The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Skinhead International: Germany

A Real Threat

These positive trends notwithstanding, the extremist threat to German democracy has not gone away. Particularly disturbing are the rising numbers of anti-Semitic crimes, a trend which seems to indicate that Jews, as distinct from other "foreigners," are coming to be regarded by some German right-extremists as the "main enemy." Furthermore, segments of the neo-Nazi movement in Germany are believed to be accumulating weapons and going underground. Sources report that internal neo-Nazi discussions revolve around the idea of "armed resistance."

Finally, the earlier profile of the German Skinhead as poorly educated, unemployed, and the product of a broken home must, in the light of later research, be revised. Police statistics now reveal a different - and more disturbing - picture. An evaluation (1991-1993) of almost 500 militant right-wing extremists (particularly Skinheads) arrested for violent actions showed 33.6% pupils, students and apprentices; 28.7% skilled workers and craftsmen; 11.3% unskilled workers; 5.6% office workers; 7.9% soldiers - and only 11.3% unemployed. Thus, these violent extremists have been coming in substantial measure from the middle ranges of society, not just the "lumpen" fringe. (Anti-Defamation League, 34-44)

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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