germany Skinhead International: Germany

The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Skinhead International: Germany


The zine situation - like the Skin scene in general - is somewhat in flux, a consequence of a crackdown on 12 of them in six states in July 1993. Among staffers taken into custody were Markus Dierchen of Proiszens Gloria, Berlin; Carsten Szczepanski of United Skins, Brandenburg; Andre Sacher and Angelika Teppich of Angriff Uslar, Lower Saxony; Silvia Berish of Midgard, Lower Saxony; Harals Mehr of Donner Verstand, North Rhine-Westphalia; Ilias Zaprasis of Anhalt Attacke, Saxony-Anhalt; and Marco Callies of Schlagstock, Schleswig-Holstein.

Ironically, one of the strongest influences on the German Skinhead scene is the American racist movement. English phrases like "White Power" and "White Aryan Resistance" (WAR) are a part of the German Skins' vocabulary. The Confederate flag and Ku Klux Klan imagery are also popular, although attempts to organize the Klan in Germany have met with a feeble response. The most influential American source of hate literature is Gary Lauck's Nebraska-based NSDAP-AO (National Socialist German Workers Party - Overseas Organization). Particularly popular among Skinheads are his swastika stickers with racist anti-foreigner slogans. British bands and zines are also influential among the German skins.

Revisionist pamphlets denouncing the Holocaust as a fraud are eagerly read by Skinheads. Two such tracts are "The Leuchter Report," distributed by Ernst Zuendel from Canada, and "The Auschwitz Myth," by Wilhelm Staeglich, which claims the Nazi death camps were a Zionist invention.

Anti-Semitism is a staple item in Skinhead circles, with attacks mainly centered on Jewish cemetaries and memorial sites. There has also been an increase in assaults on synagogues. On September 21, 1992, three Skinheads and a known neo-Nazi, Thomas Dienel, carried two halves of a pig's head into the synagogue in Erfurt, along with a death-threatening letter. (Dienel, head of the 600-member German National Party (DNP), was arrested and sentenced to two years and eight months imprisonment.) In March 1994 and May 1995, the aforementioned arsons of a synagogue in Luebeck took place.

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.

Disclaimer: not all skinheads are neo-nazis or white supremacists. There are many skinheads who are non- or anti-racist, and who come from a variety of different religious and cultural backgrounds. Nizkor recognizes their achievements in anti-racism: they are part of the traditional, non-racist skinhead subculture and are not the perpetrators of the hate crimes discussed here.

Unless otherwise specified, the word "skinhead" within these pages refers only to neo-Nazi and white supremacist skinheads, the perpetrators of hate crimes and participants in racist organizations. We cannot edit the body of the text above, because it was not written by Nizkor, and to change the wording would be fraudulent. Please keep in mind that not all skinheads are racist.

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