Nazis flee occupied barracks

Searchlight, january 2004

Pressure from Anti-Fascist Action (AFA) to prevent a "Rock against ZOG" concert, to celebrate the third anniversary of a nazi squat by the so-called Nationale Beweging (National Movement - NB) near Eindhoven, on 8 November has turned out to be a success.

The remaining nazis at the squat, a former military installation called "De Kazerne", packed up and left, ironically, only ten days after what must have been one of the biggest and most successful nazi concerts ever staged in the Netherlands.

From December 2000, young activists from the fascist movement Voorpost - they switched to the NB later - started organising concerts, parties, benefit gigs, discussion evenings, their traditional "National Youth Gathering" and a bar at the huge former military barracks in a forest on the outskirts of Eindhoven. The barracks also provided living accommodation and, importantly, functioned as an "action preparation centre" for local and regional extreme right-wing activists.

From the outset, anti-fascists warned of the squat's dangers and its attractiveness to the whole right-wing palette of "Lonsdale youngsters", Gabbers and skinheads in the Eindhoven area. Despite their warnings, however, neither the political parties nor the press were interested in using the information provided by anti-fascists.

In August 2002, last year the NB staged a gig with the German band Oidoxie. Oidoxie's activities have since attracted considerable interest from the German justice authorities, because it is not just a hate music band but a key component of the structures of the violent Freie Kameradschaften around Dortmund.

In this role, Oidoxie has organised demonstrations, distributed videos of its concerts and has become a firm part of the worldwide nazi Blood&Honour network. The band has also played songs whose lyrics included "Give Adolf Hitler the Nobel Prize, raise the red flag with the swastika" at a Freie Kameradschaften demonstration calling for "freedom of speech".

In November 2002, the NB tightened its German links even more by staging a benefit gig for German "nazi bard" Frank Rennicke and sending him € 1.100 from the proceeds. Rennicke, convicted in Germany for spreading racial hatred and fined € 46,000, is member of the Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands and was defended by the notorious nazi lawyer, Horst Mahler.

Anti-fascists, refusing to be dispirited by the lack of interest displayed by the Dutch authorities and media, then started a campaign to raise awareness about "De Kazerne" among activists by touring several Dutch and Belgian cities with information material and a video. They also plastered Eindhoven with thousands of posters exposing the key figures behind the nazi activities in the squat and renewed their efforts to engage the press.

On 15 June 2003, it was proved how dangerous this nazi "free zone" really is for public safety in Eindhoven when five youngsters set an Islamic school ablaze. At their trial, they said that their first target was a mosque, but with too many people inside, the chances of being caught were too great. According to police sources, some of the youngsters had frequented "De Kazerne" and probably found their inspiration there.

Despite the sustained anti-fascist campaign, the Eindhoven city council, which partly owns the terrain of the military barracks but keeps on denying that it does, claiming it is not its responsibility but that of the Ministry of Defence, opted to ignore the protests. Police sources also indicated that the squat was a perfect place for gathering intelligence on the nazi's and that, because of this, they would not recommend evicting them.

On 7 November, Anti-Fascist Action issued a press statement revealing the background of the planned "Rock against ZOG" (ZOG = Zionist Occupation Government) concert, one day before the 65 commemoration of the Kristallnach in Germany, at which Oidoxie and the lesser-known bands Rassenhass and Kommando Freisler were listed as performers.

Despite heavy pressure from various organisations and political parties to ban this nakedly fascist and anti-Semitic event, the major of Eindhoven allowed the concert to go ahead. Faced by a picket of local councillors, about 150 nazi's from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands turned up at "De Kazerne".

In the days following the concert, questions were raised in the Dutch parliament as well as in the Eindhoven city council, prompting interior minister Johan Remkes to call for an investigation.

Two days after the concert, a surprising announcement appeared on the NB's website declaring: "The continuing differences in the NJB (the NB's local branch) about the political strategy culminated in Saturday's concert. By organising or cooperating with the "Rock against ZOG", concert the NJB clearly crossed the border. The Nationale Beweging thinks that such concerts do not connect with the nationalist message we want to bring and that it is very counter-revolutionary. Nationalists are neither "race haters" nor neo-nazis. With regret, we say goodbye to "De Kazerne" which is now so marked that we do not see any possibility of staging any activities there anymore."

The NB's leader, Tim Mudde, who wrote this statement, is being hypocritical to say the least. At an earlier concert with Oidoxie, the Dutch fascist band Brigade M, in which Mudde is the leading figure, appeared on stage as surprise performers.

Mudde's U-turn, therefore, has occurred either because he thought the 8 November concert was a good opportunity to terminate the NB's internal wrangling or because the pressure of AFA's campaigns simply became too much for him.

On 17 November, political parties in Eindhoven staged a silent demonstration against the squat and, a day later it became clear that the nazi squatters had quit the barracks, which are now being patrolled by military police. Later in the same week, the buildings were rendered uninhabitable by the authorities.

The long overdue demise of "De Kazerne" does not mean that the fascists behind it have disappeared and it is likely that they will try to occupy a new building somewhere in or around Eindhoven, where their base is still strong and they have tasted the freedom of a "free zone". AFA, needless to say, will try to prevent any such development.

By Jeroen Bosch of Alert! and Antifa-Net in Utrecht