Former Klansman and veteran anti-Semite David Duke was expelled from Italy after a court there deemed him “socially dangerous” for allegedly planning to create a pan-European neo-Nazi group. According to press reports, a Venice court upheld a decision denying Duke renewal of his residency permit after he was found living under “false pretenses” near the northern Italian town of Belluno.
Duke reportedly entered Italy on a student visa in 2011 using his middle name, Ernest. The following year, Belluno authorities discovered the mistake and moved to have him removed. Belluno deputy police commissioner Luciano Meneghetti said Duke was supposedly conducting research in the Cadore Valley in the Italian Alps. According to the Venice court decision, he was also found by “official reliable sources” to be establishing “an organization aiming to exterminate the black and Jewish races in Europe.”
“We consider him as a highly dangerous individual due to his infamous racist theories,” Meneghetti told International Business Times UK. The paper also reported that Duke's Italian lawyer, Filippo Augusto, said Duke was evaluating whether to lodge a further appeal and that he had left Italy. Augusto was unaware of his current location.
This isn’t the first time Duke has been thrown out of a European country. He was banned from Switzerland because of his white supremacist activities in 2009. Swiss authorities then designated him as a persona non grata in all European states that adhere to the European Union’s Schengen Treaty, which governs entry and exit to EU countries including Italy.
In 2009, Duke was expelled from the Czech Republic on charges of denying the Holocaust and promoting neo-Nazi ideology. In 2011, he was arrested in Germany. He claimed at the time that he was on his way to deliver a “message of heritage and freedom” when German authorities arrested and imprisoned him “by a gross twisting of travel laws.”
Duke, a Holocaust denier and leader of various American white supremacist groups, has a long history of getting in trouble with the law. In 2003, he was jailed in the United States for ripping off his supporters. He also has long been fond of Alpine regions. His blog at one point featured a picture of a topless Duke on a craggy Alpine peak. And he has raised funds in the past by selling his rather bizarre pictures of the region. Never one to be self-effacing, Duke told his supporters about his artistry, “In addition to his brilliant writing, teaching, speaking and political skills, Dr. Duke has a wonderful photographic and artistic ability.”