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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].