A quick guide to a group of men described as neo-Nazis, uncovered by an Age, Herald and 60 Minutes investigation. What do they believe and what do they want?
An eight-month undercover investigation by The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and 60 Minutes has revealed a group of radical, right-wing men plotting social collapse and a racist new order from a house in suburban Melbourne.
They have adopted the trappings of Nazism: celebrating the birthday of Adolf Hitler, reading his book Mein Kampf and performing the Nazi salute. They are described as neo-Nazis.
But who are they, what do they believe and what do they want to achieve?
What is a neo-Nazi?
Neo-Nazi literally means “new-Nazi” or “revived Nazi” and it refers to people who have adopted ideologies similar to those first identified with the Nazi Party, which ruled Germany under Hitler between 1933 and 1945. “Nazi” is a contraction of the German words meaning “National Socialism”.
What do they believe?
Nazis and neo-Nazis such as those in Australia’s National Socialist Network base their ideology on the notion of the racial superiority of white people (in the case of Germany’s Nazi Party the “Aryan” or white Nordic race) over all other races. The Nazis graded races in order of their alleged superiority, with black people and Jews at the bottom of the hierarchy. Homosexuals, Gypsies and others were also condemned.
In Germany in the 1930s, this obsession with “blood” and its purity led to an attempt to build and maintain a racially pure Europe. From that grew the Holocaust – an attempt to wipe Jewish, Gypsy and homosexual “blood” out of the parts of Europe controlled by the Nazis. Six million people died in this attempt.
Neo-Nazis hold a similar set of beliefs. One of the Nazi slogans was “blood and soil”. The neo-Nazis identified in the investigation are heard chanting the similar “blood and honour”.
On a whiteboard at their self-described “Racism HQ”, one of the aims was to “breed out the Jewish race”. They also chant Ku Klux Klan slogans, after the racist American organisation responsible for lynchings and killings of African Americans.
What do they want to achieve?
The National Socialist Network wants to see the end of society as we know it and the building of a new one based on principles of racial purity, where each race stays in their assigned nation (Australia being assigned to white people). Immigrants, in this mindset, are considered “invaders”.
This group of neo-Nazis are described as “accelerationists” – people who believe this collapse can be sped up by acts of violence and chaos. They have used other world events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the “stealing” of the 2020 US presidential election and the riots at the US Capitol to recruit people, and as markers pointing to the coming revolution in global affairs.
The National Socialist Network has sought to raise funds to buy country property in Victoria or South Australia as a place from which to base its training and prepare for the coming collapse.
Why ‘socialism’? I thought they were far-right, not far-left.
Even though “socialism” is contained in the name of both the Nazi Party and the Australian National Socialist Network, they are not really pursuing “socialism” as it’s normally understood as a left-wing philosophy. Adolf Hitler joined the “National Socialist German Workers’ Party” shortly after it was formed, kept the name, then set about taking over its structure and its paramilitary, and imposing his racial theories on it. The Australian neo-Nazis have just followed the naming convention.
What is their appeal?
Unfortunately, for some, ideas of racial superiority and the inherent danger of people who they perceive as different are difficult to dislodge, even in an affluent, successfully multicultural country such as Australia.
In corners of the internet, at football grounds, pubs and private gatherings, and at the National Socialist Network’s Racism HQ, racist ideas still have the power to motivate people.
As Nick McKenzie and Joel Tozer wrote in their investigation into Australia’s neo-Nazi groups: “Among them are men, young and old, angry at being left behind by economic and social forces beyond their control. The National Socialist Network urges them to channel their anger against Jews, liberal multicultural democracy, black people, migrants, Muslims. And it offers the promise of a coming race war to restore their lost status and superiority.”
Are they dangerous?
Yes. As ASIO chief Mike Burgess said in an interview, the ideology could fuel a terror attack, most likely by a “lone wolf” attacker inspired by their views and hatreds.
“While we might conclude these groups in these online forums are just talking a good game, it could unfortunately spur someone on who is on the fringe of that group,” he said.
Brenton Tarrant, the Australian who committed the mosque murders in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019 was motivated by accelerationism, and had been active in neo-Nazi forums online. He had been approached to join precursor groups to the National Socialist Network and was described by its leader as “saint Tarrant”. The leader likened him to the late Nelson Mandela – a man imprisoned for his political beliefs – and said he would stay in prison until the neo-Nazis could bring about the revolution.
In addition, the National Socialist Network has links to overseas violent radical right-wing terror organisations including The Base and Combat 18, both banned in other countries as terror organisations, and the Proud Boys, whose violent members featured in a number of pro-Donald Trump rallies including the storming of the Capitol building in January.
Most Viewed in National
From our partners
Source: Read Full Article