The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Skinhead International: Forward

The unspeakable Oklahoma City bombing of April 19 brought home to the American people, like no other even in memory, the tragic lesson that no country is immune from terrorism. Although those charged with the bombing are widely thought to have had ties to larger extremist groups, the actual explosion appears to have been the work of a relative few. Here lies a second important lesson of Oklahoma City: it does not take a mass movement to perpetrate the most horrible kinds of crimes.

These thoughts seem relevant to the report which follows. Nowhere do the neo-Nazi Skinheads by themselves constitute a mass movement, although in many countries they do have links with broader political forces. But the paramount danger posed by these young racist thugs lies in their proven taste for violence. As the following pages show, neo-Nazi Skinheads across the globe have committed numerous murders, firebombings and other crimes of violence against innocent victims whom they deemed to be of the "wrong" race, religion, nationality or sexual orientation. Their goal, whether in Los Angeles, Berlin, Sydney, or Sao Paulo, is a "racially pure" society of the kind that prevailed in the Third Reich.

The Anti-Defamation League has paid close attention to the Skinhead movement ever since it first arose in the United States in the mid-eighties. Through a series of published reports we have tried to keep the American public informed of the activities of this movement. At meetings with successive U.S. Attorneys General, we have stressed that the Skinhead propensity for violent hate crimes warrants the close attention of the Department of Justice. Similar representations have been made to the appropriate law enforcement authorities on the State and local levels.

From the start, the Anti-Defamation League has been aware that the Skinheads are an international phenomenon. Hence this survey. It is designed to reveal to all concerned the global dimensions of this growing neo-Nazi menace. In light of the recent demonstration of the dangers posed by armed extremism, the report which follows seems more timely than ever.

David H. Strassler		Abraham H. Foxman
ADL National Chairman		ADL National Director

Work Cited

Anti-Defamation League. The Skinhead International: A Worldwide Survey of Neo-Nazi Skinheads. New York: Anti-Defamation League, 1995. Anti-Defamation League, 823 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017.

Disclaimer: not all skinheads are neo-nazis or white supremacists. There are many skinheads who are non- or anti-racist, and who come from a variety of different religious and cultural backgrounds. Nizkor recognizes their achievements in anti-racism: they are part of the traditional, non-racist skinhead subculture and are not the perpetrators of the hate crimes discussed here.

Unless otherwise specified, the word "skinhead" within these pages refers only to neo-Nazi and white supremacist skinheads, the perpetrators of hate crimes and participants in racist organizations. We cannot edit the body of the text above, because it was not written by Nizkor, and to change the wording would be fraudulent. Please keep in mind that not all skinheads are racist.

The original plaintext version of this file is available via ftp.

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