LONDON (Oct. 30)
Jewish communal leaders have gone on alert following yesterday’s receipt by Labor MP Frank Allaun of a letter bomb. It is feared that this could spark a third wave of such attacks in the past four years.
Although the letter did not explode, and although Allaun is known more for his extreme leftwing political opinions than for his connections with Jewish cause, the incident is regarded as symptomatic of a new surge in neo-Nazi anti-Semitism in Britain.
Much of this activity is fragmented and uncoordinated. The National Front, the leading neo-Nazi group, split into five segments last year and there are probably another five neo-Nazi groups. This means that as a force at the ballet box, the neo-Nazis are further from success than they ever were. Nevertheless, what they lock in cohesion the British Nazis more than make up in virulence.
SOME OF THE NEO-NAZI GROUPS
One of the most sinister group calls itself Column 88. It celebrates Hitler’s birthdays, holds para-military summer camps, invites overseas Nazis to its celebrations and repays them by visiting Nazi functions abroad.
Little is known of its leadership or structure but it is believed to recruit the most fanatical and ruthless members of other Nazi groups. Thought to have some arms, it is particularly keen in recruiting people of military background and once tried to form cells in Britain’s territorial army.
Another virulent group is the British Movement, the successor of the British National Socialist Movement which was active 20 years ago. Now as large as any of the factions of the fragmented National Front, it is extremely anti-Semitic, distributes most of the anti-Semitic hate propaganda in Britain, including copies of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and is believed to be partly financed by an Arab state, probably Libya.
The National Front, which fielded more than 300 candidates in the last general election, broke up because of personal squabbles. The various break-away groups are now trying to united, together with the British Movement, which scorns the National Front’s attempts to deny that it was anti-Semitic.