Archive/File: orgs/canadian/canadian-jewish-congress/marches-to-modems/mtm-002-04 Last-Modified: 1997/03/30 2.4 George Burdi by Bernie M. Farber George Burdi seems an unlikely individual to have become one of the more successful leaders and recruiters of the neo- Nazi movement in Canada. Born in June 1970 to an upper- middle income family from Woodbridge Ontario, Burdi was a bright and articulate youngster. He was enrolled in the Roman Catholic Separate School system in Mississauga and in the summer of 1985 graduated to DeLaSalle College School, a Catholic boy's school in Toronto. Interestingly during his high school days, George Burdi is said to have not paid much attention to skin colour, ethnicity or religion. It was in high school however that his inquisitive mind, looking for more sophisticated reading material, happened upon the writings of Frederick Nietzche. Nietzche was a German philosopher who wrote on numerous issues dealing with Aryan philosophy, the strength of humankind and posed philosophical issues and questions that without context have been perceived as racist, and antisemitic. According to Warren Kinsella's Web of Hate, Nietzche had a significant effect on Burdi's thinking, priming him for his role as a racist propagandist. It was such thinking, for example, that led George Burdi to demand "equal time" following his school's celebration of "black pride month". According to a New York Times Magazine article, The Method of a Neo-Nazi Mogul, George Burdi is quoted as saying in response to the "black pride month" issue: "I said, 'how can we have a black pride month and not a white pride month'?". Burdi went on to note "....and there was an element of the population that started calling me a Nazi, and I really didn't understand the connection to what I was saying".
The connection, however, became more clear for George Burdi when in 1986 a young woman that he dated introduced him to a number of white supremacists and their supporters in the Toronto area. This included individuals such as John Ross Taylor, Paul Fromm and probably the most important and significant figure that would have a tremendous impact on George's young life - Ernst Zundel. Stated Burdi in relation to his work with Zundel in the mid 1980's: "I started to work with Zundel and I started to learn about Holocaust revisionism. I worked on his computer a lot. I typed his newsletters and I went to his house as often as I could.." In fact, thanks to Ernst Zundel, Burdi became not only a rabid Holocaust denier, but a true and devoted follower of the philosophy of national socialism. While continuing his work with Ernst Zundel and flirting with the stars of Toronto's neo-Nazi scene, George Burdi entered the University of Guelph majoring in Political Science in 1989. While the structure of university was not to his liking, it did give him the opportunity to spread his wings and learn about organizing for the extremist right. It was while in university that George Burdi was given his first copy of a magazine entitled 'Racial Loyalty.' An openly and unrelentingly racist newsletter, 'Racial Loyalty' was the propaganda arm of an antisemitic and violent para- military organization known as the Church of the Creator (COTC). Although it was then U.S.-based, the group's founder was also a Canadian, Ben Klassen. Klassen grew up on the prairies, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and eventually moved to the United States. Klassen's creed, summarized in The White Man's Bible, played a central role in the transformation of George Burdi from a white suburban kid into the white racist skinhead he is today. The 'White Man's Bible' is a violent racist tome which is banned in Canada. For example, among its 16 commandments can be found the following: Remember that the inferior coloured races are our deadly enemies, and the most dangerous of all is the Jewish race. It is our immediate objective to relentlessly expand the white race and keep shrinking our enemies. Show preferential treatment and business dealings with members of our own race, phase out all dealings with Jews as soon as possible. Do not employ niggers or other coloureds. Have social contacts with members of your own racial family. Destroy and banish all Jewish thought from society. Work hard to bring about another world as soon as possible. Understanding full well the needs of young people and how to attract them, Burdi was one of the first hatemongers in Canada to recognize the seductive power of music. Out of this realization was born one of Canada's first "hate rock" bands, RaHoWa (an acronym for Racial Holy War). The band has provided the "musical entertainment" at a number of Heritage Front functions, offering their skinhead followers lyrics that are more ugly than lyrical: "These boots are made for stompin; and that's just what they'll do and one of these days these boots are going to stomp all over Jews." or other musical numbers that included lyrics such as ...."nigger nigger nigger, out out out." Along with his musical career, George Burdi became a prolific contributor to the COTC's Racial Loyalty. Writing under the pseudonym of "Revered Eric Hawthorne", George Burdi had this to say in March 1993: "Our confidence comes from the calculated certainty that history will repeat itself once again. As before, when the jew [sic] reeking (sic) havoc upon the host population and when his meddling and diabolical scheming became apparent to them the people rose up against him and cast him from their land. Each time the jew [sic] thought that he had victory seized, each time that he was certain that his reign would last forever, the white man arose in a frenzied rage!! Once again our eternal foe is playing with fire! Once again he is swaying too close to the abyss! Once again he is foolish enough to bellow arrogantly in the house of the sleeping giant! When the white race awakens, it will be with unprecedented fury and passion that he will strike hard at the throat of the hooked nose beast! This time we will not show mercy. "[emphasis in original]<'Racial Loyalty' article, "White Man This is Your Final Call," March 1993> While the COTC destroyed itself in late 1994 following the suicide of its leader Ben Klassen, George Burdi was not to be deterred in his struggle to create a white super human race. Turning to hate rock music, George Burdi and his friend and former COTC leader, Mark Wilson, put together the Detroit-based Resistance Records Inc. which includes a record label, a magazine 'Resistance,' (which Burdi edits) and an internet home page. To some extent Burdi has been successful in this endeavor. According to Burdi and others in the hate rock music scene the circulation of Resistance is estimated at approximately 19,000. And, according to both Wilson and Burdi, Resistance's 12 bands under their label have sold about 50,000 Cd's in their first 18 months of operation. In May, 1993, Burdi and RaHoWa played at and helped organize a hate rock concert designed to kick off a Heritage Front recruiting drive in Ottawa. That night, following the concert, Burdi led his followers into a near not on Parliament Hill and led himself into his most serious problems yet. Burdi was arrested and charged with assault causing bodily harm for kicking a young woman (anti racist Alicia Reckzin) in the face with his steel toed boots during the bloody street-fighting that followed the RaHoWa concert. Burdi elected trial by jury. On April 10, 1995 after deliberating for about five hours, a seven men five women jury found Burdi guilty, much to his apparent surprise. One month later, putting aside the more lenient recommendations from both the crown and defense, Ottawa Judge Charles Doyle sentenced George Burdi to one year in prison, noting that "...other judges may have erred in law in lenient sentences for similar crimes" In regards to previous sentences (of 45 and 90 days) handed down to other skinheads who participated in the Ottawa riot, Judge Doyle added: "I would say those sentences were in error. I don't want to perpetuate such an error in an attack which had racial overtones." In prison for one month and released on bail pending appeal, George Burdi's public activities have since taken a sharp decline. Nonetheless it has not stopped his budding hate rock producing career. Most recently, George Burdi has moved to Windsor so he can be closer to Resistance Records operations. Concerts promoted by Resistance have been held in several American venues and several times in London, Ont. and just outside of Metro Toronto. Although Burdi is keeping a lower profile these days, everything about this ambitious and egotistical young hatemonger suggests that once his legal problems are behind him, he will reclaim his public leadership role within the white racist movement.
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