Nationalist Socialist Movement Building a Juggernaut

The National Socialist Movement, once a forgotten bit player on the fringe of the American Radical Right, is building a juggernaut.

The neo-Nazis, including the venomous New Jersey talk show host Hal Turner, emerged from their motel dressed for their moment of fame.
(Jim West)

Hitler as 'Holy Father'

Like Rockwell's followers in the 1960s, NSM members slavishly worship Hitler. "We hold our Führer, the beloved Holy Father of our age Adolf Hitler, in the greatest of esteem," declares party propaganda. "A visionary in every respect, Hitler understood and knew that the future for our people looked dim if devotion and determination were not brought to bear against our Racial enemies, namely the International Jew and his Negroid minions."

The ideology of today's NSM also mirrors that of the original American Nazi Party. According to its agenda, only heterosexual "pure-blood whites" should be allowed citizenship. All others should be stripped of their civil and constitutional rights. As Schoep puts it, "The Constitution was written by white men alone. Therefore, it was intended for whites alone." The NSM further calls for the U.S. to revoke the North American Free Trade Agreement; to pull out of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund; to nationalize all corporations; to ban all "non-white" immigration; to publicly execute black, Hispanic and Jewish "criminals;" and to fund universal health care for all white citizens. "The leaders of this movement promise to work ruthlessly -- if need be to sacrifice their very lives -- to translate this program into action," Schoep has said.

While Schoep may have been working ruthlessly to promote the NSM, he was otherwise unemployed and committing a string of the sort of petty crimes he typically ascribes to blacks, according to Minnesota court records. In 1998, for example, Schoep was arrested for helping the mother of his daughter steal $4,000 in computer equipment. He later pleaded guilty and got off with probation, but not before the sentencing judge pointed out Schoep's obvious hypocrisy. The NSM, she said, "does not condone fathering children around the countryside and taking no financial responsibility. And it does not condone the commission of crimes. I also know that your organization believes that there are various minority groups in this country who do that on a regular basis."

On the March

Fortunately for Schoep, the National Socialist Movement's standards are less rigorous than Hitler's. "If the NSM existed during the actual Third Reich, Adolf Hitler would probably have purged most members," former NSM National Officer Jacques Pluss wrote in January in his essay, "Now It Can Be Told: Why I Pretended to Be a Neo-Nazi." In that essay, Pluss, a former Fairleigh Dickinson University history professor who was fired when his membership in the NSM was made public, claimed that he had joined the Nazis -- and become a leading spokesmen for their views -- only to better research a book on "the wacky White power movement." Pluss, who had hosted the weekly NSM radio show, "White Viewpoint," also called the NSM a bunch of "fraudulent thugs." He said he'd joined the NSM in February 2005 because it was "the most flashy neo-Nazi group I could find."

At that time, the NSM was on a roll. It had recently absorbed the Tualatin Valley Skins, a Portland, Ore., Skinhead gang, appointed a national director of its new women's division, and intensified its outreach to the Ku Klux Klan groups.

Photos taken at a Cleveland Knights KKK leadership conference in South Carolina in April 2005 show uniformed NSM Nazis socializing with robed and hooded Klansmen. That year, Schoep also crisscrossed the country giving speeches at racist Skinhead music festivals including a George Lincoln Rockwell memorial concert put on by the Keystone State Skinheads in Pennsylvania, where he railed against blacks, Jews, and the "brown pestilence" of Mexican and Central American immigrants.

Like other white supremacist groups, the NSM has tapped into the rising tide of anti-immigration sentiment in America. But where other groups advocate the mass deportation of Hispanics, the NSM pretty plainly advocates their mass murder. One NSM Web site features a short piece of fiction called "Taco Down," which is about "Holy Aryan Warriors" secretly massacring Mexican immigrants in the desert. "As the alien maggots shuffled closer to the watering station, I instinctively flipped the safety off my camouflaged sniper rifle," the story reads in part. "The invading brownskins were mere roaches, sub-human pests, and we the exterminators."

The NSM held nine anti-immigration rallies in the first nine months of 2005, beginning in March outside a Home Depot day laborer site in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and ending with a "pro-white march" in September in Elizabeth, N.C., where one NSM member was arrested for illegally carrying a concealed handgun. Photos from that rally show eight Nazis standing in a circle around a Confederate war memorial, seig-heiling the statue.

Elizabeth got off easy. Oftentimes when the NSM comes to town, its presence drains a city's coffers. Lincoln, Neb., Police Chief Tom Casady was criticized in July 2004 for spending about $50,000 on extra security and police overtime to keep the peace at an NSM rally and counter-demonstration. But Casady looked like a wizard after the rioting in Toledo last October, which cost nearly a million dollars in property damage.

When the NSM returned to Ohio in December, police agencies had transformed downtown Toledo into a militarized zone. Police snipers were stationed on rooftops, helicopters whirred overhead, and a heavily armored tactical vehicle typically used for busting into methamphetamine labs chugged around City Hall on streets lined with SWAT teams, mounted police and riot squads. More than 700 officers from 15 law enforcement agencies were deployed. The overtime pay for the Toledo Police Department alone was later reported to have cost the city $300,000, or roughly $5,000 per Nazi.