (Rahowa) against Jews and other perceived enemies.
Don Andrews founded the Nationalist Party of Canada in 1977. The purported goals of the unregistered party are "the promotion and maintenance of European Heritage and Culture in Canada," but the party is known for anti-Semitism and racism. Many influential neo-Nazi Leaders, such as Wolfgang Droege, were affiliated with the party, but many of its members left to join the Heritage Front, which was founded in 1989.
Droege founded the Heritage Front in Toronto at a time when leaders of the white supremacist movement were "disgruntled about the state of the radical right" and wanted to unite unorganized groups of white supremacists into an influential and efficient group with common objectives. Plans for the organization began in September 1989, and the formation of the Heritage Front was formally announced a couple of months later in November. In the 1990s, George Burdi of Resistance Records and the band Rahowa popularized the Creativity movement and the white power music scene.[page needed]
Controversy and dissention has left many Canadian neo-Nazi organizations dissolved or weakened.
After the dissolution of the National Socialist Movement of Chile (MNSCH) in 1938, notable former members of MNSCH migrated into Partido Agrario Laborista (PAL), obtaining high positions. Not all former MNSCH members joined the PAL; some continued to form parties that followed the MNSCH model until 1952. A new old-school Nazi party was formed in 1964 by school teacher Franz Pfeiffer. Among the activities of this group were the organization of a Miss Nazi beauty contest and the formation of a Chilean branch of the Ku Klux Klan. The party disbanded in 1970. Pfeiffer attempted to restart it in 1983 in the wake of a wave of protests against the Augusto Pinochet regime.
Nicolás Palacios considered the "Chilean race" to be a mix of two bellicose master races: the Visigoths of Spain and the Mapuche (Araucanians) of Chile. Palacios traces the origins of the Spanish component of the "Chilean race" to the coast of the Baltic Sea, specifically to Götaland in Sweden, one of the supposed homelands of the Goths. Palacios claimed that both the blonde-haired and the bronze-coloured Chilean Mestizo share a "moral physonomy" and a masculine psychology. He opposed immigration from Southern Europe, and argued that Mestizos who are derived from south Europeans lack "cerebral control" and are a social burden.
Several neo-Nazi groups exist in Costa Rica, and the first to be in the spotlight was the Costa Rican National Socialist Party, which is now disbanded. Others include Costa Rican National Socialist Youth, Costa Rican National Socialist Alliance, New Social Order, Costa Rican National Socialist Resistance (which is Costa Rica's member of the World Union of National Socialists) and the Hiperborean Spear Society. The groups normally target Jewish-Costa Ricans, Afro-Costa Ricans, Communists, homosexuals and especially Nicaraguan and Colombian immigrants. The media has discovered the existence of an underground neo-Nazi group inside the police.
There are several neo-Nazi groups in the United States. The National Socialist Movement (NSM), with about 400 members in 32 states, is currently the largest neo-Nazi organization in the United States. After World War II, new organizations formed with varying degrees of support for Nazi principles. The National States' Rights Party, founded in 1958 by Edward Reed Fields and J. B. Stoner countered racial integration in the Southern United States with Nazi-inspired publications and iconography. The American Nazi Party, founded by George Lincoln Rockwell in 1959, achieved high-profile coverage in the press through its public demonstrations.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, which allows political organizations great latitude in expressing Nazi, racist, and anti-Semitic views. A First Amendment landmark case was National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie, in which neo-Nazis threatened to march in a predominantly Jewish suburb of Chicago. The march never took place in Skokie, but the court ruling allowed the neo-Nazis to stage a series of demonstrations in Chicago.
Organizations which report upon American neo-Nazi activities include the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. While a small minority of American neo-Nazis draw public attention, most operate underground, so they can recruit, organize and raise funds without interference or harassment. American neo-Nazis are known to attack, torment, and harass Jews, African Americans, Slavic Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans, Romani Americans, Homosexuals, Transgenders, Handicaps, "race traitors" and people with different political or religious opinions.[page needed] American neo-Nazi groups often operate websites, occasionally stage public demonstrations, and maintain ties to groups in Europe and elsewhere.
There were a number of now-defunct Australian neo-Nazi groups, such as the National Socialist Party of Australia (1968–1970s), the Australian National Socialist Party (1962–1968) and Jack van Tongeren's Australian Nationalist Movement. Current active organisations include local chapters of the Aryan Nations, and Blood and Honour, as well as prominent individuals such as Blair Cottrell.
In New Zealand, historical neo-Nazi organisations include Unit 88 and the National Socialist Party of New Zealand. Current active organisations include the local chapter of the Hammerskins, while White Nationalist organisations such as the New Zealand National Front have faced accusations of neo-Nazism.
Outside Germany, in other countries which were involved with the Axis powers and had their own native ultra-nationalist movements, which sometimes collaborated with the Third Reich but were not technically German-style National Socialists, revivalist and nostalgic movements have emerged in the post-war period which, as Neo-Nazism has done in Germany, seek to rehabilitate their various loosely associated ideologies. These movements include neo-fascists and post-fascists in Italy; Vichyites, Pétainists and "national Europeans" in France; Ustaše sympathisers in Croatia; neo-Chetniks in Serbia; Iron Guard revivalists in Romania; Hungarists and Horthyists in Hungary; Banderaists in the Ukraine (which had a complicated relationship with the Axis powers) and others.
Italy was broadly divided into two political blocs following World War II, the Christian Democrats, who remained in power until the 1980s, and the Italian Communist Party (PCI), very strong immediately after the war.
With the beginning of Cold War it was feared by the British government that the requested extradition of Italian war criminals to Yugoslavia would benefit the PCI. Preventing anything like the Nuremberg trial for Italian war crimes, the collective memory of the crimes committed by Italians was excluded from public media, from textbooks in Italian schools, and from the academic discourse on the Western side of the Iron curtain throughout the Cold War. The PCI was expelled from power in May 1947, a month before the Paris Conference on the Marshall Plan, along with the French Communist Party (PCF).
In 1946 a group of Fascist soldiers founded the Italian Social Movement to continue the idea of Benito Mussolini. The leader of the MSI was Giorgio Almirante, who remained at the head of the party until his death in 1988.
Despite attempts in the 1970s towards a "historic compromise" between the PCI and the DC, the PCI did not have a role in executive power until the 1980s. In December 1970, Junio Valerio Borghese attempted, along with Stefano Delle Chiaie, the Borghese Coup which was supposed to install a neo-fascist regime. Neo-fascist groups took part in various false flag terrorist attacks, starting with the December 1969 Piazza Fontana massacre, for which Vincenzo Vinciguerra was convicted, and usually considered to have stopped with the 1980 Bologna railway bombing. A 2000 parliamentary report from the center-left Olive Tree coalition concluded that "the strategy of tension had been supported by the United States in order to impede the PCI, and, in a lesser measure, the PSI from reaching executive power".
Since the 1990s, National Alliance, led by Gianfranco Fini, a former member of Italian Social Movement, has distanced itself from Mussolini and fascism and made efforts to improve relations with Jewish groups, with most die-hards leaving it; it now seeks to present itself as a respectable right-wing party. Fini joined Silvio Berlusconi's government. Neo-fascist and Neo-Nazi parties in Italy are Tricolour Flame ("Fiamma Tricolore"), New Force ("Forza Nuova") and the National Social Front ("Fronte Sociale Nazionale").
Neo-Nazi organizations are outlawed in France, yet a significant number of them still exist. Legal far-right groups are also numerous, and they include the Bloc identitaire, created by former members of Christian Bouchet's Unité Radicale group. Similar to National Bolshevism and Third Position ideologies, Unité Radicale was dissolved in 2002 following Maxime Brunerie's assassination attempt in July 2002 against then-President Jacques Chirac. Christian Bouchet had previously been a member of Nouvelle Résistance (NR), an offshoot of Troisième Voie (Third Way) which described itself as "nationalist revolutionary". Although Nouvelle Résistance at first opposed the "national conservatives" of Jean-Marie Le Pen's National Front, it changed its strategy, adopting the slogan "Less Leftism! More Fascism!" Nouvelle Résistance was also a successor to Jean-François Thiriart's Jeune Europe neo-Nazi Europeanist movement of the 1960s, which had participated in the National Party of Europe, along with Oswald Mosley's Union Movement, Otto Strasser and others. The French government estimated that neo-Nazi groups in France had 3,500 members. In 2011 alone, 129 violent actions were recorded in France against the Jewish population, with 60.5% of those cases occurring in the Île-de-France region. The CNCDH notes that in 19 cases, these violent actions could be imputed to persons of 'Arab origin or Muslim confession', with 15 others relating to neo-Nazi ideology, mainly consisting of displaying swastikas. In relation to these violent actions 36 persons were arrested, 28 of whom were minors. Of the 129 violent actions recorded, 50.4% were for degradations, 44.2% were for violence and assault and battery, and the remaining 5.4% were for arson. In France in 2011, 260 threats were recorded, with 53% of those (138 cases) occurring in the Île-de-France region. Of these threats, 15% related to neo-Nazi ideology, with another 14% imputable to persons of 'Arab origin or Muslim confession'. Thirty-two persons were arrested in relation to these threats, nine of whom were minors. Of the 260 threats, 44% consisted of speech acts and threatening gestures and insults, 38% of graffiti and the remaining 18% of pamphlets and emails.
In Croatia, the most notable pro-Axis organisation was the Ustaše of Ante Pavelić, associated with the Independent State of Croatia. They were opposed to Yugoslavism and advocated a separate state for Croatia. After the war, with Croatia, as with the rest of Yugoslavia under the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia of Josip Broz Tito, many of the Ustaše, including Pavelić, Luburić, Šakić and others, fled abroad, particularly to South America. The organisation Hrvatski Domobran for Ustaše exiles existed in Argentina. A number of other émigree groups were founded by Ustaše activists in the 1950s and 60s such as the Croatian Liberation Movement, Croatian National Resistance and Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood. Some of these groups were involved in paramilitary activities and assassination attempts against Yugoslav officials. The Croatian Liberation Movement still exists, but has no elected members. In a wider, more international sense, the Ustaše has remained a bone of contention in Vatican—Jewish relations, as "Nazi hunter" groups such as the Simon Wiesenthal Center have accused the Vatican of involvement in "ratlines" for post-war Croatian exiles.
Similar to the Ukraine—Russia situation, the Yugoslav Wars from 1991 to 2001 saw each side accusing the other of "Nazi" connections, while themselves harbouring groups with ex-Axis heritage (in the case of the Serbs, neo-Chetnik activism). After Croatia was reestablished as a sovereign state, some changes of names to public places took place which were meant to de-empahsise the era of Titoism. For instance in Zagreb, The Square of the Victims of Fascism was renamed The Square of the Great Men of Croatia. Some streets were renamed after Mile Budak, a Ustaše ideologue. As the Republic of Croatia began a process towards joining the European Union, in an attempt to show its liberal credentials it began to reverse this trend. The square in Zagreb was renamed back to the anti-fascist name in 2000 and from 2002, streets and plaques named after Ustaše personnel have been renamed.
Neo-Nazism in Serbia is mostly based on national and religious factors. Nacionalni stroj (National Alignment), a neo-Nazi organization from the Vojvodina region, orchestrated several incidents. Charges were laid against 18 of the leading members.
In Hungary, the historical political party which allied itself ideologically with German National Socialism and drew inspiration from it, was the Arrow Cross Party of Ferenc Szálasi. They referred to themselves explicitly as National Socialists and within Hungarian politics this tendency is known as Hungarism. After the Second World War, exiles such as Árpád Henney kept the Hungarist tradition alive. Following the fall of the Hungarian People's Republic in 1989, which was a Marxist-Leninist state and a member of the Warsaw Pact, many new parties emerged. Amongst these was the Hungarian National Front of István Győrkös, which was a Hungarist party and considered itself the heirs of Arrow Cross-style National Socialism (a self-description they explicitly embraced); it forged links with Gottfried Küssel and the NSDAP/AO. In the 2000s, Győrkös' movement moved closer to a national communist and neo-Eurasian position, aligned with Aleksandr Dugin, cooperating with the Hungarian Workers' Party. Some Hungarists opposed this and founded the Pax Hungarica Movement. In the Western press, groups such as the Hungarian Justice and Life Party and Jobbik are sometimes called "neo-Nazi" but in fact are largely Christian nationalist and Turanist parties with some nostagic views for Miklós Horthy, who had a more complex relationship with the Axis powers.
In Romania, the ultra-nationalist movement which allied itself with the Axis powers and German National Socialism was the Iron Guard, also known as the Legion of the Archangel Michael. There are some modern political organisations which consider themselves heirs of Legionarism, this includes; Noua Dreaptă and the "Everything For the Country" Party, founded by former Iron Guard members. The latter organisation was outlawed in 2015. Aside, from these Romanian organisations, the Sixty-Four Counties Youth Movement representing ultra-nationalism from the Hungarian minority is also present, especially in Transylvania. Other nationalistic and irridentist groups such as the Greater Romania Party do not originate from Legionarism, but in fact grew out of national communist tendencies from the era of Nicolae Ceaușescu (the party was founded by his "court poet" Corneliu Vadim Tudor).
The topic of Ukrainian nationalism and its alleged relationship to Neo-Nazism came to the fore in polemics about the more radical elements involved in the Euromaidan protests and subsequent Ukrainian crisis from 2013 onward. Russian media has attempted to portray the Ukrainian party in the conflict as Nazi, while at the same time key ideologues on the pro-Russian side, such as the former National Bolshevik-figure Aleksandr Dugin themselves claim intellectual influence from the likes of Heinrich Himmler of the Waffen-SS. The main Ukrainian organisations involved with a neo-Banderaite legacy are Svoboda, Right Sector and Azov Battalion. The person whom these organisations look back to as a national hero; Stepan Bandera of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists; at times supported and then opposed the presence of the Third Reich in the Ukraine.
- Alex Linder
- American History X
- Aryan race
- The Believer
- Craig Cobb
- David Duke
- Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance
- Esoteric Nazism
- Far-right politics
- Far-right subcultures
- Fourth Reich
- George Lincoln Rockwell
- Holocaust denial
- List of neo-Nazi bands
- List of neo-Nazi organizations
- List of organizations designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as hate groups
- List of white nationalist organizations
- National Socialist black metal
- Nazi chic
- Nazi punk
- Otto Strasser
- Rock Against Communism
- Romper Stomper
- Stormfront (website)
- The Daily Stormer
- Tom Metzger
- White nationalism
- White power skinhead
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