The Mad Professor: A Neo-Nazi is Out of the Closet


The on-again, off-again neo-Nazi is, apparently, on again.

Of course, it's always hard to tell with Jacques Anthony Pluss, the fired New Jersey university history professor who now describes himself as a National Socialist, psychotherapist and expert horseman. He's told so many lies, elaborated so many fairy tales, and contradicted himself so many times, that the uninformed bystander could be forgiven for thinking the man is simply unhinged.

In fact, many people do. As Pluss spins his latest takes on reality in a Web forum hosted by the History News Network (HNN), he is regularly confronted by those who call him "psychotic," "a borderline personality," and worse.

It's not that Pluss doesn't try to speak plainly. These days, the ex-professor signs his E-mails "SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer [Senior Storm Unit Leader] Dr. Jacques PLUSS."

The strange saga of Dr. Pluss, who earned his Ph.D. in medieval history from the University of Chicago, began in February 2005, when, as a professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, he joined the crudely neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM). Pluss managed to get fired by the university the next month, after telling the school newspaper about his doings in the NSM. School officials did not mention his politics, attributing the firing instead to his repeated absences.

In January 2006, three months after finally exiting NSM, Pluss wrote "Now It Can Be Told: Why I Pretended to Be a Neo-Nazi," claiming he had been infiltrating NSM to gather material for a book on fascism. But six months later, he said he had never claimed not to be a National Socialist.

Now, says HNN, Pluss is completely out.

In a website article this March, HNN reported that Pluss, 53, has written on his blog that African Americans "are not human" and that "each one of them should be liquidated, that is, killed immediately or after performing forced labor without shelter or food." He said that Jews, too, should be "liquidated," and described them as "dangerous sub-humans." And he announced that he had started the U.S. branch of Stille Hilfe (Silent Help), a German organization that aids old Nazis.

He was asked on an HNN forum why his normally secretive superiors in Germany had instructed him to go public about his new group. "I am not permitted," he barked back in true "Hogan's Heroes" fashion, "to say more."

Pluss has many enemies these days. Not only does he hate blacks and Jews (and a number of ex-colleagues at Fairleigh Dickinson), but also his old running mates in the NSM, which he now describes as tainted with Satanism and typical of the "mediocre" American brand of National Socialism. Many neo-Nazis, in turn, have accused him of falsifying his tour in Vietnam and some even allege he is secretly Jewish — a poisonous charge in National Socialist circles.

Today, Pluss describes himself as the director of Aargau Books, whose sole accomplishment seems to have been publishing Pluss' 1,077-page horses-and-war epic, Jumping Fences: An Artfully Crafted Madness. The hero, as Pluss explained in the glowing, five-star review he gave to his own 2005 novel on, endured events that "sent him to the brink of madness."

Dr. Pluss should know.