Al Jazeera carries a report (‘German neo-Nazis on the march’, Barnaby Phillips, March 27, 2007) on the apparent upswing in support for neo-Nazism in Germany, particularly in eastern (ex-Communist) Germany:
A report this week in the Tagesspiegel newspaper revealed that racist attacks committed by neo-Nazis and other far right groups had reached their highest levels since the reunification of Germany in 1990.
The crime rate rose by 14 per cent last year to 18,000 extremist offences according to the report, with 1,100 of those acts of violence, an eight per cent annual increase according to federal police figures.
In one of the most serious [?] incidents in July last year, far right supporters in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt burned the diary of Holocaust victim Anne Frank, causing outrage among German politicians and anti-racist groups.
In another incident in the state later in the year, teenagers forced a 16-year-old classmate to parade around school wearing a sign with an anti-Semitic, Nazi-era slogan…
However in the east of Berlin, the presentable face of the far-right can be found.
Udo Voigt has been the leader of the National Democratic Party (NDP) since 1996.
The party has been consistently labelled by successive German governments as descendants of the Nazis but that did not stop its candidates winning 12 seats in the state parliament of the eastern region of Saxony in 2004.
It followed that success by winning six of 71 regional parliamentary seats in another eastern state, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern last year…
The extent of neo-Nazi penetration of the state is illustrated not only by formal representation in the country’s parliaments, but also its police and security apparatus. Thus the bodyguards assigned to former Central Council of Jews in Germany Vice President Michel Friedman were recently revealed as being neo-Nazis, while expressions of surprise are apparently expected but not forthcoming at the revelation that the ranks of the German police may contain officers-who-aren’t-exactly kosher.
In Australia, the NDP/(NPD) is most ably represented by German-born, Sydney-based neo-Nazi Welf Herfurth: — a close political ally of Dr. James Saleam, co-founder and host (with Saleam) of the annual fascist gathering the Sydney Forum, and member of both the Australia First Party and Blood & Honour Australia. Herfurth is also a “good friend” of NPD Fuehrer Voigt, but was unable to extend a personal welcome to him when he was invited to address the Sydney Forum in 2003 because the Australian Government denied him a visa. The denial of a visa to Voigt was on the basis of ‘Public Interest Criterion 4003’, which states: “The applicant is determined by the Foreign Minister, or a person authorised by the Foreign Minister, to be a person whose presence in Australia – (a) is, or would be, prejudicial to relations between Australia and a foreign country, or, (b) may be directly or indirectly associated with the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction”. Note that since 2006, part (a) has been changed to refusal where a person’s presence would be “contrary to Australia’s foreign policy interests”.
In addition to attending last year’s Ian Stuart is Dead Celebration at The (neo-Nazi) Birmy in Melbourne, Herfurth travelled to Perth in order to help (re-)establish a branch of the neo-Nazi music network in that city and — until recently — David Innes has also been of assistance in this regard. Herfurth and Innes are also responsible for establishing another neo-Nazi sect in Australia: ‘New Right’.
Established in the UK in January 2005 by the well-known fascist dingbat Troy Southgate (whose last Big Idea was something he called ‘National Anarchism’), New Right is an attempt to bring together what passes for a fascist intelligentsia… like, people what read books… ‘n’ that. An indication of how much smarts New Reich Australia has may be gained by reference to their awkward invitation to form a ‘black bloc’ to protest the “G20” meeting in Sydney this year!
While Southgate also plays neo-Nazi muzak (for a band called… H.E.R.R.!), in his career as a fascist, Southgate has skipped merrily from one bunch of losers to another: from the NF in the 1980s to the ‘International Third Position’ in the early 1990s to ‘National Anarchism’ by way of the ‘National Revolutionary Faction’ and before that the ‘English Nationalist Movement’. Lately, Southgate has been trying to form a rapprochement with the BNP, previously denigrated for their ‘electoralism’. And
- I’m gonna tell all you fascists you may be surprised / The people in this world are getting organised / You’re bound to lose you fascists, bound to lose
Race hatred cannot stop us this one thing I know / Your poll tax and Jim Crow and greed have got to go / You’re bound to lose, you fascists bound to lose
All of you fascists bound to lose / You fascists bound to lose / All of you fascists bound to lose / You’re bound to lose! / You fascists! / Bound to lose
People of every colour marching side by side / Marching across those fields where a million fascists died / You’re bound to lose you fascists, bound to lose
I’m going into this battle and take my union gun / We’ll end this world of slavery before this battle’s won / You’re bound to lose you fascists bound to lose
~ Woody Guthrie, 1942