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Neo-nazis Resort to Violence Against Two New Films

May 29, 1984
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Neo-Nazis have resorted to violence against two new films, currently being shown in West Germany and in Austria, which probe the reasons why young people are attracted to extremist rightwing groups that ape the ways of Hitlerites.

Police are protecting a theater in Frankfurt which was the target of a bomb attack after announcing that it would show “Die Erben” (The Inheritors), an Austrian film directed by Walter Bannert. There have been threatening telephone calls to other theaters screening “Die Erben” and “Morgen in Alabama” (Tomorrow in Alabama), a film by Norbert Kueckelmann on the same theme.

The theme is that the upsurge of neo-Nazism in the West German Federal Republic and in Austria, is inspired less by the old Nazi ideology than by the socio-economic background of youths who are susceptible to extremist propaganda. The economic depression and diminishing prospects of employment are presented as the strongest factors.

In Die Erben,” a 16-year-old, Thomas, frustrated at home and in school, is drawn into a neo-Nazi organization. The film shows that youths like Thomas find satisfaction and pleasure in the para-military and anti-social activities of the group.

“Morgen in Alabama” takes cognizance of the fact that neo-Nazism is not confined to the lands that were once part of the Third Reich. The film, made in Austria, visits the American scene. A man fires a shot during an election rally in Alabama. It is determined later that his act was inspired by neo-Nazis. The film noted that something like this “happened yesterday in Paris and in Bologna, happens today in Rome, and can happen tomorrow in Alabama.”

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