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FTR #628 It’s Not Easy Being Green: Nazi infiltration and Co-option of the Green Party

[1]Record­ed March 9, 2008
MP3: 30-Minute Seg­ment [2]
REALAUDIO [3] NB: This RealAu­dio stream con­tains both FTR #627 and FTR #628 in sequence. Each is a 30 minute broad­cast.

“Green” pol­i­tics has become an impor­tant part of the polit­i­cal scene, assum­ing a piv­otal posi­tion in the pro­gres­sive com­mu­ni­ty. This broad­cast high­lights Nazi and fas­cist infil­tra­tion and co-option of the Green Par­ty and green pol­i­tics in gen­er­al. Unknown to many in the Green move­ment is the fact that the Nazi par­ty under Hitler [NSDAP] had a “green wing,” that advo­cat­ed poli­cies not unlike those of the con­tem­po­rary green move­ment. The Nazi greens, how­ev­er, incor­po­rat­ed a chau­vin­is­tic “blood and soil” mys­ti­cism that saw eco­log­i­cal con­scious­ness as a philo­soph­i­cal basis for war and geno­cide. Begin­ning with dis­cus­sion of the the­o­ries and advo­cates of the “Green wing” of the NSDAP, the pro­gram high­lights the doc­trine of Walther Darre, one of the most impor­tant the­o­reti­cians and politi­cians of the Nazi party’s green wing and a man who enjoyed the sup­port of Hitler deputy Rudolph Hess. The green wing of the Nazi par­ty estab­lished a precedent—the Ger­man branch of the Green Par­ty has, to an extent, reca­pit­u­lat­ed the green wing of the NSDAP. Note that the Green Par­ty as a whole reject­ed attempts by “neo-Nazis” to infil­trate and turn the par­ty. Nonethe­less, the green dal­liance with fas­cism has con­tin­ued. Polit­i­cal argu­ments that are, in their fun­da­men­tal, fas­cist con­tin­ue to prove seduc­tive to unwary green advo­cates. The pro­gram con­cludes with a look at the mur­der of Petra Kel­ly, leader of the Ger­man Greens, at the hands of her long­time com­pan­ion, a for­mer Ger­man gen­er­al who fought with the Nazis in World War II.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Dis­cus­sion of Kel­ly mur­der­er Gert Bastian’s post­war involve­ment in fas­cist pol­i­tics; the key role in the for­ma­tion of the Green Par­ty played by August Haussleiter—a vet­er­an of Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch; Haussleiter’s post­war involve­ment with the world­wide SS under­ground.

1. Begin­ning with dis­cus­sion of the the­o­ries and advo­cates of the “green wing” of the NSDAP—the Nazi par­ty under Hitler—the pro­gram high­lights the doc­trine of Walther Darre, one of the most impor­tant the­o­reti­cians and politi­cians of the Nazi party’s green wing. Eco­fas­cism high­lights how the Nazi party’s green wing con­sti­tut­ed an impor­tant part of the philo­soph­i­cal ratio­nal­iza­tion for geno­cide. This same philo­soph­i­cal out­look has proved appealing—to an extent—to ele­ments of the con­tem­po­rary pro-ecol­o­gy milieu. As will be seen at greater length in FTR#629, green phi­los­o­phy has afford­ed con­tem­po­rary fas­cist and Nazi ele­ments an oppor­tu­ni­ty to infil­trate, seduce and co-opt green ele­ments to a fas­cist con­struct. “ . . . No aspect of the Nazi project can be prop­er­ly under­stood with­out exam­in­ing its impli­ca­tion in the holo­caust. Here, too, eco­log­i­cal argu­ments played a cru­cial­ly malev­o­lent role. Not only did the ‘green wing’ refur­bish the san­guine anti-Semi­tism of tra­di­tion­al reac­tionary ecol­o­gy; it cat­alyzed a whole new out­burst of lurid racist fan­tasies of organ­ic invi­o­la­bil­i­ty and polit­i­cal revenge. The con­flu­ence of anti-human­ist dog­ma with a fetishiza­tion of nat­ur­al ‘puri­ty’ pro­vid­ed not mere­ly a ratio­nale but an incen­tive for the Third Reich’s most heinous crimes. Its insid­i­ous appeal unleashed mur­der­ous ener­gies pre­vi­ous­ly untapped. Final­ly, the dis­place­ment of any social analy­sis of envi­ron­men­tal destruc­tion in favor of mys­ti­cal ecol­o­gy served as an inte­gral com­po­nent in the prepa­ra­tion of the final solu­tion: ‘To explain the destruc­tion of the coun­try­side and envi­ron­men­tal dam­age, with­out ques­tion­ing the Ger­man peo­ple’s bond to nature, could only be done by not ana­lyz­ing envi­ron­men­tal dam­age in a soci­etal con­text and by refus­ing to under­stand them as an expres­sion of con­flict­ing social inter­ests. Had this been done, it would have led to crit­i­cism of Nation­al Social­ism itself since that was not immune to such forces. One solu­tion was to asso­ciate such envi­ron­men­tal prob­lems with the destruc­tive influ­ence of oth­er races. Nation­al Social­ism could then be seen to strive for the elim­i­na­tion of oth­er races in order to allow the Ger­man peo­ple’s innate under­stand­ing and feel­ing of nature to assert itself, hence secur­ing a har­mon­ic life close to nature for the future.’ This is the true lega­cy of eco­fas­cism in pow­er: ‘geno­cide devel­oped into a neces­si­ty under the cloak of envi­ron­ment pro­tec­tion.’. .”
(Eco­fas­cism: Lessons from the Ger­man Expe­ri­ence; by Janet Biehl and Peter Stau­den­maier; AK Press [SC] 1995; Copy­right 1995 by Janet Biehl and Peter Stau­den­maier; ISBN 1–873176-73–2; pp. 17–20.) [4]

2. More about the philo­soph­i­cal ques­tion of green wing of the NSDAP: “ . . . To make this dis­may­ing and dis­com­fort­ing analy­sis more palat­able, it is tempt­ing to draw pre­cise­ly the wrong con­clu­sion — name­ly, that even the most rep­re­hen­si­ble polit­i­cal under­tak­ings some­times pro­duce laud­able results. But the real les­son here is just the oppo­site: Even the most laud­able of caus­es can be per­vert­ed and instru­men­tal­ized in the ser­vice of crim­i­nal sav­agery. The ‘green wing’ of the NSDAP was not a group of inno­cents, con­fused and manip­u­lat­ed ide­al­ists, or reform­ers from with­in; they were con­scious pro­mot­ers and execu­tors of a vile pro­gram explic­it­ly ded­i­cat­ed to inhu­man racist vio­lence, mas­sive polit­i­cal repres­sion and world­wide mil­i­tary dom­i­na­tion. Their ‘eco­log­i­cal’ involve­ments, far from off­set­ting these fun­da­men­tal com­mit­ments, deep­ened and rad­i­cal­ized them. In the end, their con­fig­u­ra­tion of envi­ron­men­tal pol­i­tics was direct­ly and sub­stan­tial­ly respon­si­ble for orga­nized mass mur­der. No aspect of the Nazi project can be prop­er­ly under­stood with­out exam­in­ing its impli­ca­tion in the holo­caust. Here, too, eco­log­i­cal argu­ments played a cru­cial­ly malev­o­lent role. Not only did the ‘green wing’ refur­bish the san­guine anti-Semi­tism of tra­di­tion­al reac­tionary ecol­o­gy; it cat­alyzed a whole new out­burst of lurid racist fan­tasies of organ­ic invi­o­la­bil­i­ty and polit­i­cal revenge. The con­flu­ence of anti-human­ist dog­ma with a fetishiza­tion of nat­ur­al ‘puri­ty’ pro­vid­ed not mere­ly a ratio­nale but an incen­tive for the Third Reich’s most heinous crimes. Its insid­i­ous appeal unleashed mur­der­ous ener­gies pre­vi­ous­ly untapped. . . .”
(Ibid.; pp. 24–25.) [5]

3. The green wing of the Nazi par­ty estab­lished a precedent—the Ger­man branch of the Green Par­ty has, to an extent, reca­pit­u­lat­ed the green wing of the NSDAP. Note that the Green Par­ty as a whole reject­ed attempts by “neo-Nazis” to infil­trate and turn the par­ty. Nonethe­less, the green dal­liance with fas­cism has con­tin­ued. Polit­i­cal argu­ments that are, in their fun­da­men­tal, fas­cist con­tin­ue to prove seduc­tive to unwary green advo­cates. Note how eco­fas­cist ide­ol­o­gy con­cides with “volks­grup­pen­rechte” or “going native” as Mr. Emory calls it. (This is dis­cussed in, among oth­er pro­grams, FTR#627 [6].) “ . . . As in France, such notions were com­pat­i­ble with the hatred of refugees, asy­lum seek­ers, and eth­nic minori­ties. But this ani­mos­i­ty was obscured some­what by the Ger­man New Right’s strong endorse­ment of nation­al lib­er­a­tion move­ments and ‘rev­o­lu­tion­ary strug­gles’ around the world, rang­ing from the Basques in Spain and the IRA in North­ern Ire­land to the peo­ples of the East­ern EU , the Ukraine, the Afghan mujahideen, and the San­din­istas of Nicaragua. In short, any mor­tal ene­my of a super­pow­er was deemed a de fac­to ally by var­i­ous inchoate New Right for­ma­tions that sprang up in West Ger­many dur­ing the ear­ly 1980s. This peri­od also saw the emer­gence of the Greens, left-of-cen­ter peace-and-ecol­o­gy par­ty, as a mass-based oppo­si­tion move­ment in West Ger­many. Gal­va­nized by NATO’s deci­sion to sta­tion a new gen­er­a­tion of medi­um-range nuclear mis­siles in Europe, the Greens adopt­ed a neu­tral­ist stance toward the East-West con­flict. Their attempts to forge a third way beyond cap­i­tal­ism and Com­mu­nism bore cer­tain sim­i­lar­i­ties to themes stressed by New Right intel­lec­tu­als and neo-Nazi mil­i­tants, who tried to out­flank their left-wing con­tem­po­raries by enun­ci­at­ing rad­i­cal posi­tions on ecol­o­gy, nuclear weapons, U.S. Impe­ri­al­ism, and ‘nation­al lib­er­a­tion.’ Some right-wing extrem­ists went so far as to call for ‘rev­o­lu­tion from below’ in Ger­many mod­eled after Third World inde­pen­dence strug­gles. They often employed left­ist-sound­ing rhetoric that appealed to the Greens’ sup­port­ers, who also obsessed over ques­tions of per­son­al and col­lec­tive iden­ti­ty. Many Greens were recep­tive to argu­ments that Ger­man uni­fi­ca­tion was an indis­pens­able pre­con­di­tion to a durable peace in Europe. Such mat­ters were debat­ed in New Right pub­li­ca­tions that inter­spersed arti­cles by left-wing authors and neo-fascis­tic ‘nation­al rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies.’ . . .”
(The Beast Reawak­ens; Mar­tin A. Lee; Lit­tle Brown [HC]; Copy­right 1997 by Mar­tin A. Lee; ISBN 0–316-51959–6; pp. 216–217.) [7]

4. Note that a vet­er­an of the NSDAP and Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch was a sem­i­nal mem­ber of the Ger­man Green Par­ty. August Haus­sleit­er was also active in post­war Ger­man fas­cist pol­i­tics. Of par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance for our pur­pos­es is Haussleiter’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Bruderschaft—a pro-SS con­tin­gent among Ger­man offi­cers in the fledg­ling Bundeswehr—the army of the “new” Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many. Ernst Remer was an SS offi­cer who became a major leader of the post­war SS under­ground the ODESSA. “ . . . The first orga­ni­za­tion to call itself ‘the Greens in 1977 was led by August Haus­sleit­er, a bull­necked, red-faced vet­er­an of Hitler’s beer hail putsch, who had a long his­to­ry of involve­ment in extreme right-wing caus­es after World War II. Dur­ing the 1950s, August Haus­sleit­er’s Deutsche Gemein­schaft (Ger­man Com­mu­ni­ty) col­lab­o­rat­ed with the neo-Nazi Brud­er­schaft, which count­ed Otto Sko­rzeny among its key per­son­nel. Short­ly after the Social­ist Reich Par­ty was banned by the West Ger­man gov­ern­ment, Haus­sleit­er engaged in secret talks with Ernst Remer’s col­leagues in an effort to pre­serve the polit­i­cal punch or the SRP faith­ful. The SRP-linked attor­ney Rudolf Aschenauer was an exec­u­tive board mem­ber of the DeutscheGe­mein­schaft. By the late 1960s, how­ev­er, Haus­sleit­er had swung toward the Left in an effort to attract stu­dent rad­i­cals. His group, Action Com­mu­ni­ty of Inde­pen­dent Ger­mans, began to focus on ecol­o­gy and anti­nu­clear issues. Haus­sleit­er sub­se­quent­ly became a father fig­ure for the fledg­ling Greens, whose ini­tial sup­port­ers includ­ed dis­si­dent con­ser­v­a­tives as well as left-wing activists. In 1980, he was elect­ed chair­man of the Greens, but Haus­sleit­er was forced to step down after a months because or his check­ered past. . . .”
(Ibid.; p. 217.) [7]

5a. The pro­gram con­cludes with a look at the 1992 mur­der of Petra Kelly—the leader of the Ger­man Green Par­ty. She was osten­si­bly killed by her “sig­nif­i­cant oth­er” Gert Bas­t­ian, whose corpse was also [alleged­ly] found at the crime scene. Note that Bas­t­ian was, accord­ing to some sources, a mem­ber of the Brud­er­schaft, as was August Haus­sleit­er. Bas­t­ian fought with the Nazis in World War II, and con­tin­ued to work with the Ger­man far right in the post­war peri­od. Mr. Emory notes that, accord­ing to some sources, the Ger­man police nev­er released the actu­al files on the mur­der. Mr. Emory also notes that Kelly’s mur­der took place as the Ger­man Greens were meta­mor­phos­ing from an ele­ment for peace and détente into a philo­soph­i­cal and polit­i­cal ratio­nal­iza­tion for war. The promi­nence of the Greens on the Ger­man polit­i­cal land­scape was a major rea­son why the Sovi­ets and Mikhail Gor­bachev gave the go-ahead for the re-uni­fi­ca­tion of Ger­many. After Ger­man reuni­fi­ca­tion, the Green Par­ty became a force for war, as they began active­ly sup­port­ing the pol­i­cy of “volks­grup­pen­rechte” or “going native,” with regard to the for­mer Yugoslavia. (This is dis­cussed at greater length in FTR#627 [6].) “ . . . He had an odd his­to­ry. In World War II, he fought for the Nazis, failed in pri­vate busi­ness after the war, and went back into the mil­i­tary in 1956. He was a mem­ber of CSU — the far-right par­ty — until 1963, when he began a long polit­i­cal trans­for­ma­tion that by the 1980s land­ed him with the Greens. He lat­er resigned, protest­ing that they were being too soft on com­mu­nists by just focus­ing on U.S. mis­siles. . . .”
(“Who Killed Petra Kel­ly” by Mark Herts­gaard; Moth­er Jones; January/February/1993.) [8]

5b. Again, Gert Bas­t­ian was appar­ent­ly part of the Brud­er­schaft, along with Haus­sleit­er.

. . . .After the war, Haus­sleit­er con­tin­ued his effots by join­ing the “Brud­er­schaft” or “broth­er­hood,” of for­mer SS active with­in the Ger­man mil­i­tary and polit­i­cal worlds. His col­leagues in this net­work includ­ed Gert Bas­t­ian, Otto Sko­rzeny (the res­cuer of Mus­soli­ni) and Otto Ernst Remer (the turn­coat respon­si­ble for crush­ing the Ger­man offi­cers’ July 1044 plot to over­throw Hitler.) . . .

Mer­chants of Despair: Rad­i­cal Envi­ron­men­tal­ists, Crim­i­nal Pseu­do-Sci­en­tists, and the Fatal Cult of Anti­hu­man­ism (Google eBook) by Robert Zubrin, p. 196. [9]

6. Two video pro­duc­tions are being gen­er­at­ed by a cou­ple of doc­u­men­tary film­mak­ers. One is a DVD of a three-lec­ture series called “The First Refuge of a Scoundrel: The Rela­tion­ship Between Fas­cism and Reli­gion [10].” In addi­tion, there will soon be a doc­u­men­tary about Mr. Emory, titled “The Anti-Fas­cist.” For more about this project, vis­it TheAntiFascist.com [11].