In the years following the fall of the Third Reich, Nazism was a discredited political philosophy. Yet, by 1959, American war veteran George Lincoln Rockwell donned an Americanized Nazi uniform and stated that the United States made a mistake in World War II by not siding with Nazi Germany.

Neo-Nazi groups share a hatred for Jews and a love for Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. While they also hate other minorities, gays and lesbians and even sometimes Christians, they perceive "the Jew" as their cardinal enemy, and trace social problems to a Jewish conspiracy that supposedly controls governments, financial institutions and the media.

While some neo-Nazi groups emphasize simple hatred, others are more focused on the revolutionary creation of a fascist political state. Nazism, of course, has roots in Europe, and links between American and European neo-Nazis are strong and growing stronger. American neo-Nazi groups, protected by the First Amendment, often publish material and host Internet sites that are aimed at European audiences -- materials that would be illegal under European anti-racism laws. Similarly, many European groups put up their Internet sites on American servers to avoid prosecution under the laws of their native countries.

The most visible neo-Nazi group in the U.S. is the National Alliance. Until his death, it was led by William Pierce, the infamous author of the futuristic race-war novel The Turner Diaries, a book believed by some to have served as the blueprint for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.