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The Environment in the Age of the Internet

Heike Graf

6. The Militant Media of Neo-Nazi Environmentalism

Madeleine Hurd et Steffen Werther

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1The idea of an ecologist neo-Nazi seems, at first, ridiculous. Is one to imagine skinheads biking, in formation, bringing their milk-cartons to recycling centres? Well, no, not exactly: but many neo-Nazi parties have an environmentalist side to their party platforms. Neo-Nazi politicians espouse many standard environmentalist planks; neo-Nazi websites condemn pollution; neo-Nazi youth spend time cleaning parks. Indeed, environmentalism and militant xenophobia seem oddly compatible. In this chapter, we will look at how neo-Nazi websites and print media wed the slogans, symbols, visuals, and narratives of the radical patriot to those of the home-land-loving environmentalist, and how this combination results in a surprisingly coherent set of complementary media messages (or media ‘frame’).

2We are interested in the symbols, slogans, narratives, and visuals used to package the combined environmentalist/right-wing extremist message. We are particularly interested in two emotional media frames. The first is the frame of fear and anger; the second, that of nostalgia and love. Fear concerns threats to the German people, and the need for militant action against its enemies. Nostalgia imbues neo-Nazi visions of what must be protected. Both frames are combined in a narrative of ‘irreparability’, effectively linking the visuals and narratives of militant xenophobia to biocentric environmentalism.

3We are equally interested in how the neo-Nazi media seek to trigger environmentalist action. Their triggers range from suggestions for everyday practices to political action and drawn-out descriptions of ritualised group performances. These promote a variety of reader roles: whether you are a concerned consumer, back-to-earth gardener, worried parent, animal-lover, or anti-globalisation activist, you can be included in the right-wing environmentalist coalition. The resultant actions are re-presented, with appropriate tone, narrative, and visuals, in the neo-Nazis’ media. These narratives and visuals, together with the triggers themselves, help reinforce the environmentalist slant held, by those same media, such that it becomes integral to the central neo-Nazi message of racist xenophobia.

  • 1 During 2013, the political constellation shifted somewhat. The far-right party Alternative für Deut (...)

4Our case history is the media of the National-Democratic Party of Germany (Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands, or NPD), with an emphasis on the years 2010–2013. The NPD was, during these years — and despite its small size — preeminent on the German far right. One-time competitors had either declined into political insignificance (e.g., the so-called Republikaner) or been subsumed into the NPD (Deutsche Volksunion). Nor did Germany — in contrast to neighbouring countries such as Holland, Austria, Denmark, and Switzerland — produce a major right-wing populist party systematically willing to tap the vote potential of xenophobia. This, of course, has changed in subsequent years; but in the early ‘teens, the NPD did command some ideological centrality.1

5This German party — like extremists elsewhere — has had to tread a thin line between attracting loosely organised, violence-prone militants, and the more respectable voters from whom the pary gains a parliamentary presence. The NPD has, in fact, continued to acknowledge and collaborate (to some extent) with local, loosely organised hooligan forces such as Freie Kameradschaften and Freie Kräfte (Verfassungsschutzbericht 2012, 93). Nonetheless, the party has — like similar parties in other countries — increasingly moved towards parliamentary respectability. So far, its success has been modest. It did not garner more than 1.3%-1.5% of the vote in the 2009 and 2013 federal elections (around 560,000 individual votes), and has only around 6,000 formally registered members.

6These poor returns disguise the party’s substantial local presence, however. The NPD has gained around 350 mandates in county elections, receiving — twice running — the 5% of votes in Mecklenburg- Vorpommern and Sachsen needed to take a place in the Landtag. On the communal level, it can be a factor indeed. In some communities, the NPD may rely on a steady 20% of the votes (Brandstetter 2012, 9). At this level, the actions of militants can be felt — in threats of vandalism and arson. After all, direct-action militants and voters go together: as Karl Richter put it in 2011, they make up ‘two edges of the same sword, both fighting for the Volk’ in the movement of ‘national resistance’ (Verfassungsschutzbericht 2011, 89).

Fig. 6.1. Screenshot of NPD folder, ‘Our program: a decent Heimat as the foundation of our Volkstums.

Fig. 6.1. Screenshot of NPD folder, ‘Our program: a decent Heimat as the foundation of our Volkstums’.

Source: NPD homepage;​inhalte/​daten/​dateiablage/​ThemenHeimat_2010.pdf

7The face-to-face world of direct action thus remains an important element in NPD appeal and recruitment. If, on the one hand, the party pays a price for refusing to cut its ties to the street activists — it is, for instance, adversely affected by police exposure of the activities of the neo-Nazi terrorist group ‘Nationalsozialistischer Untergrund’ (NSU) — it has, on the other, the continued appeal of intense camaraderie, either in street actions or in nationalist ceremonies and marches. Triggers for and reports on such camaraderie are packaged into party media, forming a managed web of communicative relationships. The emotions, visuals, and rituals of these group performances (often presented as image events) are, we argue, key in linking the party’s politics to environmentalism.

NPD Media: Party Websites

8The party’s message is conveyed via a variety of networked forums, including party websites, blogs, Twitter, YouTube videos, magazines, fanzines, and leaflets. There are, moreover, street media: demonstrations, flags, speeches, songs, clothing, tattoos, car-and-lamppost stickers, all of which contribute strong visuals and slogans to the party’s political, social, and traditional media. We will concentrate on the NPD websites, with special attention to how the party’s environmentalist message is networked both with its sub-organisations’ sites and with an openly pro-NPD environmentalist magazine. Our research covers, roughly, the years between 2010 and 2013.

9What metaphors, symbols, and rhetoric are used to promote the emotional frames (fear, nostalgia) and narratives (heroic epic, irreparability) that allow the seemingly effortless wedding of far-right extremism and environmentalism? How are these gendered; what kinds of time-spaces are envisioned? What types of performances are encouraged — and how are performance narratives fed back into the websites, so as to strengthen the message?

10The NPD party’s national and ‘Landes’ websites (, npd-bayern. de,, etc.) provide visuals and text in the service of symbols, slogans, and narratives. They are networked with other media; and there are a multitude of invitations to reader action (‘triggers’): write messages or ask questions, order a product or donate money, learn more about or join a group. The reader chooses between different banner headlines (each with an evocative image), and clicks to read party news, history, and activities, as well as national and international news blurbs. A search engine simplifies things for those seeking information on any one issue or the most recent party and activist activities.

11In 2013, the party’s websites were dominated by the NPD’s electioneering slogans, short pieces on its political-social crusades, descriptions of and suggestions for street and political action against various threats, as well as the faces, deeds, and words of its political leaders. Images invited readers to respond to slogans and click on further options: Aktuelles, Partei, aktiv werden [news, party, become active]. Under Partei — illustrated by a smiling blue-eyed blonde girl against flowers, a favourite NPD symbol (​themen/​) — the reader could pick through the party’s premises, choosing, e.g., ‘Often Asked’ with answers to questions such as ‘Is the NPD Hostile to Foreigners?’, ‘Why Does the NPD Oppose the Multi-Cultural Society?’ and ‘Is the NPD Anti-Semitic? Surely It Is Permissible to Criticise Jews Too’ (


12Most texts are brisk and angry in tone. The exception is when it comes to descriptions of what is at risk: then, texts become nostalgic and lyrical. On the whole, however, focus is on the party, portrayed as a never-surrendering vanguard. The party leads the battle against the Volk’s enemies: international elites, the majority parties, the mainstream media.

13An epic narrative (available through a click on ‘History’) constitutes the party’s autobiography. Founded in 1964, the NPD presents itself as waging an unswerving battle against the unremitting foes of ‘the German people’. It is the ‘only true resistance movement’. The party will never cease to address burning issues — ‘no matter how the bankrupt [mainstream] parties shift and turn’ — for every day is a ‘day lost to our Volk and its life-interests’. ‘[O]ur determination’ to ‘take over the leadership of Germany’ remains ‘unbroken’ (​geschichte/​). There is a great sense of urgency throughout; it is a matter of war against inhuman enemies. These are, in their turn, usually spoken of with deep contempt, if not with leaden ‘humour’ in contrast to the hyper-masculinist, courageous Kameradschaft [cameradie] of national heroes.

14Standard metaphors, well-known to scholars of Nazi rhetoric, paint the war in simple colours. There is the innocent German Volk — unfortunately, a favourite ‘host’ for ‘nomadic’ ‘parasites’, its purity threatened by ‘corruption’ and ‘contamination’. The threat comes from groups alien to the Volk (e.g., ‘Nomadentum’ — in older parlance, ‘Judentum’; today, the ‘US in collaboration with the EU’). Allowed into the Volk’s Germany, through the ‘back-door’ by the ‘profit-hungry machinations’ of ‘a few tens of thousands of profiteers’, the ‘internationalist corrupters of the Volk’ collaborate with domestic ‘do-gooders, liberals, and internationalists’ to destroy the foundations for Volk existence. These are not people as much as abstractions or, perhaps, vermin: ‘The collected enemies of our Volk and country have been gnawing away at the NPD for nigh-on fifty years’.

15The result: the German people, characterised by ‘honour, history and pride’, are at terrible risk. Prevented from ‘knowing their own traditions, singing their own songs, living according to their own habits and customs, saving their Heimat for their children, preventing the immigration of foreigners’ (note how the last is a precondition for the Volk’s otherwise innocuous actions), they are ‘threatened with extinction’. But ‘every Volk has a right to survival’; ‘we will never allow [its destruction]’ (see Völkerschützer (​index.php/​menue/​24/​thema/​69/​id/​1795/​anzeigemonat/​05/​akat/​1/​anzeigejahr/​2008/​infotext/​Werden_Sie_Voelkerschuetzer/​Aktuelles.html);​geschichte;​;

16The websites allow no room for comments and discussion (this would invite disruption from organisations such as Antifaschistische Aktion). Nonetheless, the general tone implicitly, and many texts explicitly, urges readers to get involved. There are ‘want to contribute?’ and ‘join us!’ buttons. Links encourage readers to learn about and participate in the party’s women and youth movements. Local websites give details of planned events, demonstrations, music festivals, and the like. One can, moreover, visit (and probably join) their Facebook page and follow their Twitter account. A few clicks lead the reader, finally, to pages advertising downloadable pamphlets (‘Work With Us. Change Things. Act.’), leaflets and posters, as well as the paraphernalia of street communication: stickers, T-shirts, emblems, buttons, caps, all imprinted with the party logo or various right-wing symbols (the Iron Cross, the German Eagle, an outline of ‘the stolen Heimat’; see

17The sites are heavily visual. Images evoke either nostalgia and affection (the Volk and the Heimat to be protected), or fear and hate (the enemy). The sites’ images alternate, accordingly, between classic German statues, little blonde girls, snow-covered pine branches with Christmas lights, picturesque townscapes, families holding hands in a field, and dark silhouettes of knife-wielding foreigners, cows with their throats bloodily cut, looming burka-clad figures, EU skyscrapers, the state tax office. The former images dominate in presentations of party ideology and doings; the latter, in news of the world at large.

Fig. 6.2. Screenshot of NPD’s Facebook page

Fig. 6.2. Screenshot of NPD’s Facebook page

Animal protection is protection of the Heimat! Vote for the NPD on September 22!’ Campaign poster for the 2013 German federal elections.

Source: NPD Facebook page,​​photos/​pb.268232929583-2207520000.1461139625/​10151722063984584/​?type=3&theater

18That world, indeed, seems to be in a state of war. The sites’ media logic leads their controllers to select items that reinforce the master narrative that informs the whole: the Volk under attack. In 2011, to take one example, the news on the NPD Bavaria website (arranged under various banner icons) was dominated by the threats posed by profit mongering, internationalism, immigrants, and foreign culture. The banner choice of Heimat gives one, accordingly, an ‘Open Letter’ protesting housing for asylum-seekers and an exposé of the Sochi Winter Olympics profit mongering. An article entitled ‘Turkish flags over Würzburg’ warns that Turkish ‘guest workers’ have arrived in Germany not because Germany needs workers, but because NATO and the US have forced Germany to accept the surplus people of an overpopulated Turkey. An image of a placidly happy cow precedes a blurb protesting the low prices paid by (good) German dairy farmers; a bloody, dying cow illustrates Turkish ‘cruelty to animals’ ( Meldungen 2011).

19This media logic — framing the narrative of battle, the emotion of fear and anger, protecting the loved family and country from threat — remains constant over the years. In November/December 2013, homepage headlines included ‘Stop, At Long Last, the Import of Criminal Foreigners’ (with a picture of a knife-holding hand against a black-clad torso); ‘Against the Sell-Out Of Citizenship and the Liquidation of the German People!’; and ‘Asylum-Seekers Can Bring Serious Illnesses to Germany’ ( Meldungen Nov/Dec 2013).

20At the time of writing (6 January 2016), the website provides a running slide-show: the stereotypical little blonde girl, profiled against a bed of Rudbeckia (‘Work, Family, Heimat, Our Program for Germany’); an open, people-filled boat on a tidal wave, with a no-entry sign superimposed over a map of Europe (‘The Boat is Full — Stop the Deluge of Asylum-Seekers’); and a bronze statue of a sword-wielding warrior (‘The NPD Defends Itself!’). Four editorials are presented: one on ‘foreigners’ massive assaults in Köln, Hamburg and Stuttgart’ proving that ‘mass immigration’ is a ‘threat’; the second, protesting that the Bundeswehr, or armed forces, must be used against threats inside Germany; the third, calling for ‘a state of law instead of integration insanity’; and the fourth, maintaining that the ‘majority of Germans see immigration as no enrichment’ — rather, ‘mass immigration’ is condemned as bringing only ‘financial burdens, growing organised criminality and a risk of Islamist attacks hitherto unknown to Germany’. The four ‘short notices’ on the side of the page include, in the same tone, the promise of ‘a list of the attempted and successful homicides by asylum-seekers in Saxony alone’ and the exhortation to ‘protect our women, our constitutional rights, and our German Heimat against foreign criminals’ ( Meldungen Dec 2015Jan 2016).

21The NPD presents itself as engaged in nationalist struggle, awakened to danger from invading foreigners and actively fighting — in the teeth of the establishment — these enemies of the German people. The Volk to be protected is presented, in turn, less in words than in saccharine images: an agrarian or small-town idyll of happy, healthy families (with a strong emphasis on small blonde girls). The dark threats to this idyll, as shown by the news items and their accompanying images, give the websites an emotional frame that combines nostalgia for a (familial, feminine) world of harmony, security, and beauty with fear, anger, and urgency (adult, masculine, soldierly).

22The narrative structure that carries these emotional frames conforms to Robert Cox's use of the term ‘irreparable’ as a narrative descriptor (2013, 384–385). Media using this narrative call on readers to act now, urgently, immediately because the ‘irreparable’ is just around the corner. Otherwise, they risk the destruction of the most valuable thing in the world, the precondition for their existence. It is already weak, polluted, threatened; soon it will be too late; once destroyed, it — and they — will be lost forever. Cox cites this narrative appeal as common within environmentalist media forums. As NPD websites prove, it has equal resonance for the narratives, metaphors, and emotions that inform the neo-Nazis’ media logic. It should come as no surprise, then, that the neo-Nazi narrative can incorporate environmentalism. Let us now turn to how the two narratives of ‘irreparability’ are merged.

The NPD and the Environment

23First, let us establish that environment was a NPD media concern. The website’s ‘party program’ provided information on the party’s stance on a number of issues. Among the more standard matters, such as ‘Society: Living in Germany, Justly and Economically’ and ‘Family: Children and Families Are Our Future’, there appears ‘The Environment: Protect Our Living Space!’

24When one clicks, one is presented with an image of what seems to be a primeval German forest. An introductory text frames the political measures proposed. These are manifold. The state must intervene against ‘unbounded economic growth’, promote local production, end cheap-wage food imports, stop chemical waste dumping, and protect water supplies. The NPD opposes any import of genetically modified foods. Agriculture is to be protected. Animal transports are to be minimised, and laws passed that increase the ‘punishment of those who torture animals’. ‘Religiously motivated methods of butchering such as Schächten [halal slaughter] are to be criminalised’. To round it off, ‘Perverse practices of sodomy are to be forbidden and punished as severely as possible’ (​thema/​umwelt).

Fig. 6.3. Screenshot of NPD homepage, ‘Environment: Protect our Lebensraum’.

Fig. 6.3. Screenshot of NPD homepage, ‘Environment: Protect our Lebensraum’.


25The party’s Bavarian affiliate likewise posts a separate party plank on the environment. It wishes to encourage alternative sources of energy; regional self-sufficiency; a ban on atomic energy; rebuilding towns on a human, familial scale; the promotion of ecological agriculture and businesses; and strong legal enforcement of resource husbandry and environmental protection. ‘Ethical principles’ must come before economic growth: ‘Humans and nature are not economic goods!’ (npd. bayern: Eine intakte Natur).

26These measures fit, in fact, within the frame proposed by the plank’s introductory text. It runs as follows:

NPD endorses a comprehensive protection of our Heimat as living space for humans and animals. We refuse to countenance the profit-maximising degradation of space, resources, and living beings, in accordance with our holistic understanding of natural interdependence and cooperation and because of our responsibility for the future. (

27Ecologically, this is a fairly radical statement. Most parties go no further than (the fairly anthropocentric) planks of sustainability and preservation. Few ecocritics would find fault with a ‘holistic understanding of natural interdependence’ in a ‘living space for humans and animals’. Most would share the hostility to ‘the profit-maximising degradation of space, resources, and living beings’. Similarly, ecocritics might agree with particular statements in defence of local production and knowledge:

Our farmers must not become defenceless victims of banks, EU-bureaucrats, and international seed and fertiliser distributors [...] The protection of the natural foundations of life is, in our opinion, of the highest priority. We do not accept the subordination of the active protection of nature to unbounded economic growth. (

28We have met these enemies before — internationalists, capitalists, the EU. The goods to be protected — traditional, place-bound, harmonious — are also familiar. The leaflet 'The Right to Heimat' (offered for download on the same website) makes things doubly clear. Heimat is the key concept. A people’s right to its Heimat, the territory which nourishes it and to which it is tied by history and tradition, is the ‘most important collective human right’. Within certain borders, it seems, people and nature co-evolved, producing a unique Volk, culture, and landscape. ‘Volkstum and culture are essential foundations of human worth […] because of this, resident groups have made the Heimat an object of protection for centuries’. The pamphlet’s cover presents the imagined idyll: an old stone house in green, garden-like countryside. But this idyllic Heimat of ‘all European peoples’ has its enemies:

cultural imperialism, the destruction of the environment, and globalisation [cause...] the systematic destruction of our identity and consciousness of our Heimat. Our roots are replaced by mere consumption. The destruction of the environment, the result of years of rapacity on the part of global big capital, eliminates the prerequisites for our existence. ( Recht auf Heimat)

29A Volk, it seems, is defined by its culture, which has evolved, historically, in dialectic with its territory: the result is the Heimat. ‘Therefore and fundamentally’, The Right to Heimat pamphlet continues, ‘environmental protection can never be divided from cultural evolution’ (ibid.). For this reason, the Bavarian website explains, ‘unbounded economic growth, overambitious, overgrown industrial projects, the industrialisation of agriculture, the urbanisation of villages’ are to be condemned: they lead to the ‘destruction of traditional links and cultures’. Humans, when ‘uprooted from their environment’, are deprived of identity (npd. bayern: Eine intakte Natur). A Heimat’s territory, culture, and people are one; ‘our’ identity cannot exist without all three. There is no division, it seems, between culture and nature. If one’s Heimat is despoiled, the website goes on to explain, the Volk is threatened in ‘its very substance’ (ibid.). Again, ecocritics would agree with much of this reasoning — if not the conclusions.

30The far right’s belief that different peoples are defined by their historical interaction with specific landscapes and climates has its roots, as Jonathan Olsen (1990) has shown, in a European-wide neo-Romantic ideology. Popularised in the nineteenth century, and reinforced in the twentieth, by pseudo-scientific biological determinism, it holds that peoples are partly determined by their specific natural milieu, as expressed in their culture, language, and history. This (as Olsen puts it) means believing that all people are ‘the expression of an “eco-niche”, the places, nations, and cultures to which they naturally belong’. Each Volk is held to be unique — and ‘the most natural thing on earth’ (Olsen 1990, 6; see also Ditt 2001; Sharma 2012).

31Or, to paraphrase Olsen’s argument, the far-right myth holds that the German people have developed both biomass and culture in fundamental interaction with the land and animals surrounding them. This is the Heimat that must be protected. But neo-Nazis take the reasoning in an unpleasant direction. If Germans are to survive, they must protect German nature and land against non-German immigrants. Such immigrants, as the product of altogether other natural systems, are necessarily alien to German nature and culture. They can only cause harm. Indeed, their need to leave their original Heimat shows how they have already ruined their own land. But worse still, of course, are those with no Heimat at all. Here we have, e.g., the international capitalists. Anchored, according to some NPD texts, in the ‘East Coast of the US’, they shade into the spectre of international Jewry.

32In their critique of international capitalism, we again find strains faintly reminiscent of left-wing ecocriticism. Militant ecology, reborn in the 1970s, included left- and right-wing streams. Both condemned imperialism and international capitalism, with a special focus on their destruction of local environments. Indeed, left and right environmentalism share enemies. Ecological activism, Olsen argues, appeals to humans’ identity-affirming connection to the immediate natural world. Consequently, many environmentalists warn — again, in Olsen’s words — against the ‘homogenizing globalism that turns place into space and home into nowhere in particular’ (1990, 5). This emotional attachment and fear of loss are linked as easily to the right as to the left. For the former, it becomes an argument for territorial exclusiveness. We must defend our (fragile and essential) place — culture, nature, and people — from invaders and despoilers. Or according to the NPD’s environmentalist slogan: ‘Protection of the environment is protection of the Heimat’. For, as the Bavarian NPD website puts it in its party program, ‘An Intact Nature is the Foundation of Our Future’:

National politics is environmental politics. The lack of ecologically responsible politics threatens every Volk in its substance. Economic interests must come second to the protection of nature. The human is part of nature. Nature, therefore, is not simply the ‘Umwelt’ of humans, their physical space, but also the Mitwelt, their cultural environment ( Eine intakte Natur).

33The enemies of this natural Mitwelt, aided by a Heimat-denying establishment, are themselves outside. It is outdoors that alien biomass, polluting and weakening the combined human-nature world, attacks: immigrants and their children, waste-dumpers, the international transport of food, the import of genetically modified crops, invasive species, foreign plants, trash and littering, cruelty to and perverse sexual actions with animals. It’s a matter of biomass misplaced: too little of the good, too much of the alien. (Indeed, the 2013 NPD website advertises condoms labelled ‘For Foreigners’ as a means of averting ‘demographic catastrophe’; Kondome). Let us look at some details of how all these aspects are packaged into a single media message.

The Neo-Nazi World of Umwelt & Aktiv

34Here, we turn to the quarterly pro-NPD environmentalist periodical Umwelt & Aktiv [Environment & Active]. This Magazine for Holistic Thinking: Environmental Protection, Animal Protection, Protection of the Heimat is available (along with the anti-foreigner condoms) on the web-page. If one clicks on the link, reads the extensively informational website, and orders the magazine, one receives about 35 pages of folksy, glossy, colourful ‘environmentalist’ news and features. Umwelt & Aktiv has no advertisers; it has been active for about ten years. As German journalists and anti-fascist groups have repeatedly pointed out, it is run and written by more or less openly committed NPD members (Pfaffinger 2014; Najoks 2008; Valjent 2012: 2014, 2013).

35The magazine website presents a ‘Letter of Welcome’ to visitors and subscribers, which immediately makes the nature-territory-culture-Volk connection.

The protection of nature begins at home, in the native (heimischen) woods, mountains, lakes, and beaches — in short, the Heimat. And thereto belongs also the protection of culture as the natural bearer of local environmental and animal protection, free from commercial imperatives [...] We must think of ourselves, our children, and our country! (U& Wir über uns)

36How is this message made flesh? Let us suppose ourselves to have ordered a fourth-quarter issue (2011). Here we find our familiar enemies, in articles on African and Indian small farmers combating international seed monopolies; in condemnations of industrial animal farming (accompanied by a picture of dead, bloody hen); and, under ‘Protection of the Heimat’, an exposé of the foreign purchase of German agricultural land (a giant hand embossed with a dollar sign hovering overafield). Otherthreatsto Germanbiomassarealsoonthemove: there is a condemnation of ‘bad food’ (a hamburger impaled by American and EU flags), while German biomass itself is self-imploding — as an article blaming Germany’s declining birth-rate on the mainstream media’s celebration of career-minded women makes clear. Finally, there is the nostalgic counter-frame, that of the (threatened) beloved: a celebration of homeopathic medicines (juxtaposing herbs to needles), the picture of a mother nursing her child that illustrates the career- women article, and visually-rich articles and poems on the significance of the time-honoured, essentially German celebration of Advent and ‘Jul’ (U&A 2011, 4).

Fig. 6.4. Sample issues of Umwelt & Aktiv.

Fig. 6.4. Sample issues of Umwelt & Aktiv.

Photo: Steffen Werther.

37These three themes — the enemy, the urgency, the beloved — convene under the combined right-wing/environmentalist narrative of irreparability. Environmentalism and right-wing ideology are usually intermixed. The standard anti-globalisation, pro-environment information is given a special slant: the need to protect German (and European) biomass. Why, asks one article, are ‘800 million Africans’ leaving their own countries? The reason is that they are driven out by the plundering of multinationals and their own population explosions. Why are they ‘waiting to go to Europe?’ Because of that continent’s population ‘vacuum’. Can anyone believe, the writer asks, that border guards and walls will prevent Europe from being ‘filled by immigrants’? The place of Africans, the writer concludes snidely, ‘is in African wars of liberation, not in the social service and anti-discrimination bureaus of Europe’ (U&A 2011, 2).

38Indeed, all alien bodies—and their alien culture and practices—should be kept at bay. Otherwise, the essential link between people and nature will be at risk. For what is it besides the ‘soulless multi-kulti society’ that weakens Germans’ relationship to nature — that nature which is the ‘power resource for the German people and the spring of Volk health’? Volk and nature should always be linked. Conversely, ‘nationalism and the battle to maintain Völker are nothing more than the broadening of the idea of protecting nature to include humans’. For are not peoples ‘a creation of nature’? And do not they, as a people, also deserve protection against extinction? But the German people will not survive a transmutation into ‘identity-less coffee-brown mixtures, a collection of consumers’, lacking sentiment for the ‘fatherland’ — which is, in turn, ‘indissoluble from love of nature, tradition, Heimat, and family’ (U&A 2010, 2).

39There is no division between humans and nature here: the Germans’ communal soul is part and parcel of the German environment. The converse is true as well: the biomass of the German environment must be protected, on behalf of the German soul. Foreigners must be kept doubly at bay. ‘Now they are also plundering the woods’. Once, this Mecklenburg-Vorpommern NPD homepage article reads, ‘before Germany became so colourful and international’, gathering mushrooms had been a pleasant, relaxing past-time. Today, bands of Eastern Europeans are ‘swarming’ in search of mushrooms, picking the land bare, and destroying the woods. When a forester tried to stop them, he was first threatened at knife-point; then they tried to run him over. So far, this has been an isolated occurrence — perhaps; but ‘Poland is nearby and the media lies’ ( Pilze).

40Like the NPD website, Umwelt & Aktiv is also concerned with the suffering that foreigners cause (German) animals. The culprits are, predictably, both commercial, industrial husbandry practices (the dead hen described above) and immigrants. Much ink is spilled denouncing kosher and halal slaughtering — foreign biomass (people) attacking German biomass (animals). Jewish and Muslim immigrants bring ‘in their baggage a type of animal-torture as yet unknown to us’, in contravention to ‘the norms that obtain here’. Those who tolerate this torture of animals then, the author concludes with heavy-handed sarcasm, give ‘an outraged howl, when Orientalist politico-terrorists cut, not the throats of sheep and cows, but of Western hostages’ (U&A 2011, 1).

41From humans to domestic animals, and thence to the rest of German nature. There are invasive fish, insect, and plant species as well. An article entitled ‘Invasion from Asia’ details the ‘cannibalistic’ and rapidly reproducing Asiatic ladybugs (juxtaposed to the German ladybug, the object of affectionate attention). The article ‘Animal Immigrants’ denounces an alien crayfish. Indeed, ‘animals with migration background are on the increase’ (U&A 2011, 2; 2010, 4).

42And then there is the alien biomass that will be eaten by Germans (the EU-American hamburger is a typical example). ‘Clone-Meat on German Plates’ tells of one of many unwanted American biomass invasions: the invasion through genetically modified plants (U&A 2011, 2). Umwelt & Aktiv joins NPD Party websites in repeatedly attacking the spread of (American-sponsored) genetically modified crops. In the vividly illustrated ‘The Dialogue Between Two Seeds, Geni and Normi’, the latter weeps over ‘an evil plan for immeasurable profits’, hatched by the multinational American concern Monsanto, which plans, efficiently and secretly, to ‘bring death and illness to humans’ (U&A 2011, 1).

43What would German biomass look like, then, if left in peace? The nostalgic counter-ideal is, predictably enough, that of the doughty, self- supporting small farmer. Here, indeed, the story suddenly broadens to mythic proportions, stretching back into the ur-History of the German people.

44Ten thousand years ago, according to one Umwelt & Aktiv writer, the North European farmer cared for and nurtured ‘his “Garden of Eden” in accordance with nature-derived understanding [natürlichen Verstand] — the opposite of the abstract, world-foreign intellect’ (U&A 2011, 4). Indeed, as a website contributor explains, there was once an ‘ancient European, “Nordic” culture’, pagan, pure, and pro-environment, a culture that survived all subsequent immigration (U& 2013: Heimatschutz). In the ‘old pagan faith’, another magazine author explains, ‘scarcely a natural phenomenon existed which was not honoured as godlike’. There was a pantheistic idea of the ‘souls intrinsic to all living creatures, the godliness of every living being’ (U&A 2011, 4). The great perversion came with the ‘Christianisation of the Germanic peoples’. Old beliefs were suppressed — including the ‘deep and gripping love of nature’, rooted in the ‘Germanic soul’, but missing altogether in the Bible (U&A 2009, 2). And today? We are in a ‘capitalistic and atomised world that has to do only with profit maximising’. The brutal power of ‘global concerns’ leads to a psychologically impoverished ‘consumption ideology’—‘the era of the total rule of money’. ‘Synthetically homogenised space’, in the opinion of another writer, ‘is replacing what were, once, stammesgeschichtlich [historical-tribal] communities’ (U&A 2010, 2; 2011, 2). Again, ecocritical tropes and narratives are meshed, unpleasantly, with those of militant nationalism.

Nature-Oriented Action: A Cure for National Ills

45What are the neo-Nazi solutions? Umwelt & Aktiv does not mention the NPD (although the Party’s environmentalist policies are, at one point, reproduced in full). But both party and Umwelt & Aktiv websites and publications provide plenty of recommendations for pro-nature action. Umwelt & Aktiv writers, in particular, direct their appeals to those mainstays of German environmentalism: the rediscovery and maintenance of the German’s age-old interrelationship with and participation in nature.

46This is done by recommending action on three levels. The first can be called everyday — a return to the practices of our ancestors. Here, Umwelt & Aktiv gives many cosy recommendations. There are ancient herbal medicines (as used by ‘Wotan, as magical medicine’), ‘aromatherapy’ (associated in ‘all old cultures’ with ‘godliness, purity, strength, and power’), bee-keeping, preserving fruit, and gardening. Then there is a second level, that of maintaining a pro-nature family culture. This will be triggered (the authors hope) by, for instance, articles on how to teach children to sing poems celebrating spring (U&A 2011, 1; 2011, 2; 2010, 2). Both sets of practices, it will be noted, are heavily gendered: environmentalist racism, it seems, is one way of connecting women to what is otherwise a heavily masculinised movement. By the same token, emphasis on environmentalist everyday practices reinforces the feminine nature of the nostalgic and beloved, the wife-and-child home: the Heimat, which the male soldier protects against intrusion (here, evidently, the soldier stands for NPD activists; for more on the gendered nature of the Heimat, see Ecker 2002).

47Much triggering, however, is directed to a third level of engagement: efforts to encourage groups, even communities, to join together in re-treading the paths of their ancestors. If we are to return, one writer urges, to the ‘way of thinking’ rooted ‘in the Germanic’, which respected and loved eagles, horses, deer, ‘old trees and blooming bushes’, we must hold fast to ‘traditions and inherited values’. These are, it transpires, uniquely German, pre-Christian, and pro-environment (U&A 2009, 2). We should, for instance — as an article on solar energy puts it — revive solstice celebrations of ‘Mother sun’, the ‘first god of life’. To be sure, state-sponsored festivals for the ‘religious honouring of the sun’ did occur under National Socialism; but since then, the alienation from nature inherent in industrialised farming has meant the steady demotion of the sun as a holy object. But perhaps the turn towards solar energy will bring back the old ways? (U&A 2011, 1).

48The implications of reviving old group rituals are far-reaching: only by re-establishing the relationship between nature and humans can the German people be saved. ‘The [tradition of the] April joke is dying out’, complains one Umwelt & Aktiv writer: ‘our regional dialects and customs are dying out, animal and plant species are dying out’. The ‘Mischgesellschaft [mixed society] caused by alien-ethnic immigration’ has caused a ‘loss of the way-of-life, of Volkstum and culture’. The threat of loss is dire: ‘the German people is headed for extinction’.

Perhaps still in small towns and villages, the May Pole is still raised [...] but is one really still greeting the beautiful, life-giving season of the sun? [...] who tends the family grave [...] who still knows by name the trees, flowers, and animals, growing at the roadside and in the woods? [...] all that which our people have made and that concerns them is almost totally suppressed. (U&A 2011, 3)

49One solution to this looming problem seems to be extensive descriptions of how readers can enact ‘traditional German’ festivals. Here, the articles draw on highly charged, tradition-laden icons, framed in a ritualistic, solemn, and soothing narrative: that of liturgy and, hence, redemption. A pagan version of Christmas is, understandably, a favourite. The author of ‘Christmas: Then, Today, and Tomorrow’ tells us that ‘Christmas is something special for us Germans’, for ‘most Christmas customs have Germanic roots’. These customs ‘bring us people together and let us experience that we are part of a community’ (U&A 2011, 4). ‘The Germanic Jul-Festival’ (which adds a, presumably pagan, burning circle of wood to the usual icons of snow-covered pines, candles, and nuts) goes further, giving step-by-step instructions on how to recreate the authentic pagan ritual. It presents itself as a paean of ‘praise to nature’ (U&A 2010, 4). The article is followed by a Viking-esque poem: ‘Fall storms roar’, but ‘No weather-storm is too hard for us / we are of Nordland’s Art!’ (ibid.). Finally, the link between winter solstice and warrior ancestors is brought out on the magazine’s back cover, where a German soldier and a lit candle illustrate the text ‘Once a year, in the holy night / the dead warriors leave off their guard [...] We die for you, because we believe in Germany’ (ibid.). The (familial) idyll nourishes (masculinist) activist militancy; the militants are needed to fight the idyll’s enemies.

50Local NPD websites also urge people to practice what they term ‘culture-bearing’ seasonal community traditions (that is, traditions that strengthen and uphold German culture). Besides giving instructions on how to conduct ‘traditional’ festivals, they publish lengthy reports on actual celebrations. Such reports are integral to triggering the local demonstrations, festivals, excursions, and hikes, the face-to-face encounters which make up an essential part of any social movement. Indeed, one finds a surprisingly rich set of narratives of everyday environmentalist and nature-oriented praxis. Let us turn to this last aspect of neo-Nazi environmentalist media: the interplay between media that seek to trigger nature-human festivals, and the subsequent presentation of these performances in that same media. How do this interplay affect the emotions and narratives that make up the eco-Nazi media frame?

Women, Youth, and Germanic Nature: From Umwelt to Aktion

51The national NPD homepage is a bit too lofty to tell of local organisational doings, but local and sub-organisation websites give them a lot of space. There are political demonstrations; there is the annual commemorative event. Many events are meant to project the Party as a manly fighting organisation — mourning the deaths of martyrs, celebrating the founding of the party, meeting to drink beer and listen to speeches, the great music festivals, the convivial party-member outings to a war memorial or historic site. But many activities are seasonal and directly connected to nature. Let us look at several such activities, as reported on the two sub-organisation websites given prominence on the NPD’s homepage: the Ring Nationaler Frauen (National Women Group, hereafter Ring) and the Junge Nationaldemokraten (National-Democratic Youth). These will, we hope, give an idea of how neo-Nazi media trigger actions — and reports on actions — that reinforce both their two central emotional frames and their overriding ‘irreparable’ narrative.

52The Ring, although many years old, is not large; indeed, the 2012 Report by the Federal Agency for Internal Security put it at 100-odd members (Verfassungschutzbericht 2012, 103). Its main website (http:// is, judging from the entries, kept alive by female NPD representatives. Like the NPD’s website, the Ring’s is concerned with the doings of the party, political news, and organisation events. In accordance with the neo-Nazis’ conservative gender norms, their website gives food, culture, customs, and traditions a first-place ranking. It is here that nature figures most prominently.

53‘Defence of the environment is defence of the Heimat’, the NPD program maintains — and, predictably, neo-Nazi women have a role here. The Ring website posts invitations to, and lengthy reports on, group celebrations of German nature. A brief, 2014 dip into the website provides, for instance, an account of a ‘Thüringer Advents-Aktion’, where Ring members gave out home-made cookies and propaganda to passing women (whose eyes supposedly glowed with gratitude), as well as information on the ancient pagan roots of the St. Martin’s Day celebration. There are also longer narratives, detailing members’ doings, such as the Ring’s ‘Visit to native orchids’ in the Schwäbische Alb. A ‘whole meadow […] full of different herbs’ provides ‘an impressive experience’ of the ‘well-known plants of our Heimat’. Finally, after enjoying the herbs (pictures are included) and the ‘stupendous view of the Alb and the Hohenzollern Fortress’, the women had some ice cream — ‘after our time in the sun, a wonderful refreshment’. The harmonious, secure, child-like pleasures of traditional German nature- culture are thus offered ( Advent; Orchid).

54But the writers for this website want us, above all, to celebrate seasonal festivals, such as ‘“Mariae Himmelfahrt” and the Sprig of Herbs’ and ‘The Summer Solstice’ (found under the Customs and Culture banner button). The roots of such festivals, we are repeatedly reminded, lie in purely Germanic culture. A piece on ‘Carnival-Time’, for instance, emphasises that the celebration long antedates Christianity; doubting readers are referred to Swedish stone inscriptions. Such practices, the writer explains, re-enact the fight between winter and summer, re-awakening sleeping nature and bidding it be fruitful. ‘The winter is conquered, nature is woken’ — and we are encouraged to participate in these rites of spring ( Brauchtum; Mariae; Sommer; Fasching).

55And then there are the harvest festivals, predictably paying homage to the threatened German farmer. ‘The original harvest-festival customs, which have their roots in pagan history’, consist, in fact, of ‘the farmer’s thanks for the successful harvest’ as well as ‘the people’s thanks to the farmer’. This custom should be especially revered today, when foreign imports threaten ‘our own sound Bauerntum [peasantry]’ and people with ‘the poisons in industrially produced food sources’ and ‘genentically manipulated agricultural products’. What is worse, the Germanic festival has been supplanted by Halloween, an American custom ‘forced through by great commercial concerns’ and the mainstream media ( Herbst).

56This trigger to action is complemented by a narrative of the Ring’s proper celebration of the annual ‘Harvest Thanks Festival’ — ‘already a tradition’ ( Erntedankfeier). The reader is provided with a ritualised narrative of happy, enthusiastic celebrants sharing food, songs (‘Of Autumn’), and poetry in order to give thanks to farmers. The audience ‘listened eagerly’ to speeches on the value of the family, the avoidance of pesticides, and the profitibility of ecological vegetables. Halloween, which ‘does not correspond to our Art’, is again mentioned; the event ended with the ‘well-known’ song, ‘The Woods Are Already Bright’. Many were ‘thankful for the lovely hours in harmonious community’, and new members joined — all now ‘properly ready for autumn thoughts and moods’ (ibid.).

57Fig. 6.5. Screenshot of local NPD’s Facebook page

Protection of the environment is protection of the Heimat’. This NPD slogan (here used by the NPD youth organisation) is popular at all levels of the party, as well as among independent extremists.

Source: Facebook page NPD Berlin-Pankow,​npd.pankow/​photos/​a.475618535916618.1073741827.475614375917034/​851724564972678/​

58This is evocative, of course, of the Heimat idyll. We would also like to point to the function played by the form as well as the fact of festival reports. The narratives, although varying in tone, tend to have predictable content. The group convenes; key symbols are displayed; there is movement through space, speeches, songs, and poetry; people enjoy food, drink, and games; finally, there is a happy dispersal — upon which, often, the overriding moral is spelled out (e.g., in a concluding poem). Durkheimian scholars of ritual would consider these group rituals as a means of reinforcing community by confirming the eternal validity of its values. The posting of a website narrative of the meeting might, in its turn, do more than spread complacency and (hopefully) trigger emulative action. It might (we argue) also serve to publicly affirm the efficacy and significance of the rituals. The story itself, we postulate, reinforces communal memory; its standardised form cleanses and focuses members’ social recollection. Finally, the narrative might function as a linked element in a larger collective of website texts. Future party members could take the text as a sort of liturgy when planning their own festivals (and their own reports on those performances). See, they might say, these are not just random bodies bumbling about. These are patriotic Germans fighting for the survival of their species by reclaiming nature, land usages, collective practices: biomass reclaiming biotope.

59For one should not forget that invocations of idyllic Heimat are not innocent. The above may seem an innocuous re-invention of a nature- loving, community-affirming, environmentalist Germanic tradition; but there is always a link between this idyll and the media frame of angry activism, brought together under the shared ‘irreparabilitynarrative. Some Ring reports on seasonal rituals, indeed, openly demonstrate the marriage. Take, for instance, the ‘Summer Fest and Summer Solstice in Baden-Württemberg’ of 2013 (held by the party as a whole; see Sommerfest). The festivities included a speech, stands with traditional local as well as vegan foods, playing space for children, and ‘Viking’ contests for ‘big and small’, the latter arranged by the NPD’s National Youth. A bonfire was planned, together with speeches and songs. The report includes images of group activities and symbolic (‘pagan’) constructions (ibid.).

60Thus far, the report’s tone is celebratory. But it suddenly changes to angry scorn: the police intervened. The fire was forbidden. The Summer Festival was resumed, and its various (standard, ritualised) actions detailed; but the tone remains one of embattled militancy. Participants formed a circle of lit torches, sang the Deutschlandlied [German national anthem], and listened to poetry; a ‘fire speaker’ (Feuerredner) assured them that each torch was ‘for our Heimat’. ‘Strengthened’ by words and song, all went home ‘with a good feeling, despite all repression’. The battle, it seems, would go on: ‘Also next year we will again hold a Summer Solstice Festival of NPD Baden-Württemberg. We promise this!’ (their emphasis). The narrative ends with a poem. ‘Once upon a time, when the country was still free’, there stood ‘at Summer Solstice, on every height a fire […] We greet the sun that stands over us. May the heart also remain bright and true that never forgets its origins’. Pro-nature rituals (including vegan food-stands) combine, here, with nationalist militancy (ibid.).

61From women singing autumn songs to fire-speakers, police, and Deutschlandlied: the pro-nature performance narratives are shifting from the timeless and idyllic to the urgent, angry-fearful media frame.

62Unsurprisingly, this is clearly illustrated by pro-nature performance narratives posted by the NPD’s National-Democratic Youth (Junge Nationaldemokraten, JN; the website tag is In 2013, this group numbered around 350 members; it was affiliated with the NPD, but also termed itself ‘national-revolutionary’ in the ‘proto-political field’. This involved links to the loosely organised, informal nationalist groups and gangs — e.g., Freie Kräfte and Autonome Nationalisten — whose group identity often depended on neighbourhood, music, street performance, and violence. These are the groups that are often responsible for illegal direct action (Verfassungsschutzbericht 2012, 99).

63The homepage of ‘Youth for Germany’ uses the NPD colour-scheme, but features, as background, a fertile farming landscape. The ‘Our Goals’ heading mentions ‘a German-European principle of lineage and descent [Abstammungsprinzip]’, that is, biomass. As usual, territory and culture interact: ‘We want our culture to live and be preserved. Therefore, we support the traditions of our thousands-year-old culture, which is so closely bound to the land in which we live’ ( Ziele).

64Given this, the JN do engage in the party’s pro-nature, seasonal festivals. In 2013, the website gave the Germanic origins of Walpurgis Night and urged comrades to enjoy celebrating it. For Easter 2013, coffee, cakes, and games united comrades in an ‘ur-Germanic festival’. ‘Come to us, you also, and be who you are — youth, forward!’ The youth of Lausitzmarsch have gone on a nature-hike and celebrated the summer solstice. ‘With songs, poems, fire-speeches, torches, flags, and a small fire we carried on the tradition of our people. All in all, it was a deep experience in the community’ ( Walpurgis; Ostern; Lausitz).

65Furthermore, the JN website provides many accounts of nature- hikes, ranging from one-day affairs for the whole family to all-male marches: ‘Lived Community’, the New Year ‘Through Forest and Sand for Fatherland’, ‘To Hike Always Gives Fresh Air’ (featuring the poem ‘Kameradschaft is Stronger Than Death’) ( Gemeinschaft; Wald und Sand; Luft). A comrade’s post explains the ideology supposedly underlying these hikes.

What are we then looking for? We want to live close to nature, do not need the luxury that is supposedly so important in our lives [...] In our hearts burns the longing for freedom. This we no longer find in the dirty streets of our towns [...] We storm [stürmen] to the countryside […] We long to feel our own earth [under our feet], get to know our own Heimat. To see and experience how great our Germany is. We wish to experience true community. ( Warum)

66The hikes and their associated camps (Autumn Camp, New Year’s Camp, Pentecost Bund Camp) are meant to give youth an experience of the ‘greatness of Germany’, to feel their Heimat’s ‘own earth’ under their feet, to ‘experience true community’, to ‘be who you [really] are’ (ibid.). They probably promote comradeship and enthuse younger members by combining shared bodily movement, song, and food with isolation from everyday society. This, at least, is how the nature-hike narratives on the JN website present the experience.

67The tone of nature-hike narratives vacillates, interestingly, between the angry activist and the happy idyll. The report on New Year’s Eve hike of ‘JN Mecklenburg’ along the Baltic coast’s ‘native’ woods and beaches is more grim than happy. The hike was used to ‘exchange thoughts about the political battle and also to get to know still unknown co-fighters better personally’. While the ‘typical BRD youth’ can ‘scarcely wait for the drunkenness of New Year’s Eve’, the report concludes, the hikers ‘dedicate themselves to the Gemeinschaft [community] while keeping spirits and bodies sound’ ( Wald und Sand).

68Other narratives are a combination of activism and idyll. The report on a Christmas Day ‘Hike in Rothaargebirge’ describes a dozen JN members in a ‘mountain landscape characterised by the woods, fields, and rivers’. Once there, they erected tents and flag, and took off through the woods ‘with Volkstreuen songs on their lips’. They supposedly impressed other hikers, who were surprised that there were ‘nationalists’ like this. The young men bathed in the river, listened to bird songs, engaged in communal sports and lessons in self-defence, ate, drank, slept, cleaned up the campsite, and returned home — a fine combination of being friendly to nature, advertising the party, and training as activists ( Rothaargebirge).

69Some reports, finally, make the enjoyment of an idyll into an activist act. The 2012 account of the annual mixed-sex ‘JN Easter March’ exults in the exploration of Germany’s natural-cultural landscape. After visiting the ruins of the ‘impregnable fortress Hohentwiel’, young people ‘snatched up their banners’ and marched through ‘several small villages, which we greeted, loudly, with marching songs’. Setting up camp, they ‘enjoyed the lovely nature’ by eating, singing, and playing games around the fire. All these activities were part of ‘this beautiful hike full of fun and community in this special landscape. Do you also want to be a part of this community and take part in one of our numerous hikes? Then sign up at the following address’ ( Vulkane).

70The tone in this last account is fairly bucolic; like the other hike reports, it shows how enjoyment of the German idyll makes for sound bodies, creates community, and reconnects hikers with the identity- affirming nature of the German Heimat. For the JN, moreover, the idyll is never far from activism; recreation in nature has an ultimate, soldierly purpose. Indeed, enjoyment of nature is itself an activist act. The singing Rothaargebirge hikers impressed other nature-lovers; the Easter youths traversed villages, carrying banners and ‘loudly’ singing marching songs (of, one suspects, a patriotic bent). This German Heimat is free of alien biomass, foreigners, plants or animals, buildings or cultural practices. Indeed, the landscape is now re-inscribed with German consciousness through the songs and banners, the sound, pure bodies of militantly German youth.

71German biomass is thus itself a weapon, as the JN insert their clean bodies, their concern for nature directly into threatened spaces. In 2012– 2013, they were, for instance, proud participants in so-called ‘Social Days’, initiated (according to the NPD’s website) to

make a contribution to the community [...] cleaning public places and monuments, [providing] food for the needy, visiting children’s and old people’s homes, holding children’s festivals, and much more [...] Germany is not only an economic location, but also Heimat and Fatherland. It is up to us alone to preserve a beautiful country. ( Sozialer Tag)

72Some JN groups use Social Days for political demonstrations; others dedicate the time to ostentatiously cleaning up natural spaces. Thus in Niedersachsen, as the local NPD website post (‘Together for a Cleaner Environment’) tells us, ‘eager Heimat-true activists’ from the JN took part in the battle against ‘the dirtying of the environment’. They cleaned up a recreational roadside area, finding half-empty vodka bottles and marijuana cigarette butts — the ‘participating activists were, on occasion, very startled’. Many people evidently do not care where they litter. ‘This tendency towards egoism has its roots, quite naturally, in the liberal-capitalist system, which must be overcome. The JN will also in the future engage itself in social encounters among our Volk!’ (npd. Gemeinsam).

73Just under that item, one finds ‘Social Day of the NPD: JN In Bremen Too’. Here, the youth clean up park playgrounds. The vodka-bottles, cigarette-packages, and heroin-needles they find provide a cross-section of the German Republic’s addiction-society (Suchtgesellschaft), we are told. Further, the fact that ‘German children’ are a ‘minority’ in many Bremen playgrounds ‘not infrequently leads to problems'. ‘In connection with the cleansing of playgrounds’, the surrounding households got JN leaflets in their mailboxes ( Sozialer Tag).

74From nature and parkland playgrounds to society itself: Germany should be kept clean. German youth, drawing mind-and-body strength from the natural, healthy, environmentalist idyll of the Heimat, are ready to go to angry war with those that threaten that environment and, thus, the entire German Volk. The two media frames, idyll and anger, meet in his — and, sometimes, her — pure German biomass.

75One can, finally, argue that these three interconnected levels of media manage, together, to achieve something in an area where many other environmentalist movements fail — including many on the liberal left. They integrate nature into the human condition: biomass into biotope. Nature is not just a resource to exploit. It is essential to race consciousness: one would, supposedly, be as lost without the nature of one’s Heimat as one would be without its culture, history, or human biomass. People and countryside are connected; all are native biomass. This connection, so constructed, is perhaps more deeply ecocritical than the liberal tropes of ‘sustainable development’. It is also frightening.


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On-Line Resources


Meldungen Nov/Dec 2013:

Meldungen Dec 2015-Jan 2016 (Kurzmeldungen with Facebook links):

Recht auf Heimat:


Sozialer Tag,


NPD Bayern


Meldungen 2011:

Intakte Natur, See duplicate at

NPD Niedersachsen

Sozialer Tag, Bremen/Junge_Nationaldemokraten.html


Junge Nationale:







Wald und Sand,




Ring Nationaler Frauen










Umwelt & Aktiv

Wir über uns,


Other websites

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2011, 2: Blum, Robert, ‘Klonfleisch von US-Farmen: United States of Klonfleisch: Klonfleisch auf deutschen Tellern’; Horn, Laura, ‘Asiatische Maikäfer’; Weber, Britta, ‘Mama Afrika — der geknechtete Kontinent: Schnelleres globales Bevölkerungswachstum’.

2011, 3: Blum, Robert, ‘Deutschland stirbt’.

2011, 4: Dittmann, Ulrich, ‘Tierschutzberichte der Bundesregierung von 2011 — ein Dokument des Versagens’; Thüne, Wolfgang, ‘Landwirtschaft — Klimaschutz frisch vom Acker?’; Mireille, Dankwart (film review).

2012, 2: Zittmayr, Renate, ‘Gentechnik-freies Österreich’.


1 During 2013, the political constellation shifted somewhat. The far-right party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) was founded as a protest party against German participation in the euro’s financial politics. Between 2013 and 2015, the AfD mushroomed into a more general populist right-wing party. It has representatives in five German Landtag. It has, at the moment of writing, the support of around 10% of all German voters. This turn to the right has positioned the AfD as a direct competitor to the NPD, especially in Eastern Germany (conservative politicians have designated it ‘NPD light’). The NPD has been able to maintain its own voter base, but has not grown — the AfD steals the additional voters it might have gained as sentiment hardens towards financial aid to Greece and the ongoing ‘refugee crisis’.

Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 6.1. Screenshot of NPD folder, ‘Our program: a decent Heimat as the foundation of our Volkstums.
Crédits Source: NPD homepage;​inhalte/​daten/​dateiablage/​ThemenHeimat_2010.pdf
Fichier image/jpeg, 104k
Titre Fig. 6.2. Screenshot of NPD’s Facebook page
Légende ‘Animal protection is protection of the Heimat! Vote for the NPD on September 22!’ Campaign poster for the 2013 German federal elections.
Crédits Source: NPD Facebook page,​​photos/​pb.268232929583-2207520000.1461139625/​10151722063984584/​?type=3&theater
Fichier image/jpeg, 180k
Titre Fig. 6.3. Screenshot of NPD homepage, ‘Environment: Protect our Lebensraum’.
Crédits Source:​thema/​umwelt
Fichier image/jpeg, 180k
Titre Fig. 6.4. Sample issues of Umwelt & Aktiv.
Crédits Photo: Steffen Werther.
Fichier image/jpeg, 208k
Légende ‘Protection of the environment is protection of the Heimat’. This NPD slogan (here used by the NPD youth organisation) is popular at all levels of the party, as well as among independent extremists.
Crédits Source: Facebook page NPD Berlin-Pankow,​npd.pankow/​photos/​a.475618535916618.1073741827.475614375917034/​851724564972678/​
Fichier image/jpeg, 208k


Madeleine Hurd (madeleine.hurd[at] is Associate Professor of Modern History at Södertörn University, Stockholm. Her research has focused on emotions and gender in medialized rituals of spatial belonging in inter-war Germany and in German far-right environmentalism. Recent publications include ‘Nature, the Volk, and the Heimat: The Narratives and Practices of the Far Right Ecologist’ (co-authored with Steffen Werther), published in Baltic Worlds in 2013; ‘Contested Masculinities in Inter-War Flensburg’, in Bordering the Baltic:Scandinavian Boundary-drawing Processes, 1900–2000 (2010), which she also edited; and ‘Reporting on Civic Rituals: Texts, Performers and Audience’, in Ritual and Media: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, edited by Brosius and Polit (2010).

Steffen Werther (steffen.werther[at] is Senior Lecturer and Researcher of Historical and Contemporary Studies at Södertörn University in Stockholm. He is interested in German and Scandinavian history, from the nineteenth century to the present day, with a focus on nationalism, racial theory and National Socialist ideology. His doctoral thesis examined the implementation of the SS’s Greater Germanic idea in Denmark. His latest publications include: ‘Nordic-Germanic Dreams and National Realities: A Case Study of the Danish Region of Sønderjylland, 1933–1945’, in Racial Science in Hitler’s New Europe, edited by Anton Weiss-Wendt and Rory Yeomans (2013); and ‘Go East, Old Man: Space, Ritual and the Politics of Memory among Europe’s Waffen-SS Veterans’ (co-authored with Madeline Hurd), published in Culture Unbound in 2014.


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