David Duke in Russia

Related ADL Articles:
in Russia
My Awakening:
A Minor League Mein Kampf
David Duke:
In His Own Words

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White supremacist David Duke has set his sights on Russia. Saying that the nation holds the "key to white survival," Duke has recently embarked on a campaign to spread his racial theories of white superiority and anti-Semitism in the former Soviet Union. The notorious American hatemonger has recently launched an appeal to Russian nationalists. In Duke’s eyes, Russia presents an unmatched opportunity to help protect the longevity of the white race, since he predicts that "racially aware" parties could achieve political influence there. He believes that Russia’s "sense of racial understanding" will unleash a trend internationally.

Duke has taken at least three recent trips to Russia to speak with nationalists and to promote his new book, The Ultimate Supremacism: My Awakening on the Jewish Question (the Russian title translates as The Jewish Question Through the Eyes of an American). Duke has indicated he may move there to more actively "struggle against people of other colors and with Jews," according to the Interfax news agency.

During his visits to Russia, Duke has held a rally at a respected literary museum and met with nationalist leaders there, including former Communist lawmaker General Albert Makashov, a figure well known for anti-Semitic statements. Duke went to Russia this past summer at the invitation of Alexander Prokhanov, editor-in-chief of Zavtra (Tomorrow), an ultra-nationalist newspaper, and Konstnatin Kasimovsky, the head of an anti-Semitic organization called Russian Action. At the time, several Russian nationalist publications ran reports on Duke’s visit to Moscow. An Internet forum of Russian neo-Nazi skinheads praised the meeting with Duke, who was termed "a well-known American patriot."

Duke’s Book

Since December, Duke’s book has been sold openly in the main lobby of the State Duma (Congress), for 50 rubles (about $1.80) - an affordable price by Russian standards. The first printing of 5,000 copies was almost sold out within several weeks. A second printing is reportedly due out soon. The book itself is actually a Russian translation of the chapter on "the Jewish question" from Duke’s autobiography My Awakening.

In his presentation of the book to the Moscow press, Duke pointed out that both America and Russia suffer from "Jewish oligarchy," and revealed his concern about the presence of Russian Jews in the media and large businesses. The book is a co-production of Duke’s Free Speech Press and Tsentrkniga Ltd., a large Moscow publishing house that has several anti-Semitic titles in its catalog.

Russian Reaction

Duke’s visits and his book have attracted little attention from the Russian news media and the public. Only a few leading public figures have commented about Duke’s activities in Russia. During the first week of February, the Parliament’s legislation committee chairman Pavel Krasheninnikov said Duke’s rhetoric violated Russian law banning instigation of racial and ethnic enmity, and could lead to legal actions against him. Further, he suggested that Duke’s alleged plan to remain in Russia indefinitely could force an official reaction.

"If it’s not a provocation or a dirty public relations stunt aimed at attracting attention, Russia’s law enforcement should deal with this person," he said.

Duke’s ideas are not new for Russian extremists, and some have expressed doubts that the former Klan leader could build a significant following in Russia. Prokhanov said Duke’s ideas are unoriginal and therefore will not attract much attention. "All the things that are said in the book are as old as time," he said in an interview.

However, Duke’s propaganda might seem credible, since he can present himself as a respected American author and politician. According to Andrei Fefilov, an ultranationalist activist and journalist, Duke’s ideas will fall on fertile soil in Russia. "There are so many patriots in Russia today who are ready to support Duke’s White idea, many more such people than you may think," Fefilov said, according to Moscow’s Kommersant daily.

Because Duke has not been barred from Russia, and not many leading figures have spoken out against him, Duke’s activities may be a sign of an apparent willingness of Russian leaders to tolerate the views and activities of ultra-nationalists. Further, Duke has positioned himself to take on a possible role attempting to broker cooperation between nationalists in Russia and in Western nations - an area of concern, given Russia’s history of anti-Semitism. Duke says Russia can help solve the "crisis faced by the White World" by becoming the only national government to stand up for white interests only. He hopes this development would cause "a domino effect that would cascade through the whole world." According to Duke, Russians have a greater knowledge than Westerners of the "power of International Zionism and the dominant Jewish role in orchestrating the immigration and multiculturalism that is undermining the West."

ADL Moscow Actions

The ADL office in Russia urged the Moscow Prosecutor to open an investigation of Boris Mironov, a leading ultranationalist who wrote an anti-Semitic introduction to Duke's book. The office also initiated a letter from a prominent Duma member to Russia’s Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov, urging that a criminal case be opened against the author and the Russian publisher of Duke’s book. The letter by Alexander Fedulov described the book as anti-Semitic and as violating Russian anti-hate crime laws. Russian legislation prohibits racial, ethnic and religious incitement which is a punishable crime under the criminal code there.

Duke in America

Duke’s Louisiana-based organization, the National Organization for European American Rights (N.O.F.E.A.R.) - founded in January 2000 -- focuses on the threat to "white rights" posed by immigration and multiculturalism, and stands to gain publicity from Duke’s activities in Russia.

Duke is currently under investigation by federal agents in the United States for gambling away money donated by supporters. He served in the Louisiana Legislature in the 1980s, ran for the U.S. Senate from Louisiana in 1990 and for Louisiana governor in 1991. He has also served as an elected committeeman of the Republican Party in his home state of Louisiana. Duke now serves as president of N.O.F.E.A.R.

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