A Product of Heritage: Neo-Nazism in Germany

A Product of Heritage: Neo-Nazism in Germany


Most historiographers place duty for World War II straight on Hitler ‘s chancellery and his platform of allowing the lands of other autonomous European states in order to set up a great land on Earth for the German people, better known as the Third Reich. Yet the bequest of Germany ‘s blameworthiness is non in its aspiration for more district but in the doctrine and political orientation established by the regulating the Nazi Party. Following the war under Russian and American regulation, Germany had undergone a period of ‘denazification ‘ that prevented Nazis from jointing their positions to the general populace, and made even the show of a swastika a condemnable discourtesy punishable by one twelvemonth in gaol. Finally, the political doctrine was repressed to the grade that kids turning up during the sixtiess and 1970s were mostly nescient of it. Curiously, by the 1980s, Neo-Nazism had experienced something of a Renaissance in Germany. In the last 50 old ages, the Neo-Nazi motion had gained impulse in the West as Germany and other states have been acquiring record Numberss of immigrants from 3rd universe civilizations whose birth rates are frequently much higher than those of the native inhabitants-combined with a quickly diminishing criterion of living-that has sparked civil agitation in these states, specifically Germany. Scholars have found that the motions that are specifically Germany in beginning are far more violent than its European opposite numbers because the figure of recruits is greater and they are more likely to hassle and assail immigrants and ‘undesirable visitants ‘ .[ 1 ]While fascism, patriotism, and racism have been examined to great deepness by the community of historical bookmans, it is still ill-defined how much Hitler ‘s doctrine influenced European Neo-Nazis in general and peculiarly those shacking in Germany during the old ages of divider and after reunion.

In this survey, we seek to research precisely why and how this reemergence of discriminatory political orientations has happened and to analyse primary and secondary beginning stuffs that examine any ideological links between the original Nazi Party and the Neo-Nazis. In add-on, we will look into the addition in 3rd universe migration and population supplanting within Germany to assist find if it would be the drift to a broader scope of development and support towards Neo-Nazism. It is through this geographic expedition that this writer intends to turn out that current Neo-Nazis within Germany are non a direct merchandise of their heritage. It is non Nazi political orientations that resurrected and molded the Neo-Nazis but instead xenophobia catalyzed by the doctrine and political orientations of Nazism.


Much has been written about Neo-Nazism and its beginnings during the last 40 old ages. During the postwar epoch, some bookmans argued that propaganda attempts by the Soviet Union were successful in constructing a alliance of reactionary wing dissenters ( Neo-Nazis ) that would destabilise capitalist Western democracies ( Western Germany ) , all but extinguishing xenophobia as a root cause of Neo-Nazism. In this instance, propaganda may hold paved the manner for the NDP to go a more powerful participant in national discourse. Harmonizing to John George, Francis Parker Yockey was a instead shady American figure that established the “ European Liberation Front ” and wrote Imperium as the Bible of immature Neo-Nazis. “ Yockey was rather likely a paid agent of the Soviet Union. [ He ] felt that the United States [ in West Germany ] was a greater danger to European ‘culture ‘ than was Russia. This would explicate, in portion, his willingness to work for people who could merely be described as his ideological enemies. ”[ 2 ]Yet the attending that Neo-Nazism has garnered from scholarly literature is more concentrated on the deductions that the reemergence of such Nazi-like political orientations would hold on Germany ‘s present and future than on whether or non the beginnings of such political orientations can genuinely be traced back to a passing down of original Nazi rules and beliefs.[ 3 ]4It is frequently assumed that although former Nazis were silenced by “ de-Nazification ” attempts of the authorities from publically declaring their political orientations, they still supported these political orientations in private and passed them on to the wining coevalss that they influenced[ 5 ]. Yet grounds of this being the instance is scarce, despite the fact that whether or non such is the instance holds a great trade of importance non merely to scholarly chases but besides to public policy. If Germany ‘s Neo-Nazism is non the merchandise of heritage, so attempts to battle Neo-Nazism by go oning to demonise Nazis and Nazi history serves little to no intent. Neo-Nazis would constantly believe of these attempts as a misinterpretation of the authorities of their predicament and what they stand for which may merely cheer their liquors and hike their attempts. Therefore, it is of import for scholarly texts to find to what degree it can be claimed that Neo-Nazism is the merchandise of familial Nazism, and if this was non the instance to indicate out the existent cause of Neo-Nazi rules that continue to proliferate at the present. This is the chief part that this work seeks to leave.

Historical Context

In May 1945, Germany surrendered after Hitler ‘s self-destruction in the Fuhrersbunker when Russian armored combat vehicles closed upon the metropolis of Berlin. In the wake of the war, it was discovered that the German authorities was responsible for the loss of more than twelve million lives which included Judaic people, the Romanis, homophiles, the aged, and mentally sick, who were frequently deemed by functionaries as non being worthy of life. The Allied powers divided the state puting the Eastern half within the Russian domain of influence while the Western portion of the state fell under the domain of the Western Alliess of the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. Many believed that with the resignation, the sceptre of Nazism was everlastingly removed from the planetary phase, but during the 1960s, widespread support for the National Democratic Party ( NDP ) in West Germany made the international community rather nervous. Political opponents-especially amongst the pupil demographic alleged that the NDP was seeking to blow the coals of the Third Reich into a ramping balefire that would one time more attempt to devour Europe. Harmonizing to J.L. Richardson, while the NDP was an utmost right flying political cabal that appealed to Protestant males between the ages of 45-60 on a platform of back uping little endeavors, moving in the involvements of the ‘little cat ‘ , the armed forces, and the freelance, it besides advocated censoring foreign labour and all foreign influences on German civilization.[ 6 ]While non overtly expansionist, NDP regulation suggests that Nazi ideals may be revived and Germany one time more going a society that is nationalist and racialist at all degrees of authorities.

Development of Neo-Nazi Beliefs in Western Germany

John George besides explores the motives that people have for fall ining fascist motions. Mentioning philosopher Eric Hoffer, he argues that people drawn to these motions are frequently disenchanted with society, with their lives, and with their environment. They long to be a portion of something bigger than themselves. In this instance, this is guaranting the proliferation of white supremacist ideals and assisting to accomplish a kind of peace that is most frequently associated with racially and culturally homogeneous society. However, uncertainness, unemployment, wartime, civil agitation, and governmental lenience and assistance given to non-citizens can do people to move irrationally. While Western Germany was economically better off than their Eastern brethren, they had to bear informant to aliens coming to Germany and having free lodging, repasts, medical attention, and linguistic communication preparation along with a stipend while they have to do their ain manner frontward.[ 7 ]Given West Germany ‘s democratic stance that tolerated such actions, of course, this helped take to xenophobia. Neo-Nazism was a vehicle for the xenophobic citizens to happen requital that their authorities would non. The 2008 Annual Report of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution helps set things in position from a xenophobic point of position: “ Abandoned by the opinion politicians, ordinary citizens particularly are at the clemency of condemnable aliens ” . What this shows is a clear difference between Nazism and Neo-Nazism. Nazis believed that they should be given discriminatory intervention because they were biologically superior to other races. This belief was a cosmopolitan, and so drawn-out beyond the boundaries of their state which of course led them to prosecute widening those boundaries so that they can exert their political orientation farther. Neo-Nazism on the other manus, seems based on a much more sensible rule, which is that citizens of a state should hold more right over that state ‘s resources than foreign immigrants. It can be seen from this rule that no claim to biological high quality or any type of high quality for that affair is made. The claim is non based on being better, but on being right.

Historical Evidence of Link Between Neo-Nazi Activity and Xenophobia

Under the influence of the Communists in Eastern Europe, the lawgivers of Eastern Germany sought to purge any mark of fascism from their governing legal paperss. Before the GDR had enshrined its fundamental law, the authorities was satisfied that fascism had been expunged from the national consciousness, but the torch left by the Nazis was alternatively taken up by the young person of the state. “ By the mid-1980s, the authorship was spray-painted on the walls for all to see: ‘Jews Out! ‘ , ‘Sieg Heil! ‘ , and ‘Third Reich Again! ‘ The desecrated Judaic graveyards, vandalized Soviet war commemorations, and the intensifying force of Neo-Nazi Skinhead packs attested to the fact that something had gone awfully amiss in the Orthodox Eastern axis province. ”[ 8 ]Possibly the repression of fascism in the GDR had the opposite consequence intended and made Neo-Nazism even more attractive to immature people. Hockenos argued that it may be possible that if the authorities had allowed Nazism to be discussed and examined that the young person might hold seen it as a failure that brought Germany to the economically down province it was in and possibly helped to promote a newer, less destructive political orientation. Christopher Husbands argues that the root of the motion began with a loose aggregation of ‘youth friendly relationship groups ‘ and football fans as a rebellious act towards aliens ; acts without nutriment until coupled with Neo-Nazism. Furthermore, as the GDR had begun accepting 1000s of refuge searchers, dwelling of Turks, Moroccans, and others, into Germany for safety and work, sentiment against them had grown rather strong.[ 9 ]In add-on with the eroding of the ordered life promised by GDR authorities functionaries, many of the immature people at the clip felt as though they lacked counsel, way, and possible employment. Asylum searchers were hired as guest workers and even though in-migration was brought to a arrest due to high unemployment, these guest workers ‘ Numberss doubled.[ 10 ]As a consequence of these guest workers conflicting on the rights of Germans, onslaughts on these aliens were seen as legitimate and we normally committed by the utmost right ( Neo-Nazis ) .[ 11 ]Diedrich describes armed German guards policing Judaic vicinities and cultural centres to deter manque goons from hooliganism and slaying and plaints that Germany had taken several springs rearward with regard to race dealingss. Diedrich argues that Germany had ne’er planned on going a place for refuge searchers, particularly with the rampant economic recessions, high unemployment, along with its unstable place as an occupied province, but it appeared that before reunion that the German people felt great compunction for the Acts of the Apostless carried out by their authorities during the war. Husbands notes that of 2700 pupils that were interviewed in 1990 after reunion, about 50 % favour some sort of countenance against hatred groups, while about 20 % had strong chauvinistic and/or autocratic positions and 2 % of them had utmost right wing inclinations.[ 12 ]Furthermore, in 1994 Germany ‘s Annual Report of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution reveals that there were over 1,200 onslaughts by right-winged ( Neo-Nazis ) extremist motivated by xenophobia. After the Eichmann test, Hannah Arendt wrote an essay on the platitude of evil-that absolutely normal people are frequently attracted to evil motions shattering the prevalent universe position that one needs to be a monster to purchase into ideals such as cultural cleaning and the purge of the otherwise unfit. In other words, it takes really small to pull normal people to evil.

A Counterargument and Response

Post reunion of Germany, modern bookmans have noted a dramatic addition in Neo-Nazi activity, non in simply the figure of menaces against minorities, but more of a willingness to move publically and violently. “ Judaic Germans who used to have anon. decease menaces in the yesteryear now find the author ‘s reference and FAX figure on the letterhead. An Ehtiopian adult female whose household has lived and worked in Germany for 10 old ages and whose kids were born here complains to a neighbour for naming her kids ‘niggers. ‘ The neighbour responds with a haughty ‘I am proud to be of German blood ‘ and knocks the Ethiopian female parent down. ”[ 13 ]This clearly shows some grounds of the original Nazi political orientation of high quality. However, to utilize groundss such as these to leap to the decision that all prejudiced activities are likewise motivated would evidently be folly. What this does demo is that there may be two distinguishable types of Neo-Nazism that presently co-exist in Germany, one that is based on the supremacist ideas typical of the former Nazi motion, and another that is based on the more practical thoughts of endurance through action against sensed economic menaces in seeking economic times.


As larger Numberss of immigrants from the Middle East and Africa enter Germany and the economic downswings that affected much of the West Begin to impact Germany, Neo-Nazism becomes more attractive to white Germans-especially if they begin to experience as though they are losing their state and occupations to aliens. The first Nazi motion in the 1920s and 1930s was born economic desperation and the shame they were made to experience after the Treaty of Versailles and in reconstructing their national individuality, they made the fatal determination to one time more return on the universe. Scholars fear that the turning tide of xenophobia can do terrible agitation within Germany itself, and note that if the province had entree to the same military power that it had back in the thirtiess that they may be on the warpath today. Harmonizing to Dietrich, “ There can be no uncertainty: the incubuss that were our yesteryear have returned to occupy our nowadays and to destruct our hereafter. Visible for all, racist dogmatism and force one time once more battle to go definers of German individuality. ‘[ 14 ]With the turning support of utmost right motions siting on the dorsum of xenophobia, it is possible that it may go one signifier of German individuality, though it may non be finally unequivocal of German civilization in the same manner that broad democrats and politically conservative survivalists both think of themselves and what they represent as American. On a concluding note, the German tribunal system appears to sympathise with xenophobic Neo-Nazis. In November 1993, a Dresden tribunal gave eighteen-month suspended sentences to two Neo-Nazis convicted of slaying a adult male from Mozambique by throwing him off a traveling train.[ 15 ]This is non an stray event and it can be argued that it is instances such as this that help to animate and keep such incidents.