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Right-wing extremism

Romano Sposito

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Romano Sposito has been a member of the editorial team at "www.mut-gegen-rechte-gewalt.de" since 2007. Born in 1977, he studied politics, sociology and modern history in Augsburg, Florence and Potsdam.

Like NPD & Co. try to lure young people

From right-wing rock to Nazi bards for cozy evenings around the midsummer campfire: In the right-wing extremist milieu, music is an essential link, attractant and an important source of income. The NPD has also discovered the power of music.

Commitment to music as a weapon: neo-Nazi T-shirt during a march in Arnstadt 2006. (& copy Holger Kulick)

District elections were held in Saxony-Anhalt on April 22, 2007; young people aged 16 and over were entitled to vote. To lure them, the NPD pursued a not entirely new, but effective strategy: the National Democrats wanted to win the sympathy of young voters through right-wing extremist music. In the run-up to the elections, a spokesman for the NPD regional association in Magdeburg announced that 10,000 "NPD schoolyard CDs" were allegedly distributed to schools and youth clubs. It is the party's concern that young people identify more and more with German music. The CD should also be a "first incentive" for the young people to go to the polling stations on election day.

Something similar happened in Saxony-Anhalt as early as the summer of 2004. At that time, the right-wing extremists announced that they would be distributing a six-digit number of free schoolyard CD with right-wing rock to schoolchildren in time for the end of the school year. The new thing about it: the amalgamation of 56 right-wing evictions, initiatives and organizations for "Aktion Schulhof" represented a new dimension of cooperation within the scene. The Halle public prosecutor had numerous CDs confiscated, but could not prevent most of the titles from being released available on the internet.

"Music is the ideal means to bring young people closer to National Socialism, better than this can be done in political events, it can convey ideology", Nazi rock pioneer Ian Stuart once explained in a television interview. Right-wing rock often offers the first contact with extreme right-wing ideology. In the context of right-wing extremist marches, it is often more important for many participants to attend a right-wing rock concert in a conspiratorial location or a party with a lot of music typical of the scene. Politics doesn't even have to be in the foreground.



Young people in particular are easily accessible if they already have a disposition for positions that result from their parents' upbringing, contact with friends, experiences at school or the image of society depicted in the media. In times of Hartz IV and new lower-class debates, right-wing masterminds are increasingly trying to make their ideology acceptable in the middle of society. Moderate demeanor, the trend towards camouflage and the use of symbols and codes that can no longer be clearly assigned make it often impossible for young people to identify right-wing extremists quickly. Once won for the cause, the message of the texts should consolidate the existing right-wing thought structures and expand them with set pieces of right-wing ideology by addressing the emotional level of the young people.

What is right skirt?

Right-wing rock refers primarily to the music of right-wing extremist skinhead bands. This term is mainly used in German-speaking countries, while White Power Music, White Noise or Rock Against Communism (RAC) are the common names in English-speaking countries. There is no uniform German right-wing rock scene. Rather, there are different actors with different interests who produce and disseminate different content. They also carry their political message in other styles of pop and rock music: rock, (Nazi) punk, dark wave, heavy metal, death metal, black metal, hardcore, hatecore, ballads / songwriters (e.g. Frank Rennicke), Folk music, neofolk and recently rap too.

Accordingly, the listeners are not a homogeneous group either. In the rarest of cases, consumers can definitely be assigned to a single subculture. And according to the extended phase of adolescence, there are more and more listeners over the age of 30. Under right-wing rock, any kind of music can be summarized, the message of which is more or less open, racist, nationalist, anti-Semitic or neo-Nazi.

Right-wing extremist music was excluded from the established music market from the start. No right-wing extremist band has a major label contract. Corresponding music is also not available in public stores. Business is particularly flourishing on the Internet. The scene's own music distribution has long existed, advertising is done in Internet forums, with word-of-mouth propaganda or at relevant neo-Nazi meetings such as concerts. Concert dates are often passed on via SMS and music videos are occasionally placed with providers such as YouTube. Two goals are in the foreground: the political indoctrination of young people and economic success.

The origins of white noise music

Right-wing rock developed from the music of the extreme right-wing skinheads. The alternative scene of the skins, however, was not always a predominantly rights-based youth culture. The skinhead movement emerged as working class culture in London in the late 1960s. The clothing style of the scene is still reminiscent of this origin today. Her music back then was reggae and ska. And although it was normal for whites and blacks to dance together at concerts, there were already racist tendencies, which were particularly directed against Pakistani immigrants. By the mid-1970s, however, the scene had disappeared again into insignificance. It was only with the advent of punk that skinhead culture experienced a revival.

Skins were still seen as violent young people who were critical of the system, but still remained connected to the fatherland. The National Front in England wanted to exploit precisely this potential. With nationalist and racist slogans, she tried to recruit young people on the street, in football stadiums and at concerts. Racially motivated attacks on migrants increased at this time. The image of the skinhead as a racist thug emerged.

However, there were still left skins. In their texts they championed above all socialist views. This differentiation is the reason for the confusion of the skinhead scene today: There are right-wing extremist, apolitical (so-called Oi! S) and left skinheads (SHARPS and Reds).

Lyrically, the origin of the skinhead scene in the classic "working class" and the "skinhead cult" can be traced very well in the song Stolz der "Böhsen Onkelz":

"One of many with a shaved head / You don't back off because you're not afraid / Shermans, braces, jeans and boots, Germany flag, because that's what you're proud of / People laugh at you because you're a worker, but I'm proud of that , I don't listen to the crap! / Refrain: You are skinhead, you are proud / You are skinhead, shout it out / You are skinhead, you are proud / You are skinhead, shout it out! "