National Alliance Leader, William Pierce, Looks to Build Far-Right Alliances
William Pierce builds bridges at home, abroad
Pierce's influence in the United States has been driven not only by his organizing efforts, but by the stature of his race war novels, The Turner Diaries and Hunter. The Turner Diaries, in particular, functioned as the blueprint for the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building, which killed 168 people.
In 1983 and 1984, the book was the inspiration for The Order, a terrorist group that murdered a Jewish talk show host in Denver and robbed some $4 million in a series of armored car heists.
As it has been in America, so it is now in Europe.
Pierce, who now has chapters in 11 countries in South America and Europe, boasts that every racial nationalist in Europe has heard about The Turner Diaries, and he is probably not far off.
For years, the book had been a major influence on the British neofascist scene. In 1998, electronic copies of the book became available on the Internet in French as Les Carnets de Turner and in German as Die Turner-Tagebücher.
Then, in December, Pierce announced that a publisher had been found for a German-language printing of paper copies of the book, leaving only the "logistics problem" of smuggling them into Germany, where neo-Nazi propaganda is against the law.
"Because of his books, Pierce is undoubtedly the most well-known [American] right-wing figure" in Europe, says Nick Lowles of Searchlight, a British anti-fascist magazine. "Rightly or wrongly, people here see him as a man who get things done."
That has put Pierce in a unique position.
Standing above the fray of internecine rivalries that have divided the European radical right for years, the former physics professor has come to be seen in Europe as a man whom all factions can look up to, the legendary author whose two novels helped spark the most violent U.S. domestic terrorist attacks of the last 15 years.
The man who for years has sought "a long-term eugenics program involving at least the entire populations of Europe and America" is now intent on internationalizing the fascist struggle.
"Cooperation across national borders," he wrote recently, "will become increasingly important for progress — and perhaps even for survival — in the future."
In his own publication, Pierce also quotes approvingly from AmeriKKKa: The Ku Klux Klan and the Ultraright in the U.S.A., a book by Roger Martin that just recently became available in German bookstores.
"Pierce has decided to concentrate all his efforts on the development of competent cadres and on the expansion into Europe," Pierce quotes Martin as writing. The Alliance "is indisputably the richest and most influential neo-Nazi organization in the United States and in Europe at this time."
Golden Dawn of Internationalism
Consider the curious scene outside the nightclub in Thessalonica, Greece's second largest city, last October, where attack dogs strained at their leashes just a few feet away from signs marking the event inside: "Greek Coordination of Touring Groups."
If this was a gathering of tourist officials, it was a different kind of tourism indeed. As the Greek press realized only four days after it had ended, those inside weren't figuring out how to market cheap package tours to the Aegean islands.
Instead, the gathering of 150 people from 10 countries was busy planning for international fascist revolution. Amidst swastikas and sieg-heil salutes, these men and women — including a relative of Adolf Hitler — had gathered secretly to hear a keynote speech from Dr. William Pierce.
Pierce represented the only American group to be invited to the meeting, which was hosted by the ultranationalist Greek group Golden Dawn. But it drew fascists from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and South Africa, some of whom have made their own efforts to infiltrate mainstream European parties.
After the Thessalonica meeting, Pierce traveled to Augsburg, Germany, to meet with French and German white nationalists — his second 1998 visit to that country, he says, despite the fact that he has been banned there because of his neo-Nazi publications.
His most important political ally in Germany has been the extreme right-wing National Democratic Party (NDP), which claims to have 6,000 members.
Last April, the NDP sent Alexander von Webenau, who specializes in youth recruitment, to visit the Alliance for a week. While there, Webenau spoke to some 60 members of the Alliance's elite who had gathered for an invitation-only conference. Pierce returned the favor, publishing an interview with NDP official Udo Voigt.
Hungary, the country in which Pierce has found two brides, in part through local neo-Nazi contacts, is another important European connection for the Alliance. Pierce is very close to Istvan Csurka and Isabella Kiraly, two former members of the Hungarian Democratic Forum who were expelled because of their anti-Semitism.
Kiraly, a former member of the Hungarian parliament and currently a patroness to the Hungarian Skinheads, dedicates herself to the political education of neo-Nazi Hungarian youth.
Using 'Suits' to Hook Recruits
In Britain, Pierce already has had a real impact.
Before Pierce's writings became popular, Lowles says, interracial marriages were not an issue to British radical rightists. But Pierce's attacks on "mongrelization" — spelled out in Hunter, which depicts the assassination of mixed-race couples — caught on quickly.
In 1993, the deputy leader of the extreme right-wing British National Party and three other party members attacked an interracial couple with a bottle in a London pub. Alliance stickers attacking "mongrelization" also have appeared around the capital city.
In the 1980s, Pierce had a chapter in England run by Steven Brady, who is from Northern Ireland and had links there to Protestant paramilitary groups.
But in the next decade, Brady moved into the Conservative Party. In 1993, he visited Pierce in the company of Mark Cotterill (see Sharks In The Mainstream). To Lowles, the influence of such men on mainstream parties is more of a concern than openly neo-Nazi groups.
"In many ways, they are more dangerous now because they have gone into suits. People like Mark Cotterill, for example, are more sophisticated in how they do things and take advantage of opportunities without resorting to terrorism," Lowles said.
This is a point not lost on Pierce. Although he has sought to recruit in academia, the armed forces and among other "elites" for years, he is now stepping up his efforts.
The men and women he is seeking, Pierce explained in his membership manual years ago, are "those who recognize the social, political, and demographic changes which have taken place in America since the Second World War as degenerative... . If these people can be made to see beyond the symptoms of the decay they oppose and understand its fundamental causes — if they can be radicalized — they can be recruited."