Neo-Nazi Groups Plan Events Commemorating Hitler's Birthday
New York, NY, April 16, 2008 … In an annual rite of spring, white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups across the United States are planning to hold events to commemorate the April 20 birthday of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, where he will be celebrated for his legacy of racism, anti-Semitism and hate.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says several well-known domestic extremist groups are planning to hold racist rallies, marches, cookouts and other events in Washington, D.C., Chicago, IL, Portland, OR, Houston, TX, and Morganton, NC, in conjunction with Hitler's birthday.
Many of the planned Hitler birthday gatherings coincide with the start of the Jewish holiday of Passover, which begins on April 19.
"There is always a concern when the extremist groups use a calendar event as a rallying point to recruit members and to promote anti-Semitism, racism and bigotry," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Hitler's birthday has a special resonance for extremists, not only because of what Adolf Hitler represents, but because there have been violent and deadly attacks directly associated with this date in the past. It is especially troubling since Hitler's birthday falls on the first day of Passover this year."
One of the events on April 19 is being billed as an anti-immigrant rally. Anti-immigrant and particularly anti-Hispanic rhetoric have become one of the calling cards of white supremacist groups in recent years, according to ADL, which has issued reports on how extremist groups have used the national debate over immigration to recruit new members and spread hate.
The League has provided a list of upcoming Hitler birthday events on its Web site along with links to more information on the neo-Nazi and white supremacists groups behind them.
Among the events being planned:
• Washington, DC: Members of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement, who are known for dressing in Nazi uniforms and making Nazi salutes, are planning an April 19 rally and march "against illegal immigration."
• Morganton, NC: Members of Stormfront, an Internet forum popular among white supremacists and anti-Semites, will hold a "racialist cookout" that is being advertised as "family friendly."
• Chicago, IL: The neo-Nazi American National Socialist Workers Party has scheduled a gathering in honor of Hitler's birthday featuring various "pro-white" speakers, including a former German SS officer.
• Portland, OR: Volksfront, the most active neo-Nazi group on the West Coast, is hosting a gathering. One of the group's goals is to establish a whites-only living space in the Pacific Northwest.
• Houston, TX: Crew 38, a group associated with the neo-Nazi Hammerskin Nation, will host an "Adolf Hitler Memorial and BBQ" in Houston with live entertainment and a swastika lighting.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.