Going to Germany this summer. How much Neo-Naziism will we encounter?

Sadly, the movement is alive and well all over Germany. Their power is slowly increasing- 2 Neo-Nazis have just been elected to the European Parliament.

As we travel throughout the country, how much iconography and in-your-face displays of Nazi support are we likely to encounter? This image from December 2013 makes it abundantly clear that laws on the books in Germany regarding display of a swastika are, well, a joke. There are hundreds to be found in Google Image Search, this is hardly a one-off.

So, Germans and others traveling through Germany these days, how in-you-face is it? What’s the mood?

I’ve travelled in southern Germany extensively for business and pleasure and I’ve seen none.

Other areas may vary greatly. Just as I don’t see too much drug dealing or graffiti in my part of rural east-Kent.

The NDP has a membership of about 7000 out of a total population of 81 million. Your own cite says they got less than 1% of the vote in Germany, and they have no representatives in the Bundestag.

So they are not exactly goose-stepping all over the place.


I lived there for three years and saw none.

I’d love to see Germany the way my father saw it.

Through a Norden bombsight on a B-17.

If concerned, why go at all ? There are many countries in Europe such as Latvia, Austria or Ukraine as alternatives.

Odd question. You’ll see fewer signs of neo-Naziism in Germany than you will of white supremacy activity or sympathy in the US.

All the same I wouldn’t consider white supremacist presence in the US to be especially representative of US natives (troubling, sure, but not representative), nor would I be especially worried about running into it as a tourist.

I agree with you in finding the rise of extreme right-wing politics in recent years quite worrisome, but just to be factually accurate, the NPD didn’t come fourth, as the article claims, but eleventh.

As for in-your-face displays of Nazi paraphernalia, I’ve personally never seen it, and I’d suspect the only place you’d find it would be NPD demonstrations, and I’m not sure even there. The photo you posted appears to be from a demonstration in Skokie, Illinois, by the way (it would be strange for a German Neo-Nazi to wear English insignia; plus those traffic lights don’t look like any I’ve ever seen over here).

This comment gave me a great deal of pause. Although I don’t think we need to be bombing Germany for anything at the moment, I thank your father for his service.

Good catch on the photo, I stand corrected on my use of it.

I find it worrisome that ANY ONE PERSON supporting this agenda has been elected to office in Europe.

I lived in Germany three years, and I saw a neo-nazi exactly once. I was walking down the street and these three big, young dudes with shaved heads, wall-to-wall tattoos, and combat boots were walking toward me. I noticed some swastikas and iron eagles among the tattoos, and I was surprised because the anti-nazi symbolism laws are absolutely not a joke. You pretty much never see that kind of thing there. They were walking three abreast, and it was clear they weren’t going to part for me to be able to get by them. My immediate thought was “Fuck these punks. I’m not getting out of their way.” As I got closer I realized how big, and mean, and “three of them” they were, and I veered off the sidewalk and went around them. I guess I’m like a modern day Chamberlain.

Anyway, they have a lot of trains and streetcars in Germany. A fair amount of people get hit and killed by them every year. If you want to worry about something, I’d go with the trains.

I lived in Munich for three years and never came across a neo-nazi. The only time I ever saw someone wearing a swastika was in Gatlinburg, Tenn.

OP has a cartoonish perspective of modern German society. Pun intended.

I bet you will see a range of 0 to 0 swastikas.

Nice pun.

You can call it a cartoonish view. I guess this means that rallies like this one only took place in 1939 and not in 2014 ?

Or this rally? Yes, I see that the demonstrators are shouted down by larger groups.

That wasn’t my question of course. My OP did not state that I suspect that Neo-Nazis are the overwhelming majority in Germany, nor did I imply it.

I asked what I am likely to see- based on real-life ( not cartoonish… ) events of the last year or two.

Yes, of course, you might also call The BBC a cartoonish and inaccurate hack organization. Or, you might read that cite and accept it at full value.

The threat is growing. It’s not a cartoon.

That’s like extrapolating what you will find in America because you see a picture of a WBC demonstration.

During my time in Germany I saw no nazi symbols. I did see a number of gegen Nazi stickers.

A small percentage of young men will be into any violent movement that affirms their worldview. The percentage is always VERY small, and it was higher in the late eighties then it is now.

You’re likely to see no evidence of neo-Nazism unless you specifically go out of your way to look for it.

You’ll see much more neo-Nazism in other European countries (the worst right now, IIRC, is Hungary) than in Germany. I’m not sure why you think the current restrictions in place are a joke - they have some of the strictest anti-Nazi laws in the world. A while back, PETA got into a bit of trouble in Berlin; they had an exhibit which compared pictures of animals in slaughterhouses to Jews in concentration camps. It was banned by Germany’s high court because they said it trivialized the Holocaust.

I’m not at all meaning to imply that antisemitism isn’t a major problem in Europe - it is, and neo-Nazi groups are growing at an alarming rate - but Germany isn’t one of the places you need to worry about (especially as a tourist).

Well, I can really only invite you to come over and see by yourself. I’d be extremely surprised (and disheartened) if you came into any contact with Neo-Naziist displays of any sort. If it helps allay your fears, according to statistics, the potential for rightwing extremism (blue curve) as well as overall membership in extreme rightwing parties (yellow curve) has consistently decreased in recent years, as has the number of deaths due to rightwing extremism (orange curve: numbers according to the anti-rightwing Amadeu Antonio foundation, purple curve: official statistics).

No, it definitely happened in 2014, because it only lasted about ten minutes before being broken up, and most of the violence came from the brownshirts on the left.

You’re likely to see nothing.

You pick the oddest things to be worried about. If it isn’t perverted Shriners who are going to molest your nephew, it’s a production of “Springtime for Hitler” breaking out when you are on vacation.

Have you considered Disney World? They don’t have any Nazis there, and all the threats there are cartoons…