Pan-Aryanism Binds Hate Groups in America and Europe
Despite the ocean that separates Europe and America, the ties that connect people on both continents remain powerful to this day. And that is as true of extremists on the radical right as it is of other sectors of society.
Since the end of World War II, in fact, there has been a thickening web of connections between individuals and groups on the extreme right in the United States and their compatriots in Europe. Although these links were at first tenuous, involving a handful of German ex-Nazis and their fascist American admirers, they have multiplied over the years, particularly in the last decade or so.
This is partly because of the rise of "pan-Aryanism," a white supremacist philosophy that emphasizes the idea that white revolutionaries must adopt a global strategy to succeed. In the words of American neo-Nazi William Pierce, leader of the National Alliance, "We must understand that we are in a planet-wide race war, and survival of our race depends on our winning this war."
A number of other factors also have contributed to the growing internationalism of the extreme right. Denial of the Holocaust has become an increasingly international enterprise (see Lying About the Holocaust), with a whole network of deniers spread around the globe.
Modern communications — the Internet and powerful shortwave radio broadcasts that mostly emanate from stations in the United States (see From America, With Hate) — have transformed the way extremists in different nations interact with one another.
White power music, which began in Britain but soon spread to the rest of Europe and then America, also has acted as a unifying element, particularly among racist Skinheads (see White Pride Worldwide). And extremists like Pierce and British neofascist Mark Cotterill (see Hands Across the Water) have found leading roles on both sides of the Atlantic.
In the following pages, the Intelligence Report presents a timeline, running from the end of World War II to the present, that fleshes out this growing internationalization of the radical right.
· American fascist Francis Parker Yockey, author of the influential far-right book Imperium, forms the European Liberation Front (ELF) in London along with a small group of British fascists. The ELF cultivates ties with old German Nazis and other European fascists.
During the early 1950s, Yockey will travel back and forth between North America and Europe, where he promotes the idea that American capitalism poses a greater danger to Europe than Soviet militarism — a highly unusual assertion for the radical right of the time, but one which will become far more pronounced among American and European extremists 50 years later.
· New York-based businessman H. Keith Thompson registers with the Justice Department as the U.S representative of West Germany's neo-Nazi Socialist Reich Party (SRP), led by Major General Otto Ernst Remer, Hitler's former bodyguard. Thompson will serve the SRP until it is banned by the West German government in October 1952. During this period, Thompson is also affiliated with New York's National Renaissance Party, which maintains contacts with right-wing extremist groups in Europe, South America, the Middle East and South Africa.
· American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell secretly travels to England to attend a meeting of neo-Nazi leaders from Austria, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Ireland and West Germany.
At a clandestine location in the Cotswold hills, the World Union of National Socialists (WUNS) that Rockwell has planned for three years is formed with Rockwell and British neo-Nazi Colin Jordan as co-leaders.
WUNS describes itself as a "combat efficient, international political apparatus" that will provide, among other things, the "final settlement of the Jewish problem." Within months, Rockwell will become the sole WUNS leader.
· On Aug. 25, George Lincoln Rockwell is assassinated by a former follower, stunning the World Union of National Socialists (WUNS) which Rockwell has built up to 19 national chapters. Rockwell's WUNS had "kept the flickering flame of Hitler's dream alive" for many old Nazis in Germany, according to biographer Frederick Simonelli.
But after Rockwell's death, WUNS will remain effective only as a communications network before finally expiring in the mid-1990s.
· Harold Covington, who joined a neo-Nazi group while in the U.S. Army in 1972, moves to South Africa, later joining the white-led Rhodesian Army for 18 months. Covington will later claim that he was a founding member of the Rhodesian White People's Party.
He will be deported from Rhodesia (later renamed Zimbabwe) in 1976, after sending threatening letters to a Jewish congregation there.
· Gary "Gerhard" Lauck, an American with a put-on German accent and Hitlerite moustache, founds the NSDAP/AO (the German language acronym for National Socialist German Workers Party/Overseas Organization) after being expelled from Germany for giving a pro-Hitler speech.
For two decades, Lauck's tiny Lincoln, Neb.-based group will print up to 8 million pieces of German-language neo-Nazi propaganda a year for smuggling into Germany. A key German neo-Nazi leader will later characterize Lauck as "the center of a world-wide umbrella organization with which practically every neo-Nazi had contact."
· Gary Lauck is again arrested in West Germany carrying 20,000 Nazi posters, according to the Anti-Defamation League. After serving a four-month term, he is deported and banned from Germany for life.
· David Duke, head of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, travels to England, supposedly at the request of British supporters concerned about Third World immigration. (In his biography, My Awakening, Duke says he earlier hosted British visitors at his Louisiana headquarters who went through Klan rituals and then returned home to set up Klan branches in England and Scotland.) While in England, Duke speaks at Oxford University.
· Dan Gayman, pastor of the Schell City, Mo.-based Church of Israel and a leading ideologue of the racist and anti-Semitic Christian Identity theology, visits England and other parts of Europe.
· Willis Carto founds what will become America's premier Holocaust denial organization, the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), with David McCalden of Northern Ireland as its first executive director.
IHR holds its first conference with attendees from around the world, attracting the attention of Knights of the Ku Klux Klan boss David Duke, who is so taken that he will publish in 1980 a "Special Holocaust Edition" of his Klan newspaper, The Crusader.
· Dan Gayman of the anti-Semitic Church of Israel travels to England and Europe. While in England, he visits various official Churches of England, later styling himself as an Anglican bishop and even adopting the collar for a time.
· Three years after his involvement in a North Carolina shootout that left five Klan opponents dead, neo-Nazi Harold Covington moves abroad, spending the next five years in South Africa, Great Britain and Ireland, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
A year after his return to the United States, he will write that his purpose was to build up "the worldwide, White Aryan resistance movement."
· Tom Metzger, neo-Nazi founder of California-based White Aryan Resistance, runs display ads touting Ian Stuart Donaldson and his group Skrewdriver, the seminal British white power band that was behind a series of extreme right-wing "Rock Against Communism" concerts.
The ads reflect Metzger's early interest in racist Skinheads, who are just beginning to appear in the United States, as the potential "shock troops" of the revolution. A Metzger aide describes the Skinheads as "a present given to us" by the far-right National Front in Britain.
· The United Kingdom bans racist Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan from entering the country, citing concerns for racial harmony. The ban will be extended several times, including a 1998 extension that follows Nation members' disruption of a high-profile inquiry into the racially motivated murder of a black teenager in London.
Although the ban is extended indefinitely in 2000, Nation officials will appeal to a British court in July 2001 on the grounds of free speech.
· The California-based Institute for Historical Review, the leading U.S. Holocaust denial organization, holds its eighth annual International Revisionist Conference in Irvine, Calif., after advertising a "special mystery guest." The guest turns out to be Major General Otto Ernst Remer, the unrepentant Nazi who helped crush the July 20, 1944, plot against Hitler.
Remer, recently sentenced to six months in a German jail for making anti-Semitic remarks, has no trouble entering the United States.
· White Aryan Resistance founder Tom Metzger recruits white power Skinhead bands for an "international punk white power record album," according to the Chicago-based Center for New Community. The album, later released on London-based White Noise Records, will be entitled "The Spirit of Oi."
· German national Andreas "Andi" Strassmeir, who will become close to a number of American extremists, makes his first visit to the United States, supposedly because of his interest in the American Civil War.
He reportedly lives in Virginia with Vincent Petruskie, a retired Air Force colonel and friend of Andreas' father Günter Strassmeir, a high-ranking official of the German Christian Democratic Party. After this visit, Strassmeir will travel abroad before returning in 1991.
· James Farrands, imperial wizard of the Invisible Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, travels to Britain to meet with and "naturalize" — that is, swear in — new recruits. Among them are Ian Stuart Donaldson, leader of the neo-Nazi band Skrewdriver and creator of the Blood & Honour music operation, and Keith Thompson of the neofascist League of St. George.
Farrands also travels to Wales, where he meets with backers from England, Scotland, Wales and West Germany.