The Immortals: Germany’s New Breed of Far-Right White Supremacists
For a long time far-right Neo-Nazi groups have plagued local societies, mostly committing random violent acts of blind hate upon innocent civilians. Organisation and the overall achievement of their white supremacy aims have never really been a key strength of most Neo-Nazi organisations. Unfortunately however that is beginning to change.
‘Die Unsterblichen’ or the Immortals, are a leading group among a new breed of white supremacists who are slowly gaining momentum and popularity across Germany. They operate in complete contrast to what we have come to expect from traditional Neo-Nazi groups like Stormfront or the Hammerskins. Gone are the days of shaven skin heads with hate symbols such as the swastika or SS bolts tattooed on any open patch of bare skin. Black Dr Martins with red laces and bomber jackets over suspenders have all been replaced with long black robes and plain white masks that you would sooner associate with the film ‘V for Vendetta’ than a far-right organisation. This new look not only allows the Immortals to orchestrate under a cloud of complete mystery but also gives off a vibe of intrigue and coolness that appeals to younger people.
The Immortals are slowly becoming the perfect example of a modernising extremist group, and it shows in their membership and protesting methods. Their core membership is made up of middle to upper class students looking to pursue employment in cornerstone professions like the law, medicine and politics. Yet it is their incredible organisational abilities that are most frightening. Their process of communication greatly utilises modern day technology. The use of social media and texting allows flash mob demonstrations to be secretly organised and carried out before the police ever have time to react. In a matter of minutes a pre-arranged meeting place can be flooded with hundreds of black robbed protesters holding lit torches and placards reading extremist slogans such as ‘Germany for Germans’ or ‘Make your short life immortal’. Then within fifteen minutes the march has been recorded, uploaded online and the group has dispersed before the police have even heard a demonstration is taking place.
This near perfect usage of the internet has enabled the Immortals to raise their public profile and also spread their message to a much wider audience. Uploading videos online that are cleverly put together with music and other effects makes them more relatable to younger generations. Seeing organised marches with lit torches and masks helps put across this cool and intriguing factor that the group possesses. Their own personal website looks inviting, cool and professionally run. It’s very clear that the group knows exactly who their target audience is.
While, the Immortals so far have had no connection to any violent actions, it is actually their clear effort at achieving long term goals and methods of doing so that makes them truly frightening. Breaking away from the stereotypical approach of a traditional Neo-Nazi group has transformed them, into a stand out example of a modern day intelligently ran extremist organisation. Reinventing their image to come across as mysterious, intriguing and cool gives that appealing aspect, while communicating via the internet provides a permanent pool of young people to recruit and radicalise. If their success and growth continues it won’t be long before their organisation model is picked up and implemented across Europe and other parts of the world, by groups far more dangerous than Die Unsterblichen.