Searchlight - November 2008
Police ejected a bunch of violent nazis, on 11 October, from a dilapidated mansion they had occupied in the small village of Monster, near The Hague in the south of Holland, after a series of clashes with local youngsters. The eviction took place in the early hours with riot police storming the building, arresting seven nazis and finding weapons, including catapults, baskets full of stones and Molotov cocktails, there.
The building has now been sealed for further investigation and the police are reportedly looking for the local youngsters who had besieged the nazis. Meanwhile, on 14 October, an examining magistrate ruled that the seven detained nazis, aged between 18 and 23, would be held for a further two weeks on suspicion of violence and possession of weapons.
The story, however, began on the night of Sunday 7 September when a group of leading National Socialist Action (NSA) members invaded the empty house although it was not clear at first that the squatters were nazis.
It is well known that some NSA members have difficulties in finding a home and are forced to stay with friends and, when their leader Alwin Walther raged on the fascist internet forum, Stormfront, against a proposal by the Dutch government to ban squatting, that was the signal for action. At a demonstration, organised by the nazi Dutch People's Union (NVU), in Zwolle on 30 August, the NSA's so-called black block's lead banner proclaimed support for squatting and, just a day later, they plastered The Hague with posters against the prohibition of squatting.
The target for action in Monster was a semi-derelict once luxurious villa that has stood vacant for several years and had come to be was used by youngsters from the village as a meeting place. The owner of the building, surprisingly, is none other than the Public Prosecution Service (OM) which had seized the building as "criminal property".
Once there, the nazis made their unwelcome presence felt by hoisting a flag with a skull and crossbones, bearing the legend "Haunted Mansion", a reference to rumours in the neighbourhood that the house is haunted. Though complaints by neighbours quickly led to removal of the banner, the nazis embarked on a further macabre action of "burying" the emptiness of the house, by digging a grave and planting a cross on it.
That seemed to be the end of it until two weeks later when a group of twenty local youngsters angry at the loss of their hangout and looking for a fight started to hurl stones and sticks at the dilapidated building.
The nazis reacted by storming out to attack the youngsters with baseball bats and chains, breaking the nose of one of them. As a result, the police launched patrols in the neighbourhood, bolstered by a vanload of "emergency" riot police from The Hague while the nazi squatters beefed up security measures by installing a camera behind the front window to videotape anyone approaching the house.
In a discussion on the Internet meanwhile, various participants looked back at the time when, in Eindhoven, a squat was manned by Voorpost and used for concerts and meetings (see Searchlight January 2004).
However, it was only when the anti-fascist research group Kafka confirmed that the squatters were members of the NSA that public interest in the case broadened with newspapers reporting daily on the matter.
While local youngsters wanted revenge for the nazi assault on them, people in the neighbourhood were no less discomfited to see a nazi wearing a shirt with an SS symbol and to witness the sight of ten black-clad nazis, including the oft-convicted Michael Krick, pile out of a van in front of the house.
On Stormfront, Walther declared that the house would be used '"for comrades who have difficulties at home, or don't have a home, so that they don't have to sleep under a bridge." The idea of using a house as a kind of barracks in not new in the Netherlands. The Hague home of former NSA-member, Misha van Dijck, and one of its current leaders, Ivo Henze, was also used for these purposes from 2005 until 2007 when it was a meeting place and shelter for fellow nazis. Swastika flags and portraits of Hitler adorned the walls, loud march music was played and huge quantities of alcohol consumed. All this was combined with the frequent yelling of "Sieg Heil" and "Heil Hitler" and racist taunting of immigrant residents.
After a demonstration in Zoetermeer in 2006 by the NVU, there was a party in the house and, when the drink ran out, a group of the nazis visited a children's party around the corner, threatening people there. When police arrived at the nazis' house to investigate they were met with violence from a threatening mob. It was only in 2007 that the nazi occupants were evicted, just as neighbours were about to take matters in their own hands.
Jeroen Bosch for Alert! and Antifa-Net