The Post-Rockwell Period 1967-1978
The history of the post-Rockwell Nazi movement is, most obviously, the history of three organizations, the
National Socialist White People’s Party, the National Socialist Party of America and the National Socialist White Workers’
Party. It is also a tale of severe factionalism evidenced by the growth of several minor Nazi formations whose political
alienation was often reflected in violent action. There existed also a tendency to political sectarianism and irrelevancy, which
may have taken the movement out of the realm of politics and into pathology.
The schisms of post-Rockwell Nazism have a religious quality. The purity of doctrine became important and
the doctrine itself was proclaimed a revelation. The depth of doctrinal argument and expression will be discussed here in the
context of explaining the sectarian nature of post-Rockwell Nazism.
For a brief period (1968-74) the U.S. Nazis were often the most vocal and activist section of the
Extreme Right. They attempted to continue to develop Rockwell's agitational style and orient themselves towards American issues
and political circumstances. However, they tampered with Rockwell's syncretic ideology and placed an unbridgeable gap
between themselves and the American people; in place of Rockwell's developing American fascism they created a copyist
National Socialism. By the close of the period covered by this study, other Extreme Right groups had eclipsed the Nazis and were using ideological formulations more in the Rockwell tradition.
Section One:The National Socialist White People’s Party (NSWPP)
In 1967, the issue was clear for the American Nazis. United as the NSWPP, they had to overcome the effects
of the murder of Rockwell and professionalise the organization under the leadership of Matt Koehl, Rockwell's designated
The immediate result of Rockwell's murder was a confused period of schism, mutiny and general disorganisation in American Nazism. In Los Angeles, James K. Warner re-emerged to trumpet the "rebirth" of the American Nazi Party. (1) Certain 'stormtroopers',
dissatisfied with their second-rung status in the new NSWPP, set up rival Nazi parties in Dallas and California. However, Koehl managed to surmount the crisis; it was in the words of a later Nazi publication "his finest hour”. (2) This victory over the splitters gave Koehl's NSWPP a largely undisturbed hegemony over the American Nazi movement until 1973, when new splits began, and the NSPA become a serious rival.
The new NSWPP opted to continue the plans developed by Rockwell, that is, the activities of 'Phase Two' in
the Nazi quest for power. There was a new emphasis in Nazi literature, a stressing of the revolutionary nature of the
1 The Free American, No. 1, November, 1967.
2 Joe Tommasi, The Crisis in American National Socialism, NSLF leaflet, 1975.
movement. (3) Consequently there was a change in style. In place of the ANP's tactic of pickets designed to produce
television coverage and news extravaganzas, the new NSWPP emphasised orderly demonstrations, the distribution of leaflets
and the production of a regularly issued national newspaper. Overall, therefore, an atmosphere of sobriety was to be cultivated
by the party. Recruiting figures, rather than the volume of newsprint devoted to the party, were to gauge success.
Koehl’s NSWPP set up new headquarters in Arlington in 1968, announcing in the last edition of Stormtrooper that this achievement had carried out a specific plan of Commander Rockwell. The national leadership was to be centralised and professionalised. Cadre were called to Arlington to stream-line administration and consequently some local units collapsed or found new levels. (4) To raise funds to sustain the new administration, membership of the NSWPP was divided into two
categories: Members and Official Supporters. Members were to campaign actively for Nazi objectives, while Supporters
were to fuel the party with financial contributions. Supporters were not expected to proclaim publicly their commitment to the
NSWPP. (5) It was hoped that these measures might encourage the training of new cadre and generally raise the quality of the
3 Leland V. Bell, In Hitler's Shadow: The Anatomy of Nazism, Ithaca, 1974, p. 122.
4 G.T.Parker, "Nothing Can Stop Us Now," Australian National Socialist Journal, Summer, 1970, pp. 2-3.
5 Leland Bell, op. cit., pp. 121-22.
membership. Indicative of this effort was the attempt to recruit intellectuals and youth.
A new publication, National Socialist Liberator (6) aimed at youth, was produced. Twenty thousand copies of each issue of the Liberator were produced. A special division of the NSWPP, the National Socialist Youth Movement, was
created to handle youth recruitment. Special leaflets, such as Build A New Order, were designed to win "idealists" to the party by reasoned argument, rather than by slogans. This leaflet, among others, argued that just as German National Socialism was
the only true "anti-system" ideology, so the NSWPP alone was opposed to U.S. capitalism. (7)
By such means the NSWPP hoped to compete with New Left formations for the loyalties of an increasingly
radical American youth. Ideologically, the NSWPP stressed its anti-capitalist credentials and denounced the New Left for not
discussing the Jewish question. (8) Necessarily, the NSWPP sought to make its views sharp and clear. Koehl attempted to
codify Rockwell's ideology in order to give new recruits a firm foundation for their activities, a faith. "Without a revolutionary
theory," Lenin had written, "there can be no revolutionary movement," and in the immediate post-Rockwell
6 Some details of NSWPP student work were provided in National Socialist Liberator, No. 2, Autumn, 1968.
7 Build A New Order, NSWPP leaflet. This recruitment item was issued regularly from 1968.
8 "Are You Tired of Being Led by the Nose?" White Power, July, 1971. This piece equated Jews with Marxist agitation; White Power, April-May, 1971, p. 8, claimed big corporations funded Marxist student groups.
years the Nazis seem to have practised organizational Leninism. Ideology, the "faith," was very important. Without a
commanding personality like Rockwell, the party required a strong ideological cement to bind its cadre and its membership.
The ideology, however, varied considerably from that propounded by Rockwell, because of its dogmatic and semi-religious
The NSWPP's ideology was largely written by Matt Koehl. As a Nazi theorist, Koehl stood above his
contemporaries and his missives became standard texts for the new NSWPP and for the World Union of National Socialists.
His writings appear to be the basis of American Nazi thinking and even rival groups echo his postulates. An examination of
Koehl's major writings unravel the essence of American Nazism in the Post-Rockwell period.
Koehl authored four major texts: Some Guidelines For The Development Of The National Socialist
Movement, Adolf Hitler, German Nationalist Or Aryan Racialist?, The Future Calls and America: A Racial Mission. He argued that there was (and is) but one National Socialist ideology. It was ushered into history in Germany in 1919 and "revived" by Rockwell forty years later. "One man gave National Socialism to the world. Our Doctrine did not exist until, drawing upon the great eternal truths of nature, Adolf Hitler proclaimed it." (9)
9. Matt Koehl, Some Guidelines for the Development of the National Socialist Movement, Arlington, 1969, p. 14.
Koehl maintained that National Socialism was Hitler, expressing a sort of Carlyle-style Great Man theory of history. Koehl
accepted the rhetoric of Rudolf Hess, who proclaimed at Nuremburg in 1934: "The Party is Hitler just as the Party is Germany
and Germany is Hitler". Koehl added that any person calling himself a National Socialist must acknowledge Hitler as the pivot of his world-view. (10) Nowhere does American Nazi literature discuss German Nazism as a movement which arose out of certain crises in German history, or as a product of various antecedents. In this respect the U.S. Nazis are akin to German Nazi race-theorist Alfred Rosenberg, who argued for a theory of limited roots for his movement; Rosenberg sought to maximise the role of Hitler and deny the NSDAP's connection with several philosophers and ideologies of the time. The only antecedents permitted for National Socialism were those which contributed to Hitler's personal development, ideas which Hitler absorbed in his youth and during the Great War. (11) The
intellectual origins of National Socialism have been torturously analysed by scholars and certainly there was more to the movement than the dynamism of Hitler. (12) The important point here is that the American Nazis proclaimed National Socialism a doctrine - like
Marxism - and not simply a manifestation
10 ibid., pp. 13-14.
11 ibid., pp. 14-15.
12 Fritz Stern, The Politics Of Cultural Despair, New York, 1951, passim; George L. Mosse, The Crisis Of German Ideology, New York, 1964, passim. National Socialism was understood by Stern and Mosse as a product of a peculiar German intellectual crisis.
of concrete intellectual, social and political undercurrents of early twentieth century Germany. Divorcing German National
Socialism from its natural historical, cultural and political terrain would obviously be very important for U.S. Nazis; it would
provide an explanation for their very existence. In other words, if National Socialism was a doctrine, then it could appear
anywhere on the globe, in any time period; but more importantly, the doctrine was the creation of one man, Adolf Hitler, and
consequently the party was imbued with a rampant Hitlerphilia which engendered a certain missionary zeal. Americans were
asked, not to adopt a German ideology, but to accept a universal faith. Perhaps, this was a concession to the American
Of course, a sort of Hitler-worship had appeared in the old American Nazi Party. However, it had appeared
in a particular way: as a reference. Hitler was consistently praised by Rockwell for his courage, his dynamism and his political
techniques. (13) Matt Koehl's attitude became very different, reflecting also a fundamental difference in personality and style
between himself and Rockwell. In the 1972 publication, The Future Calls, Koehl wrote:
83 years ago this month a child was born in the small Austrian town of Braunau on the River Inn. With his
arrival on earth
13 George Lincoln Rockwell, This Time The World, , pp. 154-157.
there began a new era in human history. For He was more than just another man. Into a world which had lost
its sense of direction, He came to show the Way. Into a world of decadence and false values He came to
proclaim great eternal truths. Into a world grown cynical and materialistic, He came to proclaim a new birth of
radiant idealism... He came to offer hope, and salvation for an entire race... He was sent into this world with a
Koehl then proceeded directly to compare Hitler with Christ:
Never in the past 2000 years has there been a man more reviled... than this man. Adolf Hitler fought and died
so Aryan man might live. By paying with the supreme sacrifice, by shedding his life's blood, he has assured our
race of a glorious future. (15)
Koehl was arguing that Hitler was a type of messianic redeemer figure for the white race. No historian has ever argued that
Hitler had sought to appropriate for himself that particular mission. Neither has any variety of postwar fascist movement (save
the Nazis in the U.S. and elsewhere) held to this position. The U.S. Nazis have not seen Hitler's essential elements: that he
was a European provincial of the pre-Great War vintage brought into politics through the experiences of the war and its
effects. Joachim Fest and John Toland have bot>h seen him as dualistic in nature: a modernist and a reactionary, perhaps even
a "great" man. (16) Hitler never announced himself the racial messiah; people were drummed out of the NSDAP for
14 Matt Koehl, The Future Calls, Aarhus (Denmark), 1976, p. 6.
15 ibid., pp. 6-7.
16 Joachim C. Fest, Hitler, London, 1977, passim; John Toland, Adolf Hitler, New York, 1976, passim.
their fuhrer to Jesus Christ. (17) Rockwell made various allusions to Jesus in reference to Hitler; he once called Hitler "the
greatest man in two thousand years," but he never went any further than this. Rockwell perhaps made such references for the
benefit of the U.S. rightist, since such a person was usually a Christian. Koehl, however, turned these utterances into concrete
expressions of the new Nazi ideology. The tendency to blatant Hitler-worship in the NSWPP has grown stronger since 1972.
It is possible that as the party entered a leadership crisis, Koehl turned to "faith in the party of Hitler and Rockwell" as
justification for his authority. The "Hitler-wave" in the United States between 1973 and 1975 may have strengthened Koehl in
this attitude, though it is impossible to judge this accurately. (18)
Following on from the first two postulates (that National Socialism was a doctrine and that Hitler was its creator), Koehl proceeded to argue that German National Socialism was not part of the European fascist movement. Koehl wrote:
A host of endemic anti Marxist, anti capitalist, authoritarian movements arose in Europe following the first
World War which sought to fuse the ideals of nationalism and socialism.
17 Such a claim was made by Gauleiter Dinter. He was expelled from the NSDAP in 1928.
18 There have been several 'Hitler Waves'. The effect on the NSWPP and other Neo-Nazis and the converse relation could not be
assessed without close empirical evidence.
However theirs was:
... traditional parochial nationalism which is social. In no true sense can a movement which lacks a
transcendental racial idea be considered National Socialist. (19)
In fact, the only 'transcendental racism' espoused by German Nazis was directed at Germans living outside the frontiers of the Reich; during the Second World War the Germanic creed was extended in a vague sense to "Germanic peoples," though a few very rebellious figures spoke of a "European Revolution." (20) There is enough historical evidence to argue that Hitler certainly believed in a Germanic Empire. Norman Rich in his Hitler's War Aims:The New Order, did not portray Hitler as some racial nationalist, who sought a united Europe based on the idea of equality between European peoples, but as a firm advocate of German domination over Europe. (21) A second objection to Koehl’s analysis of German Nazism is the fact that there was an obvious link between the Nazis and other fascisms. While. each nation produced its own fascism, the fascists recognised their similarities. Michael Ledeen in his Universal Fascism established this fact when he found formal political links between German Nazis and other fascists (22) Koehl rejected such evidence as it would tarnish his thesis that National Socialism was and is a "doctrine”.
19 Koehl, Some Guidelines, pp. 10-11.
20 Heinz Hohne, The Order Of The Death's Head, London, 1972, pp. 464-65.
21 Norman Rich, Hitler's War Aims: The Establishment of the New Order, London, 1974, passim.
22 Michael A. Ledeen, Universal Fascism, New York, 1972, pp. 112-16.
Secondly, he implicitly argued against any U.S. trend towards the establishment of a domestic modern fascism.
The transcendental racism' to which Koehl alluded was actually the Volk-racism which had contributed to the Nazi philosophy
and sustained its growth, but which eventually came under attack from many Nazis during the Second World War.
Volk-racists were those in the NSDAP who desired a peasant society in the industrial twentieth century and a crusade against
the inferior Slavs. Koehl abstracted the Volk-racists' commitment to racial purity from its context and modified it into a
redeemer doctrine, for the white race. Perhaps realising that he was on shaky ground, Koehl resorted to subterfuge, and in
Adolf Hitler: German Nationalist Or Aryan Racialist? denied that Hitler regarded the Slavs as inferior. (23) With this point
proved," Hitler thus emerged as an Aryan titan wronged by the world. His rehabilitation by political struggle was therefore
morally necessary for the survival of the European race. (24)
The crux of Koehl's theories is the relationship between the Nazi ideology and America. Koehl had laid the
groundwork for this discussion by dubbing National Socialism a "racial faith." He then borrowed some of Rockwell's
utterances. Rockwell had contended that Hitler's movement had delayed the "world colored revolution" long enough for
23 Matt Koehl, Adolf Hitler: German Nationalist or Aryan Racialist?, Arlington, 1968, pp. 21-24.
24 ibid., p. 32.
racist Americans to save Western Civilisation. (25) Americans are therefore indebted to Hitler for fighting "the Alamo of the White Race” (26) Nazi Germany had also been contrasted to the decadence of contemporary America; the Nazi racial faith is a means to
escape the depravity of modern America, to transcend it, to return to a better world of heroic vitalism and tribal solidarity. It is inferred that because the Nazi revolution restored Germany to health, a National Socialist revolution in America would have similar results.
Koehl realised that he had many rivals for the mantle of leadership of the U.S. racist milieu. It was not
surprising, therefore that the NSWPP postulated that it was only Nazism which could not be bought by the system. While the
U.S. establishment disrupted the KKK and the NSRP, they reserved special hatred for the NSWPP. (28) Koehl believed
that the U.S. establishment had recognised the spiritual qualities of National Socialism by bringing America into war against
Hitler in the first place. National Socialism was therefore the doctrine that would turn amorphous American racist tendencies
into an explosion, a revolution. In his America: A Racial Mission, Koehl argued that this revolution would return America to its origins, resolving the crisis of identity" and replacing the "bargain basement"
25 George Lincoln Rockwell, This Time, pp. 434-40.
26 George Lincoln Rockwell, White Power, Dallas, p. 418.
27 Matt Koehi, The Future Calls, p 7.
28 Why Does the System Hate National Socialism?, NSWPP leaflet, 1969.
society with a racially oriented society. (29) National Socialism was the key to the historical role of America as the redeemer nation for the white race.(30) While such a notion was certainly not uncommon amongst U.S. Extreme-Rightists, Koehl had introduced an aspect into his creed which would render it impotent and irrelevant - the religious one.
Koehl reasoned that National Socialism was a revelation complete at the moment of its inception. It was consequently a creed, not an ideology. Divisions and conflicting tendencies in German Nazism, for example, are not permitted to exist in the
NSWPP's scheme. (31) The U.S Nazis have missed the dynamics of the NSDAP and the fact that German Nazism went through an evolutionary process. Nazi Germany would appearas an Aryan fantasy land and the Nazi leaders the disciples of Hitler and never his critics or rivals for power. (32) However the religious aspect of the U.S. Nazi movement goes much further than this. U.S. Nazis
believe in a type of religion which can be summarised as follows: Hitler was Christ. Mein Kampf was the Old Testament. Rockwell's White Power was the New Testament. Rockwell was a Saint Paul. Nazi Germany's twelve years were 'The Passion,' the times of revealed faith and miracles.
29 Matt Koehl, America: A Racial Mission, Arlington,1972, pp. 6-8.
30 ibid., p. 12.
31 Matt Koehl, Some Guidelines, p. 7.
32 Photos of Nazi rallies, which appear regularly in U.S. Nazi publications, add a fantasy element to U.S. Nazism. Hitler's
followers have been described as "disciples".
The war was the crucifixion. The swastika was the cross, a talisman against evil. The Nazi chiefs were Hitler's disciples. The
Nuremberg Trials produced martyrs and forced the faith into the political catacombs. No man spoke Hitler's name for fear of
the Jews. However, Rockwell was converted to the new faith and charged with the mission of proselytising the new doctrine.
Whereas Hitler preached only to the Germans, Rockwell would convert all nations. Salvation for humanity could come only
through Hitler, by accepting him as the race's "saviour." Eventually, Rockwell was murdered by a Judas. Matt Koehl became
the first pope who stood upon the rock of "dynamic orthodoxy"; the first pope was empowered with the keys to salvation and
the rites for excommunication from the one true party. Schismatics were a sort of Protestant who decried universalism and
demanded some attention to American political realities -or denied the pope's credentials. There were also, Anabaptists who
urged "violence" in anticipation of the resurrection. (33)
It would be almost impossible to speculate on the relationship between such a psychology and the symbiosis
between Christian fundamentalism and right-wing politics in the United States. Some sort of link may exist. It is also
impossible to disentangle the motives behind the evolution of this peculiar religious ideology. From a survey of over
33 The general conclusion suggested by the entire weight of the evidence of U.S. Nazi material.
a hundred numbers of NS Bulletin I date the dominance of these perspectives from 1974, when the NSWPP experienced a
number of severe splits, but these tendencies existed and were encouraged before this time. An examination of the interaction
of the creed and the party's actions will be attempted later in this study. Suffice it to say here, that religion-based politics, and
particularly politics acted out in such a way that the participants may not realise what they are doing or saying, may have more
to do with pathology than with politics, as commonly understood. This is examined in greater detail in the present chapter.
Though the seeds of future ideological ossification and schism were being sown, the period 1967-73 was a time
of expansion for the NSWPP. The NSWPP expanded its membership in all categories from about 1000 to possibly under
2000. (34) The momentum built by Rockwell continued. By late 1973 the NSWPP controlled headquarters buildings in
Arlington, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Cleveland and St. Louis, and had active units in Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San
Francisco, Milwaukee and Detroit. Smaller groups also operated in other locales. The NSWPP announced that it was the
most vocal and dynamic faction of the American Extreme Right. (35) The WUNS had also been revamped and the WUNS
Bulletin proclaimed the NSWPP as the nucleus for a virile international
34. Arthur Smith, conversation with author 1979. He claimed to have acquired this data from Koehl. It seems just a little inflated as Simonelli (see new introduction) has established. But if a broad definition of ‘membership’ is employed, it would be close enough.
35. U.S. Nazi leaflet featuring various clippings from newspapers, 1973.
Nazi movement. The strengthened position of the NSWPP resulted not only from Koehl's good management, but also from an
atmosphere of unity in the Nazi ranks and a series of fortuitous socio-political events: the impact of the George Wallace
presidential campaign in 1967-68, the Hard Hat Revolt of 1968-69, and the forced busing program which began in 1971. The
NSWPP sought to ride on these events, surpass their rivals in the Extreme Right, and lay the basis for a revolutionary party.
In the Wallace Campaign issue, the Nazis were on good ground. The campaign came on the heels of years of
racial rioting in which Nazis had been active and had galvanised many rightist organisations to action. (36) The National States' Rights Party and various independent Klans urged a vote for Wallace. The assorted Citizens' Councils in the South clamoured for Wallace and recognised him as one of their own.(37) The non-Nazi Right saw the Wallace campaign not only as a white backlash against both the civil rights movement and the general campaign for Negro-equality, but as a bold reassertion of American values against the climate of social libertarianism and degeneracy of the 1960's. (38)
The NSWPP's praise for Wallace was not as fulsome
36 Seymour Lipset and Earl Raab, The Politics Of Unreason: Right-wing Extremism In America, New York, 1970, pp. 351-53.
37 Neil R. McMillen, The Citizens' Council: Organised Resistance to the Second Reconstruction 1954-64, Chicago, 1971, pp. 353-60.
38 Thunderbolt, July 1968 - November 1968, issued by the NSRP, pursued this line.
The NSWPP never trusted Wallace, either in 1968 or afterwards. They attacked him during the campaign
and later denounced him as a shady manipulator, a "sellout" and, even worse, a "kosher conservative”. To them he
represented what was wrong with the U.S. Right - its tendency to seek simple solutions to a fundamental problem. (39) The
NSWPP played the role of strident critic when approaching Wallace supporters. The party sought to identify with many of
Wallace’s views, but split supporters away from the leadership. This is the style of most ostensibly revolutionary groups when
faced with a mass movement beyond their control.
The NSWPP did accurately analyse certain aspects of the Wallace Campaign. They saw it as an opportunity.
Millions of Americans exhibited rightist tendencies; many young people were involved in the conservative resurgence, and
racism had become a key electoral factor in a presidential race. Their task was to split the masses from the leaders, or, at least,
introduce the masses to revolutionary ideas. The NSWPP publicly expressed its reservations not only about Wallace but also
about the nature of his neo-populist third party movement. Its leaders wondered why Wallace had taken so long to speak his
mind, why he had endured the effective desegregation of the South. The Nazis alluded to the weakness of will in Wallace and
his movement. (40)
39 What's Wrong with Wallace?, NSWPP leaflet, 1968.
40 Koehl Storms South, NSWPP leaflet, September 1971.
Quite simply, the Wallace movement, the Independent Party, was perceived as the last gasp of pre-revolutionary patriotism.
Just as Rockwell had predicted that Goldwater’s campaign of 1964 represented the last spasm of traditional conservatism, so
the NSWPP predicted in early 1968 that, after Wallace’s failure, his party would become more radical, and that a large
fraction of it would turn to National Socialism. (41) In the event, parts of the Wallace cavalcade did radicalise, but not by
turning to National Socialism. Nonetheless, the racist atmosphere engendered by Wallace-ism probably did recruit people into
the NSWPP and was a positive source of encouragement to the Nazis. For the NSWPP, it proved that the epoch of organized
political racism was not far off, that the 1970’s would be the decade of the Nazi movement. (42)
The Wallace campaign did produce one portent of things to come – the National Youth Alliance – NYA, a
development from the Youth For Wallace movement. The Nazis also poached the Youth For Wallace for members, but the
NYA was ascendant here with its argument for a “New Right”, a new radical, nationalist, and Americanist Right. The NYA
was arguing for a domestic neo-fascism, symbolised perhaps by its adoption of Francis Parker Yockey’s Imperium as its bible. (43) The intense competition between the NSWPP and the NYA for the new youth market was dramatised by the
41. White Power, September 1971, p.4
42. NS Bulletin in 1968-1969, frequently referred to Wallace in these terms.
43. Seymour Lipset and Earl Raab, op.cit., pp.418-421.
defection of the NSWPP's Information Officer, Dr.William Pierce, to the new NYA late in 1970. Dr Pierce, second man in the
Nazi party, announced that the NYA was "what I was looking for." (44) Dr. E. Cawthron, then a co-ordinator for the WUNS
in Australia, attempted to mediate in the dispute, but to no avail, and the NYA trumpeted that the Nazis could not lead the new
embryonic "new right" towards the formation of a new revolutionary racial-nationalist party. (45) Membership between the
NSWPP and the NYA was often interchangeable however. Even so, Koehl's organisation did manage to attract a small slice
of the new youth market, sufficient to provide the party with a number of cadre for organisational development.
The second factor which fueled the NSWPP was the Hard Hat Revolt of 1968-9, a mass movement of
across-America demonstrations by construction workers against communism and New Leftism. Whether many Hard Hats
joined the NSWPP is doubtful; however, as in the case of the Wallace campaign, the environment formed by the sudden
explosion of working class patriotism was conducive to NSWPP recruitment drives. The NSWPP paper White Power
dubbed the patriotic construction workers who marched for "victory in Vietnam," the "future mass revolutionary base of the
movement.” (46) The Hard Hats were analogous to the image of the nationalist worker from Mein Kampf and their gut
44 E. R. Cawthron, conversation with author, 1979. Cawthron mentioned a letter from Dr. W. Pierce, 1970, when he was
Secretary of the Australian Nazi party.
45 E. R. Cawthron, conversation with author.
46 White Power, No. 10, Nov.-Dec. 1969, p. 1.
was proof, the NSWPP maintained, that Marxist doctrines had failed to grip the American working class. (47) Only a National Socialist party could give guidance "in the racial battles ahead.” (48)
The NSWPP was not alone among groups on the Right in viewing the Hard Hat Revolt as a potential lever
against the system. Douglas Kaye who, later joined the Nazis for a period, wrote in Common Sense (September 1970), that the old "right-wing" type of activity must be discarded by patriots. It was time to discard the "wake up America" campaigns,
which only produced middle class members, and proceed "to mobilise masses." (49) Indeed, Common Sense had already
argued: "The American conservative has lost the power of forward motion”. The patriotic movement must embrace all classes, but be
classless; it must write its propaganda for mass, not private consumption. (50) Common Sense, a major ideological organ of the U.S. Extreme Right, was attempting ideological redefinition towards the idea of a mass patriotic movement. Again, as in the case of the NYA, domestic American fascism was realisable. For the NSWPP this wasnot good enough; its task was to cover any U.S. fascist movement with the skin of National Socialism.
To show solidarity with the Hard Hats, the NSWPP distributed racist leaflets on building sites and joined in
49 Douglas Kaye, Common Sense, September 1970, p. 1.
50 Common Sense, August 1970, p. 2.
Hard Hat street parades. (51) Such activities were aimed at gaining publicity for the party, strengthening the leadership in its faith and cementing the loyalty of the rank and file.
The third factor in the development of the NSWPP was forced busing of white children from white schools to Negro neighbourhood schools. Reaction to busing was sharp and often militant, especially in some northern cities such as Detroit. For white Americans, "busing was the last straw," wrote Koehl; "... they [its opponents] are beginning to think of a revolution.” (52) Once again the NSWPP saw its opportunity. The mass riots of the Rockwell days were over; since the NSWPP was supposed to be a cadre-organisation as laid down in the arguments of Phase Two, it must orientate itself towards the public reaction to busing. Further, like all ostensibly revolutionary parties, the NSWPP was confined to a sort of ghetto from which it was required to sally forth for support. The NSWPP's task was to take the lead in the anti-busing movement and to present a revolutionary alternative to the conservative leadership of the anti-busing movement.(53)
In September 1971, Koehl tried to reproduce the dramatic effect of Rockwell's Hate Bus drive of 1961. A
Nazi leaflet, Koehl Storms South, reproduced clippings from a
51 NSWPP members’ leaflet. A montage of clippings from January to April 1970. Date uncertain.
52 Matt Koehl, editorial, White Power, No. 37, March 1973, p. 4.
53 Fight The Law Of The Land, NSWPP leaflet, Los Angeles, 1972.
large number of Southern newspapers to show that Koehl’s Nazi message was being widely broadcast. As he must have
anticipated, his message was spurned by the governors of various states whom he had attempted to confront. Anti-busing
leaders, including George Wallace, refused to speak with the new Nazi Commander. (54) Nonetheless, Koehl and a party of
uniformed assistants conducted street meetings in numerous southern cities and White Power was actively sold. The party-line on the anti-busing leaders was expressed by White Power:
The first allegiance of these creeps is to 'law and order', the 'law of the land' and their stinking 'respectability'.
They are gutless pettifoggers. They say that the busing issue is not part of a large integration issue, and that
they are not racists. They are liars and hypocrites. (55)
Later, in March 1972, a White Power headline exclaimed: "Kosher Conservatives Fizzle in Anti Busing Fight!" The NSWPP criticised the conservatives and John Birchers for regarding busing as a question of law, states rights or public safety. The NSWPP was not alone in these contentions. The Klan and the NSRP agreed that busing represented an attempt by the forces of liberalism to force through class-room racial integration. (56) To impress possible supporters the NSWPP stressed militancy. It is likely as NS Bulletin contended, that many high school youth augmented the NSWPP's
55 White Power, February 1872, pp. 1-2.
56 I have examined Thunderbolt, December 1971 - December 1972 and some numbers of the United Klans of America paper, Fiery Cross, 1972.
membership, and as a public relations exercise, the NSWPP's stand on busing probably endeared it to other rightists as well as
winning substantial publicity
In the period 1967-73, the NSWPP built itself by continuous action. In the year or so after Rockwell's death,
Koehl saw the necessity of restoring intra-party solidarity. He persuaded the party's financiers to secure a new headquarters'
building in Arlington. He also developed a network of taped phone messages (White Power Messages), which could be
dialled by the curious. These messages were widely advertised in newspapers and by posters and leaflets in the years
1968-72. In 1968, the NSWPP's loose organisational structure was overhauled. Three geographical divisions were
established: Eastern, Western and Mid-Western Divisions. Special intra-party sections were organised for members,
stormtroopers and youth. In 1974, a section for women was established. This structure, Koehl declared, was a prerequisite
for the party's success "in the revolutionary decade ahead." (57) (Interestingly, this structure was almost identical to that of the
In the early period of Koehl's administration, the NSWPP demanded considerable individual initiative on the
part of members and supporters. An Activity Report system was instituted under which new members (and official NSWPP
branches) were to provide a monthly account of their
57 Matt Koehl, letter to members, November 1968.
labours, and, in an effort to encourage "idealism" and ideological commitment to National Socialism, NS Bulletin often
published the texts of these reports. The reports revealed the emphases of members' activities to have been a distribution of
leaflets and White Power, and on high school debates and campus discussions. (58) They also show that most of the
members were young and that often they were students.
The NSWPP's major objective in the years 1967-73 seems to have been the attraction of youth through a
commitment to revolutionary policies. To achieve this, Koehl authorised propaganda which contended that the NSWPP alone
was America's revolutionary movement, truly anti-system. One tactic employed here was to oppose the Vietnam War.
Throughout 1970 and until mid 1971, the NSWPP held weekly rallies in Washington D.C..
NSWPP speakers argued that the Vietnam War was a "capitalist war," which would only profit Rockefeller
and his ilk, while the National Liberation Front was a simple instrument of communist-imperialist aggression. (59) Koehl remarked that Standard Oil was fueling Vietnam, and that, if the U.S. was not serious about rolling back the Bamboo Curtain, then it should quit Vietnam immediately. (60)
58 NS Bulletin, June 1969 - June 1970, passim, (number obscured).
59 Matt Koehl, "Washington D.C. Speech," NS Bulletin, 15th April, 1971.
60 White Power, No. 17, April-May, 1971, p. 1.
To bolster their claims to be genuinely anti-war, the NSWPP denounced the New Left, this time using
anti-semitic arguments. Because the majority of New Left leaders were Jewish, it had failed to protest America's Middle East
entanglements. The NSWPP warned of dangers to peace in the Middle East and argued: "We are against any war which
wastes the lives of American soldiers." (61) White Power and the student publication National Socialist Liberator both ran regular features on the New Left portraying this movement - just as Hitler branded the leaders of the Communist Party - as
Jewish frauds and foreign agents. (62) One White Power headline queried: "Are You Tired of Being Led By - 'The Nose'?",
that is, tired of being led by "hook-nosed" Jews. (63) NS Liberator also denounced the New Left as being not so much a
movement as a malady which affected youth devoid of racial and national consciousness. A student leaflet, Build a New Order,contended that both capitalism and Marxism should be opposed by youth through energetic political action.
The new type of propaganda (1967-73) was very different from Rockwell's. While Rockwell had denounced
the Jewish New Left, he had never tried to pose as a right-wing version of it. He had used slogans and inferences. The new
NSWPP tried arguments. Rockwell had attracted "fighters"; the new NSWPP managed to attract a more sober
61 Stop the Slaughter, NSWPP leaflet, 1973.
62 National Socialist Liberator, No. 2, Autumn, 1969.
63 White Power, No. 18, July 1971, p 6.
individual. Between 1967 and 1972 the key Nazis of the 1970's were won over: Dennis Nix, Dan Dexter, Douglas Kaye,
Robert Homan, Harold Covington, Michael Allen and Richard Beiderman. Most of them were experienced in right-wing
politics and had some university education. All took roles in the Nazi administration: for example, Homan became
Corresponding Secretary for the WUNS, Covington, Kaye and Nix worked on White Power. The revitalised Nazi movement
therefore possessed sufficient cadre to escalate its operations as well as to resurrect the WUNS.
Confident that time was on the party's side, the NSWPP also attempted to revamp WUNS. A WUNS Report
was published continuously from 1968 until 1971, and irregularly in 1972 and 1973, to illustrate that, just as National Socialism
was becoming the leading white-racist ideology in the U.S., so it was also eclipsing the Right internationally. Nonetheless, the
WUNS Report also carried news of Extreme Right activity, not just specific Nazi activism, in several countries, and laboured
to prove that the NSWPP, as the vanguard of the American revolution, was a model for other Nazi groups around the globe.
(64) The affiliates of WUNS were, in 1973, the Partido Chileno Obrero National Socialista (Chile), the Frente National
Socialista Argentino (Argentina), the National Socialist Party of Australia, the National Socialist Irish Workers’ Party, the
National Socialist Party of New Zealand, and the Dansk National
64 WUNS Bulletin, No. 23, Spring, 1973.
Socialist Ungdorn (Denmark). There were also WUNS members in countries such as Germany, Austria,Spain, Sweden and Britain. TheWUNS Report did illustrate the confused political thinking of U.S. Nazis.It commented on certain French and Italian groups (like Ordre Nouveau) as "pro-National Socialist" (65) Unfortunately they bore only some resemblance to the NSWPP's Hitlerian creed. Certainly they were 'racist', nationalist and activist, but there the similarities ended. These groups could not transform their core beliefs into a 'racial faith' or accept the Hitler mythology. That such groups could grow - without having any loyalty to Hitler or
yesteryear's fascism - may have disturbed the NSWPP. Even so, WUNS was an ambitious propaganda ploy for the NSWPP; it gave some substance to the party's claim to be a serious U.S. and even international phenomenon.
But could the NSWPP achieve visible success? By 1973 it stood at a sort of crossroads. Because Nix and
others had left the National States' Rights Party for the NSWPP, and since Michael Allen and others had deserted the National
Youth Alliance for Nazism, the Jewish Press had concluded: "This may indicate a realisation by fascist elements within the U.S.
that the Nazis have become the main force of the radical right." (66) The NSWPP believed that controlled confrontation had
won it some moderate public sympathy in Los Angeles and Philadelphia, where mobs
65 WUNS Bulletin, No. 22, Autumn, 1972.
66 Jewish Press, 13 October 1972.
had turned on leftist demonstrators outside NSWPP installations. The Nazis therefore concluded that they had a popular base. The Jewish Press agreed with this assertion that the NSWPP's "responsible" Phase Two image had engendered some sympathy. (67) Whatever the truth of the matter the Nazis may well have acted on such an assumption. The NSWPP understood Phase Two to be the basis for Phase Three, the period where a "crisis" situation would occur, permitting an ideologically sound and organisationally coherent movement to expand rapidly. In 1973, the NSWPP was presented with the oil crisis, a virtual godsend for anti-semitic and anti-Zionist forces in the United States. (68) The Extreme Right mobilised around this issue, with every racist tabloid urging the U.S. to break with Israel. Harold Covington wrote in White Power: "The root of our present fuel shortage is America's support of the criminal state of Israel.” (69) The NSWPP distributed leaflets and demonstrated against pro-Zionist politicians. Stickers appeared with slogans such as "Oil Not Israel" and "Dump Israel”. However, Koehl and his lieutenants could not make much of any opportunities afforded by the Arabs embargoes, but then neither did any Extreme Right formation. However, this failure to make headway with such an explosive issue hurt the Nazis, occasioning further fragmentation.
Of course, the NSWPP had already contended with
68 It was a justification for decades of anti-semitic propaganda. The issue could be presented simply.
69 White Power, No. 31, July 1973, p. 1.
two potentially dangerous splits: Frank Collin's foundation of the National Socialist Party of America in Chicago in 1970, and Dr. Pierce's defection, also in that year. The schismatic days of 1967-68 could also be mentioned. However, the desertion of Joe Tommasi, Western District Leader, in October 1973 made it clear that there was a leadership crisis in the NSWPP. Tommasi resigned just as the oil crisis was getting underway and raised the question of Koehl's infirmities of leadership. Further, according to a Nazi source there was supposed personal rivalry between Koehl and Tommasi of an obscure nature, which festered throughout 1973. The Nazi Commander, anxious to "discipline" his subordinate, further exacerbated the division. (70)
In October 1973, the greater part of the Los Angeles unit of the NSWPP, along with sections of other units,
seceded under Tommasi's leadership to establish the National Socialist Liberation Front. While other schismatics had been
largely isolated, many NSWPP members had sympathy for Tommasi... As the months rolled on, and the NSWPP failed to
capitalise on the oil crisis, many Nazis abandoned Koehl for Tommasi.. Even so, the NSLF began its life as a Nazi sect with
some regret for it wished to patch up differences with the NSWPP. (71) Koehl would not yield. In its journal, Siege, the NSLF expressed its dissatisfaction with the NSWPP, the "old party." The NSWPP was dismissed as an unsuitable
70 James N. Mason, letter to author, August 31, 1979.
71 "Joseph Tommasi: his last interview," Los Angeles Free Press, August 22-28, 1975.
political vehicle since its leaders were "bureaucrats," and not "mass
propagandists". Koehl was personally reproached for using the
"leadership principle" to run the party himself. It was argued that
the NSWPP held to the illusion that violence was not necessary to
achieve Nazi goals. The NSLF also charged, that the NSWPP
was foolish to wait for the masses to rush to the party for salvation.
It claimed that the NSWPP was dogmatic rather than pragmatic in
its tactics and ideology, and that the middle-class leaders did not
understand the psychology of the ordinary man. Nor was the party
administration efficient. (72)
There was something to the NSLF's charges. From October 1973, the NSWPP was in a state of siege,
surrounded by new schismatics. Koehl's method of dealing with schismatics was ineffective. In 1967 he ignored their
arguments, denounced them as "psychopaths" and built the party. They usually faded from the scene. By 1974, this stratagem
was moth-eaten for the heretics had become too numerous, and, if Koehl opted to build the party he risked the creation of new
regional centres of opposition. The initiative was slipping from Koehl's hands and his immediate answer to the crisis -
centralisation - would also prove disastrous.
Koehl was no Rockwell. In Koehl's taped address The White Man's Viewpoint, the style of oratory and debate
was deliberate but uninspiring. Rockwell had expressed
72 Siege, No. 1, Third Quarter, 1974, passim.
fervour, militancy and intelligence. Koehl appeared humourless and certainly doctrinaire.(73) He had turned Rockwell's creed into a near-religious revelation, and consequently he addressed Americans in an aloof manner. In his 1977 pamphlet, Some Laws Of Revolutionary Development, Koehl admitted that many Nazis directly compared the U.S. and German Nazis and asked why the American party was not at a stage of development comparable with German Nazis in the 1920’s. (74) Koehl however, insisted on his orthodox position that the party was still in Phase Two and must retain its sobriety - even though this was clearly not what many American Nazis wanted to hear. As Tommasi had contended, Koehl often restricted activities to conform with his vision of Phase Two. His objective leadership style and the destructive effects of his ideological revisions of Rockwell would be illustrated in the history of the NSWPP after 1973.
The Cleveland Congress of the NSWPP, held in 1973, and coinciding with the Tommasi crisis, marked the zenith of the party. Yet in "the largest stormtroop demonstration in the party's history," a mere 120 troopers marched through downtown Cleveland. (76)
Although the Tommasi schism was an ulcer, the NSWPP continued on its course The Cleveland Congress laid down that the major issues of 1973 and 1974
73 Matt Koehl, The White Man's Viewpoint, NSWPP tape recording, 1974.
74 Matt Koehl, Some Laws of RevolutionaryDevelopment, Arlington, 1977, pp. 3-4.
75 Matt Koehl, Some Laws, passim.
76. NSWPP members' leaflet.
were Watergate and Israel. In these years, White Power reported extensive Nazi activity on the oil crisis. Nazis picketed
Hubert Humphrey at a Zionist function in San Francisco, with a "Dump Israel" theme, while new leaflets were issued calling for
support for the Palestinian cause against "the bandit state of Israel." In an article entitled "The Honeymoon is Over," Koehl wrote that "the real picture of the Enemy behind all our problems was now "visible"in America. (77) Of course, this enemy was the Jewish community. Koehl's attacks on America's Jews took place at a time of a substantial shift in public and political support for Israel. Senator Fulbright denounced the Jewish lobby in Washington and General Brown, former chief of the U.S. Army, attacked Jewish-owned newspapers for their irresponsible attitudes towards the Middle East conflict. Jewish publications denounced these men for "anti-semitism”. (78) The Nazis were therefore not operating in a vacuum, yet they clearly failed to make much headway. In pursuing the question of the oil crisis, the NSWPPdiffered from its rival Nazi party, the National Socialist Party of America, which continued to stress racial issues. The NSWPP opted for "agitation," as distinct from making mere propaganda. However, whatever outbreak of anti-semitism took place in the years 1973-75, it was directed more by organisations like
77 White Power, No. 53, July 1974, p. 5.
78 NSWPP members’ leaflet, 1974. The leaflet reproduced Jewish Press, October 11-17, 1974. The leaflet reproduced other
cuttings reporting Jewish Defence League leader, Rabbi Meir Kahane, predicting a rise in U.S. anti-semitism.
Liberty Lobby than by the NSWPP. (79) (Further, the oil crisis agitation also left the NSWPP little time to agitate around Watergate, though the Nazis drew the inevitable parallel between the "corruption" of Weimar Germany and contemporary America.)
Throughout 1974 and 1975, the NS Bulletin encouraged its readers to be exceptionally active on behalf of the cause. The NS Bulletin encouraged newspaper sales, and the distribution of anti-busing leaflets to build the movement. (80) An appeal, launched in 1974, which aimed to raise $40,000 was fully subscribed by April 1975.
But split after split took place in the NSWPP. In early 1974, Casey Kalemba, leader of the Cleveland unit, seceded from the party to establish the United White People’s Party. The new organization ceased to use the swastika, changed into blue uniforms and dubbed itself a "White Nationalist" party. (81) Kalemba became the "Commander" of the new party, which remained restricted to Ohio. Kalemba had been a trusted Koehl aide and had engendered substantial publicity for the party through opposition to busing. The reason for his desertion cannot be traced. The NSWPP which had hoped to make Cleveland its "Nuremberg,"
79 Liberty Lobby published the weekly, Spotlight, in 100,000 copies during this period. Spotlight was vehemently anti-Israel and was armed with a multi-million dollar budget.
80 NS Bulletin, No. 168, 1 December, 1974; NS Bulletin, May, 1974, wrote: "this involves hard and sometimes persistent work..."; NS Bulletin, No. 176, April, 1975.referr~d to a picket of a "conservative antibusing rally."
81 What is the United White Peoples Party?, UNWP leaflet, Cleveland, 1975.
that is, the site for the annual party congress, was forced to relocate its 1974 Congress to St. Louis. In any event the 1974 Congress never took place, because of further internal division.
The 1974 split with the St. Louis unit cost the NSWPP dear. Dennis Nix, leader of the unit, had been commissioned to organise the Congress when Koehl, as trustee for NSWPP property, requested that Nix transfer the ownership of the local headquarters to him. This Nix refused to do. (82) Shortly afterwards, the St. Louis unit of the NSWPP, joined the National Alliance.
Koehl's inability to trust local organisers is striking. Every time the NSWPP won publicity in a city, Koehl's
efforts to centralise power appear to have caused a split. This trend, already evident in 1974, continued in 1975. Early in
1975, the Detroit unit abandoned the NSWPP for reasons that remain obscure. Then a South Carolina section, under the
direction of Frank Brasswell, defected to Tommasi's NSLF. Brasswell apparently preferred the NSLF's commitment to
violent action. (83)
In 1975, the NSWPP tried to regain the initiative. At the Milwaukee Congress of September 1975, Koehl
announced that the party would contest local elections. A 'Dump Israel' parade, attended by seventy-five troopers, highlighted
82 Siege, No. 2, 1975. Though Siege was the journal of the NSLF, it abounded in gossip about the NSWPP.
83 NS Bulletin had mentioned Brasswell several times. His violent actions were praised by National Socialist Review, January, 1975, NSLF Newsletter.
Congress and received national media coverage. (84) During the Congress Koehl also offered praise to the man who killed Joe Tommasi during a brawl at the NSWPP headquarters in Los Angeles, while Clifford Ward, "an Arlington bureaucrat," called on all National Socialists to rally behind Koehl's leadership. (85) It was almost a warning to schismatics and heretics that beyond the confines of the NSWPP was an outer void of renegade Nazi groups. It was implied that only the NSWPP could achieve results.
To restore the morale of the faithful, the NSWPP could point to some local successes. In 1975, Baltimore unit leader
Wolfgang Schrodt contested an aldermanic poll and received 1200 votes, twelve percent of the white vote. (86) Schrodt
managed to gather local publicity, but in 1976 he also left the NSWPP.
In late 1975, the Milwaukee unit opened its mayoral campaign with Art Jones as its candidate. Jones's platform was not
aggressively anti-Negro, but anti-crime and antibusing and encouraged an eight percent endorsement in the first round of
voting on 17th February, 1976. (87) The NSWPP was encouraged by both the Baltimore and Milwaukee results and believed
that mass support obviously awaited the Nazi
84 NS Bulletin, No. 186 and NS Bulletin, No. 187, have full details of these issues.
85 NS Bulletin, No. 187, p. 2. Ward was a pet hate of the NSLF (see Siege, No. 1, Third Quarter, 1974). He was a defacto deputy to Koehl, but has since left the NSWPP.
86. NSWPP members' leaflet.
87 NS Bulletin, No. 198, 1 March, 1976.
movement in the late 1970's. Despite these encouraging signs, the crisis in the NSWPP continued. In 1976, Karl Hand, leader of the Buffalo unit, founded his own National Guard Party before merging it with the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Further, Allen Vincent's San Francisco unit became the National Socialist White Workers’ Party (NSWWP) and James Mason, leader of the Cincinatti/Chillicothe. unit, established his own National Socialist Movement. Despite these losses, the NSWPP continued to pursue electoral work and managed two major efforts. The new San Francisco organiser, Richard Johanson, contested a school-board poll in November 1976, and won 8792 votes, or 5.3% of the total, and a campaign by two Milwaukee Nazi women's organisers yielded 8800 votes, also in a
school-board contest, in February 1978. (88)
In the period of severe schism between 1973 and 1976, the NSWPP's propaganda became increasingly defensive. A
ThreeYear Plan was initiated to raise $88,000 between April 1975 and April 1978. Each month, White Power agonisingly
reported the progress of the fund, which was to fully professionalise the party and acquire additional property in the Mid
West. It reached its target amidst NSWPP claims of future progress. White Power alluded also to the "Valley Forge spirit,"
the spirt of persistence which won the American Revolution. (89) Matt Koehl's role in the movement was extolled. A White Power story, "We Need
88 White Power, No. 74, January - February 1977, p. 8.
89 White Power, No. 69, July 1976, p. 4.
A Hitler”, suggested that Koehl was the person to fill this role. (90) In the July-August 1978 White Power, Dr. Zeigler, a
survivor of Hitler's NSDAP executive and director of cinema in Nazi Germany, was quoted as describing Koehl as "a
personality strongly reminiscent of Rudolf Hess”. (91) Koehl's role in the development of U.S. Nazi ideology was also
commented upon, while his main rival of the time, Frank Collin, was denounced as a "Jew," and a $10,000 "reward" posted for
anyone who could prove otherwise. However, the crisis in the NSWPP was more than a matter of Koehl's errors and
Whereas Rockwell advocated and developed mass action, Koehl sought issues to develop the party. Down to 1973, the
issues that I have examined - the Wallace Campaign, the Hard Hat Revolt, the busing question - were utilised, but the mass
base of the Rockwell period could not be recaptured. One NSWPP attempt to develop agitation, as in the case of the Boston
Busing issue of 1974, was mis-managed. Koehl's movement could be critically contrasted to the aggressive agitation of
Rockwell's party. (93) Certainly, the issues recruited members to the party, and in the honeymoon period of Koehl's early
leadership, particularly so. However, the Nazis were generally unable to capture any real community support. This contrasts
markedly with Rockwell's
90 White Power, No. 62, April 1975, p.1.
91 White Power,No. 86, July-August 1978, p. 6.
92 NSWPP members' leaflet, 1978.
93 Chapter four, passim.
movement, which, while short of intellectuals and professionals, was able to agitate and build upon agitation. The Nazis under
Koehl lost touch with ordinary people as evidenced by this propaganda.
Faced with the realities of crisis and schism, the NSWPP developed further its underlying religious ideology. In 1975, White
Power ran a contest for the most successful paper salesman. The winner would receive a free trip to visit "sacred" sites in
Germany. (94) The NSWPP styled itself as "the party of Hitler and Rockwell.” (95) White Power ran a tribute to Nazi
martyrs. (96) White Power regularly condemned "phony" or "Hollywood" Nazis, especially after 1977. (97) The party was in
a clear state of siege. After 1975, the NSWPP tried only one further orientation to an issue by jumping on the Bi-Centennial
bandwagon. The 7th Party Congress became the "Continental Congress." A leaflet, A White Man's Declaration Of
Independence, appeared favouring a "Second American Revolution." Benjamin Franklin's comments against Jewish
immigration were printed in White Power, perhaps to justify U.S. Nazi anti-semitism. (98)
94 White Power and NS Bulletin covered the "pilgrimage" to "sacred sites," won by Cedric
Syrdahl, later NSWPP Chicago organiser, as major features in 1973.
95 This phrase, which achieved increasing usage, first appeared in an NSWPP appeal for funds, issued in 1975.
96 White Power, No. 77, September - October 1977, p. 4.
97 White Power, No. 86, July - August 1978, reproduced copies of Collin's father's naturalisation and marriage papers, which indicated Jewish origins. "Hollywood Nazis" were roundly condemned in that context.
98 Benjamin Franklin's Prophesy on the Jews, NSWPP leaflet, 1977.
The trend towards political irrelevancy has continued, with the NSWPP purchasing land in the Mid-West for a training centre, and the 1978 Ninth Congress taking the theme "Build The Revolutionary Hard Core." Such work was to "renew... faith in the ideals of Adolf Hitler and.. loyalty to Matt Koehl. (99) Though the NSWPP made "popular" references to Israeli "imperialism," and the "Zionist Carter Administration," (100) it was reduced to being a mere faction in the divided world of U.S. Nazism.
Section Two: The National Socialist Party of America (NSPA)
While Koehl's NSWPP was enjoying expansion in the early 'Seventies, another Nazi group was at work in Chicago: the National Socialist Party of America. Its leader was Frank Collin. In the NSPA's early period, 1970 - 1972, the NSWPP regarded it as a rather insignificant group, destined to go the same way as other self-styled split-offs from the parent party. (101) In fact, the NSPA had roots in Rockwell's agitation in Chicago and eventually became the leading Nazi group due to its politics of confrontation.
Originally, Frank Collin was a member of the NSWPP at Southern Illinois University. When the NSWPP was busy developing its organizational apparatus, Collin moved to
99 White Power, No. 87, September - October, 1978, p. 8.
100 "Pro Zionist Policies Endanger Oil Supply," White Power, No. 89, January-February, 1979, p. 1; "Fuel Crisis Looms,"
White Power, No. 90, March 1979, p.1.
101 Errol Robert Niemeyer, conversation with author, 1975. Niemeyer, an Australian Nazi, claimed that WUNS
correspondence from 1971 had expressed such views of Collin. Niemeyer also claimed that the NSRP maintained the same.
work on White Power.
According to the NSWPP, Collin was quizzed even at that early stage, over his "ancestry." Because he felt "uncomfortable" with the national headquarters staff, Collin moved to Chicago as Mid-West organiser. (102) In December 1968, he organised a meeting there to initiate his action program to restore local party fortunes. The local NSWPP had been thoroughly disrupted by F.B.I. "Cointelpro" operations, and had perhaps forty members and supporters in the Greater Chicago area. (103) Collin restored
activity to the Chicago unit by a series of violent street confrontations with leftist groups in 1969, and through a number of
belligerent speeches in Marquette Park. In early 1970, Collin quarrelled with Koehl. The division could have been over
personality differences or regionalism. No sources have been clear on the overall reasons for the split. In June 1970, the
NSPA was founded with maybe 100 members.
The regional nature of the dispute however is suggested by a story which became familiar enough. Collin was raising money for a headquarters, which Koehl, as trustee for NSWPP property, insisted should be held in his name. Collin proceeded to establish
"Rockwell Hall" as his headquarters, thereby bringing himself into direct confrontation with Koehl. (104) Collin’s violent confrontationist politics,
102 White Power, No. 86, August, 1978, pp. 4-5.
103 J. Edgar Hoover admitted in Congress that the F.B.I. had harassed the Nazis. Arthur Smith claimed that Collin took over a
weak branch, "a shadow of Vindjevich's organization of 1967," conversation with author, 1979.
104 White Power, No. 86, August, 1978. Also: E. R. Cawthron, conversation with author, 1979.
which were more in character with the old Nazi Party, contrasted with the enforced sobriety of the NSWPP. While Koehl was
building his leadership cadre through orientation to issues, Collin tried Rockwell's formula: mass action.
Collin launched his party on a plan for mass action along the line of Rockwell's Marquette Park success of 1966. Indeed, Collin's headquarters was established precisely in Marquette Park. National Socialism appeared to Collin and his supporters to have a certain vogue in Chicago, and mass action seemed the appropriate course to follow.
In the political ghetto of Chicago's southwest side, Collin posited his own theory of how Nazi power would be won in the United States. Basically, his plan of action was a combination of the Phase One and Phase Three stages as defined by Koehl. Mass action involved a small party engaging in sensationalist and violent actions, while developing its ability to mobilise large numbers of people for marches and riots. As the party grew more successful, it was thought that mass actions would somehow "escalate”. (105) Behind these tactics stood an over-riding strategy: the "Mid West Strategy." This scheme was simple: "he who controls Chicago controls the Mid West and he who controls the Mid West controls the United States.” (106) The plan was
105 Rockwell Hall Report, August 1972.
106 National Socialist Handbook, Chicago, NSPA, 1975, p. 5. The NSPA desired, "the creation of a small minority of active supporters led by an even smaller cadre of party leaders with the majority of people in moral support."
certainly grand, but while Koehl developed organizational skills for the NSWPP and quality party publications, Collin had to
contend with staff of poor quality and low grade publications. His scope for action was therefore limited. (107) Collin, might
have examined Rockwell's efforts of mass action in the 1963-65 period of the ANP, when the movement was organizationally
weak, but agitationally effective, and drawn solace from the belief that the NSPA could also perform miracles. Collin,
however, was no Rockwell.
The NSPA tottered along in Chicago until August 1972, when a ban on public speech making by its members in Marquette Park was lifted by a Supreme Court judge. In that month 2000 people attended a Nazi rally, with some 1200 joining the subsequent White Power march led by Collin's stormtroopers. (108) It was probably the success of this rally, and of a number of suburban meetings in 1973, which induced Albert Brinkmann, director of a small New York group of mainly German-Americans, to affiliate to the NSPA in 1973-74 and formally to join it in 1975. The NSPA thereby gained its first unit outside of Chicago. Moreover, the successes of the NSPA in achieving extensive coverage in the media persuaded American-born Gerhard Lauck, leader of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Overseas Organization) to open negotiations with Collin. For Collin, this was another breakthrough. It was newsworthy.
107 A general conclusion from Collin's publications' style, content, technical quality.
108 The New Order, No. 17, September, 1978, p. 3, reviewed NSPA history.
Unlike Koehl, Collin did not control any WUNS-like international Nazi network. Since the NSDAP (AO) failed to win WUNS authorisation as its German section, it turned to Collin, offering collaboration in the establishment of a radio-station in Chicago, (109) as well as a chance to ally the NSPA with a showcase German underground Nazi party. Collin used 1974 to build his local power base. While his irregularly published newspaper, New Order, like White Power, pontificated on a number of issues, including the oil crisis and Zionism, the major thrust of the NSPA's propaganda in 1974 (and 1975), was directed against Negroes and Jews. The fineries of White Power were never part of New Order and Jews were libelled in Streicher-like terms. (110)
The crudity of the NSPA's propaganda was probably as much a product of geographic isolation as of a dearth of leadership cadre. To mobilise people in Marquette Park demanded a certain propagandistic crudity, nonetheless, and Collin was only too eager to provide this; but side by side with basic agitation, the NSPA also attempted to win some electoral support. The culmination of the party's 1974 labours was the aldermanic poll of February 1975, in which three Nazi candidates received 5000 votes. Collin won sixteen percent in his ward. (111) The NSPA entered 1975 with
109 NS Kampfruf, February 1977, p. 1. NS Kampfruf was issued periodically by the NSDAP(AO).
110 New Order, July 1974. This New Order is not the same publication issued since 1977. It was the first NSPA paper, which lapsed in 1975.
111 NS Report, No. 2, June 1975. NS Report, , an NSDAP(AO) publication, was issued in English.
a certain degree of credibility, which must have been noticed by other sections of the Nazi Right.
1975 was a very important year for the American Neo-Nazi right. While Collin had the largest overt Nazi organisation outside the NSWPP, he was not alone. A certain coalescence took place in 1975 between various Nazi, Klan and other fascist formations, resulting in the establishment of a White Confederacy Of Understanding in October. At the end of the year, Collin permitted the NSPA to join this co-ordinating body, which soon became the medium by which the NSPA passed out of isolation and into the widening Nazi and Extreme Right milieu. (112)
The Confederacy marshalled several active groups, including the American White Nationalist Party, the United White People's
Party, the National Socialist Liberation Front, the National Socialist Movement and the Canadian Western Guard Party. The NSDAP(AO) also affiliated to the Confederacy at the same time, as did Collin. While the Confederacy did not include any major Klan, the NSWPP, the NSRP or the National Alliance, it did bring together several minor and active formations. Its existence testified both to an increase in white racist activity as well as the schismatic nature of U.S. neo-nazi politics of 1975. Many of the groups in the Confederacy were illiterate and violence-prone; others had some substance, organizationally
112 Michael J. Kelly, letter to author, May 4 1979. Kelly was "duty officer" of the NSPA from 1976; he claimed the Confederacy was "very important" to NSPA development.
and otherwise, They were united in their opposition to the Nazi orthodoxy of Koehl and believed a new wave of activism
could succeed wherever race was a political issue.
Shortly after its foundation, the Confederacy welcomed the British Movement, the major rival to the National Front, as an affiliate, and thereby took on wider dimensions. The initial role had been to promote understanding and cooperation between the scattered, warring sections of the Extreme Right. (113) Itssubsequent mission became the unification of the neo-nazi Right in America and internationally. The steamroller continued to break-down opposition to friendly associations of neo-nazi groups. In mid 1976, Allen Vincent's National Socialist White Workers' Party affiliated and Collin emerged as the Confederacy's most articulate spokesman. However Collin's ambition took charge. Not content with groups which did not actually fly the swastika and wear the brown uniforms of U.S. Nazism, Collin engineered a split in the Confederacy with the overtly Nazi organisation seceding to found the National Socialist Congress, of which he became a national co-ordinator. He wrote:
The rightists purged themselves and from an apparent split of forces emerged for the first time a monolithic
union of National Socialists from around the country. (114)
113 Rules and Regulations - And In Affect - Statute Of The White Confederacy, 1975, spelled out the Confederacy's aims and objectives.
114 Newsletter: Internal Publication Of The National Socialist Congress, November, 1976, p. 4.
other Extreme Rightists, resulted from the split in the Confederacy. The idea of the new Nazi party was irresistible. Gerhard
Lauck's NS Report paper became the mass organ of the new Congress, with every member-party agreeing to purchase a set
number of copies. To this end, 10,000 copies of each NS Report were issued. (115)
James Mason, secretary of the NSWWP asserted that Collin, delighted that his plan to "march through Skokie," a heavily Jewish suburb in Chicago, was receiving massive media coverage, moved to assert his leadership over the NSC. Collin's aim was supposedly to unite all the Nazi parties in the National Socialist Party of America. (116) The NSWWP opposed Collin in this regard. According to Harold Covington, who later became the NSPA's deputy leader, Allen Vincent "fell prey to Mason's intrigues," and stepped forward as the "successor" to Rockwell. (117) Nonetheless, Collin used the NSC's existence and growth to assert that Koehl had been eclipsed, reactivated many old Nazis and increased the tempo of Nazi activity.
The essential feature of the revival of Nazi activity in the years 1975-79 under the NSPA's auspices was its lack of relation to any immediate social issue. Certainly there was racism in NSPA propaganda, but unlike Rockwell's
115 ibid. The print run ofNS Report is calculated partly on the basis of each NSC affiliate's promise to purchase 500 copies of each edition.
116 James N. Mason, letter to author, May 22, 1979 an
117 Harold H. Covington, letter to author, June 8 1979.
theory, it was unrelated to concrete activities. The NSPA appeared very much a media bubble inflated by provocative actions.
On 17 July 1976, an attempt by the black civil rights organization, the Martin Luther King Movement, to march through Marquette Park was violently opposed by Nazi-led mobs. An NSPA leaflet declared:
During 1976 NSPA stormtroopers four times mobilised the White People in southwest Chicago's Marquette
Park area. With this grass roots weapon of White Power, the NSPA four times routed Negro mobs in various
of white neighbourhoods and repeatedly out fought the Jew controlled Daly Machine's armed police who aided
the Black mobs. (118)
In response to this violence, Mayor Daley tried unsuccessfully to close Rockwell Hall. Collin intended to cap 1976 with a
Congressional race in Chicago. According to Rockwell Hall Report, over 15,000 signatures were collected to place the
"White Power Party" on the ballot. (119) But in the poll on 3 November, Collin received a mere 1100 votes. The NSPA
alleged fraud and produced a stolen Anti Defamation League of B'nai B'rith letter to support the contention. The ADL letter
had stated: "Perhaps it might be wise if the members see that this man does not get a single vote in the district.” (120)
In a final attempt to bring all Nazi groups under his umbrella, Collin organised a unity congress to be held
118 Just When You've Seen it All, Along Comes the National Socialist Party of America, NSWPP leaflet, 1977.
119 Rockwell Hall Report, undated (probably early 1977), pp. 2-3.
120 Chicago Tribune, November 5, 1976. Fraud is not impossible though not likely.
in St. Louis on 11 March 1978. In its account of this meeting, The New Order, successor paper to NS Report declared:
March 11 1978 will go down in the history of the National Socialist movement in America. On that day,
following 10 years of disunity and discord after the death of Commander George Lincoln Rockwell, the
majority of National Socialist units and activists re-unified into the National Socialist Party of America. A single
unified nationwide NS Party has arisen from the NS Congress. The NSPA now has 15 active units and a
monthly newspaper. (121)
The groups which were amalgamated were Lauck's NSDAP(AO), the National Socialist Party of North Carolina, led by
Harold Covington, and several local minor groups. Substantial coverage resulted. Indeed, the NSPA was receiving massive
media attention. The same New Order observed:
Skokie! The mere word has an electric impact upon the entire NS movement. For over a year now, the
planned Skokie march has generated more publicity than any other single NS demonstration... Skokie is
capable of becoming the symbol of a unified National Socialist movement. (122)
Skokie was certainly the most effective of Collin's provocations, which proved just how far over-reaction on the part of media
and various groups could fuel a vocal minority. President Carter denounced the Nazis over Skokie. Powerful Jewish groups
filed suit against a previous court decision permitting Collin to march. Other Nazis claimed that Collin’s planned march was just
a "stunt," but the whole
121 The New Order, No. 13, April - May, 1978, p. 1.
122 ibid, p. 4.
business made the pages of Time and Newsweek. (123) Aryeh Neier, Civil Liberties’ Union lawyer, who defended Collin’s right to march, wrote in his Defending My Enemy:
Almost every daily newspaper in the country published editorials about Skokie... the press sided with the American Civil
Liberties Union in defending free speech... It has been a leading topic of sermons in churches and synagogues.
The emergence of the Skokie case as a cause celebre lies in part in its timing... at a moment when American Jews fear that
they - and Israel -will be betrayed by the Western Democracies. Will the need for Arab oil... take precedence over Jewish
Neier, who was often cautious in his judgments, strongly alluded to the idea that individual American Jews and Jewish groups
took up the gauntlet against Collin. They over-reacted out of fear of anti-semitism, equating Skokie with other American
opposition to the active Zionist Lobby in Washington. In this case American Nazism was of interest only to the Jewish
community and the media outlets controlled by them. This stood in bold relief to the Rockwell movement of 1966.
In any case, the Skokie march was aborted by Collin, after the Supreme Court had ruled that it was constitutional for uniformed Nazis to march wherever they liked. Collin
123 White Power Report, Vol. 2, No. 5, pp. 57-9. The WPR, issued by the White Power Movement, ran a full, balanced, article on the media reaction to "Skokie," which indicated the hysteria it engendered.
124 Aryeh Neier, Defending My Enemy: Skokie, American Nazis And The Limits Of Freedom, New York, 1979, p. 9.
next announced that he would not march in Skokie, as long as his right to hold rallies elsewhere was not restricted by local government ordinances. (125) A 5000 strong rally in Marquette Park in July 1978 heard Collin proclaim:
We have won our greatest battle: our right to display the symbols of our cause in our streets. We will go on to new strengths in Chicago. (126)
The NSPA then moved on to contest further aldermanic elections in Chicago and held several rallies in Chicago and other cities.
There were several differences between the National Socialism of the NSPA and the NSWPP, differences which were intimately connected to the respective styles of the two organisations. In the literature of the two organizations, the NSPA devoted far more attention to the question of revolution as the means to change things in America. In 1975, long before Koehl made allusions to "the spirit of '76," Collin adopted as a party symbol the original war flag of the American Revolution. Collin believed that "mass action is the prelude to revolution.” (127) Writing of his "storm-troopers," Collin said: "the ST of American National Socialism are the Minutemen of the Twentieth Century." (128) To distinguish themselves from the NSWPP and other Nazis, the NSPA sought to make more than just an abstract commitment
125 New Order, No. 17, September 1978, p. 6.
126 Frank Collin, NSPA tape recording, 1978.
128 New Order, No. 26, June 1979, p. 3.
to revolutionary politics. Like certain Marxist parties in contemporary America, it took to violent action. Eventually, NSPA
members would gun down members of the Marxist Communist Workers’ Party in Greensboro, in North Carolina. (129)
A second major difference between the NSPA and the NSWPP was the heavy emphasis of the former on youth, an emphasis which grew weaker in the NSWPP after the early 1970's. Collin's early successes with Marquette Park youth probablyled his organisation to elevate the idea of youth-recruitment into party dogma. His speeches in the years 1974-76 had been orientated towards youth: "your instincts are pure... you know what a nigger is”. (130) In 1976, the NSPA formed a White Youth Front, which issued a rather tatty publication: Young Wolves. The WYF was designated as an equivalent of Koehl's National Socialist Youth Movement, which was an educative body and an auxiliary to the party proper, but as a Leninist-style transmission belt between youth and the Party. (131). Though in 1976 and 1977, the NSWPP emphasised high school recruitment, camps for NSYM members, and cadre-training sessions, it was unable to match the riotous behaviour indulged in and encouraged by the WYF in Chicago, St. Louis and Houston.
129 This incident became the "Greensboro Case." The Nazis and Klansmen were eventually acquitted. Mass Left and anti-racist
activity took place around this matter.
130 NSPA Speech Exerpts, NSPA tape recording, 1976.
131 The Young Wolves: Official Publication of the White Youth Front, undated (probably late 1976).
The third aspect of NSPA ideology which differentiated it from the NSWPP was related to the prospect of economic catastrophe. The headlines in one 1974 edition of New Order declared: "Crash Coming.” (132) The NSWPP and other Nazis seldom predict economic collapse, but such predictions by New Order were frequent and somewhat analgous to those of the British paper Action, the organ of Sir Oswald Mosley's Union Movement. Unemployment, inflation, the ineptness of governments, and resources problems were regarded as the prelude to another full scale depression. "Massive unemployment could be in the offing," argued one NSPA leaflet. (133) The NSPA contended that a crash would fire the racial hatreds existent in contemporary America and together these two elements would produce a revolutionary situation in the United States.
Between 1976 and 1978, the NSPA moved past other Nazi formations in terms of membership and media exposure Covington wrote: "Frank Collin has proven himself by seizing the national limelight from Koehl - and holding it. (134) Covington's publication, White Carolina, stated that Collin "believes in encouraging individual and local initiative and innovation rather than stifling it under a wet blanket like Arlington does." (135) In 1978, the NSPA maintained fourteen units outside Chicago, a monthly paper which sold
132 New Order, July 1974.
133 Dump Israel, Pump Gas, NSPA leaflet, 1978.
134 White Carolina, No. 6, March, 1978, p. 2. This publication was first issued by the NSP of North Carolina, directed by Covington. The NSPNC merged with the NSPA and White Carolina was retained as a branch bulletin.
ten thousand copies and a membership of about 700. (136) At this time the ‘Protestant Nazi’ Covington denounced the ‘Catholic Orthodox Nazi’ Koehl for his ‘crimes.’ In White Carolina he wrote:
... it cannot be denied that Koehl occupies the NS equivalent of the Throne of the Fisherman
and to some people, more concerned with ideological trivia and orthodoxy than with White Victory, this fact
counts more than Koehl's blatantly evident incompetence and demonstrable defects in leadership... there will
always be a certain hard-core of Koehlites sitting in their little building in Arlington and twiddling their thurribs
while pursuing lines of arcane irrelevance. As we of the new party march down Wilson Boulevard towards the
White House... we'll give them a friendly wave. (137)
The NSPA's aim, despite its deficiencies of organisation and finance, was to eclipse the NSWPP. It nearly succeeded before it
too entered a period of crisis in subsequent years due to Collin's conviction for child molestation. (138)
Section Three: The National Socialist White Workers’ Party (NSWWP)
The National Socialist White Workers’ Party, formed in March 1976 by ex-NSWPP organiser, Allen Vincent, represented another aspect of American Nazism. It was a sort of fundamentalist sect anxious to return to Rockwell's programme and style, but was in reality a parody of Rockwell's party.
136 News and World Report, November 7, 1977.
137 White Carolina, op. cit., pp. 12-14. Also, New Order, No. 18, October 1978, pp. 4-5.
138 In 1979 Collin was convicted of child molestation and was sentenced to seven years imprisonment. Numerous
intra-NSPA troubles resulted; the party existed under Lauck's control until fading away in the early 1980’s.
The NSWPP issued from the San Francisco unit of the NSWPP. This unit had won substantial headlines for Koehl during 1974 and 1975 by instigating wild melees at Zionist meetings, and exposing busing at school-board meetings. (139) The San Francisco unit became the major subject of an award-winning documentary, California Reich, televised in 1975. In late 1975, friction developed between Koehl and Vincent, perhaps over Vincent's starring role in California Reich. With Vincent's subsequent secession1 the NSWPP in California was almost wrecked, and Vincent emerged to claim the mantle of leadership of U.S. Nazism.
The NSWPP expanded throughout California, Texas, Rhode Island and Detroit to become the third faction of U.S. Nazism of the 1970's. (140) In its period as an affiliate to both the White Confederacy and the National Socialist Congress, the NSWWP failed to enjoy close relationswith Frank Collin and his associates. Even so, the NSWWP was active enough to provoke violent opposition. In March 1977, its bookshop, the Rudolf Hess Bookshop in San Francisco, was ransacked by a Jewish mob. Both the U.S. Attorney's
Office and the District Attorney refused to bring any charges against any member of the mob. (141) According to yet another Nazi publication, White Power Report, the NSWPP bookshop was itself a stupid provocation (it was set up in a Jewish
139 White Power, No. 48, February 1974, pp. 1 and 8, recounted some of Vincent's Nazi activities.
140 Stormer, Vol. 1, No. 3, April 1978, p. 30, published a directory of NSWWP branches.
141 Stormer, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 3-5, reproduced letters written by San Francisco officials regarding the bookshop riot indicating these facts.
neighbourhood), and the party was openly inviting trouble to win publicity. (142) NSWWP university speaking engagements were also opposed violently by leftist groups such as the Revolutionary Communists, the Spartacist League and the Progressive Labor Party.
In what was very likely a reaction to Collin's St. Louis reunification congress of March 1978, Vincent arranged the amalgamation of three parties into a single NSWWP. Vincent's own movement united with the NSLF and the National Socialist Movement. The secretary of the latter group, James Mason, who was already on the editorial board of the NSWWP's magazine Stormer, became Secretary of the party. A special bulletin announced: "We are now the single largest block of uniformed Nazis in the United States today.” (143) White Workers' Bulletin continued:
But now the real work begins. Where we find ourselves organisationally is approximately
where the American Nazi Party was in the months between the establishment of ANP-Dallas Business
Department and the assassination of Rockwell and the dissolution of his ANP in the summer of 1967. In short,
we find ourselves in a position to begin picking up where we left off. ( 144)
In the NSWWP's cosmology, therefore, the other Nazi parties were beyond the pale and not true disciples of Rockwell.
Believing the U.S. racial and economic situation to be ripe for a new Nazi movement, Stormer added, in its usual style:
142 White Power Report, January 1978, p. 10.
143 White Workers' Bulletin: Special Issue, May - June 1978, p. 1.
... in keeping with the ideals and traditions of National Socialism, the NSWWP of Commander
Allen Vincent is keeping alive all that which made the aryan race feared and respected by the dark savages of
the planet. (145)
The NSWWP, taking account of its transposition into the situation faced by the ANP in 1966-7, could only have seen itself as
ready to inspire masses to action. On that basis, Vincent was described as a “combat leader,” “able to command men in the
streets.” (146) Mason claimed that, while Vincent was not a Fuhrer-personality, he was definitely in Rockwell's mould and the
only possible leader for American Nazism (147) Vincent had been recruited by Rockwell and led his National Socialist Youth
Movement in 1966. He had numerous convictions for violent crimes, but was “reformed” by the “faith.” Vincent's
understanding of Rockwell's tactics centred on the arrangement of sharp street confrontations with leftists or Jews, rather than
on political agitation or the building of skilled cadre. It could only be concluded that any similarities between Vincent and Rockwell would be gratuitous assertions on the part of U.S. Nazi publicists. Vincent's claim to the leadership of U.S. Nazism was as vacuous as his philosophy. The claim rested on the assertions that Collin was “Jewish” and Koehl a “Pakistani,” and that therefore they were unsuitable as Nazi leaders. (148)
145 Stormer, Vol. 1, No. 3, April 1978, p. 8.
146 White Workers' Bulletin, May-June 1978, p. 5.
147 James N. Mason, letter to author, June 29, 1979.
148 Tim O'Leary, letter to author, March 5, 1979.
In order to strengthen its claim to represent orthodox Nazism, the NSWWP decided, in 1978, that the only acceptable political
programme was Rockwell's ANP platform. Finally, in 1979, it was adopted. White Workers' Bulletin had argued:
The current racialist right has been falling flat in organising its people
- the White masses - largely because there is no programme. (149)
Since Rockwell's programme had inspired mobs on numerous occasions, it was a natural for the pretentious NSWWP. The NSWWP's pretentiousness showed also in its revamping of the White Confederacy.
The Confederacy was in a chaotic state in 1977, but the NSWWP helped to restore it. Various independent Klans, such as the Adamic Knights, the American White Nationalist Party, and the Nationalist Party of Canada, maintained affiliations. The British Movement, and an obscure Australian group, the National Democratic Front, stood by the Confederacy. (150) Although the Confederacy's U.S. affiliates could not agree to form a united organisation, the NSWWP dominated the Confederacy as its own domain.
The NSWWP consisted, in the period examined, of maybe a few hundred members and sympathisers, mostly of low educational standard. Its publications were of low standard, insisting generally on attacking blacks and Jews. There were hints that it had
internal problems, mainly financial,
149 White Workers' Bulletin, Vol. VIII, No. 2, March-April 1979, p. 3.
150 Situation Report of the White Confederacy, December 1977.
as with most U.S. Nazi groups. (151) Its style, unlike Koehl's and Collin's,
consisted of extremist provocation probably designed to present the party as
an issue in itself; in fact the party presented no plan of action - other than
sensationalist activities - to win tactical successes. The impression gained
from the NSWWP's literature is that the group appealed to sub-proletarian
elements illustrating that it could not obtain a geographic base like the
NSPA, or a cadre to manipulate issues, like the NSWPP. The NSWWP
still exists. (1984)
Section Four: The Sectarian Disputes In Perspective
As noted earlier, the political language employed by the three Nazi formations, could indicate that these groups were movers in a political cult. Koehl's booklet, The Future Calls, portrayed Hitler as a racial messiah. Harold Covington maintained the Koehl-Collin split was a rejection by the NSPA of Koehl's claim to the Nazi "throne of the fisherman. Vincent, amidst references to a race war with "the dark savages of the planet," urged a return to pure Rockwell principles. Such terminology is unique in form and substance.
The NSWPP represented, if we can continue with the
151 White Workers' Bulletin, Vol. VII, No. 7, July 1978, p. 8. This bulletin claims all U.S. Nazi groups suffer from internal
"mutiny," "lack of money," "bad leadership" which could cause them to "collapse overnight."
152 Vincent still directs an unchanged NSWWP. It may have declined due to defection - including that of Mason.
religious analogy, the Catholic tendency in U.S. Nazism. Koehl wrote in Some Guidelines For The Development Of The National Socialist Movement:
Ultimately the National Socialist doctrine assumes the dimensions of a racial faith. By
incorporating Adolf Hitler's great revelations of eternal Truth and by establishing a whole new basis for making
value judgements... National Socialism has, in fact, all the attributes of a dynamic new Aryan religion.
Koehl quickly continued:
A National Socialist orthodoxy must accordingly begin with a fundamental recognition of the
one historic National Socialist movement based on the infallible teachings of Adolf Hitler as given, both
explicitly and implicitly in his book, Mein Kampf.... (153)
Like a 'pope’, Koehl added that his World Union of National Socialists had the monopoly on the interpretation of doctrine. In
Koehl's system, orthodoxy involved the ideology of “the book,” Mein Kampf, a recognition of Hitler as saviour and Rockwell
as apostle Paul, the retention of the symbol, the swastika and the construction of the true party, "the party of Hitler and
Rockwell." Nazi opponents of the NSWPP were dubbed “schismatics.” The reference to political-Catholicism has substance.
Koehl's authority was challenged by the NSPA. The NSPA named itself “the new party,” necessarily restored after the corruption and phoney nature of the NSWPP had dissipated the legacy of Rockwell. The NSPA, unlike the orthodox NSWPP, was willing to liaise with other non-Nazi
153 Matt Koehl, Some Guidelines, pp. 18, 22.
racist organisations and through dubbing its ideology "national populism," willing to locate itself within some elements of
American political tradition. It was essentially more pragmatic, but just as committed to the Hitler cult and essential U.S. Nazi
dogma, as was the NSWPP. To call the NSPA a "Protestant" strand in U.S. Nazism is therefore possible.
The NSWWP meanwhile, though certainly "Protestant," centred its creed not so much on Hitler as on Rockwell, on his interpretation of National Socialism. Of course Vincent missed the nature of Rockwell's fascism and based his postulates on the early~Nazism: of the American Nazi Party, its programme and fundamental statements of principle (1959-63). NSWWP leader Allan Vincent was proclaimed a "combat leader" worthy of Rockwell's mantle and able to take up Rockwell's mission. The NSWWP was without pomp or pretence; it sought, as noted, to practise revolutionary tactics. It was perhaps, the Calvinist element of U.S. Nazism.
Vincent announced that Rockwell's programme was the only programme which could unite the warring factions of the Nazi movement and other Nazi and racist formations. With that in mind, and recognising that the larger Nazi formations were unfriendly, Vincent liaised carefully with groups like the National Socialist Liberation Front, the White Nationalist Party, the United White People’s Party and independent Klans. These groups were, possibly, the Anabaptists of U.S. Nazism.
Like the true Anabaptists, these groups were committed, not so much to dogmatic discussion, but violent, nihilistic action. These groups were keyed to violent street confrontation, particularly with Negro and radical Marxist organisations. Their simple race-hate ideology and violent language were designed to achieve this sort of confrontation; provocation of the Jewish community also ranked high on their list of priorities. (154) Their extremist nature can be seen from the text of an NSLF leaflet which read, in part:
Not being part of a “mass movement”organisation and not attempting to build a mass movement will allow us to
put forth our efforts only to those we feel will benefit from our teaching... We are clandestine National Socialist
For these extremist sects, centred very much in a local area base and on the leadership of a few individuals, only action mattered. Other Nazi groups were condemned on this issue – for their rejection of the idea that a revolution can be precipitated by violent action.
With U.S. Nazism divided into its Catholics, Protestants, Calvinists and Anabaptists, a question arises as to the psychology of U.S. Nazism. It may be possible that pathology could be involved in studying individual Nazis. This study, however, has not hard empirical evidence; there are no psychological surveys of U.S. Nazis which could indicate abnormality. There have of course been pathological
154 This conclusion was derived through examining copies of White Nationalist, NSLF documents and material issued by the Ohio
National Socialist Movement.
155 An Introduction to the National Socialist Liberation Front, leaflet, 1975.
Nazis from Dan Burros in the 1960's through to a Nazi who performed racial murders in New York, a "terror" significant enough to be internationally reported in Newsweek. (156) An ex-Nazi tried to assassinate President Reagan; he was found unfit to stand trial. Long-term Nazi, Frank Spisak, carried out racial murders in Ohio; he too was found to be insane. What can be seen, however, is the very unusual cultist aspect of U.S. Nazism. Pathology could not be generally proved, and is unlikely in any case. The movement is more complex.
The Hitler cult was refined and consistently developed in post-Rockwell Nazism. The post-Rockwell Nazis lost their base of support across America; the increasing cultism was linked to increasing political isolation. One sign of political isolation was the violence of frustration. In 1978, in North Carolina, for example, Nazis opened fire on demonstrators, killing five members of the Communist Workers’ Party. Another sign of isolation was the NSWPP's retreat into open religion, Hitler worship. However, all Nazis were agreed on a second-coming, which would eventuate through “incantation,” the repetition of German Nazi formulae, and lead to the global resurrection of National Socialism. Paul Wilkinson inThe New Fascists, maintained that the neo-nazi groups were “ideological religious cult movements.” (157) It was not a political movement intent on racial aims but a
156 "Neo-Nazi Groups: Artifacts of Hate," Newsweek, October 20, 1980.
157 Paul Wilkinson, The New Fascists, London, 1983, p. 9.
cause based on righting a "wrong," restoring Hitler's ideology to perpetuate his memory. It is this cultism which renders post-Rockwell Nazism ridiculous. The arguments within the movement were not therefore rationally based; U.S. Nazism, consequently, cannot be judged to have been political in its post-Rockwell phase1 but neither is it an expression of pathology as some would allege. Hard empirical evidence would be necessary to make a final judgement.
Section Five: American Nazism In The Context Of The International Extreme Right
In Chapter Two, I examined Rockwell's Nazism in the context of the revival of public interest in the history of Nazism and
fascism. Rockwell also inspired the growth of Nazi parties from frustrated elements of European neo-fascist formations. A
similar analysis of American Nazism in the post-Rockwell period points to a decline of interest in political Nazism generally;
however such an analysis does show a focus of interest in Britain, where Nazi ideas have inspired sections of the British
Extreme-Right. It was several new strands in the European Extreme Right after 1967 which combined to render impotent the siren calls of American Nazis. (158)
158 Martin Walker, The National Front, London, 1977; Francois Duprat's various pamphlets issued by the Revue d'Histoire du Fascisme, give full information on British and Continental developments. Duprat's Les Mouvements Nationalistes en Italie, Le Trait, 1976, indicates that the ltalian Extreme Right precluded Mussolinist trends.
In 1967, the year of Rockwell's death, the National Front was formed in Britain. It included in its ranks several former devotees of Rockwell's ideas. Simultaneously, the German National Democrats were bidding strongly for parliamentary representation in Bonn. At that moment also, a French movement, Occident, was very active in practising “la contestation” with the Extreme-Left. The European sections of WUNS could not compete with these developments. Because of endless schism, the WUNS, according to WUNS Report, was restricted to small sections in Ireland, Britain, Spain, Denmark and Sweden. (159) There may have been supporters elsewhere, butWUNS Report gave no mention at all of countries such as France, Belgium and Holland. News from Germany was of little consequence. (160) TheWUNS Report also carried news of non-Nazi formations in Italy and other places, perhaps to bolster morale.
As the 1970's unfolded, another wave of neo-fascist activism took place in Europe. 1971 was the take-off year of France's Ordre Nouveau, a militant revolutionary nationalist party. Led by Alain Robert, Jack Marchal, Alain Renault and Francois Duprat it expanded in several cities. Its militants, armed with shields and clubs, took to the streets in large numbers. WUNS called Ordre Nouveau "pro-National Socialist";
159 WUNS Report was a monthly, then two-monthly bulletin published between 1967 and 1970. It was reissued in 1972-73.
160 I have made this conclusion from an examination of fifteen numbers ofWUNS Report, 1969-73.
161 WUNS Report, Autumn 1973, and White Power, July 1973, p. 2 reported the banning of Ordre Nouveau.
however Duprat argued that the U.S. Nazis did not understand the impulse behind the organization. (162) An Italian version
of Ordre Nouveau, Political Movement for a New Order (MPON), also made an appearance in 1971.
In Germany and Britain militant rightists were very active. Several German "New Right" groups were formed between 1971 and 1973 to forge new ideology, neither conservative nor neo-nazi. (163) The U.S. Nazis hated them for such presumption. (164) The WUNS also found little consolation in the expansion of the British National Front. The NF was soaking up the available racist market while an attempt by Ian Mudie and Donald Bloomfield to re-establish the British Nazi Party failed.
The American Nazis were unable to establish much rapport with these European movements and tended to isolate themselves from the neo-fascists anyway. An example of this may be found in WUNS's reaction to various National European Congresses held between 1972 and 1974. These congresses, which attracted various racists and advocates of Nation-Europe, were condemned by WUNS. (165) The U.S. Nazis were of the opinion that the National-Europeans were bourgeois and
162 Francois Duprat, letter to author, March 1979. Duprat maintained that Ordre Nouveau's members did not find Hitler's ideology
agreeable or relevant to l970's France. Ordre Nouveau's literature substantiates this.
163 Francois Duprat, Les Mouvements Nationaux et Nationalistes en Allemagne, Le Trait, 1976, pp. 2-4, 14.
164 Paul Riis-Knudsen, letter to author, 15 June 1982. Knudsen was a Danish Nazi organiser. Knudsen noted that increasing numbers of German activists rejected the Hitler tradition.
165 For True National Socialism, WUNS circular, July 1973.
averse to Hitler's Aryan salvation message. (166) The British National Front was also denounced as “kosher,” that is, Jewish controlled. (167) European Nazis were instructed to propagate the real faith to these formations; the WUNS Report urged the building of new cadre to influence the Right. (168) Even so, the crisis of the international Nazi movement continued.
The Danish Nazi party had fizzled by 1974 into a small publishing agency smuggling Nazi literature into West Germany. (169) The Danish Nazi leader, Paul Riis-Knudsen, was brought to the United States and appointed WUNS representative for Europe. Knudsen attempted to interest the Spanish Circle Of The Friends of Europe, a 5000 strong blue shirted organization, in the American Nazi ideology. This group had taken the American Nazis seriously as fellow fascists, and had advertised them in its magazine. (170) However, they
166 White Power, No. 43 September., 1973, p. 4 carried a report of a National-European congress - and condemned it. Basically the "National Europeans" advocate a European Nation (see Chapter Two), criticise fascism, but praise the pan-European creed of the Waffen SS. This was not good enough for the WUNS.
167 E. R. Neimeyer, conversation with author, 1975. He showed me correspondence from the WUNS on this matter dating from the
early 'Seventies. Neimeyer imagined the British National Front had become "secret Nazi."
168 WUNS Report, Spring 1973, p. 1
169 R. J. Gillespie, conversation with author, 1980. Gillespie met Paul Riis-Knudsen in 1976. Gillespie inclined to the Right. He
claimed Knudsen gave him an over-view of WUNS’s work in Europe.
170 Cedade is a professionally printed magazine founded in the early 1970’s. The author has several copies of it which
establish this point.
stayed out of the WUNS, since its real traditions were found in Jose Antonio's national-syndicalism rather than Hitlerphilia.
From the mid 1970's, U.S. Nazism's overseas allies slumped greatly. Frank Collin's friends in the NSDAP(AO) were active in Germany, but their numbers were insignificant. Collin, like most other U.S. Nazi chiefs, failed to attract any support internationally - except in England, as shall be examined below. The field was free for the WUNS. However WUNS could only report crisis in its sections. Groups in Chile and Argentina were occasionally reported, but their strength could not be great. The Australian Nazi Party finally collapsed in December 1975. A New Zealand section, known as the New Zealand National Socialist Workers’ Party, functioned with difficulty. (171) A Norwegian group, based around the racist paper Folk og. Land, severed the Nazi link after 1975. (172)
Only in Britain did American Nazism find a fertile field. The British Movement, certain individuals in the National Front, and the League of St. George proved very amenable to U.S. Nazi ideas. (173) The British Movement took
171 David Harcourt, Everyone Wants To Be Fuehrer: National Socialism in Australia and New Zealand, Sydney, 1972, has some information on New Zealand Nazis. The NZNSWP prints an irregular paper NS Observer. Kerry Bolton, organiser of the neo-fascist "New Force," volunteered the estimate of NZ Nazi support.
172 Alan J. Birtley, conversation with author, 1977. Birtley corresponded with such organisations in his role for certain Melbourne groups and had knowledge and some direct information of overseas fascist parties.
173 R. Sparrow, conversation with author, 1979. Sparrow worked in the National Front offices in 1975 and was a member of the
to the active distribution of U.S Nazi tracts and advertised tape recordings of American Nazi speeches. While not all of its
members in the period 1974-78 were completely in favour of such activities, most enjoyed the flirtation with Nazism. (174)
The same can also be said of the League of St. George, a "club" and "educational body" of a decidedly fascist nature, which had managed to infiltrate the National Front. The League's publication, League Review, carried regular reports of U.S. Nazi activities, and placed these on a par with the mass actions of Spain's New Force Party. (175) Overtly Nazi literature has also circulated widely in the National Front, contributing to that party often being regarded as a neo-nazi organization. Indeed, the Nazi question caused deep rifts in the National Front, with various factions organising around the issue. (176) A secret Nazi group, with connections to U.S. Nazis, Column 88, held sessions and camps concerned with infiltrating the NF. In this they received sustenance from a small Irish group, the National Socialist Irish Workers’ Party, a WUNS affiliate which in the mid 1970's involved only a few dozen people. (177)
174 Ray Welham, conversation with author, 1977. Welham, as an ex-member of British Movement explained this. Also, the British
“anti fascist journal,” Searchlight carries regular articles on the Nazi aspects of the British Movement.
175 League Review, November 1976, pp. 4-5.
176 The 1979 split was in part based around this question. I have examined numerous editions of Spearhead, NationalismToday, New Frontier, and NF News, different factional journals, along with Searchlight, to arrive at this conclusion.
177 The Irish Nazis print a shabby journal, Phoenix which carries reports of violence directed against them. This membership
estimation is partly speculative and based on my reading of Phoenix.
Despite their successes in Britain in the mid 1970's, other developments in Europe made it increasingly difficult for the U.S. Nazis to retain influence there. The French Party of New Forces (PFN), successor movement to Ordre Nouveau, has vigorously disassociated itself from classical fascist ideology and nostalgic fascist sects. Even though it posited concerns about racial issues, notions of racial superiority or pan-European metapolitical ideology were scrupulously avoided. The PFN seized upon certain new anthropological and psychological theories to justify aspects of its elitism and ‘racism’. (180) Finally, in 1978, the PFN united with some other major Continental parties to establish the Euro-Right. The charter document of this new International denounced neo-nazism and other forms of nostalgia. (181) Even virulently racist groups, which viewed the Euro-Right with disfavour, provided little shelter for Nazi ideas. (182) The British National Front also undertook, in the late 1970's, to purge Nazi ideas, causing an exodus of extreme elements. (183)
178 Initiative Nationale, journal of the PFN. The November 1976 edition argues its case for a "modern right" and against "extremist" views.
179 The book Camp of the Saints, written by PFN member Jean Raspail, argued such a position. The August 1975 Initiative Nationale based its racism on overpopulation in the Third World and nothing else.
180 "Le Nouveau Nazism From France: A Rightist Fashion From France," Saturday Review (New York), February 2, 1980. The PFN seized upon the work of Nouvelle Ecole and Elements magazines to justify its theses. These magazines, which contain articles by Arno Breker, Louis Pouwells and Professor Jensen, argue racist/elitist positions with erudition.
181 Initiative Nationale, No. 25, August 1978, p. 9.
182 The Dutch Centrum, the French Mouvement Nationaliste Revolutionaire and others can be mentioned.
183 Nick Griffin, letter to author, September 12, 1982. Griffin edited the magazine Nationalism Today for the National Front.
The continued problems of American Nazism on its home turf could only affect its image overseas, that is, make it a less worthy model for ideological emulation. From the early 1970’s, the European Right has been more aware of the need to combat neo-nazi extremism. The odour of Nazism played havoc with the activities of the German National Democrats and the Italian Social Movement. The existence of Nazi groups damaged the "reputations" of the British NF and various French movements. (184) In 1978, the
European Parliament issued a declaration warning of political racism and neo-fascism; this may have indicated a fear of the potential of such movements. Neo-nazi activities could only damage this potential. The decline of U.S. Nazism engendered an effect of a completely unexpected nature. It may have partly freed sections of the European Extreme-Right from the tag of fascism.
Section Six: American Nazism In The Context Of The American Extreme Right
In the Rockwell period of U.S. Nazism, other Extreme Right organisations were under pressure from his criticism. Extreme Right groups had to resign themselves to a rise in support for Rockwell's movement in key areas of racial tension. In the post-Rockwell period this situation was reversed, as the popular sympathy for Rockwell's National Socialism evaporated with the death of the Commander.
184 This is obvious particularly in the case of the NF. The French Right was damaged by the FANE, a neo-nazi group accused of
bombing a Paris synagogue.
The NSWPP in the period 1967-71 believed itself to be the major force in American racist politics. This was not the case. The development of the National Alliance can be noted here. The National Alliance began a steady development of ideological sophistication, coupled with organizational expansion. While thoroughly anti-semitic and racist, the National Alliance avoided party uniforms and emotive symbolism. Hitler's movement was placed (somewhat) in the context of European fascism, and an emphasis was placed on U.S. conditions. (186) In the mid 1970's the National Alliance's appeal was directed towards the university environment. A paper, Attack (later National Vanguard), was published and issued in some 15,000 copies. It served as a pole of attraction for extremist elements, as evidenced by the defection to National Alliance of Dennis Nix's St. Louis unit of the NSWPP. (Note: as matters developed, the National Alliance would develop a new version of neo-nazism.)
From the mid 1970's, also, there developed a number of local nationalist parties competing for the racist market. The leader of a certain American Nationalist Party, Kenneth P. Reguli, disclosed in a letter to me:
185 A survey of Attack!, paper of the National Alliance, reveals this. Attack!, numbers 1-50 (1967-76), and many copies of Action, the organization's internal bulletin, have been consulted.
186 This was done by an emphasis on which concentrated on Imperium as the "sacred book" (this was later abandoned as Pierce articulated his own version of neo-nazism) and articles which placed Hitler on a par with Leon Degrelle and other fascists. The paper's emphasis in the early period was on real issues: Vietnam, Israel, etc. Later it mythologised American folk heroes - Stephen Decateur, Davy Crockett, General Lee.
...most Right-wing (R.W.) organisations regard the nazis as a major cause in the alienation of the people from
the R.W. organisations see most nazis as social misfits... Other R.W. organisations see National Socialism as
alien to the American tradition... Other countries have their own brand of Nationalism, but opposed National
Socialism. America is no different. (187)
Reguli's organization argued for an ideology based squarely on American traditions and contends that the Nazis' adherence to a
foreign style precludes them from leading an American Revolution. (188) There are many other groups similar to the American Nationalist Party. (189) There were signs that such groups were strong competitors for other Extreme Right and Nazi formations. (190) Interestingly, there were also occasional echoes of Rockwell's White Power ideology in their programmes and publications. (191) Since these nationalist formations argued for American nativist-nationalism, there could therefore be a link between Rockwell's White Power ideology and their own.
187 Kenneth P. Reguli, letter to author, January 1, 1980.
188 Nationalist Newsletter, June 1979.
189 Such groups include the American First Party, White Youth Alliance, American White People's Party.
190 American Fascists Are Becoming Bolder, Jewish Defence League leaflet, 1978. This leaflet argued that... native anti semitism is becoming bolder and more dangerous," and "Jewish organisations have noted the growth of many new 'white nationalist groups'..."
191 The American Nationalist Party's Statement of Aims is similar, in part, to sections from Rockwell's book White Power. Populist economics and the allusion to "Christian Americans" complete the picture.
The American Right in the 1970's was as divided as it was during the days of the American Nazi Party. Deep seated differences over ideology and tactics existed. There were Nazi, neo-fascist, Christian-Nationalist and Klan movements. Certainly they shared criticisms of the behaviour of Negroes, Jews, communists and white liberals, but could not agree on political objectives or style.
A major development which could only have damaged the Nazis was a revival in Ku Klux Klan activism, beginning with, in 1972 the anti-busing backlash, and carrying through, to opposition to affirmative-action programmes andother supposed institutional advantages granted to blacks. (192) According to the Anti-Defamation League, Klan membership increased from 5000 in 1975 to 8000 in 1979. (193) While the Nazis were entering a period of intense fragmentation, the Klan was modernising and expanding.
A French neo-fascist, Michel Faci, wrote in Defense de l'Occident;
A particular place must be accorded to a strictly American phenomenon, the Ku Klux Klan. At the beginning, it
was racist and anti Catholic; the "knights"
192 This can be seen in the improvement in the quality of Klan literature in this period. The Klan publications became tabloid papers and media coverage was sought. Klan "newsletters" reported media-orientated activism.
193 From a clipping reproduced in Knights of KKK paper, Crusader, No. 41, p. 2. The ADL however, claimed the Klans were organisationally imperfect. Even so, Dale Reusch, running as a Klansman in the Democratic primary for Governor in West Virginia, received 184,000 votes. David Duke received 22% of the vote in a Louisiana by-election in October 1979. Racist votes have
increased in most areas.
of the Ku Klux Klan sought to preserve the existing racial segregation and fight the Marxists and the Zionists.
Within the multitude the KKK groups, there appeared two tendencies: one "classical" and of the fascist and
patriotic type; and the other, National Revolutionary and Internationalist. (194)
Faci was clearly pointing to new developments in Klanism which could have been behind the increase in its support.
Three Klans competed with the Nazis from the early 1970's: Robert Shelton's United Klans of America, David Duke's National Knights of KKK, and Bill Wilkinson's Invisible Empire - Knights of KKK. Shelton's Klan, though it experienced some growth around 1975, became static and appeared content to rest on its laurels and its pretence to being the ‘official Klan’. James Mason's claim that Shelton was the “Matt Koehl” of the KKK may be correct. (195) Wilkinson's Klan, which copies Duke's literature, grew in strength mainly in the South through its violence-charged demonstrations. (196) (Note: Wilkinson was subsequently exposed as an FBI informer-provocateur – which might explain hisconduct!) Duke's Klan was very different and grew rapidly, directly competing with the Nazis for the allegiance of white racists - in the North.
194 Michel Faci, “Voyage En Amerique,” Defense de l'Occident, 1979 (photocopy does:not indicate date). Faci was a French neo-fascist.
195 James N. Mason, letter to author, January 11, 1980.
196 Wilkinson's The Klansman paper, and ten policy leaflets were examined, which were “copies” of Duke's material. The Klansman, March 1979, announced the formation of a Klan Youth Corps. A cutting reproduced from the New York Times maintained that the Invisible Empire had recruited 1500 members from the start of 1979.
The Knights of KKK was distinctive in that it opposed anti-Catholic bias, held leadership conferences, was militantly anti-Marxist, had contested elections in 1976 for the Louisiana State Senate and put David Duke in the Democratic presidential primaries. (197) A Klan Youth Corps was founded in 1976 to build on successes with racist youths in Northern cities in 1974 and 1975. Such developments caused the KKKK to dub Duke as the coming leader of American racist-nationalism. (198) Indeed, Duke's attempts to get the Klan “out of the cow pastures" were noted by the media. (199) In effect, the KKKK was no longer a Klan, but an embryonic party.
Rockwell's influence could be detected in Duke who began in politics as a supporter at the NSWPP of Baton Rouge University. Some of Duke's speeches had the ring of Rockwell and, according to the U.K.A.'s paper Fiery Cross, Duke had more than once p1agiarised. from the Nazi Commander. (200) Duke's publications, which argued that the Klan name is a means to win wide publicity, appear cynical to a degree. Crusader, the Klan paper, said that without the Klan name
197 Crusader, No. 43, October 1979, reported "leadership meetings" and "anti communist" activities. Crusader, No. 37, December 1978, claims that the Klan "will pick up where Wallace left off."
198 Crusader, No. 39, April 1979, said of the KKKK that it was "led by the young and articulate" David Duke, and argued that is success was guaranteed.
199 Sydney Morning Herald, 22 June 1979. Crusader, No. 35, October 1978, reproduced media articles on his activities which agree with this.
200 Fiery Cross, No. 13, 1978, p. 3.
“people would never have heard of us.” Of course, being a Klansman was a matter of "principle." (201) All this was reminiscent of Rockwell's use of the Nazi label. Duke eventually moved to emulate Rockwell directly and arranged a "Blitz on Britain" until, like Rockwell, he was deported by British authorities. (202) Like Rockwell, David Duke possessed a certain feel for the media, as can be judged by his successful “Border Watch” when armed Klansmen patrolled the U.S. - Mexico border to restrain illegal migrants . (203)
The development of an active KKKK hit the NSWPP. Koehl's Buffalo New York organiser, Karl Hand, defected and, as will be shown in far greater detail in chapter four, the KKKK outbid the Nazis for popular support in Boston during the busing crisis of 1974. In 1976, Duke moved to associate his party with the (early) National Alliance, the National States' Rights Party and other non-Nazi groups. Duke refused to collaborate with Nazi groups. (204) Similarly, the other major Klans eschewed any formal links with the Nazis. Such tendencies
201 Join!, a KKKK leaflet, 1974. Join! is also reprinted in every edition of Crusader.
202 Crusader, No. 30, April 1978, was headlined: "Duke Blitzes Britain." Duke did exactly what Rockwell did: he was photographed while outside Scotland Yard and at London Bridge. While an illegal immigrant he led the police a merry chase, turned himself in and was deported. This event made Newsweek, March 20, 1978.
203 Crusader, No. 27, November 1977, carried a full report on this media-oriented stunt.
204 In a 1978 KKKK members' leaflet, Duke said he regretted appearing on a talk shown with Frank Collin since Nazis discredited the Klan.
could only isolate the Nazis from the larger market of white racists.
This study disagrees with Leland Bell, who, in his In Hitler's Shadow: The Anatomy of American Nazism, argued that the post-Rockwell Nazi movement was more significant than the Rockwell movement. Aryeh Neier has observed that:
The major national Jewish groups enjoy far more sophisticated leadership than is available to most other cause
organisations in the United States. The leaders of these groups knew very well that the Nazi movement... is
miniscule... that it has no prospect[s]
... They also know that a tiny Nazi movement serves the purposes of organised Jewry... It even makes it more
difficult for the shapers of American foreign policy to abandon Israel... The Nazis deter the expression of anti
semitism in forms which may be more palatable to the American public... (205)
Therefore, according to Neier, post-Rockwell Nazism evolved into a newspaper sensation cleverly related to the needs of
other organisations, particularly Zionists.
Earlier, Rockwell had put together a programme which might have mobilised various right-wing groups behind
the slogan "White Power." But Eric Campbell, a writer for White Power Report, said in relation to the post-Rockwell Nazi
205 Aryeh Neier, op. cit., p. 34.
Overshadowed as it is with irrelevant alien and counter productive trappings, the
Nazi/KKK program strikes no chord of sympathy or immediacy or interest, and
hence receives no support from the American majority. 206
White Power Report, while arguing that there was a sort of universal National Socialist creed, demanded that
National Socialism find a national application. The American Nazis failed in that regard, despite occasional references to this
goal. Rockwell's tactical Nazism was accepted as dogma.
Similarly, the Nazis missed totally the significance of Rockwell's fascist synthesis. Indeed they viewed
Rockwell's work as Phase One in the long march to power. The movement could not develop ideologically, and the loss of the
leader-figure of Rockwell was perhaps decisive in that regard. The lesser figures of the post-Rockwell Nazi movement
rendered themselves ridiculous in their squabbles and fragmented the movement. They failed to capitalise on Rockwell’s
The religious aspects of the movement certainly
205 Aryeh Neier, op. cit., p. 34.
206 Eric Canmbell, 'Opinion," White Power Report, Vol. 1, No. 11, p. 29. Minor Marxist groups like the Progressive Labor Party, Workers World, Spartacist League, and Communist Workers’ Party have seen the Nazis as open agents of the ruling class,
genocidal and capable of building mass support. Their sectarianism is significant and they fight with little public support.
207 NS Bulletin, after 1977, became increasingly concerned with "training," "ideology," purity of faith and other sectarian pursuits.
inhibited its growth. Whether this aspect was an expression of pathology, cultism or whatever, it managed to colour the
movement with even more obscurity. It cut the movement off from new racist formations emerging in the early 1970's and
turned Nazism into a political cult which may have encouraged the violent passions of U.S. Nazis from that time. From being a
potential threat, the U.S. Nazi movement had become a curiosity, a violent one, but still a curiosity.
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American Nazism In The Context Of The American Extreme Right 1960 - 1978