Nazi vs Neo-Nazi

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George L Gregory
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Nazi vs Neo-Nazi

Post by George L Gregory » 25 Feb 2021 02:58

What exactly is a Nazi? The vast majority of Germans in the 1920s who were either members or supporters of the Nazi Party did not support the extermination of millions of Jews and other people. The Germans who voted for Hitler did not vote for the Holocaust.

So, since the 1920s to the end of the Third Reich, what exactly did being a Nazi (National Socialist) mean? The Nazi ideology (National Socialism) was a mixture of all sorts of ideologies put together and there were different fractions of it e.g. Strasserism.

Also, attempting to combine nationalism and socialism happened before the Nazis.

What exactly is a Neo-Nazi? Is it someone who is a bonehead (definitely not a skinhead) who flies a Nazi swastika flag and hates different races? Or, is it someone who has studied Nazism and agrees with it besides the Holocaust? I’ve also noticed that modern-day Nazis ignore the fact that the Nazis were anti-Slavic and try to intertwine Nazism and white nationalism. Ironically, most modern-day Nazis are to be found in Russia.

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Re: Nazi vs Neo-Nazi

Post by Sid Guttridge » 25 Feb 2021 08:11

Hi GLG,

You post, "The vast majority of Germans in the 1920s who were either members or supporters of the Nazi Party did not support the extermination of millions of Jews and other people. The Germans who voted for Hitler did not vote for the Holocaust." While I think you are probably right, but given that it was never put to them, how do we know that for sure? One thing we do know for sure is that very few did anything to prevent it, mitigate it, or even signal their disapproval. Their silence was deafening.

You ask, "So, since the 1920s to the end of the Third Reich, what exactly did being a Nazi (National Socialist) mean?" It seems to have meant going along with whatever the senior hierarchy decided. I don't recall a mass of principled resignations from the Nazi Party on any issue at any stage.

You ask, "What exactly is a Neo-Nazi?" I would suggest that it is someone post-war who supports the tenets of Nazism, most notably racism, without the excuse of the original Nazi supporters that they couldn't have been expected to see what was coming. They either deny what Hitler and his regime actually did, are indifferent to what Hitler and his regime did, or, worse, approve of what Hitler and his regime did.

Cheers,

Sid.
Last edited by Sid Guttridge on 25 Feb 2021 11:06, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Nazi vs Neo-Nazi

Post by Martin_from_Valhalla » 25 Feb 2021 09:32

Anyone who disagrees with current policy of the state can be called neo-nazi in modern Russia. And everyone who expresses discontent with USSR, Soviet past is easily labelled as neo-nazi.

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Re: Nazi vs Neo-Nazi

Post by George L Gregory » 25 Feb 2021 12:05

Sid Guttridge wrote:
25 Feb 2021 08:11
Hi GLG,

You post, "The vast majority of Germans in the 1920s who were either members or supporters of the Nazi Party did not support the extermination of millions of Jews and other people. The Germans who voted for Hitler did not vote for the Holocaust." While I think you are probably right, but given that it was never put to them, how do we know that for sure? One thing we do know for sure is that very few did anything to prevent it, mitigate it, or even signal their disapproval. Their silence was deafening.
There isn’t any evidence that ordinary Germans knew about the extermination camps.

I remember watching a documentary in which a German said that once he heard rumours by people about the extermination of the Jews he wanted to report those people to the Gestapo!

Mind you, organisations like the Gestapo could never have functioned properly without the help of ordinary Germans. So-called crimes like race defilement (rassenschande) largely relied on the help of ordinary Germans reporting each other to Nazi organisations.
You ask, "So, since the 1920s to the end of the Third Reich, what exactly did being a Nazi (National Socialist) mean?" It seems to have meant going along with whatever the senior hierarchy decided. I don't recall a mass of principled resignations from the Nazi Party on any issue at any stage.
Well the appeal was due to the mixture of German nationalism (especially Völkisch ideas), the hatred of the Treaty of Versailles, etc. Anti-semitism was not a major factor for people voting for the Nazi Party.
You ask, "What exactly is a Neo-Nazi?" I would suggest that it is someone post-war who supports the tenets of Nazism, most notably racism, without the excuse of the original Nazi supporters that they couldn't have been expected to see what was coming. They either deny what Hitler and his regime actually did, are indifferent to what Hitler and his regime did, or, worse, approve of what Hitler and his regime did.

Cheers,

Sid.
But, modern-day Nazis don’t even seem to believe what Hitler did. Hitler was anti-Slavic and regarded the Slavs to be an inferior race and Nazi propaganda depicted the Slavs as subhumans. Modern-day Nazis like to claim Hitler was some sort of saviour of the white race and was pro-European.

I would argue that most boneheads (racist people who dress like skinheads) haven’t even read the basic ideas of Nazi ideology.

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Re: Nazi vs Neo-Nazi

Post by Sid Guttridge » 25 Feb 2021 12:20

Hi GLG,

You post, "There isn’t any evidence that ordinary Germans knew about the extermination camps." In the main that is true, in that particular specific. However, they had often witnessed at first hand things like Kristallnacht, which was no secret anywhere, and when their Jews started disappearing during the war there were rumours enough to know that something awful was happening to them in the east, even if they didn't know about the specifics of the extermination camps. (The lack of specifics is also given by the Vatican as one reason it didn't publicly call out the Nazis about the mass murder of Jews when the first information reached it in 1941/42.)

You post, "Anti-semitism was not a major factor for people voting for the Nazi Party." Possibly not, but it was integral to Nazism, so in buying into Nazism they were buying into anti-Semitism.

You post, "I would argue that most boneheads (racist people who dress like skinheads) haven’t even read the basic ideas of Nazi ideology." I would agree, but they don't have to in order to support some of its tenets and practices, such as racism and thuggery.

Cheers,

Sid

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wm
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Re: Nazi vs Neo-Nazi

Post by wm » 25 Feb 2021 14:16

Germans Jews were deported to ghettos in occupied Poland first so nobody suspected anything.
Even more, usually, people didn't know enough Jews to generalize as to their fate. In Germany, it was a Jew per 1000 or something like that.
at least nine-tenths of the population do not know that we have killed hundreds of thousands of Jews [...]
We have been informed that in Upper-Silesia a big KZ [concentration camp] is being built which is expected to be able to accommodate 40 to 50,000 men, of whom 3 to 4000 are to be killed each month. But all this information comes to me, even to me, who is seeking facts of this nature, in a rather vague and indistinct and inexact form.
Helmuth James Graf von Moltke

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Re: Nazi vs Neo-Nazi

Post by George L Gregory » 25 Feb 2021 14:35

Sid Guttridge wrote:
25 Feb 2021 12:20
Hi GLG,

In the main that is true, in that particular specific. However, they had often witnessed at first hand things like Kristallnacht, which was no secret anywhere, and when their Jews started disappearing during the war there were rumours enough to know that something awful was happening to them in the east, even if they didn't know about the specifics of the extermination camps. (The lack of specifics is also given by the Vatican as one reason it didn't publicly call out the Nazis about the mass murder of Jews when the first information reached it in 1941/42.)
Although the responses of the Kristallnacht were varied, most Germans were appalled at the Kristallnacht and it was only supported by a small percentage of the German people.
The British historian Martin Gilbert believes that "many non-Jews resented the round-up", his opinion being supported by German witness Dr. Arthur Flehinger who recalls seeing "people crying while watching from behind their curtains". Rolf Dessauers recalls how a neighbor came forward and restored a portrait of Paul Ehrlich that had been "slashed to ribbons" by the Sturmabteilung. "He wanted it to be known that not all Germans supported Kristallnacht."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kristalln ... stallnacht

Etc.

It’s true that there were rumours about the extermination of the Jews and if we are to take the Table Talks as genuine then Adolf Hitler actually encouraged rumours. Rumours don’t prove anything though. What was really happening to the Jews was not known to most people Germans e.g. Heinrich Himmler spoke at Posen in 1943 and said that such matters were not to be “spoken of” to people.
Possibly not, but it was integral to Nazism, so in buying into Nazism they were buying into anti-Semitism.
Anti-Semitism did not gain the Nazis many votes and was totally absent in the late 1920s and early 1930s during the elections. Instead, the Nazis focused on ideas that they knew would appeal to Germans across the political spectrum.
I would agree, but they don't have to in order to support some of its tenets and practices, such as racism and thuggery.

Cheers,

Sid
Do you think there is any difference between people who are members of political parties who describe themselves as National Socialist and boneheads (I refuse to describe such people as ‘skinheads’ because they do not resemble the skinheads I knew back in the late 1960s and 1970s)?

Racism and thuggery aren’t exclusive to the Nazis. Both of those things were also prominent amongst Soviets who were supposed to be advocating for a communist society!

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wm
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Re: Nazi vs Neo-Nazi

Post by wm » 25 Feb 2021 15:06

Tim Mason in his "Social Policy in the Third Reich" writes that anti-Semitism was a matter of insignificance to the German working class.

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Re: Nazi vs Neo-Nazi

Post by Sid Guttridge » 25 Feb 2021 21:16

Hi GLG,

You post, "Although the responses of the Kristallnacht were varied, most Germans were appalled at the Kristallnacht....." Quite possibly, but how do we know this? "He wanted it to be known that not all Germans supported Kristallnacht", doesn't exactly convey this impression.

You post, ".....and it was only supported by a small percentage of the German people." Yup, but likewise a large percentage of the German people did nothing to discourage or oppose it, either.

You post, "Rumours don’t prove anything though." No. But they show what was in peoples' minds. Besides, the forced removal of all Jews from their midst was not a rumour. It was a fact requiring explanation. The rumours filled that void quite accurately, it would appear.

You post, "What was really happening to the Jews was not known to most people Germans." Again, how do we know that? It was certainly known to some Germans and suspected by many others who the rumours reached.

You post, "Anti-Semitism did not gain the Nazis many votes and was totally absent in the late 1920s and early 1930s during the elections. Instead, the Nazis focused on ideas that they knew would appeal to Germans across the political spectrum." True. And yet anti-Semitism was still near the core of Nazi ideology throughout. It starts in the very first chapter of Mein Kampf. If you voted for the Nazis you were also always voting for anti-Semitism as well.

You post, "Do you think there is any difference between people who are members of political parties who describe themselves as National Socialist and boneheads?" I don't understand the question.

You post, "Racism and thuggery aren’t exclusive to the Nazis." That is classic Whataboutism. I wouldn't claim that they were. But they were both central features of Nazism.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Nazi vs Neo-Nazi

Post by Sid Guttridge » 25 Feb 2021 21:51

Hi wm,

You post, "In Germany, it was a Jew per 1000 or something like that." Nope, you are out by an entire order of magnitude. In Germany in 1933 there were some 500,000 Jews in a population of 65,000,000. That means there was roughly one Jew per 130 of the population.

You quote Helmuth James Graf von Moltke as saying, "at least nine-tenths of the population do not know that we have killed hundreds of thousands of Jews". What you do not do is give the date he said it - 25 March, 1943. Nor do you mention that the up to one tenth of the population in the know could equal some 8 million people! (Incidentally, Moltke first learnt of it almost exactly a year earlier - 20 March 1942, just as Auschwitz was starting operations.)

It would appear that this was just the start of the rumours, because Hans Frank claimed to have said the following to Hitler on 7 February 1944; ".....rumours about the extermination of the Jews will not be silenced. They are heard everywhere."

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Nazi vs Neo-Nazi

Post by George L Gregory » 26 Feb 2021 14:55

Sid Guttridge wrote:
25 Feb 2021 21:16
Hi GLG,

Quite possibly, but how do we know this? "He wanted it to be known that not all Germans supported Kristallnacht", doesn't exactly convey this impression.
There's no evidence that most Germans supported it. Most Germans were outraged.
Yup, but likewise a large percentage of the German people did nothing to discourage or oppose it, either.
Well..
In 1938, just after Kristallnacht, the psychologist Michael Müller-Claudius interviewed 41 randomly selected Nazi Party members on their attitudes towards racial persecution. Of the interviewed party-members 63% expressed extreme indignation against it, while only 5% expressed approval of racial persecution, the rest being noncommittal. A study conducted in 1933 had then shown that 33% of Nazi Party members held no racial prejudice while 13% supported persecution. Sarah Ann Gordon sees two possible reasons for this difference. First, by 1938 large numbers of Germans had joined the Nazi Party for pragmatic reasons rather than ideology thus diluting the percentage of rabid antisemites; second, the Kristallnacht could have caused party members to reject antisemitism that had been acceptable to them in abstract terms but which they could not support when they saw it concretely enacted. During the events of Kristallnacht, several Gauleiter and deputy Gauleiters had refused orders to enact the Kristallnacht, and many leaders of the SA and of the Hitler Youth also openly refused party orders, while expressing disgust. Some Nazis helped Jews during the Kristallnacht.

After 1945 some synagogues were restored. This one in Berlin features a plaque, reading "Never forget", a common expression around Berlin
As it was aware that the German public did not support the Kristallnacht, the propaganda ministry directed the German press to portray opponents of racial persecution as disloyal. The press was also under orders to downplay the Kristallnacht, describing general events at the local level only, with prohibition against depictions of individual events. In 1939 this was extended to a prohibition on reporting any anti-Jewish measures.
Kristallnacht was over in two days (one night), what could ordinary Germans have done in that short of time to discourage or oppose it?

The fact it was carried out by such a small minority of people speaks volumes.
No. But they show what was in peoples' minds. Besides, the forced removal of all Jews from their midst was not a rumour. It was a fact requiring explanation. The rumours filled that void quite accurately, it would appear.
Removal of Jews =/= Extermination of Jews

Most Germans remained indifferent to what was happening to the Jews for various reasons. But, there is no evidence that most Germans between 1933-45 supported the actual extermination of Jews.
Again, how do we know that? It was certainly known to some Germans and suspected by many others who the rumours reached.
Because no evidence has ever been shown to prove that the majority of Germans knew about the extermination of the Jews.
True. And yet anti-Semitism was still near the core of Nazi ideology throughout. It starts in the very first chapter of Mein Kampf. If you voted for the Nazis you were also always voting for anti-Semitism as well.
Do you think every person who voted for the Nazis had bothered to read Mein Kampf? :lol: The popularity of the book soared once the Nazis had come to power, not the other way around.

Many Germans voted for the Nazis because they wanted a change from the failed Weimar Republic. Although anti-semitism was indeed a core idea of Nazi ideology, it was absent during the time when the Nazis were trying to gain power because they knew it wouldn't have been approved of by most Germans.

Even some Jews attended Nazi rallies when Hitler was giving a speech!
I don't understand the question.
A bonehead vs George Lincoln Rockwell or Colin Jordan.

Both types of people are considered neo-Nazis in the media.

Do you think there is any difference?
That is classic Whataboutism. I wouldn't claim that they were. But they were both central features of Nazism.

Cheers,

Sid.
No, it really is not. Someone who behaves like a thug and holds racist views is not necessarily a Nazi.

Not all members of the Nazi Party were thugs. Not all members supported the killing of people. Not all members were anti-semitic. Etc.

I still laugh at the fact that the majority of modern-day Nazis (Russians, etc) were considered to subhumans by the Nazis.

At least Ernst Zundel was decent enough to admit that Nazism was a "product of its time" and although he greatly admired Hitler, he thought of neo-Nazis to be jokers and said repeatedly that they were wasting their time. Now all of that coming from a Holocaust denial really does speak volumes!

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Re: Nazi vs Neo-Nazi

Post by George L Gregory » 26 Feb 2021 15:07

Sid Guttridge wrote:
25 Feb 2021 21:51
It would appear that this was just the start of the rumours, because Hans Frank claimed to have said the following to Hitler on 7 February 1944; ".....rumours about the extermination of the Jews will not be silenced. They are heard everywhere."

Cheers,

Sid.
You failed to continue quoting Hans Frank:
They are heard everywhere. No one is allowed in anywhere. Once I paid a surprise visit to Auschwitz in order to see the camp, but I was told that there was an epidemic in the camp and my car was diverted before I got there. Tell me, My Fuehrer, is there anything in it?" The Fuehrer said, "You can very well imagine that there are executions going on-of insurgents. Apart from that I do not know anything. Why don't you speak to Heinrich Himmler about it?" And I said. "Well, Himmler made a speech to us in Krakow and declared in front of all the people whom I had officially called to the meeting that these rumors about the systematic extermination of the Jews were false; the Jews were merely being brought to the East." Thereupon the Fuehrer said, "Then you must believe that."
Rumours =/= Facts

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Re: Nazi vs Neo-Nazi

Post by George L Gregory » 26 Feb 2021 17:19

I totally disagree that a vote for the Nazi Party was a vote for anti-semitism. Although anti-semitism was a core point of Nazi ideology and was what caused the Holocaust to happen, the Germans who voted for or were members of the Nazi Party in the 1920s and early 1930s were by and large not concerned about the hatred of the Jews. Even police reports during the Third Reich show that very few Germans were concerned about the Jewish Question. Anti-semitism was not why Hitler came to power. Anti-semitism was not why most people voted for the Nazis.
The regime's anti-Semitism was a relatively insignificant issue with the wider German public in 1933, but was increasingly deployed in a targeted fashion by the regime in order to manipulate opinion. A boycott of Jewish businesses instigated in the summer of 1935 was, as Kershaw shows, a way of overcoming social unrest among the urban Mittelstand. Lawless attacks on Jews by party members were prompted and manipulated by the Gauleiters and local party leaders. Ever mindful of public opinion (both international and domestic), the party leadership was prompted by such actions to intervene in order to regulate the behaviour of the rank and file, so that undisciplined violence of 1935 was followed by Hitler's announcement of the Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honour at the Nuremberg Party Congress in September of that year. It was a measure that both appeased the restless anti-Semitic foot soldiers of the party and, at the same time, reassured a public that was increasingly alarmed by the disorder. The anti-Semitic activity of 1935 was still sporadic and regionalised. The initiative had been taken by the Gauleiters, whose action was condoned by the leadership, until it had got out of hand. The pogrom of 9 November 1938, however, broke this pattern. It was organised from the centre by Goebbels, and it was nationwide. It was also the first time since the 'national revolution' that the leadership was prepared to involve itself directly in an outburst of open violence. The German public was shocked by the 'night of broken glass' (Kristallnacht), but more by the disorder and damage to property than by the overtly violent racism of the Nazis. For by then the Jews had been marginalised and impoverished - effectively depersonalised - by the various supplementary decrees to the Nuremberg Laws, and their exclusion from the public consciousness reinforced the indifference to their fate. Public opinion ceased to be an important factor shaping the regime's actions.
Ian Kershaw, Working Towards the Führer Essays in Honour of Sir Ian Kershaw, pages 3-4.
Analysis of the ideological motivation of a selection of 'Old Fighters' in joining the NSDAP suggests anti-Semitism was decisive only in a small minority of cases. And in his perspective study of the rise of Nazism in Northeim in Lower Saxony, where the NSDAP polled almost double the national average in 1932, W. S. Allen reached the conclusion that the Jews of the town were integrated on class lines before 1933 and that people 'were drawn to anti-Semitism because they were drawn to Nazism, not the other way round. Anti-Semitism cannot, it seems, be allocated a significant role in bringing Hitler to power, though, given the widespread acceptability of the Jewish Question as a political issue - exploited not only by the Nazis - nor did it do anything to hinder his rapidly growing popularity. However, the relative indifference of most Germans towards the Jewish Question before 1933 meant that the Nazis did have a job on their hands after the 'take-over of power' to persuade them of the need for active discrimination and persecution of the Jews.
Ian Kershaw, Hitler, the Germans, and the Final Solution, pages 155-156.

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Re: Nazi vs Neo-Nazi

Post by Hans1906 » 26 Feb 2021 19:55

There is no typical german face of an eternally outdated person who might be called a NeoNazi today.

The few radical people, I have met personally, they were always very unread, to put it mildly.
They knew, and they know absolutely nothing at all about German history, somewhere on the Internet nonsense is the source of these people.

Just a few years ago, a young man from Kazakhstan was in our group, in his early 20s.
The young man always smiled, after every single sentence, but understood nothing, nothing at all.
Long later conversations were good, it felt very good to be able to convey only some German "basics".

It was good, I call such a thing democracy.


Hans1906

* Leaving another person, alone, standing in the rain, no.
Es ist im Leben wichtig, viel zu wissen.
Manchmal ist es noch wichtiger, zu wissen, daß man nichts weiß.

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Re: Nazi vs Neo-Nazi

Post by Sheldrake » 26 Feb 2021 20:21

In November 1988 I served in the British Army in Germany. It is a German custom to decorate houses for fiftieth anniversaries, birthdays etc. But it was still a surprise to see so many shops in Herford decorated with gold ribbons on the 50th anniversary of the morning after Kristalnacht. Everyone must have known - there was no sense of shame or any mention in the local press. My immediate boss was a fluent German speaker and made an effort to talk to Germans of the wartime generation. He told me that in Osnabrúck everyone of that age knew who had broken the windows. It just wasn't talked about.

The British politician and historian Alan Clark made an admission to a military audience under Chatham house rules that he was really a national socialist rather than a conservative...

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