May 16, 2017 | The Jerusalem Post
German Neo-Nazi Party Builds Alliance with Assad and Hezbollah
Stronger alliances are growing between the German neo-Nazi party Der Dritte Weg and the Assad regime, as well as the Syrian dictator’s strategic partner Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The website of the Der Dritte Weg (The Third Way) published an April 30 report on the right-wing extremist group’s visit to Lebanon to champion Hezbollah’s war against Israel.
According to the organization’s website, members of the Der Dritte Weg met with the extremist Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) in Lebanon and representatives of the Bashar Assad regime in Syria.
Members of the Der Dritte Weg can be viewed on the website at the Hezbollah propaganda museum called Where the Land Speaks to the Heavens in the village of Mleeta in southern Lebanon. Kai Zimmermann, a senior leader of Der Dritte Weg, posed next to a plaque reading, “No, Israel is not invincible.” The neo-Nazi group labeled Israel a “terror state” on its website.
In 2013, Der Dritte Weg announced its formation and outlined a detailed call to boycott Israel. The group, whose goal is the creation of “German socialism,” titled its plan “What every person can do against the Zionist genocide.”
The Bavarian news outlet BR24 reported on Sunday that a young Der Dritte Weg activist traveled with a pro-Assad group called European Front for Syria to Syria and met with representatives of the regime and the fragmented country’s information minister.
The journalist Jan Nowak – a veteran observer of the alliance between neo-Nazis and the Assad regime – told BR24: “The central unifying moments [between neo-Nazis and the Syrian regime] are hatred of the West and of Israel.” He noted that the antisemitism of Der Dritte Weg manifests itself as praise for the “heroic resistance of Hezbollah against Israel.”
Germany’s domestic intelligence agency Verfassungsschutz – the rough equivalent of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) – monitors the extremist activities of Der Dritte Weg. According to a 2016 Bavarian intelligence report, “Antisemitism informs the ideology of the party.”
The Assad regime has long been a safe zone for Nazi activity and mass murderers.
The Syrian regime once harbored the Austrian Nazi war criminal Alois Brunner.
The common denominator of hatred of Israeli Jews and the State of Israel is a growing problem in Germany. A German federal government study revealed last month that nearly 33 million Germans, 40% of the population of 82 million, maintain antisemitic views.
The German Left Party – the largest opposition party in the country’s parliament – have members who endorse the antisemitism of Hamas and Hezbollah. The Left Party deputy Christine Buchholz has defended the “legitimate resistance” of Hamas and Hezbollah against the Jewish state.
The German-Jewish historian Michael Wolffsohn told a German public radio station (Deutschlandfunk) on Sunday that there is an alliance of antisemites among the far-Left and far-Right. “This alliance, he said, is not new.
From 1933-1945, Arab nationalists worked together with Hitler’s Third Reich up until the preparation of the Holocaust,” added Wolffsohn.
The German neo-Nazi party NPD praised Buchholz and one of the party’s top leaders – Sahra Wagenknecht – in 2010 for refusing to participate in a standing ovation to Israel’s then-President Shimon Peres during his commemoration speech for the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
Benjamin Weinthal is a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Follow him on Twitter @BenWeinthal.