new tactic of national resistance
'The Immortals': German youth stage impromptu demonstrations in cities across country
BERLIN — A German neo-Nazi group has been harnessing 21st-century technology to stage terrifying flash-mob protests that echo the [National Socialist] torch rallies of the 1930s — and then make them go viral.
In a demonstration on May 1st in Bautzen, Germany hundreds of black-clad figures with white masks suddenly converged in a street carrying torches and signs with extreme nationalist slogans, then dissipated before a major police presence could arrive, according to Germany's Die Zeit newspaper.
SPONTANEOUS PROTESTS ERUPT ACROSS GERMANY
The scene evokes the days of the Third Reich, when the Nazi SA would march with torches held high during night rallies as they saluted Hitler, according to Die Zeit.
A group calling themselves "Die Unsterblichen" (The Immortals) has been orchestrating these kinds of flash mobs in cities all over Germany for the past several months, according to CNN. Several videos of their spontenous protests can be found on YouTube, some of them with tens of thousands of views.
'MAKE YOUR SHORT LIFE IMMORTAL'
Most of the videos end with a chilling slogan — "Your short life, make it immortal, so that those who come after you will not forget that you were German."
The high-tech mob organizes their marches via text message so authorities don’t know where they’ll turn up next, CNN reported. The group's website encourages others to organize similar flash mob demonstrations, in order to "become immortal."
GROUP DECRIES 'VOLKSTOD'
The group uses an outdated word — "Volkstod" [death of the Volk = genocide] — on its signs, the newspaper noted, intentionally harking back to the days of the National Socialism. It's a turn of phrase that neo-Nazis use to describe what they perceive as the degradation of the German race taking place under democratic government.
A neo-Nazi group in the state of Brandenburg called "Spreelichter" first came up with the idea of organizing flash mob protests in 2009, according to Die Zeit. The group was banned by state authorities earlier this summer.
DOZENS OF HOMES RAIDED
The homes of more than a dozen known neo-Nazis have been raided by police in hopes of finding the group’s central leadership — if there is any to be found.
Dr. Hajo Funke, a professor at the Free University of Berlin, told CNN he believes the Immortals are hoping to attract young people to their cause with the dramatic and viral displays.
“It’s a very simple idea: Put masks on your faces and represent the danger to the people,” he told CNN.
Germany's flashmob neo-Nazis (2:47 min) http://www.cnn.com/video/?hpt=hp_t2#/video/world/2012/08/13/german-neo-nazi-group.cnn
Werde unsterblich—Demonstration in Bautzen (2:59 min) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkU6KTjLTYU