The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Skinhead International: Germany


Molotov Cocktails

September 17, 1991 - Skinheads armed with clubs, rocks and Molotov cocktails attacked a building in Hoyerswerda, an eastern city that housed about 150 foreigners, mostly from Vietnam and Mozambique. Hundreds of local residents gathered to cheer the Skinheads and resist attempts by police to quell the rampage. The assault and public demonstrations of support continued for days, ultimately ending on September 23, with the evacuation of the besieged housing unit.

August 22-28, 1992 - Rostock, in eastern Germany, was the scene of several nights of Skinhead violence against a hostel housing 200 asylum seekers (mainly Gypsies) and 150 Vietnamese guest workers. The hostel was partially destroyed by the 150 attacking Skinheads, who were openly encouraged by at least 500 cheering residents. Authorities evacuated the asylum seekers on August 24, and the guest workers fled as the building was being torched. Once again, violence rewarded the Skinheads with victory; the Interior Minister of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the state in which Rostock is located, was subsequently dismissed for having failed to immediately order the police to quell the riot.

November 13, 1992 - Two Skinheads in Wuppertal (in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia) kicked and burned to death a man they mistakenly thought was Jewish, after the owner of the bar in which the victim and perpetrators were drinking shouted, "Jew! You must go to Auschwitz. Auschwitz must reopen! Jews must burn!" The Skinheads kicked the victim until he lost consciousness, poured schnapps on him and set him on fire. He died of internal injuries while the Skinheads drove to the Netherlands in the victim's car, where they dumped the body. In February 1994, the two Skinheads and the bar owner were convicted of murder and given sentences of 14, 8 and 10 years, respectively.

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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