Nazi hikers claim they’ve ‘suffered’

 

WARNING - STRONG LANGUAGE

Members of the far right neo-Nazi group that descended on a Victorian beauty spot last week burning crosses and chanting racist slogans have whinged that they are the ones that have "suffered" in a series of perplexing social media posts.

The self-proclaimed "racist white men" of the National Socialist Network, based in Melbourne, also bragged about how police were unable to prevent their jaunt to the Grampians region of western Victoria.

So far right is the group, it has slammed the notorious US Proud Boys gang as "soft" and praised the "brave men" who stormed the US Capitol building.

But a look into the gang's racist ramblings and anti-Semitism reveals a confused range of beliefs. They at once want to persuade people of the "merits of our cause" while also conceding their views are so unpopular the only way to achieve them would be to overthrow democracy.

The gang has used its social media presence to applaud some Australians, not connected to their group, for their deeds. But when news.com.au contacted one of these people, he said it was the first he'd heard of it and the neo Nazis were nothing more than "vile fascist pigs" that he hated with "every fibre of my being".

 

The Melbourne neo-Nazi group lit up a burning torch at their campsite in the Grampians region of western Victoria.
The Melbourne neo-Nazi group lit up a burning torch at their campsite in the Grampians region of western Victoria.

THIRD REICH HIKE

Over the Australia Day weekend, up to 40 members of the far-right group camped close to and visited the small tourist town of Halls Gap, about 150km west of Ballarat.

"Hiking is the white man's recreation. You'll never see a subhuman out on these trails," a nonsensical post read.

A local business owner, who did not wish to be named, told news.com.au a couple had stumbled on the group on the popular Pinnacle walking track.

"They asked what they were doing and they said they were neo-Nazis and KKK and then they began chanting," the business owner said.

Chants of "Heil Hitler," and "white power" could also be heard.

"I never thought living out here I'd be in danger of extremist groups," he added.

"You look at these people and they're the ones you fear the most. They're like a cut snake, you just don't know what they'd do."

 

The far-right National Socialist Network group camped at Lake Bellfield.
The far-right National Socialist Network group camped at Lake Bellfield.

The long weekend camping trip coincided with the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, where the Nazis murdered more than one million Jews, as well as Poles, Soviets and gay people.

The group posted images of the Third Reich hike onto social media. "We managed to get forty racist white men to march through the Grampians singing Waltzing Matilda," the post said.

The group boasted that police were unable to stop them "because (we) aren't actually doing anything wrong".

"We're not killing people, and we're not engaging in serious criminal activity."

It seems a low bar for not "doing anything wrong".

RELATED: Proud Boys: The militant far-right group backing Donald Trump

The white supremacists gave Nazi salutes and were heard chanting ‘Heil Hitler’ and ‘white power’ during their trip.
The white supremacists gave Nazi salutes and were heard chanting ‘Heil Hitler’ and ‘white power’ during their trip.

CONFRONTATION WITH POLICE

Numerous locals have said they called the police when it became clear they had Nazis in their midst.

A local Halls Gap cafe owner told news.com.au that he witnessed police talking to a group of 12 men who he now suspected of being part of the gang.

He unwittingly served a batch of chicken parmigianas to the group, who did not bring their flags and burning crosses out to lunch.

"One of the males had a confrontation with five or six police on the grass in front of our shop," said the cafe owner. "He wasn't yelling but I could tell he was frustrated by his body language."

Victoria Police has refused to elaborate on their interaction with the group or whether, as reported, no arrests were made.

In a statement to news.com.au, police said: "we closely monitor a range of groups to ensure there is no threat to public safety. Responding to these groups and associated events and protests is part of what police do daily."

Sometimes the racist group is so unpopular only one person turns up to cross burnings.
Sometimes the racist group is so unpopular only one person turns up to cross burnings.

RACISTS SAY THEY HAVE 'SUFFERED'

Locals said they felt harassed and intimidated by the Nazi blow-ins. They also feared for the safety of the many multicultural families who holidayed in the region and Indigenous communities who call the area Gariwerd.

However, the racists, bizarrely, said it was them who suffer, continually, for their extremist cause.

"Somehow, they blame you for the unpleasantness, but really nobody wants the storm that is coming and none more than us because we'll be the ones suffering the most," one post read.

The Nazis seem to have a thing for posing by sewers and within tunnels.
The Nazis seem to have a thing for posing by sewers and within tunnels.

It was just one of several posts in which the group lamented on how hard done by they were.

A bugbear is their extreme views were not widely shared.

"We have always believed in persuading (others) of the merits of our case, and not terrorising them into submission.

"The reality is that our movement will not achieve victory in four years, and may not even within our lifetimes."

Yet in other posts, they suggested that the answer to the conundrum that few people supported Hitler-loving racists, was to simply overthrow democracy and "to kill the democrat inside them".

Canberra, they frothed, is a "disgusting nest of race-traitor vermin". The group has an image of a member stamping on the banner of a Liberal candidate, simply because she is not white.

The racists rail against immigration to Australia, ignoring the fact the colonisers were themselves immigrants. They also wilfully disregard the key roles non-white immigrants played in building the modern nation, such as the thousands of Chinese who worked in the goldfields.

A group member treading on the banner of Liberal candidate, simply because she was not white.
A group member treading on the banner of Liberal candidate, simply because she was not white.

NOTHING BUT 'VILE FASCIST PIGS'

There are some Aussies the group like. The kind regards aren't returned.

One of those the group has taken a shine too is Drew Pavlou, a University of Queensland (UQ) student who, appalled by China's human rights record, organised anti-Beijing demonstrations on campus which ultimately led to him being suspended. He has no connection to the National Socialist Network.

Nevertheless, the group posted an image of some of their members outside UQ last year. The caption reads: "While the University of Queensland sells out to China, we stand with Drew Pavlou against yellow communist vermin who are infiltrating all our country's institutions. Australia for the white man!"

Talking to news.com.au, Mr Pavlou said he could not have less in common with a bunch of Nazi racists.

"These vile fascist pigs are disgusting and totally and unequivocally reject their support. I want them to know I hate them with every fibre of my being and regard them as an enemy even worse than the Chinese Communist Party."

The neo Nazis outside UQ.
The neo Nazis outside UQ.

 

GROUPS SHOULD BE ADDED TO TERROR LIST

In September, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) said far right violent extremist groups now made up 40 per cent of its counter-terrorism workload, up from 10 per cent before 2016.

ASIO said it was a "real and growing" threat to Australia, and that conspiracy theories and frustration at lockdown during the pandemic had helped to radicalise some people who had subsequently joined the groups.

The Christchurch attacker, who gunned down 51 people in 2019, is known to have been radicalised online by far right groups.

Dvir Abramovich says the anti-Semites should be added to the terror list. Picture: Tony Gough
Dvir Abramovich says the anti-Semites should be added to the terror list. Picture: Tony Gough

Dr Abramovich said the gang should be targeted by state and federal governments and added to terror lists.

"Who would have thought in 2021 Australia, in a week in which we commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the modern face of Hitler would reveal itself in our state without consequence?

"neo-Nazi ideologies and rallies are alive and well in Victoria, and these homegrown SS soldiers, who dream of a Fourth Reich with an Australian Hitler at the helm, are a clear and present danger, agitating for a racial war and recruiting like-minded bigots."

He said the "violent, hateful ideologies" were a "dire and evolving security threat".

"Our state and federal governments need to lead the fight against the growing problem of racially based extremism by advocating that these groups be added to the terror list.

"It will bring the full weight of our law enforcement's resources to combat this bomb that is waiting to go off."

Originally published as Nazi hikers claim they've 'suffered'



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