The movie “American History X” fresh in my mind, I’ve decided to start delving deeper into the pathology called “neo-Nazism” and efforts to cure it.
An organization called Fast Coexist, which is an online leftist publication, recently had an article about how to cure young people of their extremism, whether it be neo-Nazism, gangs or militant Islam. The Author, Paul Glader, interviewed specialist Judy Korn:
How do you rehabilitate a young Neo-Nazi behind bars?
“You talk with them,” says German social entrepreneur Judy Korn. In the past, German prisons showed films about Hitler and the Holocaust to try to reach such extremists. But Korn says re-integrating the young men happens with personal communication, not by showing them passive media.
And it turns out that helping Neo-Nazis change their ways requires the same five principles (see the sidebar below) that work on Muslim extremist youth and others who end up behind bars for violent or hate-motivated crimes. The chief skill to teach them: empathy.
“If you work with violent people, you can be sure at one point in their biography, they stopped having the ability to feel empathy for other people,” says Korn, who has worked with right extremists since she was a teenager. She said most Neo-Nazis her team of trainers work with in 10 of Germany’s 16 states come from abusive homes with alcoholism and other problems. “If you train people to feel empathy for themselves, you can train them to be and feel empathetic for another person.”
Korn’s organization–Violence Prevention Network–has worked with 500 such cases of incarcerated young skinheads, Neo-Nazis, and Muslim extremists in Germany since 2001. Her records show recidivism rates for the young men they work with is 30%, compared to 80% for all juvenile offenders in Germany. Her team of trainers can work with about 100 young people a year, but she would like to expand to work with more than 300. Other projects like Exit Deutschland also helps shuttle Neo-Nazis out of the scene, offering a witness protection type of program to young people who might fear violent retribution when they quit an extremist movement.
Clearly, a lot of ignorant, angry, and violent young men find a voice for their frustrations in movements such as neo-Nazism or skinheads. It goes without saying that if a person is willing to tattoo swastikas, or other Nazi insignia, on his flesh for all to see, he has little regard for societal norms – especially in a place like Germany. Along with this might come a readiness for violence. It would be interesting to observe a rehabilitation, done by Korn, and try to figure out if she is curing the subject of neo-Nazism or of delinquency in general. If the subject is a delinquent, and his Nazi creed is merely a manifestation of this, then curing him of his anger, low self-esteem and ignorance might also cure his Nazism. Some disturbed individuals are attracted to Nazism, not because they’re convinced of its tenets, but because this is merely an expression of their condition. The same could be said of any number of fringe movements. The individual might be convinced that he has attached himself to the movement through his powers of reasoning, but the underlying motivation is psychological.
But what about well-educated people who have become inflamed by the ongoing genocide of their own people, by the ongoing propaganda or by the pattern of abuse perpetrated by the elite few (many of whom are Jews)? In their case, ignorance is not the problem. Such people may be perfectly healthy psychologically. Their creed may be based on rational choices (taken to extremes, perhaps, by runaway emotions). Could this be the 30% recidivism?
Slyly, the author of the above article equates all right-leaning nationalism with neo-Nazism:
Rightist movements are on the rise in several European countries at the moment, causing increasing concern by officials. The EU recently created the Radicalization Awareness Network after Norwegian extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people last summer. It will spend $28 million in the next four years to help prevent extremism in Europe. While Germany has its share of ongoing problems with extremist communities, she worries about the right-leaning rhetoric coming from the political class in some Western European countries
This tendency shows that those doing the healing are in need of healing themselves. Time and time again we have seen how steeped leftism is in emotion, conditioning and mental flaws. Cold reasoning is near the bottom of the list of reasons why people subscribe to leftist ideologies. People like Korn may simply be replacing one mental illness with another. One religion with another. This might explain some of her success; most people need a religion as a crutch and it’s easier to jump from one religion-raft to another – rather than jumping in the water and swimming.