The making and unmaking of a Neo-Nazi

Fuhrer-Ex: Memoirs of a former Neo-Nazi
By Ingo Hasselbach with Tom Reiss
Random House, 388 pages, $24

Some would relegate neo-Nazis to a loathsome, but relatively small and ineffectualfar-right fringe group. They might urge: worry about the real terrorist groups such as the Irish Republican Army (IRA) [Irish ROMAN Army? - Wol.] or the Islamic fundamentalist Hamas who continue to wreak deadly havoc around the world.
Overlooked is the fact that German neo-Nazis have menaced and killed refugeeson their soil, and the intriguing possibility of a neo-Nazi link in the devastating 1995 Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing. Defendant Timothy McVeigh's lawyer has traveled to London to investigate whether British neo-Nazis contributed bomb components. [The Jewish Review. March 15, 1996]
Even if no such international conspiracy is uncovered in this case, it is known that much German neo-Nazi support-in the form of hate and Holo- caust denial propaganda and explosives manuals (some of U.S. military issue) -- is forthcoming from U.S. white power groups. The author cites NEBRASKA as the WORLD HEADQUARTERS of the successor of the original German Socialist German Workers (aka: NAZI) Party (Could there be any connection between this fact and the reported encounters with "German speaking" aerial disk pilots in NEBRASKA, which have been documented by at least two witnesses? - Wol). Ironically, the German post-Reich ban on such materials in conjunction with American First Amendment free speech provisions foster this situation. A more subtle reason for concern over the ascendancy of such extremist groups is the current highest postwar unemployment rate in Germany. [The Oregonian. March 10, 1996]
The famous Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal is more cognizant than most of this genuine ongoing threat, and has praised this courageous first-ever insider account of the international neo-Nazi network. Known as the " Führerof the East," Ingo Hasselbach came of age as a rebel against the East German Communist state (represented by his Communist journalist father who he did not know as his real father until adolescence). While being watched since age 14 by the Stasi (GDR secret police) as a "potential disturber of the socialist peace...," he courted every protest group regardless of politics: hippies, punks, skinheads. Getting a prison education from a former Gestapo officer about the alleged Jewish conspiracy against the Fatherland, he "graduated" to form the German Democratic Republic's first neo-Nazi party in 1988 and served for five years as the leader of the movement's recruiting and violent activities.
While not excusing Hasselbach's behavior, his fractured family background in a totalitarian state surely served as fertile ground for a career as a sub- versive. Early memories humanize what might have been a mere diatribe against his former peers: e.g., his grandmother telling him, ironically,of being taken to a concentration camp for looking Jewish and then being released (one of many ironies in the book); and being impressed by the rebelliousness, rather than the ideology, of a school classmate who gave the Nazi salute to an authoritarian teacher.
Hasselbach now lives in fear of his life from former Kamrades, for his public dialog devoted to dissuading German youth from his fanatical path. How then did his re-education and renunciation in 1993 evolve? His conscience was finally penetrated by the fatal 1992 firebombing of a Turkish family, though he claims that his group was not responsible for that incident; the final severing resulted from the attempted bombing of his mother's Berlin apartment in response to the earliest inkling of his turncoat leanings. Coinci- dentally in the U.S. for the first time just two days prior to the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing, he described in non-excusing words his reaction to such horrific events: "Morally, I was a bomb-thrower and just as responsible as anyone who planted a fuse or drove a truck with explosives. ""The first step for me in rejoining the civilized world was in realizing that." "And the first step in fighting them was to tell the story of what made me one of them, of how I pulled others in, and of how a sewer of the Third Reich waste water flows beneath the clean streets of modern Germany."
Hasselbach provides chilling insight into the psychology of hatred and alien- ation:"...I had walked as if sealed inside an ideological space suit, treat- ing my enemies as if they were deadly viruses. The suit kept the virus from infecting me and killing the hate. To take the suit off and approach my enemy, without my ideology on, was to risk discovering him as a person."
Perhaps even more important than insights into the neo-Nazi psyche and organization, this book confronts us with the dilemma of how to inoculate against such inhumane ideas and actions in a democratic society.
Reviewed by Sala Horowitz, Ph.D.
Sala Horowitz, Ph.D., is a Portland, Oregon writer/researcher with extensive experience in health, education and the social sciences.

* * * * * * * ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The BIRCH BARK BBS / 414-242-5070 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ * The Future of Freedom Foundation * Aug/94 * The Nazi Mind-set in America: Part I ======================================= by Jacob G. Hornberger Before the end of World War II, in 1944, Friedrich A. Hayek, who was later to win the Nobel memorial prize in economic science, startled the Western world with a book entitled The Road to Serfdom. Hayek argued that despite the war against Nazi Germany, the eco- nomic philosophy of the Nazis and communists was becoming the guiding light for American and British policymakers. In his forward to the 1972 edition of the book, Hayek wrote: But after war broke out I felt that this widespread misunderstanding of the political systems of our enemies, and soon also of our new ally, Russia, constituted a serious danger which had to be met by a more systematic effort. Also, it was already fairly obvious that England herself was likely to experiment after the war with the same kind of policies which I was convinced had contributed so much to destroy liberty elsewhere. . . . Opinion moves fast in the United States, and even now it is difficult to remember how comparatively short a time it was before 'The Road to Serfdom' appeared that the most extreme kind of economic planning had been seriously advocated and the model of Russia held up for imitation by men who were soon to play an impor- tant role in public affairs. . . . Be it enough to mention that in 1934 the newly established National Planning Board devoted a good deal of attention to the example of planning provided by these four countries: Germany, Italy, Russia, and Japan. As the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II approaches, Americans must ask themselves a troubling question: Did Hayek's concerns become reality, have Americans, in fact, traveled the road to serfdom the past fifty years? Or, put another way, did the Nazis lose the military battles but win the war for the hearts and minds of the American people? (or rather, one might suggest, the hearts and minds of the political and economic leaders? Wol.)... And if there is any doubt whether the Nazi economic philosophy did, in fact, win the hearts and minds of the American people, consider the following description of the Nazi economic system by Leonard Peikoff in his book The Ominous Parallels: Contrary to the Marxists, the Nazis did not advocate public owner- ship of the means of production. They did demand that the government oversee and run the nation's economy. The issue of legal ownership, they explained, is secondary; what counts is the issue of control. Private citizens, therefore, may continue to hold titles to property, so long as the state reserves to itself the unqualified right to REGULATE the use of their property... The truth is that Hayek's warning was ignored. Having defeated the Nazis in battle, Americans became ardent supporters and advocates of Nazi economic policies. Why? Part of the answer lies in another feature that was central to the Nazi way of life: public schooling. "Oh, no! You have gone too far this time," the average American will exclaim. "Public schooling is a distinctively American institution, as American as apple pie and free enterprise." The truth? As Sheldon Richman documents so well in his new book, Separating School & State, 20th-century Americans adopted the idea of a state-schooling system in the latter part of the 19th century from, you guessed it, Prussia! (or Germany, as it was previously known. Wol.) And as Mr. Richman points out, public schooling has proven as successful in the United States as it did in Germany. Why? Because it has succeeded in its goal of producing a nation of "good, little citizens", people who pay their taxes on time, follow the rules, obey orders, condemn and turn in the rule-breakers, and see themselves as essential cogs in the national wheel. Consider the words of Richard Ebeling, in his introduction to Separating School & State: In the hands of the state, compulsory public education becomes a tool for political control and manipulation, a prime instrument for the thought police of the society. And precisely because every child passes through the same indoctrination process, learning the same ''official history," the same "civic virtues," the same lessons of obedience and loyalty to the state, it becomes extremely difficult for the independent soul to free himself from the straightjacket of the ideology and values the political authorities wish to imprint upon the population under its jurisdiction. For the communists, it was the class struggle and obedience to the Party and Comrade Stalin; for the fascists, it was worship of the nation-state and obedience to the Duce; for the Nazis, it was race purity and obedience to the Fuhrer. The content has varied, but the form has remained the same. Through the institution of compulsory state education, the child is to be molded like wax into the shape desired by the state and its educational elite. We should not believe that because ours is a freer, more democratic society, the same imprinting procedure has not occurred even here, in America. Every generation of school-age children has imprinted upon it a 'politically correct' ideology concerning America's past and the sanctity of the role of the state in society. Practically every child in the public school system learns that the "robber barons" of the 19th century exploited the common working man; that unregulated capitalism needed to be harnessed by enlightened government regulation beginning in the Progressive era at the turn-of-the-century; that wild Wall Street speculation was a primary cause of the Great Depression; that only Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal saved America from catastrophe; and that American intervention in foreign wars has been necessary and inevitable, with the United States government required to be a global leader and an occasional world policeman. This brings us to the heart of the problem, the core of the Nazi mind-set: that the interests of the individual must be subordinated to the interests of the nation. This is the principle that controls the minds of the American people, just as it controlled the minds of the German people sixty years ago. Each person is viewed like a bee in a hive; his primary role in life is to serve the hive and the ruler of the hive, and to be sacrificed when the hive and its ruler consider it necessary. This is why Americans of our time, unlike their ancestors, favor such things as income taxation, Social Security, socialized medicine, and drug laws; they believe, as did Germans in the 1930s, that their bodies, lives, income, and property, in the final analysis, are subordinate to the interests of the nation. As you read the following words of Adolf Hitler, ask yourself which American politician, which American bureaucrat, which American schoolteacher, which American citizen would disagree with the principles to which Hitler subscribed: "It is thus necessary that the individual should finally come to realize that his own ego is of no importance in comparison with the existence of his nation; that the position of the individual ego is conditioned solely by the interests of the nation as a whole; that pride and conceitedness, the feeling that the individual . . . is superior, so far from being merely laughable, involve great dangers for the existence of the community that is a nation; that above all the unity of a nation's spirit and will are worth far more than the freedom of the spirit and will of an individual; and that the higher interests involved in the life of the whole must here set the limits and lay down the duties of the interests of the individual. (I think what Adolph Hitler was actually saying on behalf of himself and the Nazi elite who ruled World War II Germany was: "You're job is to serve your masters, and give up your individuality for the sake of the interests and egos of your leaders, no matter what sacrifice that might require." Wol.) Even though the average American [is conditioned to] enthusiastically support the Nazi economic philosophy, he recoils at having his beliefs labeled as "Nazi." Why? Because, he argues, the Nazi government, unlike the U.S. government, killed six million people in concentration camps, and this mass murder of millions of people, rather than eco- nomic philosophy, captures the true essence of the Nazi label. What Americans fail (or refuse) to recognize is that the concentration camps were simply the logical extension of the Nazi mind-set! It does not matter whether there were six million killed, or six hundred, or six, or even one. The evil, the terrible, black evil, is the belief that a govern- ment should have the power to sacrifice even one individual for the good of the nation. Once this basic philosophical premise and political power are conceded, innocent people, beginning with a few and inevitably ending in multitudes, will be killed, because "the good of the nation" always ends up requiring it. Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. ************************************************************************** * The Future of Freedom Foundation * 11350 Random Hills Road, Suite 800 Fairfax, VA 22030 Tel. (703) 934-6101 Fax: (703) 803-1480 Dear Friend of Freedom: We invite you to subscribe to our monthly publication, Freedom Daily ($15 per year; $20 foreign), and to become a financial supporter of The Future of Freedom Foundation. Our mission is to present an uncompromising moral, philosophical, and economic case for the libertarian philosophy. In the five years we have been publishing our essays, no one has ever found any compromise of libertarian principles. Whatever the issue the welfare state; the regulated economy; gun control; the CIA; Waco; Randy Weaver; health care; public schooling; the drug war; the Persian Gulf War; trade restrictions; immigra- tion controls; civil liberties; Social Security we hit hard and we do not pull our punches. We have never advocated "reform." When it comes to advancing liberty, we always talk in terms of abolishing, ending, eliminating, and repealing. We hope you will subscribe to Freedom Daily and become a financial contributor to The Future of Freedom Foundation. And we believe that you would find our books and tapes highly rewarding. We are certain that you will not find another foundation that applies libertarian principles in such a consistent, uncompromising, and hard-hitting way. Yours for liberty, Jacob G. Hornberger Founder and President The Future of Freedom Foundation [end]