The Big Neo-Nazi Crib
Have you noticed the shift in image of some neo-Nazis – a shift from the skinhead-look to an anarchist/antifascist image? Whether or not you’ve noticed, you can learn more about this recent strategy of certain factions of the neo-Nazi movement from the following analysis.
Some people say that we live in a time of uncertainty. For those who watch the neo-Nazi movement from a distance it might be hard to tell if a gathering of people dressed in black is a neo-Nazi or antifascist gathering. There are people denying holocaust on some of the demonstrations in the name of freedom and people raising right hand on some of the hiphop shows. A neo-Nazi is no longer just seen as a skinhead in boots holding a beer bottle. The scene that attracts the followers of National Socialist ideology has undergone major changes in the past few years.[…]
The Nazi Image Turns
German neo-Nazis faced the same problems in the mid-90s and tried to find a way out from their limited reach. The NPD appeared on the political scene, offering neonazis an official platform (the same as the Workers‘ Party in Czech Republic at the end of 2007), and ways of attracting young people were being sought. Neo-nazis were starting to look to the style of the autonomous antifascists – their political opponents – and to copy it. The first “autonomous nationalist” organizations appeared, and brought a brand new aspect to neo-Nazi street politics. The Plagiarism era had begun, and it still goes on, in spite of the conflict between the skinhead neo-Nazi traditionalists and those who see copying the antifascist image and practices as the way out of the ghetto. Something has changed, though. Most neo-nazi groups in Germany have implemented the concept of autonomous nationalism. The names of these groups vary – Kamaradschaften, Free Nationalists, Autonomous Nationalists – yet they all copy the antifascist and autonomous demonstration tactic (the media-beloved Black Bloc) and they all have changed the structure of the hierarchical groups according to the older neo-Nazi pattern, so-called Leaderless Resistance. The groups are supposed to be leaderless, but “small leaders” emerge from the regional groups, with the rest forming into a mindless mob of followers.
In Czech Republic, Filip Vávra was the first pioneer trying to import a new style, but the conservatives in the National Resistance didn’t want to hear about any kind of change. The first organization implementing the new image appeared later, in 2005. Autonomous Nationalists Kladno came into existence in an attempt to organize local Nazis and change their only previous activity – sitting around in bars. They also started to promote their own version of Black Bloc – but for them, it has been more of a new fashion trend than a tactical element. In addition, they’ve tried to get a hold on a variety of new topics, such as ecology, anti-capitalism, resistance against multiculturalism, globalization or animal rights. They partially managed to get into the techno subculture through Filip “DJ Beax” Pošva.
Lets create something ourselves or neo-Nazism as a lifestyle
The new visage was successful at the beginning. As mentioned above, the neo-Nazis were in a situation where any change was for the better. In the previous decade, their self-presentation was in the name of hatred and negation, but now they are starting to present National Socialism as something that can influence everybody’s life here and now – not just after the takeover. Almost everything can be “National-Socialist” – from biking or graffiti to an Asian grocery store boycott. Through this strategy, neo-Nazis offer a lifestyle that contributes to the struggle for the white Europe they dream of so much.
The all-European flagship of the new neo-Nazi lifestyle is the“politically-cultural web project Zentropa, that concentrates on artist reflection of European tradition and European culture”. This web project presents a broad range of information on events such as exhibitions, fashion or concerts. The German affiliate of Zentropa, Syndikat-Z, is managed by Anne-Marie Doberenz, femme fatale to the important German Nazi-activist Steffen Pohl from Duisburg, who she almost got to commit a and who she made to end in mental hospital in autumn of 2008.
Anne-Marie Doberenz at Workers Party (Dělnická Strana) event in Prague in 2008, and an evolution of her image since 2002.
Steffen Pohl, wearing American anti-racist hardcore band Walls of Jericho motif on his sweatshirt at a demonstration in Dortmundt
And here he is wearing a sweatshirt of an American anti-racist band Agnostic front at a Workers Party demonstration in 2008 in Prague, mentioned above, where Pohl made a speech. The person wearing a kefiah on Pohl’s left is Tomáš Málek from National Resistance (Národní Odpor), a leader of Workers Party in Brno, the person on Pohl’s right is Workers Party leader from Vlašim and National Resistance Vysočina member Jiří Bárta.
The founder of the National Resistance, Filip Vávra, presented one of his many one-man shows trying to promote vegetarianism among neo-Nazis, but his fellow warriors laughed at him. He then tried to get patronage from the Agricultural Animals Protectors‘ (OHZ) chief, who, surprisingly, offered him space on the organization’s website for an antisemitic petition against the killing of kosher and halal animals. Most of the former OHZ supporters turned away from the organization after it co-operated with him. Vávra’s commitment to the vegan lifestyle didn’t last long and after a few failed attempts with the vegan diet, documented by other neo-Nazis, he turned away from it.
Brown political marketing
Besides their surface appearance, neo-Nazis also had to radically change their political agenda when they realized the difficulty of gaining power with an agenda of blood-line nationalism, racism and honoring of the Third Reich. The lack of real political theories and thinkers is characteristic of the neo-Nazi movement and it results in inconsistency of opinion and chaotic moves amongst many theories, including Jewish plot, 19th century social darwinism, opposition of capitalism, glorification of capitalism, refusing Islamic fundamentalism and supporting Islamic fundamentalism. Most fascists and neo-Nazis still rely on historical revisionism, one that concentrates on denying historical facts such as the Holocaust or the causes of World War II.
Traditional neo-Nazism started to fall apart when it started to agree with the apologetic neo-Fascists. The New Right, a movement that started in 1968, has been a major influence on contemporary neo-Nazis and neo-Fascists. The best known member of this movement is Alain de Benoist, who helped to build the nationalist think-tank GRECE (Group for Research and Education of the Civilization of Europe). They don’t take a primitive racist stand, but they criticize and oppose multiculturalism and promote the “crisis of the European identity”. Benoist is known for his disgust for American imperialism and capitalism with his views approaching the authoritarian left, leading to statements like “It is better to wear a Red Army helmet than to live in Brooklyn and eat hamburgers”. The stand he takes towards Le Pen and his fascist National Front is also interesting. He considers the National Front members incapable of understanding the complexity of the world and accuses the group of blind hatred, passivity towards social problems and intellectual laziness.
The new musical-political project, RIF (Rock Identitaire) is rooted in the same ground. It offers a cultural platform for spreading neo-Nazi or neo-Fascist views without mentioning Hitler or Mussolini. Identitaires also conduct projects typical of the anarchist and autonomous scene – information centers and community houses called “Houses of the Identity”. The movement doesn’t use racist theories, but instead it works with the concept of “Identity” as it’s connected to national and cultural being.
The rest of the neo-Nazi opinion vacuum is filled with copies of their opponents’ views. The neo-Nazis in Germany have been trying to infiltrate the Green Party since the eighties and yet have shown shallow interest in ecology – it is obvious that their interest ends with statements and no action. Similar to other topics, ecology is being used to attract supporters rather than to solve problems.
Another topic that is gaining popularity among Nazis is anti-capitalism. However, as with so many other topics, their criticism usually ends with nice phrases on banners or cliches about a society of consumers. Neo-Nazis themselves confess in the discussions that they are not really against capitalism and that they like the idea of free market, but only in its pure form – because it is similar to the natural selection that they adore so much. When neo-Nazis speak about capitalism, their criticism sounds like a radical version of the left-wing parliament political parties. Neo-Nazis don’t want to end capitalist oppression, they just want to control it leaving the influence of capitalism untouched.[…]
- Plea hearing delayed in 11-year-old Riverside boy accused of killing neo-Nazi father (dokmz.wordpress.com)
- Czech Republic: Two detained after neo-Nazi provocation in Ústí nad Labem (dokmz.wordpress.com)
- Third Body Found; Neo-Nazi Suspected in Rampage (dokmz.wordpress.com)
- From Casa Pound to Anders Behring Breivik: Looking at recent developments in European fascism (antigerman.wordpress.com)
- Germany Bans Neo-Nazi Group (israelnationalnews.com)
- Free T-Shirts Given to Neo-Nazis Revealed a Secret Message After Being Washed (idiotyouth.wordpress.com)
Filed under: Fascism and antisemitism, national anarchism and autonomous nationalism | 2 Comments