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Neo-Nazis and Skinheads of Germany: Purveyors of Hate (From Hate Crime: The Global Politics of Polarization, P 37-50, 1998, Robert J. Kelly and Jess Maghan, eds. -- See NCJ-179424)

NCJ Number
Robert Harnishmacher; Robert J. Kelly
Date Published
14 pages
This essay examines the neo-Nazis and Skinheads in the unified Germany.
The accelerated social transformation in the unified Germany has been accompanied by a relatively higher level of base unemployment because segments of the population (many from the former East Germany) are too old or too poorly trained for an adequate or robust reaction to the considerable pressures for technological and economic adaptation. Many East German youth are filled with contempt for their parents but look back on their grandparents -- the survivors of a prouder Germany under Hitler -- with nostalgia. The “asylum debate,” the status of immigrants and the Skinhead phenomenon are expressions of the dislocations and transformations occurring throughout Germany. The youth gangs that are pressing the old Nazi symbols back into service have succeeded to some degree in re-awakening a familiar syndrome of prejudices in the broader German population. Policies designed to stymie Skinheads and neo-Nazis are most effective when they coincide with larger shifts in the climate of public opinion away from support or tolerance of Skinhead causes and tactics. Notes