The term neo-Nazism refers to any post-World War II social or political movement seeking to revive Nazism, or some variant that echoes core aspects of Nazism.[1][2][3][4] The term can also refer to the ideology of those movements.[5][6]


Immediately after the Allies liberated Austria in 1945, the anti-Nazi parties - Social Democratic Party (SPÖ), Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) and Communist Party (KPÖ) - passed legislation to overcome the effects of Nazi rule. A law passed on May 8, 1945, banned the Nazi Party (NSDAP) and Nazi activities.

The denazification program designed to purge the state apparatus and society of Nazi followers was not successful, mainly because of the size of the problem and the bureaucratic shortcomings of the program. This failure was reflected primarily in the fact that ex-members and sympathizers of the NSDAP did not change their beliefs. Over 500,000 registered Nazis were allowed to vote in the 1949 general election.[citation needed] A considerable number of ex-Nazis were integrated into the SPÖ and the ÖVP, and several concessions were made to appease them, such as suppression of the history of the Nazizeit (literally 'Nazi Time'); a fall-off in the prosecutions of Nazi war criminals; and the reinstatement of Nazi civil servants, teachers, professors, lawyers and police officers.

In the 1949 Austrian elections, ex-Nazis in the Verband der Unabhängigen (VdU) put up candidates and won seats, and the Austrian right wing went through a process of growth. The withdrawal of Allied troops from Austria in 1955 encouraged the consolidation of right-wing groups, ranging from neo-Nazis to moderate Pan-Germans. The VdU split in 1955, but re-formed itself one year later as the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ). The first leaders of the FPÖ were former Nazis, such as Anton Reinthaller, who had been a government minister in the Nazi era, and Friedrich Peter, who had been a Schutzstaffel (SS) officer. The Austrian public saw itself confronted with the organized right for the first time in 1959, during the Schiller Celebrations, when Pan-German youth, sport and cultural organizations took to the streets. The FPÖ's students' organization RFS and its graduate equivalent Freiheitliche Akademikerverbände (FAV) attained considerable influence within student and university bodies.[citation needed]

1960s and laterEdit

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In the 1960s, right-wing extremists, along with German Kameraden, gained notoriety by involvement in terrorist acts in the Italian province of Bolzano-Bozen[citation needed]. Prominent among these was Norbert Burger, the ex-RFS leader and subsequent chairman of the neo-Nazi Nationaldemokratische Partei (NDP). The influence that the extreme right had gained in the universities became dramatically apparent five years later, during the Borodajkewycz Affair. Hundreds of students demonstrated in favor of the anti-semitic university professor Borodajkewycz, and were involved in street battles – in the course of which Ernst Kirchweger, a former concentration camp inmate, was beaten to death.[citation needed]

During the 1960s and 1970s, Friedrich Peter, Chairman of the FPÖ, started establishing his party within the democratic party system – leading up to the entry of the FPÖ into a coalition government with the Socialists in 1983. This development led to the formation of a group around Norbert Burger (condemned in absentia by an Italian court for terrorist offenses in Bolzano), which split from the FPÖ in 1966 and set up the NDP. In contrast to its German counterpart of the same name, the Austrian NDP found little resonance in an electorate moving to the left in the late 1960s. In 1972, Kurt Waldheim, a Wehrmacht officer and SA member during the Nazi regime, was elected United Nations Secretary General. Waldheim's election had caused anger among some people who had lost relatives in the Holocaust, as well as anti-UN groups who theorized the UN was supportive of totalitarian ideologies.[citation needed]

The volume "Rechtsextremismus in Österreich seit 1945" ("Right-wing Extremism in Austria since 1945"), issued by DÖW in 1979, listed nearly 50 active extreme right-wing 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 in student elections fell from 30% in the 1960s to 2% in 1987. In the 1995 elections for the student representative body Österreichische Hochschülerschaft, the RFS got 4% of the vote. The FPÖ won 22% of the votes at the General Election in the same year.[7] In the 1980s, in the province of Carinthia, border issues with Slovenia – and disagreements over the rights of Carinthia's Slovenian minority – were used to orchestrate support for the far right organization Kärntner Heimatdienst.


Main article: Bloed-Bodem-Eer en Trouw

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.[8][9] 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.[10]

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.[11][12][13][14][15][16]


Neo-Nazis in Chile derive their ideology from the writings of Nicolás Palacios, or in some cases follow an orthodox Nazi school influenced by Miguel Serrano and German Nazis that fled into Chile after WWII. The former approach elevates the Chilean mestizo in status since, according to Palacios' writings, the Chilean is a mix of two bellicose master races: the Visigoths of Spain and the Mapuche of Chile.

Old school Nazism is more common among descendants of German or other European immigrants in Southern Chile.

Common targets of Nazi hate crimes in Chile include Peruvians, Bolivians, Gypsies, homosexuals and prostitutes.

The Chilean RaceEdit

Palacios traces then 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.[17] As Palacios explains, at most 10% of the Visigoths mixed with the native Iberians of Spain, while the rest remained racially pure. The conquest of Chile and the War of Arauco that followed for many years attracted adventurous Spaniards of martial lineage to Chile, thus giving Chile an overwhelming amount of Visigoth heritage and blood, in contrast to other more prosperous Spanish colonies where "merchant peoples" dominated. These Spaniards of supposed Visigoth ancestry would have mingled with native Mapuches, producing the common Chilean Roto. According to Palacios, about 25,000 Goths arrived to Chile during the first five generations after the initial conquest in the 1540s and 1550s.

Further, Palacios goes on to claim that both the blonde and the bronze coloured Chilean mestizo share a "moral physonomy", and that both think and reason in an identical way. This similarity he states can be found on early Spanish literature about Chile, among them the epic poem La Araucana, where Mapuches are frequently compared to the barbaric Germanic tribes that fought the Roman Empire. Palacios denies that the "Chilean roto" would be racially a "Latin", and said the Chilean has nothing "Latin" except the language and the surname. Palacios finds in alcoholism also a similarity with the Germanic peoples of Northern Europe.

Palacios warns against immigration from Southern Europe and claims on medical grounds that Mestizos derived from South Europeans lack "cerebral control" and that they are thus a social load. He also states that there is no possibility for the Latin race to produce a "Miguel Cervantes" or "Michelangelo" in Chile or elsewhere. because the Latin race in the 20th century is very different from that in the Renaissance.


Neo-Nazis in Croatia base their ideology on the writings of Ante Starčević and Ante Pavelić.[18][19][20][21] 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).[22] 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.[23] To many of their modern supporters, the Ustaše are considered victims of the historically disputed Bleiburg massacre, and the late president Franjo Tuđman even proposed to rebury Ustaše members together with victims of the Jasenovac concentration camp, as a sign of national reconciliation.[24][25][26][27][28][29] Croatian Serbs felt insulted by that proposal. Jonathan Levy, one of the lawyers representing plaintiffs in a 1999 lawsuit against the Vatican Bank (Institute for Religious Works), the Franciscan order, and the Croatian Liberation Movement (the Ustaše), the National Bank of Switzerland 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." [30]

In 1999, Zagreb's Square of the Victims of Fascism was renamed The Square of The Great Men of Croatia, provoking widespread criticism of Croatia's attitude toward the Holocaust.[31] In 2000, city council renamed the square to Square of the Victims of Fascism again.[32] Many streets in Croatia were renamed after the prominent Ustaše figure Mile Budak, which provoked outrage amongst the Serbian minority. Since 2002, there has been a reversal of this development, and streets with the name of Mile Budak or other persons connected with the Ustaše movement are few or non-existent.[33] A plaque in Slunj with the inscription "Croatian Knight Jure Francetić" was erected to commemorate Francetić, the notorious Ustaše leader of the Black Legion.The plaque remained there for four years, until it was removed by the authorities.[33][34]

There have been instances of hate speech, such as the phrase Srbe na vrbe! (meaning "hang Serbs on the willow trees!"). An Orthodox church was spray-painted with pro-Ustaše graffiti in 2004.[35][36] Police have sped up responses to the appearance of extreme right wing graffiti and other hate-based vandalism.[37]

During some protests in Croatia, supporters of Ante Gotovina and other suspected war criminals have carried nationalist symbols and pictures of Ante Pavelić.[38] 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.[39] In 2005, the Croatian government made a move toward the Nazi-era law interpretation and practice, by granting to the Croatian parliament the exclusive right to interpret and authenticate the law.[40] 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.[41] 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.[42][43]

Thompson, a popular Croatian singer, has sung "Jasenovac i Gradiška Stara" in his concerts. That song glorifies the Ustaše and their genocide of the Serbs His May 17, 2007 concert in Zagreb was attended by 60000 people, many of them wearing Ustaše uniforms. Some gave Ustaše salutes, and shouted the Ustaše slogan "Za dom spremni" (For home[land] ready) en-masse. This event prompted the Jerusalem office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center to publicly address a protest to the Croatian president, Stjepan Mesić.[44][45][46][47][48]


There have been alleged neo-Nazi activities in Estonia. In November 2006, the government passed a law banning the display of Nazi symbols.[49]

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.[50] 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[51]

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.[52]

Neo-Nazi groups in Estonia and neighboring Latvia have carried out re-enactments of events set during World War II and 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.[53] 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."[54]

Parliamentary bodies of the member states of the Eurasia geopolitical group – formed by the majority of the former Soviet republics now acting together as the Commonwealth of Independent States – passed a 2007 resolution expressing their collective "deep concern over the neo-Nazi sentiments in Estonia."[55]


Main article: History of far-right movements in France

Neo-Nazi organizations in France are outlawed yet there are a significant number of individuals or groups which could be qualified as Neo-Nazi.[56] On the other hand, legal far-right groups are numerous, including 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 the NR opposed at first the "national conservatives" of Jean-Marie Le Pen's National Front, it finally changed strategy, advocating as slogan "Less Leftism! More Fascism![57] " The NR was also a successor to Jean-François Thiriart's Jeune Europe Neo-Nazi Europeanist movement of the 1960s, which had participated to the National Party of Europe, along with Oswald Mosley's Union Movement, Otto Strasser and others.


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. Many were new groups that arose 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.


German neo-Nazis have attacked accommodations for refugees and migrant workers in Hoyerswerda (September 17-September 22, 1991); Rostock-Lichtenhagen (August 23-August 27, 1992); and Schwedt, Eberswalde, Eisenhüttenstadt, Elsterwerda (October 1991), and painted graffiti on 9 Polish-owned cars in Löcknitz (13 January 2008).[58] Neo-Nazis were involved in the murders of three Turkish girls in a November 23, 1992 arson attack in Mölln, in which nine other people were injured. A May 29, 1993 arson attack by far right skinheads on the house of a Turkish family in Solingen resulted in the deaths of two women and three girls, as well as in severe injuries for seven other people.[59] This, and similar incidents preceded demonstrations in many German cities involving hundreds of thousands of people protesting against far right violence.[citation needed] These protests precipitated massive neo-Nazi counter-demonstrations and violent clashes between neo-Nazis and anti-fascists. Statistics show that in 1991, there were 849 hate crimes, and in 1992 there were 1,485 (with a significant concentration in the eastern Bundesländer). After 1992, the numbers went down, although they have risen sharply in subsequent years. In 4 decades of the former East Germany, 17 people have been murdered by far right groups.[60]

Beginning in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Neo-Nazis started holding demonstrations on the anniversary of the Bombing of Dresden in World War II. In 2009, Junge Landsmannschaft Ostdeutschland, which is supported by the NPD, organized the march. There were 6,000 Neo-Nazis, met by tens of thousands of anti-Nazis and several thousand police.[61]

Legal issuesEdit

German law forbids the production of pro-Nazi materials, so when such items are procured they are smuggled into the country mostly from the United States, Scandinavia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Italy.[citation needed] Neo-Nazi rock bands such as Landser have been outlawed in Germany, yet bootleg copies of their albums printed in the US and other countries are still sold in the country.

War Ensign of Germany 1903-1918

Some neo-Nazis make use of the Reichskriegsflagge, which is still legal in Germany.

German neo-Nazi websites mostly depend on Internet servers in the US and Canada, and use other terms for Nazi ideas and symbols. They also invent new symbols reminiscent of the swastika and adopt other symbols used by the Nazis, such as the sun disc, sun wheel, hooked cross, wolf's cross, wolf's hook, black sun, and dark star. A trial was held before the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany over the prohibition of the National Democratic Party (NPD), which had been accused of being a partly neo-Nazism accepting party.[citation needed] In the course of the trial, it was discovered that some high-ranking party members worked as informants for the domestic intelligence service, the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz. The trial was temporarily suspended, and then rejected by the court because of the unclear influence of informants within the NPD.

In 2004, NPD received 9.1% of the vote in the parliamentary elections for Saxony, thus earning the right to seat state parliament members.[62] The other parties refused to enter discussions with the NPD. In the 2006 parliamentary elections for Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the NPD received 7.3% of the vote and six seats in the state parliament. NPD leader Udo Voigt is currently on trial for racial incitement and defamation for remarks made about German footballer Patrick Owoyomela, whose mother is Nigerian.

Other neo-Nazi groups that have been active in Germany and have attracted government attention include the Volkssozialistische Bewegung Deutschlands/Partei der Arbeit (which was banned in 1982), the Action Front of National Socialists/National Activists (banned in 1983), the Nationalist Front (banned in 1992), the Free German Workers' Party of Michael Kühnen and Friedhelm Busse, the German Alternative, National Offensive, and the Homeland-Faithful German Youth, which was banned in late March 2009). German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble condemned the Homeland-Faithful German Youth, accusing it of teaching children that anti-immigrant racism and anti-Semitism were acceptable. Homeland-Faithful German Youth claimed that it was centred primarily on "environment, community and homeland", but has been argued to have NPD links.)[63]


The most notable Greek neo-Nazi political organization is Chrysi Avyi. Twelve Greek neo-Nazis participated as volunteers in the Yugoslav wars in Bosnia, aiding the Serbian Army in capturing the town of Srebrenica.[64]


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 – a substantial proportion of whom do not identify as Jews, even though they have some Jewish ancestry.[65] In August 2007, Israeli police broke up a cell in Petah Tikva made up of eight young immigrants from the former Soviet Union, which had been attacking religious Jews, foreign workers and gays, and which had been vandalizing synagogues with Nazi images.[66][67][68]

The Soviet Union-born neo-Nazis[69] are reported to operate in cities across Israel, and have been described as having little connection to Jewish heritage, and of being influenced by the rise of neo-Nazism and anti-Semitism in Europe.[66][67] 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.[67][68]


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