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Neo-Nazism


Neo-Nazism consists of post-World War II militant social or political movements seeking to revive and implement the ideology of Nazism. Neo-Nazis seek to employ their ideology to promote hatred and attack minorities, or in some cases to create a fascist political state. It is a global phenomenon, with organized representation in many countries and international networks. It borrows elements from Nazi doctrine, including ultranationalism, racism, xenophobia, ableism, homophobia, anti-Romanyism, antisemitism, anti-communism and initiating the Fourth Reich. Holocaust denial is a common feature, as is the incorporation of Nazi symbols and admiration of Adolf Hitler.

Neo-Nazism generally aligns itself with a blood and soil variation of environmentalism, which has themes in common with deep ecology, the organic movement and animal protectionism. This tendency, sometimes called "ecofascism", was represented in the original German National Socialism by Richard Walther Darre who was the Reichsminister of Food from 1933 until 1942.

In Austria national independence had been restored, and the Verbotsgesetz 1947 explicitly criminalised the NSDAP and any attempt at restoration. West Germany adopted a similar law to target parties it defined as anti-constitutional; Article 21 Paragraph 2 in the Basic Law, banning the Socialist Reich Party in 1952 for being opposed to liberal democracy.

Yockey, a neo-Spenglerian author, had written Imperium: The Philosophy of History and Politics (1949) dedicated to "the hero of the twentieth century" (namely, Adolf Hitler) and founded the European Liberation Front. He was interested more in the destiny of Europe; to this end, he advocated a National Bolshevik-esque red-brown alliance against American culture and influenced 1960s figures such as SS-veteran Jean-Francois Thiriart. Yockey was also fond of Arab nationalism, in particular Gamal Abdel Nasser, as well as this he saw Fidel Castro's Cuban Revolution as a positive and visited officials there. Yockey's views impressed Otto Ernst Remer and the radical traditionalist philosopher Julius Evola. He was constantly hounded by the FBI and was eventually arrested in 1960, before committing suicide. Domestically, Yockey's biggest sympathisers were the National Renaissance Party, including James H. Madole, H. Keith Thompson and Eustace Mullins (protege of Ezra Pound) and the Liberty Lobby of Willis Carto.

Holocaust denial, the claim that six million Jews were not deliberately and systematically exterminated as an official policy of the Third Reich and Adolf Hitler, became a more prominent feature of neo-Nazism in the 1970s. Before this time, Holocaust denial had long existed as a sentiment among neo-Nazis, but it had not yet been systematically articulated as a theory with a bibliographical canon. Few of the major theorists of Holocaust denial (who call themselves "revisionists") can be uncontroversially classified as outright neo-Nazis (though some works such as those of David Irving forward a clearly sympathetic view of Hitler and the publisher Ernst Zundel was deeply tied to international neo-Nazism), however, the main interest of Holocaust denial to neo-Nazis was their hope that it would help them rehabilitate their political ideology in the eyes of the general public. Did Six Million Really Die? (1974) by Richard Verrall and The Hoax of the Twentieth Century (1976) by Arthur Butz are popular examples of Holocaust denial material.

Outside Germany, in other countries which were involved with the Axis powers and had their own native ultra-nationalist movements, which sometimes collaborated with the Third Reich but were not technically German-style National Socialists, revivalist and nostalgic movements have emerged in the post-war period which, as neo-Nazism has done in Germany, seek to rehabilitate their various loosely associated ideologies. These movements include neo-fascists and post-fascists in Italy; Vichyites, Petainists and "national Europeans" in France; Ustase sympathisers in Croatia; neo-Chetniks in Serbia; Iron Guard revivalists in Romania; Horthyists and Hungarists in Hungary; Banderaists in the Ukraine (which had a complicated relationship with the Axis powers) and others.

In 2003, Croatian penal code was amended with provisions prohibiting the public display of Nazi symbols, the propagation of Nazi ideology, historical revisionism and holocaust denial but the amendments were annulled in 2004 since they weren't enacted in accordance with a constitutionally prescribed procedure. Nevertheless, since 2006 Croatian penal code explicitly prohibits any type of hate crime based on race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion or national origin.

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. When a dark-skinned French student was attacked in Tartu, the head of an association of foreign students claimed that the attack was characteristic of a wave of neo-Nazi violence. An Estonian police official, however, stated that there were only a few cases involving foreign students over the previous two years. In November 2006, the Estonian government passed a law banning the display of Nazi symbols.

Between 2000 and 2007, eight Turkish immigrants, one Greek and a German policewoman were murdered by the neo-Nazi National Socialist Underground. The NSU has its roots in the former East German town of Thuringia, which The Guardian identified as "one of the heartlands of Germany’s radical right". The German intelligence services have been criticized for extravagant distributions of cash to informants within the far right movement. Tino Brandt publicly boasted on television that he had received around ˆ100,000 in funding from the German state. Though Brandt did not give the state "useful information", the funding supported recruitment efforts in Thuringia during the early 1990s. (Brandt was eventually sentenced to five and a half years in prison on for 66 counts of child prostitution and child sexual abuse).