The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

1995 Audit of
Anti-Semitic Incidents

The State of the Neo-Nazi Right

The organized hate movement in Canada continued to struggle under the weight of legal challenges and public pressure. The Heritage Front (HF), from 1990 to 1993 the most important neo-Nazi group in Canada, is still reeling from declining membership, lack of money, and the legal troubles of its leaders. In 1995, the group's founder, The Wolfgang Droege, served jail time for a 1993 assault. He was released in April, but remains on probation and subject to a lifetime weapons ban. In December, HF leader Max French and his ex-wife June were in court to appeal their convictions for violating a court order related to their operation of a telephone hate-line. Gerry Lincoln, the publisher of the HF newspaper Up Front, also faces charges for allegedly harassing anti-racists. Up Front did not publish an issue in the last several months of 1995 - a clear indication that the Heritage Front has fallen on hard times.

Attempts by the Nationalist Party of Canada (NPOC), a group with close ties to the The Heritage Front, to promote a European Heritage Week were unsuccessful for a second consecutive year. Last year's efforts, which included an ambitious letter-writing campaign to mayors across Canada, were foiled when Toronto's CITY TV broke the story in mid-1994. This year, the NPOC restricted its activities to placing posters throughout Toronto and in smaller towns in Southern Ontario. In Winnipeg, a similar effort by the National Action Party was equally unsuccessful.

The meteoric rise of George Burdi appears to be crashing in Canada. Burdi first came to prominence as the Canadian leader of the The Church of the Creator (COTC), a violent neo-Nazi group with connections also to the Identity Church movement based in the United States. As a young and eloquent speaker, he was a major asset for the recruiting efforts for the The Heritage Front, of which he was also a member. In addition, he was the leader of RaHoWa (an acronym for "Racial Holy War"), a Toronto-based racist rock group.

The band played at several neo-Nazi rallies, and released a cassette three years ago. Burdi was a major player in the Canadian racist right until the summer of 1993, when he was charged with assaulting an anti-racist demonstrator in Ottawa. Following his arrest, Burdi stopped making public appearances, and concentrated his efforts on running his racist music label, Resistance Records out of Detroit, and publishing his magazine, also called Resistance. In June 1995, Burdi was sentenced to a year in jail for the assault, and was paroled in September. However, his magazine has not appeared since his release, and it is reported that Burdi is no longer on good terms with many of his former allies. While Burdi will most likely try to make a comeback in 1996, his recent lack of success may be an indicator that George Burdi, the one-time wunderkind of the Canadian racist right, may no longer be a major player.

Despite the failures of these individuals, there are certain people involved with the racist right who are still active in this country. In December, Holocaust denier The Ernst Zundel found himself in court once again as a result of a criminal conspiracy charge. The preliminary hearing will be held early in 1996 to determine whether or not he goes to trial. However, Zundel is still actively distributing his hate, using both printed materials and a sophisticated link to the Worldwide Web (WWW).

In December 1995, The Paul Fromm held a public meeting of his The Citizens for Foreign Aid Reform (C-FAR) group in Toronto. Fromm, who has been a leader in the Canadian racist scene for more than 25 years, is a teacher in the Peel Board of Education, just west of Toronto. He has not been allowed to teach high school-aged students for several years as a result of a Ministry of Education inquiry into his well-publicized racist activities, including speaking at a The Heritage Front rally on the occasion of Hitler's birthday. Fromm's continuing role with C- FAR, including speaking engagements in the West, bears continued vigilance by anti-racist community groups.

In British Columbia, the enigmatic neo-Nazi, Charles Scott, is still actively recruiting followers for racist groups in Western Canada. Scott was responsible for the recruitment of CSIS agent, Luke Desilets, into the U.S.-based The Aryan Nations, and was named "Aryan of the Year" by that organization. However, Scott has reportedly left that organization to start his own group. He announced that he was moving to Ontario to get away from anti-racist protesters who were harassing him; but the move never took place. According to sources in B.C., Scott is traveling to small towns in the west to build a support network for his new organization. This is what is likely responsible for the increased reporting of anti- Semitic hate propaganda in the area.

Since the decline of the The Heritage Front started in 1993, it had been theorized that the Northern Hammerskins (NHS) would move to Toronto to replace them as a the predominant hate group. However, there has been no real indication that NHS has been active in Toronto. Nevertheless, they are quite involved in the hate scene in British Columbia, and several NHS members have gone to court in that province.

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