The Nipsters: Why neo-Nazis in Germany are now dressing as hipsters

(Picture: Vocativ/YouTube
(Picture: Vocativ/YouTube

Neo-Nazis in Germany have begun to ditch the traditional skinhead of the far-right in an attempt to put a more mainstream face on their vile form of hatred.

Because symbols of Nazism are banned in Germany, the followers of the fascist movement have been forced to change their appearance - haircuts, clothing and insignia - and have been dubbed "Nipsters" (a portmanteau of Nazi and hipster) by the media.

The leader of this new face is Patrick Schroeder, a 30-year-old Bavarian, who since launching his YouTube channel two years ago has become a "well-known, if highly controversial, figure" in far-right circles.

I was a skinhead in my youth. As a nationalist, I thought I had to dress like that. But I got rid of this in 2002, 2003, because I realised that it was totally stupid.

This is a political fight, we're not trying to be a subculture.

  • Patrick Schroeder, speaking to Vocativ

According to an interview he did with Rolling Stone earlier this year, Schroeder wants people from all walks of life (so long as they are white and German, presumably) to be able to join the scene without changing the way they dress.

The dangerous face of fascism is now harder to identify, not something that is universally popular with the old guard.

If the definition of the Nipster is someone who can live in the mainstream, then I see it as the future of the movement.

  • Patrick Schroeder, speaking to Rolling Stone

There are now neo-Nazi vlogs, far-right vegan cookery shows and even a fascist fashion presence on Tumblr.

A "friendlier" face may now front their movement, but their dangerous, warped undertones still remain.

At a rally filmed by Vocativ, Schroeder can be seen addressing the crowd from a podium, announcing his ambition to return to the "old Germany" and rid the "ghettoes" of their immigrant population.

They'll get a letter and it's going to say "folks, the party is over". Then people will go down to these ghettoes and will show those people that this is Germany again.

  • Patrick Schroeder

More: German town tricks neo-Nazis into raising cash for anti-Nazi charity

More: Miss Hitler 2014: Yes, there really is a neo-Nazi beauty contest

More: The formula that explains why all hipsters look the same

The Conversation (0)