Posted: August 05, 2002
Erich Gliebe succeeded William Pierce as Chairman of the neo-Nazi National Alliance (NA) following Pierce's death in July 2002. Prior to his ascendancy, Gliebe, 39, managed the white power music label Resistance Records, which is owned by the NA, and led the NA's largest regional unit, located in Cleveland.
Born in the Cleveland area, Gliebe maintains a residence in North Royalton, a Cleveland suburb, though he is often at NA headquarters in West Virginia. As a boy, he idolized his father, who fought in the German army during the Second World War. "My father was my hero and I decided that one day I would give my all to fight for my race," Gliebe has said. Growing up, he began to "despise" in his white classmates a "lack of honor and discipline, cowardliness, and total lack of racial identity and purpose," traits he says they developed as a result of living in a "Jewish dominated" society.
After graduating from Normandy High School in Parma, Ohio, the 6-foot-4 Gliebe became a boxer, winning 18 of 20 bouts as an amateur and all eight of his fights as a professional. His nickname at the time was "The Aryan Barbarian." In 1990, however, he broke his elbow and, while recovering, discovered the NA. Instead of returning to the ring, he decided to dedicate himself to white supremacy. He worked as a tool-and-die maker to pay his bills.
Gliebe eventually became coordinator of the NA's Cleveland unit, and the neo-Nazi group praised him as "most effective activist." Described by the group as a "tireless recruiter and organizer," he sent material to prospective recruits, called repeatedly to invite them to NA meetings and "more often than not" persuaded them to join, according to the NA. Some of his recruits became active leaders in their own right, giving him a larger power base in the organization. Gliebe sometimes traveled around the country to give speeches on behalf of the NA; he was also active in bringing other white supremacists, including former Klansman David Duke and Holocaust denier David Irving, to speak at NA events.
In his spare time, Gliebe worked on other white supremacist projects, particularly those involving music. He organized European folk music and dance festivals in the Cleveland area for the NA - though they were not billed as such - hoping to recruit new group members. Under the banner of Life Rune Records, he booked white power rock bands to play concerts in Cleveland; a 1995 event reportedly drew 500 people, the largest attendance ever for a North American indoor white power rock concert. After that concert, however, Gliebe became temporarily disenchanted with the white power music scene, angry at fights between concertgoers and their apparent lack of devotion to the neo-Nazi cause. However, he "recharged" his faith in the power of hate rock during a subsequent trip to Europe, where he found a more "solid" white power music scene.
In 1999, the NA purchased Resistance Records, which had been the leading white power music label during the mid-1990s. Gliebe felt that Resistance "had never given proper guidance to the youth" and had been "mismanaged from day one." In 2000, he left his job and began working full-time for the NA as manager of Resistance. William Pierce, who was not knowledgeable about rock music, let Gliebe run the label with very little interference. According to Pierce, Gliebe spent 90 to 100 hours a week on the job. Gliebe claims that his success at Resistance, which is likely to gross well more than $1 million in sales this year, is based on "hard work, total commitment, being focused and a never-ending supply of energy."
For Gliebe, hate rock - or, as he calls it, "resistance music" - is not fun and entertainment but instead a way to further the white race. "The direction that must be taken today is of a much more serious nature, with less emphasis on drinking, fashion, and 'movement' hobbyism, and with more weight given to education, serious political activism, and total dedication to the Cause," he asserts. According to Gliebe, "complete and total White victory at any cost, then, is the ultimate goal, and resistance music is one of the weapons we are using to secure that goal." In his eyes, the primary purpose of hate rock "is to heighten Aryan racial consciousness - both in ourselves and in others," to "inspire and entertain" the "elite ranks" of the NA "while attracting the attention of potential activists and racialists."
Particularly troubling is Gliebe's dedication to recruiting teenagers, whom he recognizes as "rebellious by nature" and seeking to increase their self-esteem. "Much of our energy must…be directed at White youth who are not yet old enough to vote, or perhaps even drive," he admits, adding that:
It is important that we reach these kids before they go off to college and are really hit hard with Jewish, multiracial propaganda; before they're old enough to go to the bars and night clubs and fall in line with the lemmings; and, of course, before they start race- mixing or decide to 'experiment' with homosexuality.
To reach teens, Gliebe says he attends "as many mainstream Rock concerts as possible," distributing literature and making contacts. He claims to have also distributed NA literature at high school sporting events, which he describes as "fertile recruiting grounds."
Gliebe's views reflect an extreme neo-Nazi ideology. In this respect, he resembles his predecessor Pierce, whom he deemed an "absolute genius." Calling himself "as NS [National Socialist] as can be," Gliebe sees whites as "surrounded on all sides by a rising tide of the lower races," who, driven by "the incessant anti-White drumbeats of the Jewish-controlled media," seek to dispossess whites of their land and women.
Gliebe considers his war against non-whites "a lifelong and never-ending struggle," and believes "it is not important how" he and his followers fight the "coming battle," only that they win. He has expressed admiration for both foreign and domestic terrorists. For example, he calls onetime NA member Robert Mathews and leader of The Order, the most violent and notorious domestic terrorist group of the 1980s, "a great and noble man who gave his life for the cause." According to Gliebe, Mathews, who was killed in a shootout with law enforcement in 1984, "made the conscientious decision to fight to the death rather than surrender to our racial enemies….Bob Mathews' life should be an inspiration to us all." Though he does not necessarily agree with their political views, Gliebe has also praised the Islamic extremists who attacked America on September 11, 2001. In his view, those terrorists "were serious, patient, and organized, and they had the discipline to keep their mouths shut so as not to leak any information about what they were planning."