May 26, 2007

Violent neo-nazi skinhead group Volksfront growing in prominence

Volksfront, a virulently racist and anti-Semitic group comprised mostly of neo-Nazi skinheads, is growing in prominence in the United States and internationally, with chapters in Canada, Spain, Australia Germany and Portugal. A new report from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) identifies Volksfront as one of the most active skinhead groups in the United States, with a range of activities including distributing newsletters, rallies, recruitment and promoting the hate music subculture.

According to ADL's Center on Extremism, which monitors and reports on the activities of domestic extremist groups, Volksfront, based in Portland, Oregon, has become the most active neo-Nazi group on the West Coast and maintains close alliances with many other hate groups. The group has a history of violence.

"Volksfront promotes a deeply racist and anti-Semitic worldview and its members have not been afraid to back up their words with violent deeds," said Deborah Lauter, ADL Civil Rights Director. "The group appeals to disaffected, young white males and promotes an ideology of hatred and white supremacy that has led in some cases to intimidation, assault and murder."

ADL's report identifies the facets of Volksfront's activities, leadership, recruitment and outreach:

• Members have been involved in a number of violent crimes in the Pacific Northwest. Kurtis Monschke, who was a probationary unit leader for Volksfront, is serving a life sentence for his role in a March 2003 murder that emulated a brutal attack depicted in the film "American History X." Another Volksfront member in Eugene, Oregon was arrested in 2005 along with three other men for throwing rocks engraved with swastikas at a synagogue during a religious service.

• Volksfront is a major player on the hate music scene. The group works with many white supremacist rock bands and has organized a number of concerts. Volksfront holds a number of events annually, including weekend long white power concerts two or three times a year.

• Volksfront promotes meetings that serve as networking opportunities for racists from a variety of domestic extremist groups. One of the more heavily promoted events in early 2007 was its Victory Achievement Conference, held February 24 in St. Louis, Missouri. More than 80 white supremacists attended the event, including racist skinheads from the Hammerskins and members of White Revolution, Aryan Nations and Women for Aryan Unity.

• Volksfront distributes newsletters and tries to exploit controversial public issues. The group's Web site features information on their history, editorials by members, information about upcoming events and downloadable hate literature. Several units have their own Web pages and sites that provide information about local activity.

• One of Volksfront's primary goals is to establish an autonomous whites-only living space in the Pacific Northwest and, to this end, the group claims to have purchased several acres of property in Oregon and Washington State.

• Volksfront has established units in Oregon, Washington State, California, Arizona, Massachusetts, Illinois, Missouri, the Carolinas and New York.


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