The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Skinhead International: The Netherlands

The Netherlands' neo-Nazi Skinheads have assaulted and killed perceived enemies. They also dot the ranks of a broader Dutch racist movement: several belong to a small neo-Nazi organization and to two far-right political parties.

After a period of dormancy, the Skinhead movement in the Netherlands has undergone a revival in the last two years. Experts there put the number of Skinheads today at 300 to 600.

The western Netherlands - Rotterdam, the Hague, and Amsterdam - boasts the largest concentration of Skins, with a smaller number in Groningen in the North.

A Skinhead magazine, Hou Kontakt (Keep in Touch), has played a role in the Dutch neo-Nazi Skinhead revival. The magazine is published by Martin van der Grind, and can only be obtained by those who can give the name of a known neo-Nazi Skin as a reference. Hou Kontakt has articles on Skinhead bands, bars which Sins favor, and runic symbols (with interpretations harking back to those of Hitler's SS). It also carries advertisements for other Skinhead groups, sales outlets for records and tapes, and material from "Oi-stuff," a mail-order house in Utrecht which sells T-shirts and stickers emblazoned with Nazi symbols. The slogans include "Adolf Hitler, our Führer," "Liberate Europe from the Jews," and "In heaven there are no niggers, that's why we molest them here."

Dutch Youth Front

Until 1990 most Dutch neo-Nazi Skins belonged to the Dutch Youth Front (JFN) and the Action Front of National Socialism (ANS), a small neo-Nazi group linked to a banned German organization, Gesinnungsgemeinschaft der Neuen Front (Like-minded Association of the New Front). The ANS is virulently anti-Semitic and has distributed Holocaust-denying propaganda.

After the JFN was banned in 1990, followers switched to the Center Party '86, whose leaders include Tibor Mudde, formerly treasurer of the JFN.

Some Skins are members of the Center Democrats (CD), another far-right party which has three seats in Parliament. CD member Monique Bosman owns the post office box from which "Oi-stuff" sends its catalogs of Nazi wares.

Finally, the Netherlands are not immune from a disturbing trend crossing Europe: soccer hooliganism with an anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi flavor. In November 1992 police arrested 20 people at a soccer match after they broke into anti-Semitic and racist catcalls and made hissing sounds to imitate Nazi gas chambers.

In January 1993 riot police prevented 1,000 fans singing anti-Semitic songs and shouting Nazi slogans from attending a soccer match in an Amsterdam suburb. The visiting team, Ajax of Amsterdam, is regarded as Jewish by many of its own supporters as well as rival fans. Spectators have also shouted racist epithets at black members of the team, thrown bananas and made "jungle" noises.

Such bigotry-tainted hooligans provide fertile ground for Skinheads looking to swell their ranks.

"He Looked Like a Hippie"

The record of violence of Dutch Skinheads began with a May 1982 assault on leftist "squatters" in Amsterdam, to celebrate the victory of a right-wing Parliamentary candidate. Skinheads graduated to murder the following year, when Kerwin Duinmeijer, a 15-year-old black youth from the Netherlands Antilles, was stabbed to death. In 1986 Franky Kattenberg was convicted and jailed for four years for murdering Michael Poye, because "he looked like a hippie." Since then, there have been many Skinhead assaults against "foreigners," blacks and gays. In 1992, assaults were committed in Amsterdam, the Hague, Utrecht, Rotterdam, Leeuwarden, Purmerend and Tilburg.

Eight armed Skinheads were arrested on weapons charges in Arnhem in October 1992. They allegedly intended to disrupt a meeting of an anti-Nazi group, in retailiation for the banning of a Skinhead concert in Rotterdam.

Foreign Links

Dutch Skinheads are linked to hate groups in the United States and Britain through the importation of propaganda materials, and repeated attempts to arrange concerts by British Skinhead bands. The printed material, distributed by the "Oi-stuff" mail order firm, comes from such groups as the various Ku Klux Klans, Gary Lauck's Nebraska-based NSDAP-AO and the British Blood and Honour enterprise.


No Remorse, a British group, first performed in the Netherlands in June 1992. The event drew an audience of 250. Four months later, a concert organized by Hou Kontakt, which was to have featured the British groups Squadron and Skullhead, was banned by Dutch authorities. The traffic appears to run in only one direction, since there do not appear to be any Dutch Skinhead bands. As mentioned above, Dutch Skins keep abreast of news on the music front through Hou Kontakt. The skinzine also carries advertisements for record and tape outlets.

Finally, although the Skinheads are comparatively modest in number, they may succeed in recruiting among the growing number of soccer hooligans who have a taste for neo-Nazi rhetoric. Regardless of size, Dutch Skinheads pose a threat of violence against a society which, from the end of World War II until recently, had remained remarkably free of serious bigotry-spawned violence. This threat appears to have been taken seriously by police authorities and private watchdog groups alike. (Anti-Defamation League, 53-55)

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.

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