Neo-Nazism consists of post-World War II social or political movements seeking to revive Nazism or some variant thereof.[1][2][3][4] The term neo-Nazism can also refer to the ideology of these movements.[5][6]

Neo-Nazism borrows elements from Nazi doctrine, including militant nationalism, fascism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia and anti-Semitism. Holocaust denial is a common feature, as is incorporation of Nazi symbols and admiration of Adolf Hitler. It is related to the white nationalist and white power skinhead movements in many countries.

Neo-Nazi activity appears to be a global phenomenon, with organized representation in many countries, as well as international networks. Some European and Latin American countries have laws prohibiting the expression of pro-Nazi, racist, anti-Semitic or anti-gay views. Many Nazi-related symbols are banned in European countries in an effort to curtail neo-Nazism.



Far right parties are among the strongest political parties in Austria.[7] The success of the far right in Austria has not been the result of economic crisis or social conflict, but primarily of political factors, including the failure of denazification after World War II.[8]

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.[9] 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 1994, the FPÖ won 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. In the 1994 Austrian election, the FPÖ won 22 percent of the vote.[10]

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 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, that involves nationalism, xenophobic populism, and authoritarianism.[11] Professor Ali Mazrui, however, identified the FPÖ as neo-Nazi in a BBC world lecture.[12]

Haider, who in 2005 left the Freedom Party and formed the Alliance for Austria's Future, was killed in a traffic accident in October, 2008.[13]

Barbara Rosenkranz, the Freedom Party's candidate for the Austrian presidential election, 2010, is controversial for having made allegedly pro-Nazi statements.[14] Rosenkranz is married to Horst Rosenkranz, a key member of a banned neo-Nazi party, and known for publishing far-right books. Rosenkranz says she cannot detect anything "dishonourable" in her husband's activities.[15]

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 that emphasized Austrian identity and democratic traditions. 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.[16]

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 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 defined itself as a "battle alliance of nationalist groups and persons" with the aims of "reestablishing the NSDAP" and the "seizure of power"[17]. 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 of prison.[18] The VAPO de facto disbanded in the course of the imprisonment of its leading figures, much due to its loose organizational structure. Due to procedural errors Küssel's sentence was revoked by the OGH (Austrian High Court) and the trial reheld in 1994 where Küssel was sentenced to eleven years in prison.[19]


A Belgian neo-Nazi organization, Bloed, Bodem, Eer en Trouw (Blood, Land, Honour and Faithfulness), 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, anti-semitism and negationism. According to Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx and Interior Minister Patrick Dewael, the suspects (11 of whom were members of the military) were preparing terrorist attacks in order to "destabilize" Belgium.[20][21] According to journalist Manuel Abramowicz, of the Resistances network, the ultras 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.[22]

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.[23][24][25][26][27][28]

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 February 2010. Their model is the Handschar Division. They proclaimed "Jews, Gypsies, Chetniks, Extrene Islam, the Croatian separatists, Josip Broz Tito, Communists, homosexuals and blacks" as their main enemies.[29]


Some neo-Nazis in Chile derive their ideology from the writings of Nicolás Palacios, while others follow an orthodox Nazi ideology influenced by Miguel Serrano and German Nazis who fled to the country after World War II. Traditional Nazism is more common among descendants of German or other European immigrants in southern Chile. Common targets of neo-Nazi hate crimes in Chile include Peruvians, Bolivians, Gypsies, homosexuals and prostitutes.

The approach influenced by Palacios elevates the Chilean Mestizo in status, since he considered the "Chilean race" a mix of two bellicose master races: the Visigoths of Spain and the Mapuche of Chile. He traced 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.[30] Palacios claimed that both the blonde and the bronze coloured Chilean Mestizo share a "moral physonomy", and that both think and reason in an identical way. He opposed immigration from Southern Europe, and argued on medical grounds that Mestizos derived from south Europeans lack "cerebral control", and are a social load.


Neo-Nazis in Croatia base their ideology on the writings of Ante Starčević and Ante Pavelić, and on Ustaše, a fascist anti-Yugoslav separatist movement.[31][32][33][34] At the end of World War II, many of Pavelić's Ustaše members fled to the West, where they found sanctuary and continued their political and terrorist activities (which were tolerated because of Cold War hostilities).[35] The resurgence of the Ustaše movement in post-war Croatia is partly due to significant financial support of the Croatian Democratic Union by Ustaše emigrants.[36] Jonathan Levy, a lawyer who represented plaintiffs in a 1999 lawsuit against the Ustaše and others, said: "Many are still terrified of the Ustashe, the Serbs particularly. Unlike the Nazi Party, the Ustashe still exist and have a party headquarters in Zagreb." [37]

There have been instances of hate speech in Croatia, such as the phrase Srbe na vrbe! (meaning "hang Serbs on the willow trees!"). In 2004, for example, an Orthodox church was spray-painted with pro-Ustaše graffiti.[38][39] Police have sped up responses to the appearance of extreme right wing graffiti and other hate-based vandalism.[40] During some protests in Croatia, supporters of Ante Gotovina and other suspected war criminals have carried nationalist symbols and pictures of Ante Pavelić.[41]

In 2003, an attempt was made to amend the Croatian penal code by adding articles prohibiting the public display of Nazi symbols, the propagation of Nazi ideology, historical revisionism and holocaust denial. However, this attempt was prevented by the Croatian constitutional court in the same year.[42] An amendment was added in 2006 to prohibit any type of hate crime based on factors such as race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion or national origin.[43] In 2007, Austrian authorities launched a criminal investigation into the widespread display of Ustaše symbols at the May 12 gathering of Croatian nationalists in Bleiburg, Austria.[44][45]

On May 17, 2007, a concert in Zagreb by Thompson, a popular Croatian singer, was attended by 60,000 people, many of them wearing Ustaše uniforms. Some gave Ustaše salutes and shouted the Ustaše slogan "Za dom spremni" (for the homeland – ready!). This event prompted the Jerusalem office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center to publicly issue a protest to the Croatian president, Stjepan Mesić.[46][47][48][49][50]


There have been alleged neo-Nazi activities in Estonia. In November 2006, the government passed a law banning the display of Nazi symbols.[51]

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.[52] When a dark-skinned French student was attacked in Tartu, the head of an association of foreign students claimed the attack as characteristic of a wave of neo-Nazi violence. However an Estonian police official stated that there were only a few cases involving foreign students over the previous two years.[53]

The United Nations Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur's Report of 2008 noted that non-governmental organizations devoted to human rights as well as community representatives had pointed out that neo-Nazi groups are currently active in Estonia—particularly in Tartu—and have perpetrated acts of violence against non-European minorities.[54]

Parliamentary bodies of the member states of Inter-Parliamentary Union's geopolitical group Eurasia (comprising Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russian Federation, and Tajikistan)[55] passed a resolution in 2007, in response to the relocation of a Soviet World War II war memorial by the Government, expressing their collective "deep concern over the neo-Nazi sentiments in Estonia."[56]

Neo-Nazi groups in Estonia and neighboring Latvia have staged parades celebrating the Nazi units of the Baltic states, which fought against the forces of the Soviet Union in the Second World War.[57] Efraim Zuroff of the United States-based Simon Wiesenthal Center commented on some of the attendees: "dozens of foreign neo-Nazis clearly [demonstrated] the danger that they will encourage the rebirth of fascism and racist extremism."[58]


Neo-Nazi organizations in France are outlawed, yet a significant number exist.[59] Legal far-right groups are also numerous, and include the Bloc identitaire, created by former members of Christian Bouchet's Unité Radicale group. Close to National Bolshevism and Third Position ideologies, Unité Radicale was dissolved in 2002 following Maxime Brunerie's assassination attempt on July 14, 2002 against then President Jacques Chirac. Christian Bouchet had previously been a member of Nouvelle Résistance (NR), an off-shoot 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 finally changed strategy, adopting the slogan "Less Leftism! More Fascism![60] " 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 other groups and individuals.


In Germany immediately after World War II, Allied forces and the new German government attempted to prevent the creation of new Nazi movements through a process known as denazification. The West German government had passed strict laws prohibiting Nazis from publicly expressing their beliefs as well as barring them from the political process. Displaying the swastika was an offense punishable by up to one year imprisonment. There was little overt neo-Nazi activity in Europe until the 1960s. However, some former Nazis retained their political beliefs, and passed them down to new generations.

After German reunification in the 1990s, neo-Nazi groups gained more followers, mostly among disaffected teenagers in the former East Germany. These gangs were formed under their dislike of the communist system installed after WWII, then the system collapsed in 1989. Many of the groups that increased their membership this way were new, having arisen amidst the economic collapse and high unemployment in the former East Germany. They have also had 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 German Democratic Republic after Germany was reunited. Much of their ideology was similar to Strasserism.

According to the preliminary version of the annual report of Germany's interior intelligence service (Verfassungsschutz) for 2010,[61] there are currently 25,000 right-wing extremists living in Germany,[62] including 5,600 neo-Nazis.[63] Neo-Nazi organizations, related and derivative symbols and Holocaust denial are outlawed in Germany according to the German Criminal Code (Strafgesetzbuch § 86a) and § 130 (public incitement).


The most notable Greek neo-Nazi political organization is Golden Dawn (Chrysi Avyi). According to numerous journalist accounts, the Greek police does very little – if anything – to quell Chrysi Avyi's violent activities, avoiding to arrest or bring the neo-Nazis to justice.[64] Another Greek neo-Nazi group is the strasserist organization "Mavros Krinos" (Μαύρος Κρίνος – Black Lily).

A few Golden Dawn members participated in the Bosnian War in the Greek Volunteer Guard (GVG). A few GVG volunteers were present in Srebrenica during the Srebrenica massacre.[65] Spiros Tzanopoulos, a GVG sergeant who took part in the attack against Srebrenica, said many of the Greek volunteers participated in the war because they were members of Golden Dawn.[66]


Israel has seen a surge of neo-Nazi activity in the past decade, linked to the arrival of over 1.2 million immigrants from the former Soviet Union.[67] In August 2007, Israeli police broke up Patrol 35, a cell in Petah Tikva made up of eight young immigrants from the former Soviet Union, which had been attacking foreign workers and homosexuals, and which had been vandalizing synagogues with Nazi images.[68][69]

The Soviet Union-born neo-Nazis[70] are reported to operate in cities across Israel, and have been described as of being influenced by the rise of neo-Nazism in Europe.[68][69] 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.[69]


Neo-Nazism is a growing political force in Mongolia. From 2008, Mongolian Neo-Nazi groups have defaced public and private buildings in Ulan Bator, smashed Chinese shopkeepers' windows, and killed moderate Mongols. The Neo-Nazi Mongols' targets for violence are Chinese, Koreans,[71] Mongol women who sleep with Chinese men, and LGBT people.[72] They wear Nazi uniforms and revere the Mongolian Empire and Genghis Khan. Observers have noted the irony of Neo-Nazi Mongols, because Nazi Germany killed Soviet prisoners of war with Mongolian features. Some have ascribed it to poor historical education.[71] Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS, did authorize during World War II a public policy study on the governmental methods of Genghis Khan so as to find out how best to administer the Eastern Territories. [73]


Many Russian neo-Nazis, openly admire Adolf Hitler and use the German Nazi swastika as their symbol. Russian neo-Nazis are characterized by racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and extreme xenophobia towards people from Asia.[74] Their ideology centers on defending Russian national identity against what they perceive as a takeover by minority groups such as Jews, Southern Caucasians or Northern Caucasians people, Central Asians, Roma people and Muslims.

Russian National Unity Group (RNE), founded in 1990 and led by Alexander Barkashov, claims 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.[75]

The National-Social Union, led by Viktor Yakushev wants to establish a national state and an economy emphasizing Aryan values, and aims to stop Zionists from establishing global hegemony. Yakushev believes that all Freemasons are homosexuals, that members of inferior races have one fewer chromosome than members of superior races, and that Jews are "biorobots" programmed to commit suicide.[76]

Social roots

The collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s 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 Communists, 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. Moreover, Soviet-era indoctrination into the ideals of egalitarianism predisposed most adults against the message of right-wing extremists. There are about 41% of russians that sympathise with the movement.


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.

On August 15, 2007, Russian authorities arrested a student for allegedly posting a video on the Internet which appears to show two Muslim migrant workers being beheaded in front of a red and black swastika flag.[77] 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."[78] A Russian neo-Nazi group called the Russian National Socialist Party claimed responsibility for the murders.


Neo-Nazism in Serbia is mostly based on national and religious factors.[79] Nacionalni stroj (National Alignment), a neo-Nazi organization from the Vojvodina region, orchestrated several incidents. Charges were laid against 18 of the leading members, and each of them faced up to eight years in prison.[80] This organization is now banned in Serbia.[81]


Neo-Nazi activities in Sweden have been limited to sects and groups of white-supremacist "skinheads", none of which has more than a few hundred members.[82]

United States

There are a number of small neo-Nazi groups in the United States. The earliest example of this ideological tendency can be traced back to 1924 and the formation of the Free Society of Teutonia. This organization merged with the Friends of New Germany to form the German-American Bund. The German-American Bund and similar groups achieved limited popularity in the 1930s (at one point staging a rally with over 20,000 people), but rapidly faded with the onset of World War II. The groups either disbanded or were dismantled by force of law (such as the 1942 sedition trial[clarification needed]) during the war period. After the war, 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 American South 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 their public demonstrations.[83]

Organizations which report upon American neo-Nazi activities include the Anti-Defamation League and 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.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, which allows political organizations great latitude in expressing Nazi, racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, and, to an unaffiliated extent, Neo-Confederate views. A First Amendment landmark was the "Skokie Affair", 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 the Chicago area. Neo-Nazis are known to attack and harass Jews, African Americans, homosexuals, Asian Americans, Latinos, Arab Americans, Native Americans, Catholics, and people with different political or religious opinions. American neo-Nazi groups often operate websites, occasionally stage public demonstrations, and maintain ties to groups in Europe and elsewhere.[84]


Neo Nazis have a variety of Religions, but do not practice Judaism. Some such as Aryan Nations practice the Christian Identity, whose beliefs claim that Whites are the true descendants of Israel and the Jesus Christ was an "Aryan" .

Other follow Neo pagan religion which has many varieties, such as Odinism, wicca, and wontanism.

See also


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