Shock Mom and Dad: Become a Neo-Nazi

Germany's extremist, right-wing subculture attracts rebellious teens

| June 9, 2005


Neo-Nazism is on the rise among German youth. In its most recent annual report, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution noted a more than 25 percent increase in right-wing extremist groups. Affiliated teens want foreigners out of their country and are embracing a patriotism that makes their parents nervous.

Some view this as the latest and greatest act of rebellion teens can make to shock their parents. But many of these kids explain that they feel threatened by immigrants and are frequently intimidated and attacked by them. Close to 1.6 million Russian-born Germans immigrated to Germany from the former Soviet Union between 1993 and 2004. Many of them preferred to invent their own set of laws and speak their own language rather than adhere to German laws and standards, Der Spiegel reports. The problem has been easily exploited by nationalist groups, and an 'us-against-them' mentality that extends to Turkish and Albanian immigrants is spreading.

Hitler references, xenophobic heavy metal concerts, symbolic clothing, flamboyant patriotism, and occasional violent acts are the preferred tools of resistance against feared and disliked foreigners. The teenagers who have banded together are not the shadowy, trench-coat donning, broken-home living, mal-adjusted, pubescent types that may come to mind. Many come from safe homes, have left-leaning parents, and are viewed by their peers as having hip style and politics. (Thanks, Arts & Letters Daily)
-- Marca Bradt

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