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Archive/File: orgs/canadian/canadian-jewish-congress/marches-to-modems/mtm-002-01
Last-Modified: 1997/03/30

2.1 Wolfgang Droege
by Bernie M Farber

Droege came to his Nazism quite naturally. According to a
Toronto Star article, White Rights advocate learned it all
at grandpas knee  Wolfgang
Droege was infused with Nazi pride from his grandfather who
was a good friend of Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher.
Streicher was the editor of Der Sturmer a viciously
antisemitic newspaper utilized by Hitler and the Nazis to
denounce Jews and portray them as evil sexual perverts.
Droege's father - Walter (after whom he was named) - fought
for the Third Reich and "missed it when it ended."
According to Droege his grandfather instilled in him a pride
of being German.

Claims Droege, "Adolph Hitler was misunderstood I admire him
and his speeches are inspiring: "

Born in 1949 in Forcheim, Bavaria, Droege emigrated to
Canada as a young teenager at the age of 13. His parents who
were separated (mother living in Toronto, father still in
Germany) had a significant effect on his life, particularly
his father who was in the Luftwaffe and helped encourage
Droege' s ideological bent. According to various reports
Droege did return to Germany in 1967 at the age of 17 where
he began to attend secret meetings of pro-Nazi
organizations. At the
same time, he made contact with the white supremacist
Western Guard. Droege's first brush with the law occurred in
1975 when he was nabbed painting white power graffiti along
the route of an African Liberation Day march. This led to a
conviction for Mischief, damage to property. Droege's first
assault conviction wasn't far behind.

The young racist slugged a persistent Toronto Sun reporter
on the courthouse steps the same day he was found guilty in
the vandalism case. The reporter was David Sommerville - now
the president of the ultra-conservative National Citizens
Coalition. Droege's criminal record has grown in the decades
that followed and now is a litany of legal scrapes over
everything from political violence to drug running.

In one highly-publicized case Droege and Larry Jacklin, of
Listowell, Ontario, (and eight American white supremacists
and would-be mercenaries) were convicted in the United
States of a conspiracy to overthrow the government of the
Caribbean Island of Dominica. For that offence Droege was
sentenced to three years in prison, but after an early
release, Droege was busted again on drugs and weapons
charges.

All told, Droege was sentenced to thirteen years in prison
in the United States and ended up serving six and a half.

After being released from Lompoc Prison in the United States
on April 21, 1989 Droege made his way back to Toronto.

According to Canadian government intelligence reports,
Droege arrived in Toronto with not a cent to his name. However, as a senior statesman of the
extreme right movement, Droege was assisted in
accommodation, food and shelter and almost immediately went
to work as a part-time bailiff for Alan Overfield's bailiff
Service.

Interestingly, Alan Overfield was not only an old friend of
Wolfgang Droege's but a one time associate of Don Andrews of
the Nationalist Party. An avid gun collector, Allan
Overfield has maintained close ties with key leaders on the
extreme right and for a time he was even a spokesman for the
Western Guard . He was also instrumental in the Heritage
Front's abortive attempt to infiltrate the Reform Party.

On November 16, 1992, Metro police raided Overfield's east
Toronto home following a call to a domestic dispute.
According to media reports, more than 50 weapons were
seized, including an anti-tank rocket launcher, machine
guns, assault rifles, semi-automatic handguns, bayonets,
ammunition and grenades. At the time a startled police
official claimed:

     "It [finding of weapons] was totally unnerving. It's
     very frightening.... you  wouldn't stand much of a
     chance against this stuff...." One police officer noted
     that there was enough military weapons found in
     Overfield's home "...to start your own war".

Incredibly Overfield had permits for all of the weapons and,
although he was charged with unsafe storage, a plea bargain
deal meant he was eventually allowed to keep the
collection..

It was a few days after arriving in Toronto in April 1989
that Droege attended a "welcome home" gathering hosted by
his old friend, Nationalist Party leader Don Andrews. There
Droege met a couple of new arrivals on the scene - Gerry
Lincoln and  Grant Bristow and shortly thereafter the seed
of an idea to create a new white supremacist organization
sprouted.

In September 1989 Droege and a number of his minions were
invited to Tripoli, Libya to attend a 20th anniversary
celebration of the Libyan revolution. It was on this trip
that plans for a new type of white supremacist organization
were crystalized. Among the white racists accompanying
Droege on the trip were Gerry Lincoln, James Scott Dawson
and Grant Bristow - the three would become the key
organizers of the fledgling white supremacist group. Lincoln
took on the role of propaganda chief, editing the new
group's magazine, Up Front, Dawson filed legal papers and
assisted in numerous small ways while the subsequently
notorious Bristow - later revealed by the Toronto Sun to
have been a paid informant for the Canadian Security
Intelligence Service this whole time - took on security and
membership duties.

Upon their return from Tripoli, on September 25, 1989, the
Heritage Front was actually formed. Ironically, while
discussing potential names for this new organization - one
individual suggested it be called Aryan Resistance Army -
ARA. The irony, of
course, is that today's ARA - Anti Racist Action - became
the nemesis of the Heritage Front. The name was rejected and
eventually Heritage Front was chosen. James Dawson
registered the Front on October 2, 1989. Officially, the
president was listed as Gerry Lincoln.

The true aim of the Heritage Front was for it to function as
a kind of ''umbrella organization" attempting to unite the
fractious white supremacist movement not only in Toronto but
eventually across the country. In fact, according to the
Solicitor General's report The Heritage Front Affair:

"It was Droege's eventual plan to purchase land in the
Peterborough area,  attempt to control the town council by
electing Heritage Front representatives and thereby
legislating racist views through township bylaws."

Droege' s extensive network of connections were put to good
use building the organization. In November of that year
Ernst Zundel, one of the world's leading suppliers of
Holocaust-denying materials, and a mentor to many neo-Nazis
locally and internationally, asked Droege to provide
security for British author David Irving. Irving, visiting
Canada on one of his periodic North American book-selling
tours, has become infamous for Holocaust denial.

The following month, on December 8, 1990, the Heritage Front
co-sponsored a Martyrs Day Rally, an annual event honoring
"martyrs" to the white racist cause, especially Robert J.
Mathews. Matthews, leader of the Aryan Nations terror cell,
The Order, was killed in a shootout with U.S. officials in
1984.

Droege was in a unique position among Canadian racists to
honor Matthews

Droege is widely believed to have been a member of The
Order's outer circle in the mid-80's and claims to have met
with Matthews just a few months before his death. Morris
Dees, of the Southern Poverty Law Center, has suggested that
Droege was the advance man for an Order hit squad that had
set its sights on Dees in 1984.

But after spending most of the 80's behind bars, Droege
seems to have abandoned his hopes for a violent race war and
subsequent white racist rebellion which were the goals of
the terror cell the Heritage Front was honoring that night
in 1990.

Amongst the other speakers that night were Aryan Nations
"Ambassador" John Ross Taylor, a few up-and-coming racist
skinheads, and Mississauga high school teacher, Paul Fromm.
Skinhead George Burdi's band RaHoWa had something of a
corning out at the rally as well.

The night was filled with extreme racist rhetoric and
overblown adolescent appeals to blood and honor. But the
Front was able to claim success, having succeeded in
bringing together about 70 very different types of white
racists. It was a success that was to be repeated by Droege
and the Heritage Front over and over again in the next three
years.

The early 1990's were boom years for the Heritage Front,
especially when it came to recruiting disaffected youth. At
its peak the Front boasted a contact list of  1,800, a
magazine, Up Front that appeared bi-monthly and was seen by
several thousand, and a membership that numbered in the low
hundreds. Although their central core was much smaller, they
were still able to pull out more than 200 people to several
of their rallies during this period.

By now, the tale of the Front's unraveling is well known. A
sometimes vicious harassment campaign targeting anti-
racists, managed by alleged CSIS mole Grant Bristow, helped
raise the group's internal temperature to the point where
they effectively could not be controlled.  Several bloody
clashes with radical anti-racist activists occurred, and key
leaders - including Droege - found themselves fighting
criminal assault charges.

Meanwhile groups like the Canadian Jewish Congress prodded
the federal government into action, filing Human Rights
complaints against the Heritage Front over their telephone
hate lines.  The net result was that by late 1993 Droege and
his core group were focusing all their energies on court and
tribunal appearances - rather than managing and nurturing
the largest white racist organization this country had seen
since WW II.

Inevitably it fell apart.

Droege is now keeping a shell of the Front alive, the way
some keep Cayrnan Island corporations breathing but dormant
- you never know when you might need it. The Front's only
real activities these days are the hotline, hosted by a
Toronto woman, Joy Berke, and the odd Heritage Front Report
- a photocopied shadow of the group's defunct magazine.

Droege tells people he is focusing on earning a living
again, and appears busy trying to recast himself in the role
of a propagandist, or maybe eminence grise of the movement,
modeling himself to some degree on two of his close
associates, Ernst Zundel and Paul Fromm.


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