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Shofar FTP Archive File: orgs/american/adl/skinhead-international/skins-switzerland


Newsgroups: alt.skinheads,alt.politics.white-power,alt.politics.nationalism.white,soc.culture.swiss
Subject: ADL: Skinhead International; Switzerland
Summary: The ADL's "Skinhead International: A Worldwide Survey
         of Neo-Nazi Skinheads"
Followup-To: alt.skinheads

Archive/File: pub/orgs/american/adl/skinhead-international/skins-switzerland
Last-Modified: 1995/09/15

                       Switzerland

Skinheads and other neo-Nazi extremists in Switzerland number
about 250, mainly in the northeastern part of the country.
They have, in addition, perhpas a few hundred sympathizers.

A Skinhead gang known as the Schweizer (Swiss) Hammer Skins
has operated in the towns of Littau, just west of Luzern, and
Schwyz, about 25 kilometers to the east. Their choice of the
moniker "Hammer Skins" suggests a likely influence from
similarly named gangs in the United States. Another Skinhead
gang, Neo-Faschistischen Front (Neo-fascist Front), recently
appeared. Based in Bern, the group claims members in Basel and
Zurich as well as in Germany. 

Neo-Nazis and other far-rightists reportedly have been
responsible for a number of anti-foreginer and anti-Jewish
incidents in Switzerland. Several attacks on refugees occurred
in 1993, including three arson attempts against asylum
residences. The number of attacks was down, however, from the
two previous years. Arson was suspected in fires that killed
five asylum seekers in 1992, but no arrests were made.
Spray-painted graffit on refugee hostels reportedly has
included Nazi slogans.

The number of anti-Semitic incidents in Switzerland reportedly
rose markedly following the Skinhead-led anti-foreigner riots
in Rostock, Germany, in the autumn of 1992. In January 1993,
two Skinheads made offensive remarks to security guards at a
Zurich synagogue at which services were taking place.

                    Sturmtruppen

A Skinhead band from Reinach, southwest of Zurich, has given
voice to the same racist, anti-foreigner themes as have their
comrades elsewhere. Known as Sturmtruppen (Stormtroopers), the
group has recorded an album ("It is Time") for the German
label Rock-O-Rama Records. Their song "Kanikistan is Burning"
envisions thousands of Skins pushing eastward to reduce
"Kanikistan" - a fictitious land whose name derives from a
derogatory term for foreigners, especially Turks - to rubble
and ash.

In an interview in a German skinzine called _Querschlaeger_,
two members of Sturmtruppen described themselves as
"nationalists" (but denied they are Nazis), and claimed
membership in the Nationalistischen Jugend Schweiz
(Nationalist Youth of Switzerland). The band's "nationalism"
finds expression in their song "Switzerland," whose lyrics
glorify "pure race, pure blood," as well as the Swiss flag,
Swiss cross, Swiss women and Swiss beer. The lyrics also
declare solidarity with "Comrades of European Countries" who
are "pure Aryan."

At least one skinzine, called _Totenkopf_ (after the Death's
Head emblem employed by Hitler's SS), has been produced in
Switzerland. It has been distributed from mailing addresses in
Luzern, and, later, the town of Horw, just to the south.
According to the British anti-fascist magazine _Searchlight_,
the pages of _Totenkopf_ have featured interviews with
European, American and Brazilian Skinhead bands, advertisement
for right-wing extremist groups, and racist propaganda.
(Anti-Defamation League, 72-73)

                       Work Cited

Anti-Defamation League. The Skinhead International: A Worldwide
Survey of Neo-Nazi Skinheads. New York: Anti-Defamation League,
1995. Anti-Defamation League, 823 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY
10017.

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