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The Remarkable Alliance Between Some German Neo-Nazis and Radical Muslims

April 18, 2012


April 16, 2012 - San Francisco, CA - - "If the Jews as servants of Satan continue to destroy the world they will be annihilated like the Indians and the negroes in Australia. Just like the extermination of the Indians would the extermination of the Jews be the act of God and not a crime as such."

Is this a quote from Adolf Hitler's notorious book Mein Kampf (My Struggle) or from his equally notorious Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels? No, it is not. This was said by a German neo-Nazi named Horst Mahler at his trial in Berlin in 2004. Mahler, a former Marxist terrorist, joined the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD) in 2000, but left the party three years later. He is one of the most outspoken neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers in Germany.

For some reason, the Iranian regime in Tehran very much likes Mahler and his ilk. They planned to invite him to address an "International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust" to be held in Tehran in 2006. "Review" here is just another term used by anti-Semites to refer to Holocaust denial. This highly controversial conference was addressed by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a fanatical Holocaust denier himself who likes to build bridges between radical Muslims (Islamists) and neo-Nazis. But the German authorities successfully prevented Mahler from traveling to Tehran in 2006 by temporarily confiscating his passport. A very wise decision indeed.

On December 25, 2005, the Internet version of the Tehran Times quoted Mahler as follows: "Ahmadinejad has been very helpful. The Holocaust never happened. It is the biggest lie in history."

In the summer of 2006, the German neo-Nazi monthly Nation & Europa, hailed Ahmadinejad as "a moral authority" and "a defender of the Germans against guilt servitude." The same issue showed a front page color picture of a smiling Ahmadinejad, and below that picture the following text was printed: "Thank you, Mr. President" ("Danke, Herr Präsident"). Nation & Europa often echoes NPD views. In May 2006, the NPD's federal board wished Ahmadinejad "much success in his defense of his country's sovereignty."

The 9/11 attacks on America

Many neo-Nazis initially applauded Al-Qaeda's 9/11 attacks on the United States in 2001. Mahler and his "German College" ("Deutsches Kolleg"), for example, issued a statement on September 12, 2001, saying, inter alia: "The air raids on Washington and New York on September 11 mark the end of the American century, the end of global capitalism and therefore the end of the worldly Jahwe cult, of mammonism." "The military attacks on the symbols of mammonist world domination (…) are eminently effective and therefore lawful." This statement was published in similar form as an article written by Horst Mahler in Deutsche Stimme, the official NPD party organ. In a TV broadcast on September 19, 2001, Mahler did not hesitate to refer to the 9/11 Al-Qaeda terrorists as "self-sacrificing warriors" ("opferbereite Krieger"). And Patrick Wieschke, deputy chairman of the NPD youth organization "Junge Demokraten" (JN) in Thuringia, heaped praise on Osama bin Laden, saying: "With his struggle for freedom Osama bin Laden is much closer to us than an imperialist and a war criminal called George Bush."

The NPD chapter of Schlesweg-Holstein issued a statement on September 16, 2001, calling the 9/11 attacks a "liberating strike by the free world against the imperialist policy of the USA and its satellite allies." They expressed solidarity "with the peoples of Irak, Afghanistan and Palestine," and notably with Hamas. Immediately after the 9/11 attacks many extreme rightists and neo-Nazis were quite enthousiastic about these attacks and some even expressed solidarity with the Islamists in the common struggle "against Jewry, capitalism and the USA."

Later, however, Mahler and other neo-Nazis began to embrace silly 9/11 conspiracy theories, calling the USA and Israel the real perpetrators. Mahler claimed in February 2003 that "9/11" was "a deliberate deception." No longer did he believe that Islamists were behind the attacks. Similar views are expressed by the current Iranian president Ahmadinejad, Hamas (Gaza) and Hezbollah (Lebanon).

In June 2003, Mahler attended a conference of 9/11 conspiracy wing-nuts in Berlin's prestigious Humboldt University. When some of those present began to shout "Nazis, get out!" ("Nazis raus!"), it was not Mahler who was removed from the audience but the anti-Nazi protesters.

Hizb ut-Tahrir and Hamas

In October 2002, Mahler and NPD Chairman Udo Voigt attended a conference in Berlin's Technical University. This conference was sponsored by a dangerous Islamist group called "Hizb ut-Tahrir" (HuT) and Mahler and Voigt decided to be present to look for common ground. HuT is an anti-democratic and anti-Semitic movement which was banned by German Interior Minister Otto Schily in January 2003.

Franz Schönhuber, another prominent German (neo-)Nazi, also calls for an alliance with the Islamists against Israel and the United States. He refers to the Islamic prophet Mohammed as "one of the greatest human beings." It is in the neo-Nazi newspaper the National-Zeitung that Schönhuber describes the conflict in the Middle East as providing the basis for this "necessary alliance" with Islam. Although many articles in this paper display hostility towards foreign (Muslim) immigrants, the same paper also sides with the Palestinians and other Muslims abroad. Thus, the National-Zeitung strongly opposed the American intervention in Iraq. Shortly after Al-Qaeda's successful attacks in Madrid on March 11, 2004, the National-Zeitung, just like Osama bin Laden, primarily blamed US policies for what had happened.

Already before the 9/11 attacks did the National-Zeitung call for "natural alliance" with Islamic states. And the German weekly Junge Freiheit interviewed Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi who referred to suicide bombers as "heroes" (August 2001). The same weekly also published an interview with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah (1995). Junge Freiheit is not a neo-Nazi outlet, but it is rather close to the extreme right.

Finding common ground

Not all German neo-Nazis want to align themselves with radical Muslims. There are also dangerous German neo-Nazi terrorists who killed Muslim immigrants. Nevertheless, there is a wider tendency to find common ground between the extreme right and the Islamists. They share their deep hatred of America, Israel and the Jews and usually deny the Holocaust.

This became apparent during the Iranian sponsored conference "to review the global vision of the Holocaust" in December 2006. It was there that neo-Nazis and (Iranian) Islamists considered all the so-called "absurdities, impossibilities and contradictions." Too many historians, researchers, prosecutors and judges "were brainwashed by wartime propaganda, or trembling in fear of the Jews that they did not dare to rock the boat," Frederick Töben of the Australian Adelaide Institute said in Tehran. He "thanked the Iranian people for having brought forth the leadership that courageously sets out to clarify fundamental human values," and regretted that a number of prominent Holocaust "revisionists" (deniers), Horst Mahler among them, were prevented from attending the Tehran conference, "because they are currently locked up in German prisons." Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany, and rightly so.

Frederick (Friedrich) Töben is a second-generation German immigrant in Australia. Töben also visited Tehran in January 2009 where he once again publicly defended the positions of his political friend Horst Mahler. The very man who just like Goebbels refers to the Jews as "servants of Satan" ("Knechte Satans") whose extermination would not be a crime, but "the act of God" ("die Tat Gottes und als solches kein Verbechen.")

Emerson Vermaat is an investigative reporter in the Netherlands. Website: Emerson Vermaat


Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, Verfassungsschutzbericht 2004 (Berlin/Cologne: 2005), p. 86, 87 (National-Zeitung), p. 105 (quote from Mahler calling the Jews "servants of Satan").

Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, Verfassungsschutzbericht 2006 (Berlin/Cologne, 2007), p. 115 (Mahler quoted by the Tehran Times), p. 132 (Nation & Europa; NPD's federal board statement).

Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, Verfassungschutzbericht 2001 (Berlin/Cologne, 2002), p. 31 (many extreme rightists enthousiastic about the 9/11 attacks), p. 68-70 (statements from Mahler and Wieschke on the 9/11 attacks; statement from the NPD Chapter Schlesweg-Holstein).

Spiegelonline, February 28, 2003 ("Die obskure 9/11-Theorie des Horst Mahler").

Tobias Jaecker, Antisemitische Verschwörungstheorien nach dem 11. September. Neue Varianten eines alten Deutungsmusters (Münster: LIT Verlag, 2005), p. 95, footnote 359 (Mahler attending a conference in Berlin's Humboldt University).

Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, Verfassungsschutzbericht 2002 (Berlin/Cologne, 2003). p. 185, 186 (Mahler attending a Hizb ut-Tahrir conference in Berlin).

Jan Riebe, Im Spannungsfeld von Rassismus und Antisemitismus. Das Verhältnis der deutschen extremen Rechten zu islamischen Gruppen (Marburg: Tectum Verlag, 2006), p. 99-101 (Franz Schönhuber), p. 103 (Rantisi). Anton Maegerle, Die unheilige Allianz zwischen Hakenkreuz und Halbmond. Neonazis und fundamentalistische Islamisten, Informationsdienst gegen Rechtsextremismus (IDGR), December 10, 2001 (Junge Freiheit).

Frederick Töben, International Conference Review of the Holocaust: Global Vision, Tehran, 11-12 December 2006 (Adelaide Institute, 2006).

©2012 Emerson Vermaat. All rights reserved

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