Can NPD or BPD ever be cured?

Social basis and strategy of the NPD in East Germany


1 Introduction
1.1 Procedure
1.2 State of research and sources

2 Right-wing extremism - a term for all cases?

3 Theoretical preliminary considerations on the origins and social causes of right-wing extremism
3.1 Ulrich Beck's thesis of individualization as a starting point for explaining right orientations
3.2 Right-wing extremist attitudes as a result of dominance culture or disintegration? A comparison of both theories
3.2.1 Central aspects of both approaches
3.2.2 Different levels for explaining right-wing extremism and misanthropy
3.2.3 Culture of dominance and disintegration. Definitions
3.2.4 Prosperity Chauvinism? The emergence of misanthropic orientations
3.2.5 Similarities and differences between the two approaches
3.3 Summary and hypotheses to be examined

4 The spread of right-wing attitudes in East Germany. Approaches, causes, results
4.1 Right-wing extremism as a result of GDR authoritarianism ’? A dispute
4.2 The specifics of right-wing extremism in East Germany
4.2.1 Catching up marginalization. The overstrained argument
4.2.2 "... untenable causal model". The influence of the region
4.2.3 Evaluation of the political system, self-assessment and nostalgic retrospect
4.2.4 Red East? Institutional trust and voting behavior
4.2.5 Summary of the specifics of right-wing extremism

5 The social basis of the NPD in East Germany
5.1 “Desperate excess of men”. Socio-structural characteristics and intentions of the NPD voters
5.2 stereotypes. The NPD base in transition
5.2.1 Membership structures
5.2.2 Brown imports. Internal party conflict potential
5.2.3 Tight belt. Financial aspects of the NPD structure
5.3 Protest and sentiment. Summary

6 The National Democratic Party of Germany. History and program
6.1 Outline of the NPD story
6.2 New and old under Voigt. Programmatic and ideology

7 socialism, education, struggle. The strategy of the NPD in East Germany
7.1 The three-pillar concept. Common practice in black and white
7.2 Thin staffing levels. Intellectualization efforts
7.3 People from the right. The anti-capitalism of the NPD
7.3.1 Excursus. The New Right as a pioneer of the current NPD strategy
7.3.2 The adoption of new right concepts by the NPD Visionary standstill and initial ignitions at the end of the sixties The ideological core of today's NPD. Biologism, ethnopluralism and socialism The JN as a pioneer of strategic reorientation
7.4 “National Socialism” or squaring the circle
7.4.1 Solidarity principle, popular socialism, national economy. Ambiguous terms
7.4.2 The right boom of a hyperlinked topic

8 Basic work and closeness to the citizen. The social anchoring of the NPD in the province
8.1 The Local Political Association of the NPD
8.2 The importance of soft citizen concerns
8.3 The myth of Uwe Leichsenring. The personification of the NPD in Saxon Switzerland
8.3.1 "Order, discipline and cleanliness". Social anchorage and general recognition
8.3.2 Parties in the front area. Successful youth work of the NPD in the province
8.3.3 Between Labske Skaly and Langburkersdorf. Defending provincial interests
8.3.4 Plain text. Direct contact with voters through regular publications
8.3.5 A turning point for the party. Uwe Leichsenring's death
8.3.6 Conclusions about the strategy of the NPD based on the case study The NPD as a regionally relevant social force A party for the East German people's soul. Prosperity chauvinism and the fight against exclusion as elements of the NPD strategy
8.4 Infiltration or defense of traditional territories?
8.4.1 Infiltration of parties
8.4.2 "We are young Germans ...". Case study WSG Zella-Mehlis
8.4.3 Fascization. When right-wing extremists are in the majority

9 The spearhead of the Popular Front. The NPD as a reservoir for right-wing extremists
9.1 The "Germany Pact". Rigid alliance under changed conditions
9.2 "It would have been possible without her". The ambivalent relationship to the "free forces"
9.2.1 Organization without organization. The concept of militant camaraderie
9.2.2 “This is where the national resistance marches!”. The alliance of convenience
9.2.3 Beautiful living without 385 Togolese. Growing influence of the revolutionary wing

10 Music and fashion as a "link to youth"
10.1 NPD goes pop. The gentle Aryanization of the subcultures
10.2 "Terrorists with electric guitars". Right skirt
10.2.1 Origin and structures
10.2.2 "... extremely creative". The strategic importance of legal rock
10.2.3 catchy tune character. The NPD Landser Alliance
10.2.4 Right-wing rock concerts as part of party events
10.2.5 Adjustment is cowardice. The schoolyard CDs
10.3 The journey to the mountain midnight. Fashion as part of the right lifestyle

11 Conclusion

12 List of Abbreviations

13 List of Figures

14 Bibliography and sources

1 Introduction

The entry of right-wing extremist parties into various state parliaments in the Federal Republic always triggered lively discussions in the media and society. After the NPD experienced a brief period of prosperity in the late 1960s, it disappeared from the public stage for almost thirty years. Under its current chairman, Udo Voigt, it has managed to rise to what is currently the most successful right-wing extremist party in the Federal Republic of Germany over the past ten years. In media coverage, the phrase that the NPD has arrived in the "middle of society" has meanwhile become commonplace. In contrast, however, right-wing extremist excesses of violence are reported at regular intervals and unequivocal imagery suggests that the NPD supporters are brutal skinheads wearing bomber jackets. This contradiction between supposed seriousness, the desired social anchorage and media perception is characteristic of the current state of the party.

At the moment, almost all means and alliances seem right to the NPD, as long as they can use them for further electoral successes. However, it is questionable whether this uninhibited mobilization, absorption and integration only provides the party with advantages or whether the social and ideological heterogenization associated with this approach harbors considerable potential for internal conflict within the party in the medium term. The present work aims to illuminate the strategy and structure of the party's social base in East Germany. With Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and, with restrictions, Thuringia, the most important strongholds of the NPD in the Federal Republic are located there. In view of the NPD Bundestag election result of 1.6 percent in 2005, which could be exceeded by far in the mentioned federal states and represented a four-fold increase compared to the result of 2002, the subject of the NPD became more explosive.

In addition, the party is almost permanently present in the media - be it through financial scandals, connections to the militant neo-Nazi spectrum or public display of the inhuman ideology it represents. The "shadow of Hitler"1Meanwhile, the political stigma of right-wing extremist parties resulting from German history is fading. Officially, the open-mindedness of the Federal Republic is constantly emphasized; the mood among the population, violent attacks and politically questionable decisions like that

The introduction of naturalization tests, the tightening of the asylum law or cuts in the financing of programs against right-wing extremism nevertheless cast doubt on the honorable words of the Sunday speakers. The problem of right-wing extremism is socially and politically extremely relevant, despite statements to the contrary. In which form, is to be shown in this work.

1.1 Procedure

The present work differs from other scientific investigations by the analysis of the NPD including microsociological and socio-theoretical approaches. While Wilhelm Heitmeyer locates the triggers of “group-related misanthropy” in various forms of exclusion, Birgit Rommelspacher attributes social power structures, utilitarian thought patterns and the fear of loss of status in the middle and higher social classes to be the main causes of right-wing extremist attitudes. In the first part of the thesis, both theories are presented. Subsequently, their central approaches, concepts, differences, similarities and contexts are presented in order to work out hypotheses for the investigation of the strategy and social basis of the NPD. After an overview of theories and empirical results on the phenomenon of right-wing extremism in East Germany, regional-specific factors will be analyzed that could favor the expansion of the NPD.

In the following chapter, empirical results on the social basis of the party are evaluated and classified. This is followed by the “practical” part of the work, in which the current strategy of the NPD in East Germany is examined taking into account previous results. After an overview of ideology, history and program, there follows a detailed analysis of the current alliance policy, intellectualization efforts and, in particular, the party's recent anti-capitalist-revolutionary orientation. By showing the historical tradition of the concept of “national socialism” and the process of the initially hesitant takeover by the NPD leadership in the seventies, the significance of anti-capitalism and anti-imperialism for the party will ultimately be examined. In the following section, the equally important part of the strategy “basic work and closeness to the citizen” is examined. From Toralf Staud's thesis of the "fascization of the province"2 inspired, is analyzed using case studies, among other things, to determine whether and how the NPD manages to anchor itself socially in various regions of Eastern Germany. In this context the question arises as to what extent this strategy can be applied nationwide and on which regional factors its success depends. Then the importance of the Popular Front strategy for the party is explained in detail. In addition to this aspect, it will have to be examined how the potential allies from the spectrum of so-called "free forces" are to be classified politically and organizationally and what influence they exercise in the NPD.

In addition, the ambivalent relationship between the NPD and the DVU will be examined and the political consequences of the “Germany Pact” concluded between the two actors will be examined. In the last part of the thesis, the special importance of the areas of music and fashion for the high level of acceptance of the NPD among young people will be discussed. The boom in right-wing rock, the promotion of subculturalization and the party's acceptance of various clothing and lifestyles have most likely contributed significantly to the rejuvenation of the NPD in recent years.

1.2 State of research and sources

There is an unmanageable wealth of scientific publications on the topics of the NPD and right-wing extremism. Right-wing extremism research had its starting point in Erich Fromm's investigations3, Hannah Arendts4 and Theodor W. Adornos5. In his study “The Authoritarian Personality”, Adorno as a representative of the Frankfurt School examined primarily the connection between the (psychological) constitution of a society and the emergence of the National Socialist regime in view of the crimes committed in the Third Reich with the tacit approval or tolerance of the population. Hannah Arendt established the controversial term totalitarianism with her work "The Origins of Totalitarianism"6 in science, which should serve to characterize both the Third Reich and Stalinist systems. In the Federal Republic of Germany, right-wing extremism first became popular in 1952 when the Socialist Reich Party (SRP) was banned by the Federal Constitutional Court. However, in West Germany, and thus also on the scientific and journalistic side, it was not until the mid / late sixties that the era of National Socialism began to be dealt with seriously. International in this phase7 Student protests also marked the first upswing of the NPD, which was characterized by high election results and membership figures and the acquisition of numerous state parliament mandates. Lutz Niethammer was one of the first to describe the political practice of the right-wing extremist party.8 After the topic of right-wing extremism, due to the decline of the NPD and the lack of relevant actors, again led a shadowy scientific existence until the end of the 1980s, psychological studies on right-wing extremist orientations among young people and those who lost out on modernization were carried out at this time.9 On the other hand, the partial electoral successes of the right-wing populist "Republicans" (REP) and the increased occurrence of neo-Nazi groups such as the FAP urged science to analyze these phenomena.10

In the course of the political change in the GDR in 1989/90 there was a massive upswing in right-wing extremism in the form of violent xenophobic attacks or pogroms and a strong growth in unorganized or subcultural neo-Nazism.11 At home and abroad, fear of a revived nationalism among Germans also grew. From this point on, there has been a veritable flood of scientific publications on the psychological, political, sociological and ideological dimensions of right-wing extremism. This results in numerous heterogeneous approaches, terminology and empirical results. Birgit Rommelspacher's book “Dominanzkultur. Texts on Strangeness and Power "12, which in addition to the anthology "German states" edited by Wilhelm Heitmeyer13 forms the theoretical basis of the present work.

Through the renaissance of the NPD under Udo Voigt at the end of the nineties and the ban proceedings against the party in 2001-2003, this trend was reinforced by additional publications from the scientific, media and journalistic side, although the quantity did not necessarily go hand in hand with quality. As has already been indicated, contradictions and polemics in dealing with the NPD can often be observed, especially in media reports. Nonetheless, local and national media coverage, newspaper and magazine articles as well as information from the “new” medium Internet were important sources of research. Nevertheless, the evaluation of specialist literature traditionally had the greatest importance for the preparation of the thesis. The two authors Toralf Staud and Henrik Steglich should be emphasized at this point. At Staud's "Modern Nazis"14 it is a well-researched and reflective book that is also structured in a reader-friendly manner and is easy to understand. The author draws an arc from the history of the NPD, through its modernization under Voigt, to its current form and strategy.

In addition, key terms such as “grassroots revolution” or “fascization” were taken from the book for the present work. Henrik Steglich's study "The NPD in Saxony"15 is scientifically sound, well structured and of an extremely wide range. In his study, Steglich can also come up with numerous useful literature references and data relating to the object of investigation. The author's affinity to the extremism or totalitarian approach16 can be explained with reservations that he is part of the scientific environment Eckhard Jesse17 or the Dresden Hannah Arendt Institute for Totalitarianism Research. In addition to the monographs mentioned, the works by Uwe Hoffmann, Jürgen W. Falter, Richard Stöss, Wolfgang Gessenharter, Christoph Butterwegge, Andreas Speit, Christian Dornbusch and Andrea Röpke in particular are challenging, stimulating scientific sources that deal with different aspects of the NPD, such as the form of organization, ideology, history, electoral structure, etc.

With regard to the use and acquisition of empirical data on right-wing extremist attitudes among East Germans, the studies "From the edge to the center"18, published by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), and the annual "Thuringia Monitor" developed by Jena scientists19 highlighted. While the former can come up with 5,000 interviewees in face-to-face interviews on right-wing extremist orientations, the Thuringia Monitor's value lies above all in the many years of experience of its authors with regard to the topics “Understanding of Democracy” and “Political Culture in East Germany”.Election results and related structural data were taken exclusively from the information provided by the state or federal statistical offices or recognized election research institutes such as Infratestdimap or the Elections Research Group. By visiting the Antifascist Press Archive and Education Center Berlin e.V. (APABIZ), numerous, otherwise possibly unavailable NPD original documents such as various applications or the party newspaper “German Voice” could be viewed. In addition, the tips from the employees were of great help in preparing the work.

Reports and dossiers from the Federal Office and the State Offices for the Protection of the Constitution turned out to be inevitable sources of information in some sections. Due to the direct amalgamation of the offices with the fortunes of the NPD, these reports had to be treated with special care and the necessary distance. The infiltration of the NPD leadership by informers from the Office for the Protection of the Constitution prevented the party from being banned by the Federal Constitutional Court in 2003. Those responsible at the time refused to withdraw all informants from the party. Furthermore, it must be assumed that the Office for the Protection of the Constitution does not make public knowledge of certain criminal or violent acts or only makes it falsified in order to protect its own sources. In addition, there have been minor and major scandals in recent years, which further reduce confidence in the reliability of the reports on the protection of the constitution. For example, findings about the farewell concert by Landser singer Michael “Lunikoff” Regener from the Thuringian State Office for the Protection of the Constitution were not passed on to the responsible police departments in good time, whereupon the self-confessed neo-Nazi and head of the Landser criminal organization were able to listen unmolested to around a thousand right-wing rock fans.20

Based on the reports on the protection of the constitution, it becomes clear that the objectivity and scientific nature of a work on the subject of "NPD" depend to a large extent on the data and literature used. In this context, reference should be made to the NPD sources used. This first hand information was essential to the investigation. The party organ “German Voice”, leaflets, programs, (election) newspapers (“Saxony Voice”, “Klartext” etc.) and a few other publications of the NPD and its related or critical organizations served as research resources. Quite a few party publications and numerous articles, communications and statements by other right-wing extremist groups are published exclusively on websites. A use of this material therefore proved to be inevitable, despite the skepticism of parts of science about the reliability of "new" media. The contents, figures and announcements were largely compared with reputable publications. The following chapter deals with the central terminology used in the thesis.

2 Right-wing extremism - a term for all cases?

The lack of a common concept, arbitrary choice of terms and different approaches are characteristic of current right-wing extremism research.21 The terms “right-wing extremism”, “neo-Nazism”, “right-wing radicalism”, “fascism”, “misanthropy” and “xenophobia” are used side by side or synonymously, although no paraphrase can capture the essence of the phenomenon in its entirety. Overall, there is a tendency to use the term “right-wing extremism”, which has been used in the reports on the protection of the constitution since 1974 as a substitute for “right-wing radicalism”, in research, but also in the media and politics.22 The starting point for this change of concept is the extremism approach, according to which the free and democratic basic order is threatened by left and right extremists. In contrast, it is necessary to proceed under the doctrine of a defensive democracy with the entire state arsenal of repression.23

Against this practice, however, there is also a democratically intended criticism, here by the Kassel lawyer Horst Meier: "The doctrine of 'arguable' democracy, which is fixed on prevention, chokes off every dispute, stifles every joy in fighting."24 Ironically, in connection with a renewed attempt to ban the NPD, the instruments of “controversial democracy” - meaning the agents of the constitutional protection agency - stand in the way of the ban and thus force the democrats to argue with their opponents .25 In American sociology, the term “political extremism” was taken up and further developed in the 1950s and 1960s by Seymour M. Lipset. Lipset assumed a certain extremist potential in the middle of society.26 In the Federal Republic, the extremism approach was mainly by the controversial political scientist Uwe Backes and Eckhard Jesse27 carried into social research.28 The extremism approach came under fire because of its lack of differentiation. The term “extremism” includes all possible trends that are perceived as anti-democratic, regardless of their intentions and manifestations. Contrary to Lipset's assumption, “extremism” implies a democratic center and its external enemies. Supporters of the concept of “defensive democracy” can swing this club almost at will. It hits both “real” enemies of the constitution such as the NPD as well as moderate actors who move within the framework of the Basic Law and who only have ideas that deviate from the established politics of the two major popular parties. For example, parts or individual members of the Left Party are monitored by the Federal Office and various state offices for the protection of the constitution29 controversial.30

Hans-Gerd Jaschke refers to the low scientific content of the distinction between extremism and democracy. Although this is "theoretically possible in terms of democracy and constitution [...], it is practically irrelevant due to numerous overlaps in ideological, personal and political terms."31 The anticipation of the “right” and “left” equating the “right” and “left” theory of totalitarianism, which is associated with the appropriation of the term “right-wing extremism”, also proves problematic. Due to the lack of alternatives and the power of the frequently used word, the work should speak of “right-wing extremism”, but the associated adjective “right-wing extremist” is replaced by “right-wing extremist” or “extreme right”. Likewise, the relevant protagonists are referred to as "right-wing extremists" and not as "right-wing extremists", while "extreme right" is used for the political trend. As has been shown, the central terminology of the research subject has not been clarified. In addition, there are various scientific approaches for which right-wing extremism is important on the one hand under certain political science (voting behavior, history of ideas, party landscape, etc.), on the other hand under sociological (supporters, social requirements, disintegration, etc.) or psychological aspects (socialization, authoritarianism, etc.). The content of the term therefore always depends on the respective approach. It can include the behavior of organized right-wing extremists (reports on the protection of the constitution, investigations into the NPD and comradeships) as well as the role of ideology in resolving conflict situations specific to young people (Heitmeyer).

3 Theoretical preliminary considerations on the origins and social causes of right-wing extremism

Right-wing extremism research has been a prosperous branch of the social sciences for seven decades. Through the studies on authoritarianism of the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research32 the basis for a constant research dispute about the causes of right-wing extremist attitudes was created. In addition to political science, right-wing extremism is the subject of investigation in the academic disciplines of education, sociology, psychology and philosophy. This, but also the mutual ignorance of “unrelated” results, results in a great heterogeneity of the approaches.33 After a brief introduction to the subject, the theories of Wilhelm Heitmeyer and Birgit Rommelspacher will be presented as examples for the multitude of social science approaches and their different approaches to explaining right orientations will be worked out. On this basis, hypotheses for evaluating the strategy and social basis of the NPD are then developed. These should then be checked for their salary in the course of the work and evaluated at the end.

3.1 Ulrich Beck's thesis of individualization as a starting point for explaining right orientations

After the political change in the GDR in 1989 and the subsequent unification with the Federal Republic of Germany, the number of right-wing extremist acts of violence rose explosively.34 For social research it was necessary to analyze the background and causes of this phenomenon. Among other things, one question was up for discussion: is increased right-wing attacks a temporary symptom of crisis that was due to the social upheavals of those years, or is right-wing violence the result of general social conditions and its exercise associated with a certain "normality"?35

Ulrich Beck's thesis of the "risk society"36 shaped the sociological discourse at this time. According to Beck, the social production of wealth in the advanced modern age systematically goes hand in hand with the social production of risks.37 Beck subsumes under "risks" among other things "social risk situations"38 such as unemployment, which in contrast to Fordism are class-independent and could also affect the social center. Beck also states a tendency towards “individualization” caused by processes of economic rationalization and, as a result, the disintegration of traditional ways of life and values ​​as well as the end of social classes and ideologies.39 Beck defines "individualization" primarily as an opportunity for a self-determined life ("I am I")40which is freed from ideological, religious and milieu-specific constraints. Under these conditions, the individual is responsible for his own happiness, can act flexibly, mobile and according to his innermost needs. Beck describes this as an ongoing process of "detachment" from given social forms, followed by "loss of stability" and ultimately "reintegration" into new social structures.41 Beck's view of the consequences of this process is largely optimistic, although he draws attention to the risks of pluralization with simultaneous standardization of CVs. Due to the reflexivity of post-Fordist modernity, there are hardly any binding normative fixed points. For this reason and for reasons of common life risks, individualization could also lead to increased uncertainty and negative results.

This is where various theories come in to explain right-wing extremist attitudes. They attribute an important role to explaining right orientations to the phenomenon of disintegration, which is directly related to individualization. At this point, for example, Wilhelm Heitmeyer's theory of disintegration could be described as outstanding. As an alternative to the approaches to disintegration, which parts of academia perceive as inadequate, various social science concepts emerged that attributed social power and competition to a significant influence on the emergence of right-wing extremism and right-wing extremist attitudes. However, it is not appropriate to understand these as contradicting theories of exclusion described. Rather, these approaches to power and competition are additions and necessary extensions to the analysis of the phenomenon of the development of right-wing extremism. In this regard, Birgit Rommelspacher's thesis of dominance culture can be considered exemplary.

3.2 Right-wing extremist attitudes as a result of dominance culture or disintegration? A comparison of both theories

Before the actual topic of the present work can be dealt with, a systematic comparison of the disintegration and dominance culture approach should be carried out in the following sections. Both approaches differ in the explanation of the emergence of right orientations in central aspects and prove to be extremely complex. For some time now, however, the perspectives of both currents have been converging. Starting with the central aspects of the theories, the different use of the terms right-wing extremism, misanthropy, dominance culture and disintegration by Rommelspacher and Heitmeyer will then be explained, in order to add the description of the emergence of right-wing orientations by both authors. Finally, at the end of the third chapter, a hypothesis is to be set up and, on the basis of this, examined how the strategy and social basis of the NPD in East Germany are currently to be assessed.

3.2.1 Central aspects of both approaches

The Bielefeld sociologist Wilhelm Heitmeyer blames the individualization surges associated with modernization for social, professional, societal and political processes of disintegration. In large parts of society, these would lead to experiences of isolation, feelings of powerlessness and insecurity. Since socio-cultural milieus such as denominational or proletarian have dissolved, traditional ties, family and neighborhood relationships have disintegrated, those affected lack a firm hold. Uncertainty of action leads to a search for certainty, to which right-wing extremist concepts with prejudices and promises of stability are linked.42 Feelings of powerlessness expressed themselves in part in the acceptance of violence, which such concepts would in retrospect legitimize through social Darwinist statements. After all, some of the disintegrated are looking for non-performance-related criteria of membership that right-wing extremist concepts offer them, primarily by emphasizing ethnicity and national superiority.

Heitmeyer thus locates the causes of misanthropic thinking in processes of exclusion that are triggered by feared or experienced losses of certain social, economic, political or societal resources, especially gainful employment.43 Birgit Rommelspacher took on a pioneering role in the development of theories that break away from individual deprivation (disadvantage) as the most important cause of right-wing extremist attitudes. Their approach to dominance culture locates the causes for the emergence of right attitudes not only in individual living conditions, but sees the basis for dominant thinking anchored in the existing social power relations. In her book “Dominanzkultur”, published in 1995, Rommelspacher speaks, in contrast to the disintegration thesis of racism and right-wing extremism, as “not a primary or even exclusive problem of those who missed out, but in its systematic manifestation primarily a problem of the established or that of to whom is expected and who expect of themselves that they will one day 'belong'. "44 Despite the shift in class and stratum structure and higher incomes in the western industrial nations of the late 20th century, socio-economic hierarchies remained.

According to Rommelspacher, xenophobia among the “successful” or “established”, in contrast to the existential fear of losing essential goods or social decline, is a defensive reaction against “feared loss of power” and “questioning [one's own] dominance”. Research interprets this "fearful preservation of vested rights" in a "struggle for survival"45 and thus prevent viable strategies to solve the problem of xenophobia. With this dominance culture theorem, Rommelspacher opens up the possibility of understanding right-wing extremist thought patterns as an integral part of the mental constitution of the middle class. The individuals brought into competition by competition in the labor market react aggressively and inhumanly to potential competitors when there is a threat of a loss of power or property.

Rommelspacher adds the view that this differentiation or modernization also influences the vertical level of a society to the thesis of Heitmeyer and other social scientists, according to which social ties lose their importance with increasing functional differentiation and this process produces disorientation.46 She ascribes such anomie-triggering consequences for a society to the change or reproduction of hierarchies and power. Anomie, in turn, causes processes of exclusion and right-wing extremist thinking.Put simply, disorientation is not only a result of advancing individualization, but is also caused by shifts in the social system of rule and values. Above all, the dominant or privileged part of a society is affected by disorientation and disruption of the stability of social ties, as it tries to hold on to traditional vested interests. If one subjects the central theses of Heitmeyer and Rommelspacher to a structural analysis, it becomes clear that in each case different levels were used to explain right orientations. While Heitmeyer asks about individual recognition balances and their consequences in the sense of a microsociological approach, Rommelspacher ascribes great importance to culturally and socially anchored conditions for individual attitudes and thus primarily considers the macro-sociological level. However, interpretation patterns that deviate from these levels (e.g. individual psychological aspects in the case of Rommelspacher) are also taken into account in certain contexts.

3.2.2 Different levels for explaining right-wing extremism and misanthropy

If the causes of right-wing extremist attitudes are to be asked, it must first be clarified how “right-wing extremists” are defined in the present theories. In his study published in 1987 on "right-wing extremist orientations among young people"47 Heitmeyer describes right-wing extremism as a mainly youthful protest syndrome, which is characterized by an "ideology of inequality" and acceptance of violence.48 In a later study from 1992, Heitmeyer speaks of "sociological right-wing extremism"49 in contrast to the political-ideological understanding of the term. He is particularly interested in the economic and social emergence of right-wing extremist thought patterns. The study “German Conditions”, which has been published regularly since 2002 and published by Heitmeyer, examines what is known as “group-related misanthropy” (GMF) within German society.

The term “right-wing extremist” is only used in passing. "Group-related enmity", which "occurs in processes of emphasizing inequality and violating integrity"50 become recognizable is now a term used by Heitmeyer for the everyday consciousness of groups. Seven elements that can also be assigned to right-wing extremism are incorporated into the concept: racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, heterophobia (rejection of ethnic and social heterogeneity), Islamophobia, insistence on established privileges and sexism. These elements are interdependent to varying degrees, such as the advocacy of established privileges and xenophobia.51 What is new about the “German conditions” is Heitmeyer's hypothesis that broad layers of society are now caught in the vortex of economic liberalization, deprivation, social isolation, unemployment and fear of relegation - in other words, precariousness. "Precarious normality is becoming the norm for many people - as an experience or fear."52 According to the theory of social identity by Henry Taifel and John Turner, in times of growing insecurity, attempts are made to create new security and fixed points of action by upgrading one's own group (“ingroup”) and devaluing outside groups (“outgroups”).53 Heitmeyer describes this thinking as the “ideology of inequality”, with which one's own superiority should be created or maintained through hierarchization and devaluation.

With the adoption of this point of view, the Bielefeld social researcher is close to Birgit Rommelspacher's description of right-wing attitudes as defensive reactions of established layers against impending loss of power. The second dimension, which contributes to the increasing group-related misanthropy, is the absolutization of “utilitarian calculations” - that is, a dehumanizing evaluation of certain groups according to their apparent “usefulness” by those who are socially integrated. Josef Held et al. describe this phenomenon as "prosperity chauvinism"54, in which economic superiority would be combined with political, social and cultural hegemony claims.

The self-imposed pressure to perform of socially integrated adolescents, taken on by their parents, often does not match the reality experienced and failures in everyday life. This leads to a projection of fear of failure onto other social groups, for example onto teachers, potential competitors and foreigners. These would then be devalued for the purpose of self-increase. The discrepancy between actual circumstances and elite claims also lead to diffuse feelings of threat and ultimately to support for a socially Darwinist-organized society.55 Accordingly, Karl Heinz Roth states: "For them, social equilibrium means individual self-responsibility through maximum performance and social advancement.56 Heitmeyer calls the threat or use of force against members of stigmatized groups “the termination of freedom from fear” or “fear-inducing demonstration of power against the inferior and devalued”.57 All of the phenomena mentioned - "ideology of inequality", "utilitarian calculations" and "termination of freedom from fear" - are thus an expression of a concealed or open devaluation of certain "marked social groups" which runs counter to the spirit of the Basic Law.58

For Birgit Rommelspacher, right-wing extremism primarily focuses on structural and social aspects. The dialectic between universalistic, democratic concepts on the one hand and claims to dominance based on ethnic or social origin, gender, performance or sexual orientation on the other hand is the fundamental contradiction that determines the dynamics of modern societies. As with Heitmeyer, the political science-relevant question of constitutional norms (universalism) and reality (inequality) is touched upon. In Rommelspacher's view, right-wing extremism is one of the radicalized and politicized forms of unilaterally resolving the said contradiction in favor of a social hierarchy. “Right-wing extremism is part of society insofar as it starts with general societal conflict dynamics. He takes an extreme position in the conflict between dominance ideologies and concepts of equality. "59

Under the prerequisites for right-wing extremism, Rommelspacher primarily subsumes established social structures of rule and power relationships and not just individual conflict situations that result from socio-economic disintegration. If one follows this line of argument, dominance cultures show a considerable proportion of right-wing extremists even in phases of economic détente or growth. Right-wing extremism is thus an omnipresent, radicalized political phenomenon inherent in Western societies, while Heitmeyer indirectly reinterprets the phenomenon by shifting the causes to individual deprivation and disintegration into a temporary social crisis phenomenon on the fringes. What Rommelspacher and Heitmeyer have in common, however, is the reference to the belonging of right orientations to the everyday consciousness of certain groups.

3.2.3 Culture of dominance and disintegration. Definitions

After this has been done for “right-wing extremism”, it must be clarified at this point what is meant by “disintegration” and “dominance culture” by the respective authors. According to Heitmeyer, "social disintegration" is the "precariousness of access to social subsystems, participation in public institutions and ensuring community involvement."60 The integration concept used here is based on three dimensions:

- Participation in the material and cultural goods of a society (individual-functional system integration),
- Participation in the fear-free and non-violent reconciliation of conflicting interests (communicative-interactive social integration) and
- Position in community life as well as experiences in the context of private life (cultural-expressive social integration).61

According to Heitmeyer, the interaction of all three areas defines the individual feeling of disintegration. According to this, deprivation could lead to feelings of disintegration in some areas. Disintegration in one area has a high probability of disintegration in other dimensions, as can be seen, for example, in the political underrepresentation of the unemployed. Heitmeyer speaks of “securing recognition” and “threat of recognition” as central elements that are of great importance for the development of group-related misanthropy. According to this, feared or experienced "threats of recognition" could lead to the acceptance of equivalence against members of stigmatized "socially marked groups"62 will be denied. Heitmeyer draws up a simple calculation by assuming that group-related misanthropy is higher, the greater the disintegration burdens in the sub-dimensions with the consequence of negative recognition balances.63 In addition, there are individual (ability to deal with conflict) and political factors (right-wing populism or the stigmatization of minorities), which could, under certain circumstances, exacerbate the disintegration and the associated group-related hostility.

In contrast, Rommelspacher defines "dominance culture" as an "ensemble of social practices and common meanings"64in which the current constitution of a society, in particular economic and political structures, and their history would be expressed. In dominance cultures, experiences of domination and submission from earlier historical sections are said to be about a "collective memory"65 saved. These experiences permeate even current discourses and ways of life. This becomes particularly clear in the capitalist economic system based on the performance principle, which determines the relationships between people and evaluates individuals just as the global economic north-south divide in the tradition of colonization influences the consciousness of the people living here. Individual self-perception and identity are therefore already built on dominance structures, so they need them in order to find or take an appropriate place in society.

In the example mentioned above, the performance thinking inherent in capitalism helps to differentiate oneself from one another within society for the purpose of one's own claims to dominance over material values ​​and performance. At the same time, a (national) group identity can be established that distinguishes itself from the inhabitants of poor countries. This example shows how power asymmetries anchored in society can always develop anew. What remains hidden is that the “reality” of the social order, the power relations and structures is a social construct that can be questioned and changed. Building on this, Rommelspacher advocates the hypothesis “that our entire way of life, our self-interpretations and the images we create of the other are grouped into categories of superiority and subordination. That is exactly what is meant by the term dominance culture. "66 That dominance culture developed in an ongoing process in Western societies. Colonization and the

“Experience of domination and oppression”, but also universalism were formative for it.67 The fear of the "foreign" is primarily the fear of questioning the norms and habits that prevail here, which at the same time manifest the political and economic hegemony of the western world.68 In contrast to traditional social models, in which a relatively clear distinction between the rulers and the oppressed was possible, power in postmodernism increasingly shifted to social instances and normative orientations of individuals. Power is therefore less easy to identify, power relationships appear more unpredictable and multi-dimensional. According to Rommelspacher, this omnipresence and invisibility of power is a decisive characteristic of a dominant culture.69 This hypothesis sets a counterpoint to Heitmeyer's disintegration theorem, because it uses a less complex model of repression. The main focus here is on the distinction between winners and losers in the modernization process.

3.2.4 Prosperity Chauvinism? The emergence of misanthropic orientations

Misanthropic or right-wing extremist attitudes are, according to Heitmeyer, above all "victims" of economic rationalization, social individualization and political deprivation. They have no socially relevant power - they are even the most powerless in the overall societal, political and social sense and compensate for their inferiority complex partly with misanthropic actions (physical power) and attitudes (construction of power) towards “socially marked groups”. According to the author, the disintegrated are not only powerless. In addition to being a pawn of powerful interests, which in his concept work classically from "top" to "bottom": "Uncertainty and fear 'below" are presented as inevitable systemic compulsions. A detached morality among the elites 'above' serves to intimidate the population. Competition is advertised as a law of nature, efficiency is also factored in as a mechanism of social disintegration. Does that have socially destructive effects? Yes, it looks like this."70 On this point, Rommelspacher's criticism of the dominance-cultural normality construction (see below) and Heitmeyer's power analysis approach each other, even if the process of mediating dominance or rule is described in different ways. Misanthropic thinking and acting is, according to Heitmeyer, only the consequence of a lack of individual resources and conflict management strategies, to which the social circumstances play a considerable part. Rommelspacher ascribes a certain power to everyone involved in a society. According to Rommelspacher, right-wing extremist thought patterns and actions are not primarily reactions of the socially weak or “unstable” against even weaker ones, but also conscious or unconscious use of power and privileges by the average and above-average powerful for the purpose of maintaining their own power, hierarchy and privileges. "Participation in power does not just mean privileging, but also a struggle to maintain the privileges."71 The most suitable power resources are available to the already powerful and established in order to stabilize their own status and legitimize it socially. Those affected largely accepted these processes of exercising power, because they were perceived as social "normality".

Despite this generalization and omnipresence of power, it is not distributed randomly. Networking different sources of power turns power into dominance. With the help of this dominance, social differentiation and hierarchies could be enforced. The "subconscious" of this process must be recorded. Neither “bigwigs” nor circles of rich entrepreneurs operate in secret to secure their own power and systematically suppress large groups of the population. The existing social structures, from education to the housing market to social relationships, already ensure the exclusion of certain groups and vice versa for the privilege of the established. Rommelspacher's distinction between rule and dominance appears interesting.

While rule is based on repression and prohibitions, dominance is based on extensive social approval and is mediated through social structures and internalized norms. Hierarchies would be reproduced more inconspicuously.72 According to Rommelspacher, in postmodern society the social costs of progress can relativize its (material) gain for the subject. "The more the subject relates to itself and devalues ​​its environment, the more meaninglessness and a lack of perspective grow."73 Economic security and freedom therefore did not promise unlimited happiness, since they in turn can result in new risks, loneliness and anomie. Every step towards economic independence or self-fulfillment inevitably leads to self-centering and removes those affected from their social environment.Rommelspacher calls the psychological component of social anomie the “paradox of domination”. Accordingly, the autonomy of the powerful is not an expression of freedom from others, but of freedom through the submission of others. This phenomenon is paradoxical because of the instability of self-worth, which is based on hierarchies. Self-worth always implies the value of the other. If this is devalued, the holders of power feel anomaly. Since power must be legitimized in front of oneself, the devaluation of others while at the same time being dependent on their recognition is above all a problem for the privileged.

Therefore, above all "powerful", "privileged" and "saturated"74 increasingly focus on improving their social relationships in order to counteract this alienation from themselves and from traditional ties. However, this means a critical self-reflection and examination of one's own dominance, the resulting inequality and privileges. Instead, outgroups would be devalued for reasons of self-profiling, which, however, would also lead to a loss of reputation for the devaluing person. This fact ultimately culminates in a kind of "pain and power" effect.75 The former severely restricts the behavior options of the privileged, since their behavior must not resemble that of the powerless, otherwise there is a risk of renewed loss of recognition, especially through the ingroup. As a result, the powerful could alienate themselves and the meaning and value of their own power could be relativized. In any case, due to the dialectic mentioned between universalism and inequality, there is a moral deficit of legitimation for power. This contradiction in self-devaluation when there is an excess of power may lead to feelings of isolation, social avoidance strategies and feelings of fear in those affected.

"Power makes you lonely" is a popular saying. Based on Rommelspacher's theory of dominance culture, the possible negative personal consequences of power and domination for the dominants themselves as well as the potential societal and social effects of differences in equality and achievement orientation become clear. The socially and politically desired fixation on material prosperity and retention of power would create potential for social conflict and processes of exclusion. A fundamental social problem lies in the devaluation and stigmatization of certain groups both through social structural asymmetries and through the justification of these institutionalized power differences by a large part of the privileged classes. At this point there are points of contact for a “prosperity chauvinism” that elevates performance, gainful employment and social status to the only relevant defining characteristics for the “value” of people.

This "prosperity chauvinism" affects not only the established and powerful, but above all those who want to attain this status or have to achieve it according to their own opinion. The discrepancy between claim and reality leads to diffuse feelings of threat and a view of life as a Leviathan struggle of all against all under the primacy of utilitarianism. In this regard, Rommelspacher differentiates between “unstable” and “stable”. The latter showed firmly established enemy images towards potential competitors in the sense of a "warrior mentality"76 while “unstable” fluctuated between contradicting assessments of their situation, depending on the situation. “Stable” are therefore unlikely to be threatened in real terms by “strangers”, but rather by their own failure. "The greater the gap between aspiration and reality, the more reality is squeezed into idealization, the greater the need for projection in order to enhance and stabilize oneself."77

As has been shown, Rommelspacher does not declare right-wing orientations as a result of social disintegration and thus as a priority problem for the socially disadvantaged. Responsible for xenophobic, racist, marginalizing and authoritarian worldviews is therefore the “forced identification” of large parts of society with the values ​​of performance, money and prosperity. This results in a defensive reaction in the form of concrete actions (violence) and manifest attitudes against all those suspected of a lack of willingness to perform, of questioning prevailing norms and benefices or of state charitable oversupply. As an indication of this, Rommelspacher cites right-wing extremist attacks that were not only directed against "people of a different color" but also against people of white skin who were perceived as deviating from the norm (homeless, homosexuals, women, punks, etc.).

3.2.5 Similarities and differences between the two approaches

As has been shown, various theories are available to explain the origin and effect of right orientations. These investigate the above-mentioned phenomena on different levels of society and with different priorities. However, there are also some similarities. When Heitmeyer speaks of "utilitarian calculations", which would negatively influence misanthropy in the middle of society, there is a connection to Rommelspacher's point of view, exclusion as a result of defense processes and "instrumental utility thinking"78 to describe by the privileged and the powerful, recognizable. Furthermore, with the inclusion of the category “advocacy of established privileges” in the concept of group-related enmity, Heitmeyer's approach to the dominance culture approach can be observed.

Those who advocate established privileges usually belong to the group of the established and thus to the integrated social “middle”. Rommelspacher's thesis that prejudices and marginalization are reproduced mainly among the privileged has recently also given Wilhelm Heitmeyer approval when he speaks of the "middle" being "normally hostile"79 has become. After years of bitter dispute between the respective supporters and opponents of the two approaches, which in Rommelspacher's accusation of "exonerating offenders in the social sciences"80 against Heitmeyer, there currently seems to be a trend towards convergence of positions.

The differences between the two theories with regard to their conclusions, however, remain in part blatant. Above all, the indirect stylization of right-wing extremist, violent disintegrated people as “victims” of the “system” or the “elites” is scientifically controversial.81 This also applies to Heitmeyer's monocausal view of politically motivated violence.82 For example, Heitmeyer recognizes the cause and not the consequence of right-wing extremist attitudes in the acceptance of violence caused by disintegration processes. "The path of young people into xenophobic or right-wing extremist terrain [...] does not primarily run through the attractiveness of slogans that emphasize an ideology of inequality and inequality in order to enforce this with violence, but through the acceptance of violence that arises in everyday life and then is politically legitimized. "83 Here a causal chain is drawn up in the following order: experience or fear of disintegration, acceptance of violence, exercise of violence, justification of this violence through ideology and, ultimately, under certain circumstances, social reintegration into right-wing extremist relationships.

As already indicated, Rommelspacher points differently to the diversity of the groups of victims of right-wing violence. The answer to the question asked at the beginning, whether right-wing extremism or right-wing extremist orientations are due to the general social constitution or a temporary crisis, makes the difference between the central approaches of both theories clear again. If one follows the argumentation of the disintegration approach, the enmity increases in times of social, political and economic crises, because at the same time the number of the disintegrated increases. Following the dominance culture approach, there is a right-wing extremist basic potential in western societies, which bases its certainties primarily on performance orientation and the retention of privileges. This reproduces itself, encouraged by socially accepted power asymmetries, the unquestioning of "normality" and "invisible" segregation processes, constantly new.

3.3 Summary and hypotheses to be examined

After the similarities and differences between the dominance culture and the disintegration approach to explain right-wing attitudes have been presented and classified, the question now arises as to the consequences of both theories for the consideration of the strategy and social basis of the NPD in East Germany. If one followed the dominance culture approach, the NPD would have to attract more voters, sympathizers and members from the upwardly mobile milieu84 or from the “middle” of society, as these represent the bearers and multipliers of right-wing extremist orientations. Furthermore, a clientele could be addressed here that is often found in socially, economically, culturally and politically influential positions above average. The financial, strategic and political benefits of such members or sympathizers would most likely be immense for the party.

Contrary to the conclusions of the Rommelspacher, a hypothesis in the sense of the disintegration theorem is to be tested in the present work. According to this, the NPD, in the sense of a “small people's party” in East Germany, primarily addresses the disintegrated as well as the socially weak, socially and politically underrepresented, “modernization losers” and the marginalized. It could build on the presumed high approval rating of the East Germans, especially the above-mentioned classes, for the idea of ​​socialism. In addition, the NPD may be able to make political capital in large parts of East Germany from peculiarities in the political culture and socio-economic conditions. The party has a high probability of reaching “privileged” people, as the political course and the public image of the NPD are generally unattractive for the middle and upper classes. In addition, identification and sympathy with right-wing extremist orientations are largely stigmatized in educated, high-income groups.85 For this clientele, a potential membership in or engagement for the chronically clammy party, which has so far hardly had well-paid positions to fill, represents a career obstacle. Then the thesis that there is no uniform line of the NPD with regard to a strategy for East Germany is to be examined is recognizable and, contrary to public opinion, the party is a heterogeneous entity with a high level of dependency on regional activists and right-wing extremists willing to cooperate from other organizations or organization-like associations (e.g. comradeships). This would imply at the same time a low authority of the federal party and a low status of the party program.

4 The spread of right-wing attitudes in East Germany. Approaches, causes, results

In the scientific literature on right-wing extremist attitudes in the Federal Republic, a differentiation of the cause descriptions for East and West Germany can be observed. On the one hand, the manifestations of right-wing extremism in the two parts of the country differed, which can be seen, among other things, in the number of violent crimes with a right-wing extremist background, which differs from the proportion of the total population. Four eastern German federal states continuously top the statistics on right-wing extremist attacks and criminal offenses.86 In addition, almost 40 percent of the NPD members are at home in East Germany, while only about 17 percent of the total German population live there. A similar picture emerges with neo-Nazis and right-wing extremist skinheads.

Half of the neo-Nazis and more than 40 percent of the right-wing extremist skinheads live in the new federal states and Berlin.87 On the other hand, according to a significant number of the authors, the different social conditions before German unification in 1990 had such an impact on the residents of the GDR and the Federal Republic that the extent and causes of right-wing extremism would have to "naturally" differ. In order to examine the thesis set out at the beginning, according to which the NPD finds favorable conditions for its politics in East Germany, it is necessary to analyze the particular characteristics of East German right-wing extremism.

The following sections will also examine which social groups form the basis of the NPD in East Germany.

4.1 Right-wing extremism as a result of GDR authoritarianism ’? A dispute

Following the approach that the social conditions were extremely different in both parts of the country before 1990, Wilhelm Heitmeyer describes divergent causes of right-wing extremist attitudes among East and West Germans. Disintegration of different quality can be observed in both areas, and East and West Germans have different socialization backgrounds. The GDR is an "authoritarian, repressive, formation-oriented society"88 while the Federal Republic would have oriented itself towards self-responsibility and individualism as social models.89 This shows Heitmeyer's affinity to the socialization approach, according to which certain early childhood experiences and authoritarian upbringing methods contribute to a higher probability of later right-wing extremist attitudes.

Nonetheless, it should be noted that Heitmeyer locates the causes of right-wing extremist orientations mainly in disintegration processes and only tries to explain the gradual difference in these attitudes based on the different socialization in the two parts of the country. Michael Edinger et al. go in their study "Thuringia Monitor"90 also based on a close connection between the authoritarianism promoted in the GDR and right-wing extremist attitudes.91 The recording of authoritarianism ’as part of the" Thuringia Monitor "is based on two statements: the demand for a strong hand and for obedience and discipline as the primary goals of raising children. The share of authoritarian attitudes is therefore 58 percent, that of non-authoritarians 15 percent.92 If one takes into account all interactions between the explanatory variables, authoritarianism is the size that correlates most strongly with right-wing extremist attitudes. Among those categorized as “authoritarian” there were 36 percent right-wing extremists, in contrast none of the “non-authoritarians” and 8 percent in the middle group - with a proportion of right-wing extremists in the total population of 22 percent.93

In his study “Right-Wing Extremism in the GDR until 1989”, Harry Waibel speaks of bureaucratism and centralism as the ideal breeding ground for undemocratic, potentially right-wing extremist attitudes. "The authoritarian structure of the GDR [...] was one of its specific requirements so that young people could adopt xenophobic or post-fascist attitudes."94 In addition to the approach of “authoritarian GDR socialization”, Waibel opens up the dimension of “institutional GDR authoritarianism”, according to which, among other things, the specific GDR state structure or “decreed anti-fascism”95 (Ralph Giordano) would have favored right-wing extremist attitudes. Furthermore, in the GDR, in contrast to the Federal Republic, there was never a fundamental democratization or de-Stalinization. On the other hand, the GDR leadership created an authoritarian state that was interspersed with Prussian virtues (obedience, a sense of duty, order) and supported by militarism, nationalism and authoritarianism or the reprisals of the Stasi. It was therefore easy for right-wing extremists to find social points of contact.96

Thomas Rausch claims that, as a result of their experiences before 1990, many former GDR citizens preferred a state pension model that puts social security above civil liberty. Right-wing extremist organizations after 1989 could have picked up on this authoritarian way of thinking.97 Hans-Joachim Maaz, chief psychologist at a clinic in Halle, recognizes in the post-turnaround pogroms and permanent right-wing extremist attacks in East Germany the consequence of a "emotional accumulation", resulting from a lack of history by the GDR leadership and a "ruthlessly enforced at all levels" by the GDR education system Blocking individuality.98 Further socialization-theoretical considerations assume, among other things, that right-wing attitudes are favored by the premature separation of children from parents through crèches or kindergartens in the GDR (Christian Pfeiffer).99

The scientific questionable nature of the approaches mentioned can partly be deduced from the terminology used alone. The causal models are kept simple. Individuals are largely denied the ability to think and act independently. In addition, the causes of right-wing extremist attitudes are transferred to the “childhood” phase of life. Those affected can therefore hardly defend themselves against authoritarian attitudes that have been learned, and may later “automatically” succumb to right-wing extremist compulsions to act. This declaration does not pay enough attention to both personal and social responsibility for the phenomenon of right-wing extremism.

Walter Friedrich contradicts the assessment that right-wing extremist attitudes in East Germany can be traced back to authoritarianism in raising children or institutional authoritarianism in the GDR. "Testing [this] hypothesis did not produce any results that would allow this conclusion."100 The vast majority of studies carried out in the 1990s judge the same.101 Those approaches, according to Birgit Rommelspacher, were based on a “firmly established psychological endowment of the human being, as it was previously described with the terms personality or character”. However, this psychological perspective has "little explanatory value".102 Rather, in right-wing extremist attitudes and actions, interactions with the social environment and social or individual influences are of great importance. Therefore, only multifactorial analyzes could do justice to the problem. The follow-up studies to Theodor W. Adorno's 1950 study “The Authoritarian Personality” are an example of this.103 This made it clear that a complex “authoritarian personality”, as Adorno et al. accepted and with the "F-

Scale “measured, cannot be spoken after clear investigations.104 In contrast, authoritarian reactions from people in specific contexts could be observed, which suggests that this interaction with various environmental factors is of decisive importance for the explanation of right-wing extremist attitudes. Aggressive, submissive, compliant, rigid and prejudicial behavior could, according to Detlef Oesterreich, in contrast to Adorno's concept of authoritarianism, “each of them has different reasons, they do not have to be traced back to authoritarian personality traits.105

Peter Foerster et al. oppose the thesis of deformed characters caused by the authoritarian GDR state own empirical results, which provide indications of the great importance of current living conditions on the development of right attitude patterns; in addition, no connection can be made between the years of life in the GDR and right-wing orientations.106 Both the results of a current study by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) with 5000 people interviewed in face-to-face interviews “From the edge to the center” and the “Thuringia Monitor” come to the equally empirically founded finding that right-wing extremist attitudes are most pronounced in the group of East Germans over sixty years of age.107 This would be an indication of the connection between the number of years of life in the GDR and right-wing extremist attitudes. However, if you look at the comparative values ​​for western Germany, the elderly also represent the largest cohort with right-wing extremist perspectives there.

For the whole of Germany, the proportion of retirees and early retirees among right-wing extremists is 41.8 percent108 (Share of the total population: 30.7 percent).109 The question of a relevant connection between authoritarianism acquired in the GDR and right-wing extremist thought patterns cannot be answered conclusively and requires complex empirical studies of different age groups divided into East and West Germany on retrospective GDR transfiguration, acceptance of the current political system, etc. But above all The older age groups of East Germans classified as “right-wing extremists” would have to be asked specifically about their image of the GDR and their experiences with the socialist regime. Everything else would remain pure speculation.


1 Leggewie, Claus, The dwarfs on the right edge. On the chances of small new right-wing parties in the Federal Republic of Germany, in: Politische Vierteljahresschrift (PVS) 4/1987, pp. 364-383, here p. 364.

2 Staud, Toralf, Modern Nazis. The new right and the rise of the NPD, Cologne 2005, p. 10.

3 Fromm, Erich, workers and employees on the eve of the Third Reich, Frankfurt / M. 1930.

4 Arendt, Hannah, The Origins of Totalitarianism, New York 1951.

5 Adorno, Theodor W., Frenkel-Brunswik, Else et al., The Authoritarian Personality, New York 1950.

6 See Chapter 2.

7 In view of the East-West conflict at this time, “international” means here: in the western hemisphere.

8 Niethammer, Lutz, Adapted Fascism. Political Practice of the NPD, Frankfurt / M. 1969.

9 Heitmeyer, Wilhelm, Right-Wing Extremist Orientations among Young People. Empirical results and explanatory models of a study on political socialization, Weinheim / Munich 1987.

10 Stöss, Richard, The "Republicans". Where they come from, what they want, who chooses them, what to do, Cologne 1990. and Paul, Gerhard, Hitler's shadow is fading. The normalization of right-wing extremism, Bonn 1989.

11 See Chapter 4.

12 Rommelspacher, Birgit, culture of dominance. Texts on Strangeness and Power, Berlin 1995.

13 Heitmeyer, Wilhelm (ed.), German conditions. Episodes 1-3, Frankfurt / M. 2002-2005.

14 See Staud, 2005.

15 Steglich, Henrik, The NPD in Saxony. Organizational prerequisites for her election success in 2004, Göttingen 2005.

16 See Chapter 2.

17 See footnote 27.

18 Brähler, Elmar, Decker, Oliver, from the edge to the middle. Right-wing extremist attitudes and their influencing factors in Germany, Berlin 2006.

19 Edinger, Michael, Hallermann, Andreas, Schmitt, Karl, results of the Thuringia Monitor 1999-2006, Jena 1999-2006.

20 See Chapter 9.

21 See Steglich, 2005, p. 11.

22 See Jaschke, Hans-Gerd, right-wing extremism and xenophobia. Terms, positions, fields of practice, Wiesbaden 2001, p. 24.

23 See ibid., P. 24f. These include bans on parties according to Art. 21 GG, dissolution of associations according to Art.

9 GG, forfeiture of basic rights according to Art. 18 GG, application of political criminal law, police and other executive measures.

24 Meier, Horst, The NPD is not as dangerous as everyone thinks, in: Die Welt online

from November 16, 2006 (accessed on December 17, 2006).

25 See ibid.

26 Cf. Lipset, Seymour M., Der "Faschismus", die Linke, die Rechts und die Mitte, in: Kölner Zeitschrift für Psychologie und Sozialpsychologie 1959, pp. 401-444, here p. 401.

27 Numerous critics accuse Backes and Jesse of historical revisionism and a dangerous proximity to the New Right. One of the reasons for this was the publication of the anthology “The shadows of the past. Impulses for the historicization of National Socialism ”together with the new right pioneer Rainer Zitelmann in Ullstein-Verlag 1990, in which the end of the coming to terms with National Socialism was called for. Furthermore, Jesse in particular stood out through anti-Semitic failures and his opposition to the planned ban on the NPD, which builds up the “bogus of a dangerous right-wing extremism”. Nonetheless, both act as "extremism experts" for the Federal Agency for Civic Education and are widely regarded as serious scientists by broad social and political circles. Compare Wiegel, Gerd, Politics with the Past. Disposal of history as a contribution to the ability to hegemony, in: Klotz, Johannes, Schneider, Ulrich, The self-confident nation and its image of history. Historical legends of the New Right, Cologne 1997,

Pp. 65-78, here p. 68.

28 Backes, professor at TU Dresden, and Jesse, professor at TU Chemnitz, are among others editors of the "Yearbook Extremism and Democracy", which has been published since 1990. See Backes, Uwe, Jesse, Eckhard (eds.), Political Extremism in the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn 1989.

29 See BfV, Verfassungsschutz report 2005, Berlin 2006, p. 155 ff.

30 See Meisner, Matthias, Nah dran. The MP Ramelow in the sights of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution - may that be ?, in: Der Tagesspiegel from August 6, 2006, p. 4.

31 Jaschke, 2001, p. 28.

32 Cf. Fromm, Erich, Study on Authority and Family. Social psychological part, in: ders., Gesamtausgabe Vol. 1, Stuttgart 1980 [Original 1936], pp. 139-187. The most fundamental work of the post-war period and the benchmark for today's studies is: Adorno et al., 1950.

33 Cf. Kleinert, Corinna, Rijke, Johann de, right-wing extremism orientations among adolescents and young adults, in: Schubarth, Wilfried, Stöss, Richard (eds.), Right-wing extremism in the Federal Republic of Germany. A balance sheet, Opladen 2001, pp. 167-198, here p. 170.

34 The number of right-wing extremist acts of violence registered by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution was 200 in 1990. In 1991 there were already 800, in 1992 a hitherto unique high point was reached with over 1,400 right-wing extremist acts of violence. The number then fell again and has since moved between 600 and 800 acts of violence annually (exception 2000: 1,000 acts of violence). In 2001 a new counting system was introduced. It should be noted that the real number of right-wing extremist attacks is likely to be significantly higher in real terms, but is not included in the VS statistics due to alleged or actually unclear motives or is not reported by the victims for fear of renewed attacks. With 657 right-wing extremist acts of violence registered by the police and 11,252 “right-wing extremist” crimes, a new high is expected for 2006 since 2001. The final figures will not appear until May 2007 and are usually revised upwards significantly.

See Bühler, Siegfried, Schoen, Harald, Feinde inside. Political extremism in united Germany, in: Falter, Jürgen W. et al. (Ed.), Are we one people? East and West Germany in Comparison, Munich 2006,

Pp. 188-212, here pp. 191 ff. And cf. Ganter, Stephan, Esser, Hartmut, Causes and Forms of

Xenophobia in the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn 1999, p. 40. and cf. Wittrock, Phillip, Sad Statistics. Right-wing extremist crimes at their peak, in: Spiegel online

from January 5, 2007 (accessed on January 12, 2007).

35 See Rommelspacher, 1995, p. 80.

36 Beck, Ulrich, Risk Society. On the way to a different modern age, Frankfurt / M. 1986.

37 See ibid., P.25.

38 Ibid., P. 31.

39 See ibid., P. 121 ff.

40 Ibid., P. 161.

41 See ibid., P. 206.

42 See Heitmeyer, Wilhelm et al. (Ed.), The Bielefeld Right-Wing Extremism Study. First long-term study of the political socialization of male adolescents, Weinheim / Munich 1992, p. 9.

43 See ibid.

44 Rommelspacher, 1995, p. 86.

45 Ibid.

46 See ibid., P. 14.

47 See Heitmeyer, 1987.

48 See ibid., P. 16.

49 Heitmeyer, 1992, p. 13.

50 Cf. Heitmeyer, Wilhelm, group-related misanthropy. The theoretical conception and first empirical results, in: ders. (Ed.), German states. Episode 1, Frankfurt / M. 2002b, pp. 15-36, here p. 17.

51 Ibid.

52 Ibid. P. 37.

53 See Tajfel, Henry, Turner, John, An integrative theory of intergroup conflict, in: Austin, William G., Worchel, Stephen (eds.), The social psychology of intergroup relations, Monterey 1986, pp. 7-24, here P. 24.

54 Held, Josef, Horn, Hans-Werner et al., "You have to act in such a way that you make a profit ...". Empirical

Studies and theoretical considerations on right-wing political orientations of young workers, Duisburg 1991, p. 23.

55 See ibid., P. 158 ff.

56 Roth, Karl-Heinz, Europe of the "peoples"? Social structure and perspectives of the new right in Western Europe, in: Journal for Social History of the 20th and 21st Century 4/1992, pp. 7-10, here p. 7.

57 Heitmeyer, 2002b, p. 17.

58 Ibid., P. 19.

59 See Rommelspacher, 2006, p. 146.

60 See Heitmeyer et al., 2002c, p 38f.

61 Ibid., P. 27f.

62 Heitmeyer, Wilhelm, group-related misanthropy. The theoretical conception and first empirical results, in: ders. (Ed.), German states. Episode 1, Frankfurt / M. 2002b, pp. 15-36, here p. 19.

63 See ibid., P. 54.

64 Rommelspacher, 1995, p. 22.

65 Ibid. “Collective memory” is used at this point in the sense of Norbert Elias “sociological inheritance”. This means passing on prejudices, discrimination and hierarchy patterns and deepening them from generation to generation. Elias, Norbert, Scotson, John L., Established and Outsiders, in: Blomert, Reinhard, Hammer, Heike et al. (Ed.), Norbert Elias. Collected writings, Vol. 4, Frankfurt / M. 2002, p. 270.

66 Emphasis in the original. Ibid., P. 22.

67 See ibid., P. 15 ff.

68 Ibid., P. 23.

69 See ibid.

70 Ibid.

71 Ibid., P. 33.

72 See ibid., P. 26.

73 Rommelspacher, 1995, p. 13.

74 Ibid.

75 Ibid.

76 Ibid., P. 83.

77 Ibid., Pp. 83f.

78 Rommelspacher 1995, p. 82.

79 "The middle becomes 'normally hostile'. One can counter one's own disturbance with a normality of hierarchies, affiliation and norm enforcement, which in turn contributes to one's own stability. So you get back a kind of control consciousness. ”Heitmeyer, Wilhelm, Küpper, Beate, hostile women. Between fear, belonging and assertion ideology, in: Heitmeyer, Wilhelm (ed.), German states. Episode 3, Frankfurt / M. 2005e, pp. 108-128, here p. 110.

80 Rommelspacher, Birgit, right-wing extremism and dominance culture, in: Adreas Foitzik et al. (Ed.), "A master race of subjects". Racism - Nationalism - Sexism, Duisburg 1992, p. 85.

81 Christoph Butterwegge, for example, complains that right-wing extremism is often reinterpreted as a "fringe phenomenon". On the one hand, this makes it a problem for marginalized groups and, at the same time, a political marginality. In this way, the "middle" relieves itself by handing over the responsibility for "extremist" excesses to young problem groups, e.g. skinheads, and making understandable reactions of socially disadvantaged people from the attacks. When Heitmeyer states, according to the sociologist Irmgard Pinn, "two thirds of young people with a positive self-concept and features of overestimating themselves - that is, certainly no 'fearful' types - showed tendencies towards authoritarian-nationalizing perspectives" and "in contrast to this [...] almost 60 percent of adolescents with a negative self-concept and feelings of inferiority [rejected] the statements typical for such attitudes ”, then the disintegration thesis“ could not be substantiated ”. See Butterwegge, Christoph, Häusler, Alexander, Right-Wing Extremism, Racism and National Socialism: Peripheral Problems or Phenomena of the Middle ?, in: Butterwegge, Christoph, Cremer, Janine et al. (Ed.), Topics of the Right - Topics of the Middle. Immigration, demographic change and national consciousness, Opladen 2002a, here p. 228. and Pinn, Irmgard, Critical comments on the assessment of right-wing extremist orientations and behavior among young people, in: Arbeitskreis Jugendarbeit und Rechtsextremismus Aachen (ed.), Young people on the way to the far right? , Duisburg 1990, pp. 40-72, here p. 49.

82 Regarding Heitmeyer's theory about the emergence of right-wing violence, Birgit Rommelspacher says: "So if Heitmeyer [...] apodictically claims with regard to right-wing violence that violence comes first and then ideology, then the importance of ideology is underestimated here." Right-wing extremism cannot be reduced to its violent forms; In addition, a retrospective political justification for assaults by young violent criminals cannot be dismissed out of hand in some cases, but it is also not the rule. Rommelspacher, Birgit, “We were united by hatred”. Young right-wing extremists and their exit from the scene, Frankfurt / M. 2006, p. 117.

83 Heitmeyer, Wilhelm, The Disintegration Theorem. An explanatory approach to xenophobic, right-wing extremist violence and the paralysis of social institutions, in: ders. (Ed.), The Violence Dilemma. Social reactions to xenophobic violence and right-wing extremism, Frankfurt / M. 1994a, pp. 29-72, here p. 46.

84 Heitmeyer uses this categorization in the above-mentioned study from 1994. That milieu is characterized by a fixation on achievement, power and possession, but above all by above-average self-confidence, a high level of education, good financial resources and low feelings of anomie. With 50 percent and a proportion of the total population of only 36 percent, it is the largest group categorized as “right-wing extremist”. While Heitmeyer locates the causes in the “traditional working class milieu” still in “disintegration processes in the form of experiences of exclusion”, in the “advancement-oriented milieu” “relative disintegration fears regarding status labilizations” were responsible for right-wing attitudes. See ibid., P. 36.

85 See Steglich, Henrik, The NPD in Saxony.Organizational prerequisites for their electoral success in 2004, Göttingen 2005, p. 133.

86 These federal states are from first place down: Saxony-Anhalt (January-October 2006: 92

Acts of violence / 1001 offenses), Brandenburg, Thuringia and Saxony. The BMI will publish the final figures for 2006 in May 2007. See Wittrock, 2007.

87 NPD is growing, DVU and Reps are shrinking, in: Spiegel online from January 11, 2007 (accessed on January 14, 2007).

88 Heitmeyer, 1994a, p. 46.

89 See ibid., P. 46f.

90 The “Thuringia Monitor” is a study commissioned by the Thuringian State Chancellery, on the basis of which the attitudes of the Thuringian population towards politics in general as well as an annually changing, selected main topic are examined. It is presented annually in the Thuringian state parliament. As a result, there are always fierce debates between the government and the opposition about the political consequences of the study presented. The various conclusions of the members of the state parliament can be read in part on their websites or in the position papers of the respective parties. Furthermore, associations from the DGB to the Landesjugendring, churches, media from "OTZ" to "Jungle World", initiatives and private individuals take a stand and initiate a discussion about the causes and consequences of disaffection with politics, racism, anti-Semitism, nationalism and xenophobia in Thuringia / East Germany / Germany. Examples include:

Fischer, Jörg, Thuringia Monitor 2005: No reason to give the all-clear. On the website of the Jewish-German association "Hagalil e.V." on January 5th, 2006. Billerbeck, Liane von, Fine cracks in the foundation. Disenchantment with democracy is growing in Thuringia. One in five would have nothing against a dictatorship, in: Die Zeit from November 27, 2003, p. 7.

Thuringia Monitor 2005: Edinger, Michael, Hallermann, Andreas, Schmitt, Karl, Political Culture in the Free State of Thuringia. 1990-2005: The united Germany in the judgment of the Thuringians. Results of the Thuringia Monitor 2005, Jena 2005.

91 See Edinger et al., 2005, pp. 71f.

92 “Anyone who agrees with the two statements 'In these times we absolutely need a strong hand.' And 'Anyone who wants to raise their children to be decent citizens, must above all demand obedience and discipline from them.' classified as non-authoritarian. The middle group is made up of those interviewed who agree with one statement and reject the other. ”Ibid., P. 48.

93 See ibid., P. 72.

94 Waibel, Harry, right-wing extremism in the GDR until 1989, Cologne 1996, p. 196.

95 Giordano, Ralph, The second guilt or being German from the burden of being German, Hamburg 1991, p. 215.

96 See Waibel, 1996, p. 196 ff.

97 Cf. Rausch, Thomas, Between Striving for Self-Realization and Racism. Social interpretation patterns of East German youth, Opladen 1999, p. 249.

98 Cf. Maaz, Hans-Joachim, Der Emotionsstau. A psychogram of the GDR, Berlin 1990, p. 25.

99 Christian Pfeiffer (SPD) was Minister of Justice in Lower Saxony from 2000 to 2003. Cf. Pfeiffer, Christian, Instructions for Hass, in: Der Spiegel, March 22nd, 1999, p. 60 ff.

100 Friedrich, Walter, Is right-wing extremism in the East a product of the authoritarian GDR ?, in: APuZ B46 / 2001, pp. 16-23, here p. 23.

101 See ibid.

102 Rommelspacher, 2006, p. 116.

103 See Adorno et al., 1950.