Irving v. Lipstadt
David Irving, Holocaust Denial, and his Connections to Right Wing Extremists and Neo-National Socialism (Neo-Nazism) in Germany: Electronic Edition, by Hajo FunkeTable of Contents
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4.2 The Party of the Like-minded New Front [Gesinnungsgemeinschaft der Neuen Front - GdNF], National List [Nationale Liste - NL], German Alternative [Deutsche Alternative - DA], and National Alternative [Nationale Alternative - NA].
4.2.1. The GdNF, an overtly neo-Nazi organization and more influential than the FAP, was founded in 1985 by Kühnen in an attempt to subvert the ban on the ANS. It had similarities to the FAP in that it had former ANS 'comrades' within its ranks. The GdNF went through similar conflicts as the FAP on the question of whether to align the party towards the ideologies of Ernst Röhm's SA or more towards the SS, the latter position favoured by Mosler. The GdNF under Michael Kühnen's control perceived themselves as a 'society of like-minded, convinced and self-confessed national socialists, who strive to overcome the ban on NS and to forge new foundations for the NSDAP as a legal party.' They see themselves politically within 'the tradition of the SA and of the revolutionary faction of the historic NSDAP'. They aim to achieve a second NS revolution and perceive Hitler as a 'sacred hero of the Aryan race'.120
4.2.3. Kühnen, in his 1988 text 'The Second Revolution - Belief and Struggle' stated:
Our aim is a national socialist revolution, from which the Fourth Reich will emerge and with it a new order for the white race suitable to our sort and natures.[...] To achieve that, we have to strive for and to carry out various intermediary aims in the present time of struggle:
- to overcome the ban imposed on the NS
- to set up the NSDAP anew
- a reform of the state
- unification of all ethnic German regions in one unified sovereign and socialistic Great Germany.121
4.2.4. The GdNF further fights against 'foreign infiltration', against Americanisation, environmental destruction and for the 'purity of the Aryan Germanic race'.
4.2.5. In 1989 and 1990 a lot of tiny, very active neo-Nazi organizations were founded often within the immediate orbit of the GdNF. Core activists were, to name but a few:
- Michael Kühnen himself
- Christian and Ursula [Uschi] Worch in Hamburg
- Arnulf-Winfried Priem
- Frank Lutz and Andreas Storr in Berlin
- Frank Hübner in Cottbus
- Heinz Reisz in Hessen
- Thomas Dienel in Halle
- Michael Swierczek in southern Germany
- Ewald Althans in Munich
- Gottfried Küssel and Günther Reinthaler in Austria
4.2.6. We will show that between early 1990 and 1993 Irving had close political contacts and connections with more than a few of the above. His contact with Christian and Ursula Worch in Hamburg and Ewald Althans in Munich were particularly intense and long-lasting, with Christian Worch to the extent that he and Irving used the informal 'you' [du] form when addressing each other.
4.2.7. How are the growing neo-Nazi activities and groups in the decisive period of Germany reunification from 1989 to the early 1990s best characterised? One of those who knew the neo-Nazi 'scene' best before he renounced it and dropped out is Ingo Hasselbach, originally from east-Berlin. He described in his book 'The Reckoning' that the GdNF perceived itself as a new SA and that Kühnen had for years been the unassailable 'Fuhrer of the neo-Nazi movement' ['Führer der Bewegung'].122 His stated tactic was to use terror in Germany to destabilize the given social and political system to pave the way to a new NS revolution. Christian Worch, Gottfried Küssel, and Ewald Althans were amongst his closest followers. Hasselbach described Althans as Kühnen's 'talented pupil' ['gelehrigen Schüler']. Hasselbach portrayed him as Kühnen's true successor, although in later years Küssel vied with him for the title.123 Kühnen's alleged homosexuality made him to a controversial figure. Althans separated himself from Kühnen in the late 1980s and allied himself to Ernst Zündel.124
4.2.8. According to Hasselbach, Christian Worch was different in that he was Kühnen's closest political friend. Worch, whom Hasselbach described as a true 'national socialist', was 'able to subordinate himself without being humiliated....'125 Unlike Althans who was unpredictable in his utterances and actions (something Irving often complained of) Worch was very controlled in what he said and has never fallen victim of an uncontrolled craving for recognition.126 As far as the comments on Irving's connections with both men are concerned it is important to bear in mind that both were direct successors of the real founder and leader of the neo-Nazi movement, Kühnen.
4.2.9. The centre of this outbreak of neo-Nazi activities was the newly opened former east Germany. The power vacuum (especially a disillusioned, lax, and disorientated police and judicial system) that ensued in the GDR with the collapse of the eastern block provided the neo-Nazi cadres from the west with an open space for their activities and a home-grown east German militant youth culture that since 1986 had shown a frightening readiness to physically attack foreigners, leftists and liberals.
4.2.10.One of the tactics used to widen their influence was to ground a bewildering number of different types of organizations to avoid identification and suppression. We will briefly describe the organizations which were founded and active in that period.
4.2.11. In March 1989 various neo-Nazis from Hamburg, like Christian Worch and Thomas Wulf, founded the National List ['Nationale Liste' - NL]. In May 1989 a legal political arm of the GdNF, the German Alternative [Deutsche Alternative - DA] was founded, followed shortly afterwards in January 1990 by its east German equivalent, the National Alternative [Nationale Alternative - NA].
4.2.12. The east German NA is of particular importance. The founding members had been active in the pre-1989 neo-Nazi scene in east Berlin and the GDR such as Ingo Hasselbach, supported by western comrades like Arnulf-Winfried Priem, Gottfried Küssel, Günter Reinthaler, Christian Worch, and Michael Kühnen.127 Some of them knew each other from the so-called Lichtenberg-Front in east-Berlin and from the so-called Movement 30 January [referring to the beginnings of the Nazi-regime on 30 January 1933]. The NA perceived itself as a militant NS avantgarde. It organized and ran militia-camps, and formulated concepts for fighting the perceived enemies under their code of defence. In this document the NA argued that its enemies like left-wing activists of the democratic parties should be systematically categorized, observed, and fought against.128
4.2.13. The NA set up house in the now notorious 122 Weitlingstrasse in east Berlin and co-operated with several tiny and obscure neo-Nazis sub-organizations, like Arnulf-Winfried Priem's Ministry of Education, Wotans People's [Hauptschulungsamt Wotans Volk im Asgarde-Bund e. V].129 The NA strove to form a joint 'organization of all nationals' and together with Worch and Heinz Reisz of the Hessen FAP sought to extend this joint effort beyond just east Berlin. To carry this out, they co-operated with Frank Hübner from Cottbus, who was active in the Anti-Zionist Action [Anti-Zionistische Aktion - AZA], one of the many sub-organizations of the neo-Nazi scene. By the end of 1989 these activists had managed to organize the first official Central (i.e. east) German Comradeships [mitteldeutsche Kameradschaften] in Cottbus and Dresden, that included members of the GdNF, the DA, and the Central German SA [Mitteldeutsche SA], all of them self-confessed national socialists aimed at building a national socialist cadre organization in the former GDR.130
4.2.14. Their activities also included militia-camps, like the first joint east-west militia camp in the Schorfheide in 1990. They also committed violent attacks on the housing of foreign contract-workers in the former GDR. The group even armed themselves by searching various World War II battlefields for weapons, or buying them from impoverished and departing Russian soldiers.131 Their political schooling was based on texts like Adolf Hitler's, 'Mein Kampf' and Michael Kühnen's 'What is national socialism?'.132 Gary Lauck, from the internationally organized NSDAP/AO, were present during the party convention in July 1990 near Cottbus.133 Thus the neo-Nazi NA is defined not so much by its public support, but by its militant, military, and partially terrorist quality of attacking those considered alien to Germany and the body politic, like left-wing punks and guest workers.134
4.2.15. One year later the NA had practically disbanded. Some of the former activists quit and others, members of a new generation, like Kay Diesner, moved into the Social Revolutionary Nationalists [SRN], again forming a militant cadre, some of them terrorist.
4.2.16. The Nationalist Front [Nationalistische Front - NF] also fell within the GdNF network . This group was founded in the mid 1980s and later came to prominence through its leader Meinolf Schönborn, who was active in the Bielefeld region. They likewise subscribed to the SA-tradition and positioned themselves as social and national revolutionaries within the neo-Nazi spectrum. The group is known for its so-called National Task Force [Nationales Einsatzkommando - NEK], a kind of military group. The NF was amongst the first neo-Nazi groups to be banned by the Federal Minister of the Interior in 1992.135
4.2.17. We will discuss other splinter groups of the neo-Nazi scene below, but two more are worthy of note.
4.2.18. The German National Party [Deutsche Nationale Partei - DNP] was founded in early 1992 in Wechselburg in Saxony by Thomas Dienel, a former local NPD leader in Halle.136 Like other groups the DNP was founded to obstruct a nationwide ban on the neo-Nazis. The DNP aimed to continue the 'central German revolution of 1989 in a national sense'. The party stood for a revisionist presentation of German history and for the denial of the crimes of the Third Reich, stating such crimes were propaganda put out by the Allies and Zionism.137 They demanded the abolition of the system of holding land in tenancy to a landlord and the integration of the individual into an ethnically-pure German national community through work. According to the 1992 VSB, the DNP took over core elements of the NSDAP-programme of 1920. As leader of this new party Dienel was a virulent public racist and anti-Semite. According to the 1992 VSB report, Rudolstadt County Court sentenced him to two years and eight months in prison for racial incitement and slander.138
4.2.19. Another GdNF sub-organisation was the National Offensive [Nationale Offensive - NO]. The NO was founded on 3 July 1990 and banned on 22 December 1992. Its base lay in Bavaria and Saxony, counting some 150 members. NO leader Michael Swierczek had formally belonged to the FAP and played a role in the KAH, that in turn had close links to the NO. In February 1991, NO activists like Swierczek were accused by a court of being active in the banned ANS/NA.
4.2.20. The NO was banned at the end of December 1992.
120. Pfahl-Traughber, 1995, p. 87; Wagner, p. 107.
121. 'Unser Ziel ist die nationalsozialistische Revolution, aus der das 4. Reich und eine art- und naturgemäße Ordnung für die weiße Rasse hervorgehen wird. (...) Um das zu erreichen, sind in der jetzigen Kampfzeit verschiedene Zwischenziele auszutreben und zu verwirklichen: Überwindung des NS-Verbots, Neugründung der NSDAP, Staatsreform, Vereinigung aller geschlossenan siedelnden Deutschen in einem einheitlichen souveränen und sozialistischen Großdeutschland.' Quoted in Wagner, pp. 109-10.
122. Ingo Hasselbach [with Winfried Bonengel]. Die Abrechnung: Ein Neonazi steigt aus (Berlin, 1993), p. 50.
123. Ibid., p. 56
125. Ibid., p. 58.
126. Ibid., p. 59.
127. Wagner, p. 121.
128. Wagner, p. 123.
129. Benedict, p. 34.
130. The term Central Germany when referring to east German is the explicit belief that the real Germany is the historical one of pre-1933. This is a term likewise used by Irving when referring to east Germany.
131. Benedict, pp. 39ff.
132. Ibid., p. 62.
134. Ibid., p. 50.
135. Pfahl-Traughber, p. 93 f.
136. Verfassungsschutz-Bericht 1992, p. 102.
137. Verfassungsschutz-Bericht 1992, pp. 102ff.
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