The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Skinhead International: Germany

Anti-Jewish Crime

Most of the bigoted violence has been directed against foreigners, especially Turks, but Jews have increasingly become a favorite target. The number of criminal offenses motivated by proven or suspected anti-Semitism in 1994 was 881, an increase of 34 percent over the previous year's figures. Sixty-one of these were acts of violence. (In a separate tally, the German office on crime (BKA) estimated that there were 934 anti-Jewish incidents - 64 of them violent - during 1994.) Although there were 11 fewer anti-Jewish acts of violence in 1994 than in 1993, the total number of criminal acts against Jews in Germany has risen steadily over the past five years, from 208 in 1990 to 656 in 1993 and 881 in 1994. And the perpetrators tend to be young: Fifty-six percent of those suspected of committing violent acts of an extreme-right nature (including attacks against Jews, foreigners and political opponents) were under the age of 21.

The Skinhead lifestyle tends to revolve around gang activities. Criminal citations and jail terms are considered by many to be badges of honor and proofs of courage. Drunken sprees of random violence are routine. "Party until you drop" is the Skinhead jargon for the nightly drinking bouts which often end in the street as the Skins rove in packs looking for victims. "We stand totally drunk in our filth" runs the opening line of a popular Skinhead song by the Band Boehse Onkelz (Evil Uncles). [2] The song celebrates the numbed state of the participants who, even when arrested, continue their "manly" carousing in their cells.

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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