The “national anarchists” in Australia are a tiny mob on the fringes of the far right.
Their leading ideologue is Welf Herfurth, a 40-something German-born resident of Sydney.
Several years ago, “Tim Johnstone” interviewed Herfurth about his life and ideas. The ensuing article was originally titled ‘Welf Herfurth, “Prussian Socialist”‘, and published (July 10, 2005) on the obscure ‘news’ site mathaba.net, but was later changed to read ‘Against the Reductio Ad Hitlerum’ and published (August 6, 2007) on the website of the New Right Australia (“and New Zealand”).
So who is Welf Herfurth? He is a German political activist, and businessman, who lives in Australia and who was born in West Germany in the 1960s. He is an interesting example of how the ‘nationalist gene’ skips one generation. Both of his grandfathers served in elite divisions of the Wehrmacht in the Second World War, and one of them was a member of the Sturmabteilung [SA: the Nazi brown-shirts], who was expelled from the SA for marrying a German woman ‘without permission’. His family suffered horribly, like millions of Germans, at the hands of the Allied victors after the war.
One would expect, then, that Welf’s parents would be nationalist as well. But they are typical of the current generation of German ‘baby-boomers’: liberal democrat and fanatically anti-nationalist, praying to the god of money. The Germans of Welf’s parents’ generation are conditioned to react to German National Socialism, anti-Semitism, racialism, with disgust and horror (and, in my experience, the Australians of my parents’ generation are as well). The ‘baby-boomers’ in the West experienced a lot of brainwashing in the sixties and seventies; and part of the anti-nationalism of the German boomers is a revolt against one’s parents, who were acquiescent at the time Hitler and his associates were busy gassing all those Jews and turning them into bars of soap, etc.
Welf became politically active as a young man. He spent some years in Iran with his family, when the revolution against the Shah broke out in 1979 [Welf attended school for several years in Tehran]. He witnessed firsthand how oppressive governments can be overthrown and how America is running internal policies of foreign countries, and, by doing so, how they try to establish the empire of the USA. Afterwards Welf did, and has continued to do, a great deal of travelling around the world – something which has enhanced his appreciation and respect for people of other races and cultures. It annoys Welf that so many nationalists think their country is the best and superior when they have never travelled.
Unfortunately, his life of activism, and his uncompromising nationalism, took its toll on his professional life: he lost three jobs in Germany because of his ideas, and eventually left for Australia in the 1980s. Once he arrived, he made contact with Dr James Saleam, then of National Action, and joined, of all parties, the Australian Democrats – a left-liberal party, which, at the time, was an alternative party, and made it to the position of State Executive. The question is, why the Australian Democrats? The answer is that Welf was interested in the same social issues as the Democrats, and that the Democrats were the only genuine third party at the time.
Welf went on to join the Far Right populist party, One Nation, in the late 1990s, and became the vice-president for the state of New South Wales, directly under David Oldfield. Later, he founded the Sydney Forum, an annual conference for peoples of all political persuasions, with Dr Saleam. The Forum was born out of Inverell Forum, and was intended to break the barriers to left-right thinking, attract people of different political camps, and unite them on the issues that concern them.
Like a good many nationalists, Welf became disillusioned with One Nation, which self-destructed after its losses at the federal election of 1998 – in which it won a million votes, but not one seat. Welf felt, around this time, that he had taken party-political activism to the limit, and that it had so far gotten him nowhere. He now believed that the people who had become involved in One Nation were only interested in positions of money, power, succeeding in the rat race. He began to look around for an alternative. He had long been interested in the ideas of Third Positionism and National Anarchism, and now began to apply them to his own activism…
In summary: Welf was an activist with the NPD in Germany, which he left in 1987, and in Australia was a member (in addition to the Australian Democrats) of the One Nation Party. However, he has played an active role in other racist and fascist groups and projects.
Australian Friends of the BNP/Australian Friends of Europe
In 1998, senior BNP official Nick Griffin… applied unsuccessfully for a visa to Australia to undertake a speaking tour under the auspices of the neo-Nazi group, National Action. Since that time, the main support for the BNP in Australia has come from the group, Australian Friends of Europe (AFE), formerly known as Australian Friends of the BNP, based in Petersham, NSW.
The AFE’s principal organisers are Welf Herfurth and Mark Wilson. Wilson migrated to Australia in the 1980s from Britain where he had been the BNP local organiser in Essex. He has previously spoken to Australia’s oldest racist group, the Australian League of Rights, which has touted him as an expert on “the effects of multiculturalism in Britain”.
Mark Wilson is now a member of the ‘Australian Protectionist Party’ (arch-rivals to Dr James Saleam’s ‘Australia First Party’).
While acting as MC at the Sydney Forum (2001–2007 and 2009), Welf was also responsible for attempting to bring into Australia two leading NPD figures: Udo Voight (2003) and Gerd Finkenwirth (2005). On both occasions, the neo-Nazis were prevented from entering Australia by Immigration authorities on the grounds of their alleged ‘bad character’.
Speaking of which:
On 28 August , the annual general meeting in Sydney of Australia’s oldest racist group, the Australian League of Rights, became the scene of a punch-up between the city’s two main neo-Nazi groups, as each sought dominance over the event.
A report of the incident has been issued by the violent white supremacist group, the Australian Nationalists Movement. It details how David Palmer, the “Führer” of the neo-Nazi group, Australian Strikeforce Guards for Aryan Resistance and Defence (ASGARD), sought entry to the Australian League of Rights AGM at the Estonian Club in Sydney, with three of his supporters. Palmer was allegedly confronted by Jim Saleam, the NSW leader of the neo-Nazi National Action group, with ten or twelve of his followers. According to the report, Saleam accused Palmer of being an ASIO spy and Special Branch informant, and a resulting fistfight developed between the two groups.
The punch-up overshadowed the keynote speaker at the AGM, Welf Herfurth, a former German neo-Nazi who was recently appointed the president of the Riverstone, NSW, branch of the One Nation Party. Previously profiled in ADC ONLINE in July 2001, Herfurth is a former executive member of Germany’s most active neo-Nazi group, the Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands (NPD), in Bavaria, Germany, and was involved in its youth arm (the German Government is currently applying to the courts to have the NPD outlawed). He is also a principal organiser of Australian Friends of Europe, the Australian arm of the extreme-right British National Party, which has close ties to British neo-Nazi groups, including Combat 18 and the National Front. The report of the AGM also describes Herfurth as being associated with National Action.
Notwithstanding recent media revelations linking Herfurth to neo-Nazi groups, One Nation has not publicly disassociated itself from Herfurth or prevented him from holding a senior leadership position in the party.
Of course, times change, and in 2007, former ONP leader Pauline Hanson refused to share a stage with Herfurth (and fellow Holocaust denialist Richard Krege) at the Inverell Forum.
Some things don’t change, however, and:
Not surprisingly, Herfurth’s article [‘On Kameradschaft’] refers to Germany’s servitude to Israel and America, forced upon it by Germany’s defeat in the War and sixty years of Holocaust brainwashing.” He comments: “Massive government funds are earmarked as compensation payments to Jews who were ‘gassed’ by Germans during the war (and then many turned up alive again).” According to Herfurth, the Holocaust was highly lucrative for the Jews and brought post-war Germany to its knees. He labels Zionism as a myth and Israel is referred to as the most powerful state in the Western world. Herfurth asks how Australian nationalists could imitate the German example by breaking down nationalist stereotypes promoted by the Jewish owned media, and writes about liberating Germany from bondage to NATO and Israel.
On the subject of the Holocaust, Herfurth is also a close kamerad of Adelaide-based denialist Frederick Töben. On January 27, 2005, the pair pranced about Sydney armed with an NPD flag allegedly once belonging to German neo-Nazi Horst Mahler (for further information on Mahler: ‘The Ideological Evolution of Horst Mahler: The Far Left-Extreme Right Synthesis’, George Michael, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, Volume 32, Number 4, April 2009, pp.346–366).
In December 2008, a poster on SF claimed that the leadership of Volksfront Australia — a local franchise of the US-based neo-Nazi skinhead gang — were Welf Herfurth and the Newcastle-based neo-Nazi skinhead Douglas Schott (the vocalist with neo-Nazi reich ‘n’ roll band ‘Blood Red Eagle’). ‘Pitbull38′ concluded his remarks by stating that Volksfront “are outcasts (akin to [Combat-18]) in Australia as far as [Southern Cross Hammerskins] & [Blood & Honour] are concerned. So if you don’t want to be outcasts yourselves, avoid them like the plague.” Note that both Welf and Douglas were once very close to both B&H and the SCHS: in February 2006, Welf was invited by organiser Douglas to attend a B&H gig in Newcastle, along with the following:
- firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Skinhead_battalion88@hotmail.com, Avohatedandproud@hotmail.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Zogh8r@hotmail.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Note that firstname.lastname@example.org allegedly belongs to David Astin, a speaker at the 2009 Sydney Forum.
As noted, aside from Welf, there are a handful of other “national anarchists” in Australia, a number — perhaps even a majority — of whom are barely adults. Below are very short profiles of three of these individuals. More will be added as time progresses.
“David Donald” is — or rather, was — the “Yarra National Anarchists” (David took over this role from “Andreas Faust” when Andreas, after a brief sojourn in Melbourne, returned to Tasmania). Unlike most of Herfurth’s followers, “David” is not a teenager — in fact, he’s in his 30s. He also claims to be a well-paid professional, employed by the Victorian Government. Sadly, “David” trusts incompetent little boys like Scott Harrison (below) to keep his personal details safe: meaning he may well be forced to put his brown-shirt through the wash again in the not-too-distant future.
Scott Harrison is an 18-year-old boy from Geelong, where he is a student at the local TAFE. By his own admission, Scott’s interest in racial politics was sparked by his excitement at the Cronulla pogrom in December 2005. Soon after, he joined Stormfront. There, Scott was naturally drawn into the orbit of various local neo-Nazis — including neo-Nazi skinhead and Melbourne resident Patrick O’Sullivan — but within a few years had decided that he was not a neo-Nazi but in fact a “national anarchist”.
“Wayne Robertson” is a “national anarchist” from WA, and in his late 20s. Along with Scott (and Darrin Hodges, leader of the NSW branch of the minuscule ‘Australian Protectionist Party’), “Wayne” attended the fascist rally at the APEC protests in Sydney in September 2007.