Journalist Details Germany’s Neo-Nazis After 15 Years of Undercover Work
After learning that a neo-Nazi concert would take place in his village in Germany in 1997, a young journalist using the pseudonym (for security reasons) Thomas Kuban decided he wanted to learn more about the secretive group, and help expose their secrets, something he believed German media was not doing enough of.
He began documenting the process in which neo-Nazi concerts were planned. Kuban says that concerts and music is one of the most effective recruiting tools for neo-Nazi groups.
“When I started work on this project, there were some 20 ‘nationalist telephones’ in Germany, recorded messages that would refer you to phone numbers of concert organizers,” Kuban told Israel Hayom’s Igal Avidan. “These messages were intended solely for activists. On the day of the concert, or the day before, I would call these numbers to confirm a meeting point, which could be at the parking lot of some supermarket. That is where an usher would be, and his job was to distribute notes with the driving directions to the actual concert location.”
As his work progressed, Kuban decided it was time to attend one of the concerts.
“I chose a greenish pilot bomber jacket, because the black one just looked too scary to me,” he said. “I bought black army pants, high-top boots, and a black shirt with a black and white collar, the colors that comprise the flag of the Third Reich — black, red, and white.”
While attending one of the concerts, Kuban was able to record video footage of the scene, which would air on German television just days later, shedding a light on the continuation of Nazi ideals in the country that made them infamous. In an ironic turn of events, when Kuban left the concert and arrived at a local airport en route to Hamburg, he realized he had no time to change out of his neo-Nazi style clothing. Airport authorities searched him “thoroughly”, according to Avidan.
Eventually, Kuban would film 25 neo-Nazi concerts in 8 different countries throughout Europe. Asked who will continue this type of work now that he’s stopped, Kuban said he’s not sure it will continue any longer.
“I am afraid nobody will. It is work that takes up a lot of time and money, and it is also very dangerous.”