What is a Nordic, Aryan or Slav anyway?
The most outstanding thing to observe here is of course to assume that decidedly irrational racism can provide an objective, reliable and valid consistency that one would expect from a scientific concept. It is somehow a lot like accusing racists of being 'not racist enough'?
Racism always has to bend observable reality, scientific truth and clear thinking in favour of a few a prioris that make up the core of this right-wing ideology.
Among those, we always find a foundational myth, us-vs-them, propagation of a right(-wing) way of life, religious loading, patriotism, the right-winger as the persecuting victim, neo-nazis as a 'vanguard' (of white, male, working-class "revolutionaries"'), post-war adapted National-Socialism, glorified militarism, justfied inequality hand in hand with anticommunism, and finally: pure hate, embodied in biologism, racialism and antisemitism.
Racialism and racism are still the second biggest common denominator for these groups. Within that worldview a British nazi usually sees his own ingroup as superior to Slavs. And 'of course' quite a few German neo-nazis still view any 'Slav' as inherently inferior. But that does not matter as much the overarching 'hierarchy of races' still puts 'Slavs' as 'white' and thus ahead of 'Asians', 'Hamites' and 'Semites'. And looking at population numbers one sees that 'Whites' – even including Slavs – are a bit outnumbered by 'others'.
The much bigger prime common denominator is of course the antisemitism. This one is not only directed at 'Jews'. In fact it doesn't need any 'Jews' to work. This one is based on denying structural foundations of analysis and was for more than 100 years now aptly described as the "anticapitalism of the idiots". But of course, if any 'real' Jews come into play, than it is 'even much worse'. Obviously, most Slavs are not 'real Jews', although they still can be the target of neo-nazi, conspiratorial, antisemitic 'thinking'.
As such, a large portion of modern neo-nazis focus on 'whiteness' and in a European context also just regurgitate old Hitler propaganda. That simultaneously viewed 'Slavs' as 'unworthy subhumans' but also emphasised that the war was 'saving Europe from Judeo-Bolshevism'. (Also reflecting one early debate between for example few Wehrmacht strategists, wanting to recruit most conquered people, and the more Himmler-like position of just enslaving and killing all 'under humans' found there.)
From that anti-semitism it almost follows that anti-americanism might be theoretically a better fit than European russophobia? Empirically it is.
(Heiko Beyer & Ulf Liebe: "The Elective Affinities of Anti-Semitic and Anti-American Resentments in Germany", Social Science Quarterly, Volume 99, Number 1, March 2018.)
Another angle is found in a subgroup of neo-nazis and 'new right' writers who try to hold on to the discredited old ideas – by supposedly updating their racism: with seemingly modern genetics, allowing for more 'fluidity' and a more mixed heritage in the racial classification of people. This 'New Racial Classification' accepts some modern biological findings in genetics but at the same emphasises
In the new racial classification the phenotype is more important than genetic studies.
–– Evropa Soberana: "The New Racial Classification" (Online, Not Linked On Purpose)
Another example is the most recent version found on the German 'racist Wikipedia', which reveals that while 'Poles occupy German lands' they in fact are Germans, kind of anyway. Don't ask:
The Poles or also Polacks (Polish Polacy, Swedish Polacker) are a people in Central and Eastern Europe and consist of descendants of the Polanen. They are divided into the northern Poland with the Masiwiern, Kujawen, Kurpen and Podlasiern and the southern Poland with the Krakowiaken, Podhalen and Goralen.
Two completely different tribes are called "Polans". The eastern "Poljans" lived around the area of today's Kiev and later became Poles. Part of it was absorbed into other tribes during the Kiev Rus's state formation. The so-called western "Polans" consist of the descendants of a number of East Germanic tribes. The Poles are therefore partly to be regarded as a people of East Germanic origin with Glagolitic (Slavic) foreign languages imposed on them.
The Poles have their core area in the upper and middle Vistula region. From the annexation of German Reich territory to the Oder-Neisse line with cruel German persecution and rabid expulsion of the ancestral German population, they also inhabit East Germany (→ Polish Imperialism). Rassisch, the Polish Volkstum is determined particularly strongly by the East Baltic race; in addition, a strong Nordic impact comes in the Northwest and the Weichsel upward. The Eastern admixture is not insignificant; furthermore impacts of Dinaric and Westic race.
–– An 'alternative Wikipedia', (online, not linked on purpose, own translation)
Which then allows for the desired compatibility between 'Germanic' and 'Slavic' nazis. A signifying strategy of these 'rights': admitting 'some nazi ideas were probably not entirely correct'…
The slow starting for this change can be dated in Germany to the early nineteenseventies. (Cf also Heinz-Werner Höffken & Martin Sattler: "Rechtsextremismus in der Bundesrepublik. Die "Alte", die "Neue" Rechte und der Neonazismus", Springer: Wiesbaden, 1980.) Curiously, this shows within Germany a quite distinct East/West divide:
a grave threat to the consolidation of liberal democracy in the East. The cleavage between pro-Western and anti-Western orientation and forces which can be observed in all of Eastern Europe after 1989 is reproduced within Germany and reinforces an East–West divide. In the West, radical right-wing voters have resentments against the Easterners, in the East it is the other way round. Thus — and this, too, is new about the radical right in Germany — in the name of the people, the radical right carries on the division of the people.
–– Michael Minkenberg: "The Renewal of the Radical Right: Between Modernity and Anti-modernity", Government and Opposition, Volume 35, Issue 2 April 2000 , pp. 170-188.
Race, racism and racialism
With ‘racialism’ taken to mean an ideology of race, these views are, of course, at the heart of the ideologies of skinhead. Yet it is no longer in the strict, classical Nazi racial tradition of a hierarchy of races: Aryan, Slav, Semitic and Hamitic (African). The Aryan, Semitic and Hamitic elements do, of course, remain. Indeed, the antisemitism is stronger than ever before. Racist skinhead attitudes towards the Holocaust range all the way from outright denial, to a minimization of numbers, to wholehearted approval, as in the lyrics of bands such as No Remorse (‘Jew-boys need cyclone [sic] B; queer-boys need cyclone B, nigger-boys need cyclone B’) or Warhammer (‘Die Jew, Die’).
Twentieth-century myths about Jewish control of both Communism and international finance have now mutated into the idea of ZOG (Zionist Organized (or Occupied) Government). This powerful, paranoid conspiracy theory, held in common by much of the racist right, perceives Jewish financiers as being at the helm of all the major governments and corporations on the planet, with a particular dominance over the media.
In contrast, the Nazi prejudice and discrimination against Slav Untermenschen has been largely abandoned. There are several reasons for this. First, the presence of a strong second-, third- and fourth-generation Slav immigrant population in big American cities, like Chicago, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Portland, where skinhead gangs initially emerged in the 1980s. There is also the powerful influence that American white supremacist ideas have had on the racist right worldwide, encapsulated in David Lane's famous ‘Fourteen Words’, originally derived from Hitler's Mein Kampf: ‘We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children.’ This has focused the racist imagination almost exclusively on white (non-Semitic) racial purity. Third, because the racist skinhead culture has taken root in Slav countries—such as Poland, Belarus, the Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria, the Czech and Slovak republics, Serbia, Slovenia and Croatia—the European racist skinhead scene is now numerically as much eastern as western.
Since its inception in 1989, Blood & Honour magazine has always treated Slavs as full members of the Aryan race. It seems inexplicable that, in 2003, nearly twenty-five years later, Combat 18 should have seen fit to publish a long article on its website entitled ‘The Slav Debate (That Shouldn’t Be)’, because there was no evidence from other sources at the time of any such ‘debate’ within the racist skinhead scene in the United States, Britain or Europe.
In the face of the perceived threats of the racial ‘mongrelization’ and ‘Islamization’ of Europe, and even lingering fears of a return to Communism, another slogan has arisen in Europe (including Britain), ‘No more brothers’ wars', evoking the core idea of a pan-European Aryan race.
This notion of Europe as an Aryan redoubt was regularly celebrated at the Sons of Europe white power gig in Hungary, held yearly in either July or August and organized by German and Hungarian Hammerskins.
Blood & Honour likewise took up the cause of an Aryan Europe in 1999. In particular, it began to publicize the role played in the fight against ‘Judaeo-Bolshevism’ by the Waffen-SS, which comprised ‘national’ divisions from France, Belgium (Flanders and Wallonia), the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and so on, as well as German and other international divisions: ‘Many great men [of the Waffen-SS] died fighting to stop the communist tide … We should not forget this and we should not allow self-hating leftists denigrate the memory of a pan-European force which contained volunteers from all nations.’
Thereafter, the magazine published articles on the various national divisions of the Waffen-SS, including one on the rather small British contingent, the POWs of British Free Corps.
Other skinzines, websites and stalls at white power gigs are awash with Waffen-SS insignia and, since the 1980s, there have been international gatherings of racist skinheads at the war cemetery in Diksmuide, Belgium to commemorate the dead of the Waffen-SS.
Hundreds of skinheads from all over Europe attend another annual event, the ‘Day of Honour’, commemorating the Waffen-SS defence of a Russian-besieged Budapest from 29 December 1944 to 13 February 1945
Rudolf Hess, who was, for the neo-Nazis, ‘martyred’ by the Allies at the end of the Second World War, also plays a key role in the myth of Europe as an Aryan continent, in opposition to the hated European Union. Marches to commemorate Rudolf Hess's death attended by skinheads of different nationalities are frequent in both Germany and Scandinavia and he is, appropriately enough, seen as the ‘patron saint’ of British-German Aryan ‘friendship’ because he made a solo flight to Britain in May 1941 (allegedly to negotiate peace).
Transnational cooperation between racist skinheads has not, however, always been easy. In the early to mid-1990s, echoes of ethnic strife were to be found in Blood & Honour magazine after the civil wars broke out in the former Yugoslavia.
For example, ‘Long live Croatia’, Blood & Honour, no. 13, April 1992, 9; ‘I think all Serbs should be exterminated, don’t you?’, Blood & Honour, no. 14, August 1992, 14; and article on the need for an end to Ustašha (Croat) and Chetnik (Serb) differences, Blood & Honour, no. 15, 1999, 11. In the May 2009 issue, the themes of Islamophobia and European Aryan unity come together: ‘meanwhile in the surrounding area Muslim terrorists continued planning our nations [sic] death and destruction unhindered’ (‘Live assaults’, Blood & Honour, no. 42, May 2009, 22). The message is reinforced in the following issue in ‘Nationalism today’, Blood & Honour, no. 43, April 2010, 5.
Despite these fairly localized nationalist tensions and the fact that racist skinheads still talk about being ‘nationalists’, their primary and overriding concern is race, that is, the survival of a race that, according to their calculations, has been reduced to only 9 per cent of the world’s population. Another Volksfront motto summed up this point of view: ‘Race Over All’.
As one would expect, social Darwinism goes hand in hand with racism. ‘No mercy for the weak’ is the attitude of many skinheads, not only in relation to disabled people and defenceless enemies: according to Katherine Blee, it is also their attitude towards fellow-skinheads during the ‘moshing’ or violent slam dancing at gigs in the United States.
‘Only the strong survive’ is another leitmotif of skinzines and white power songs. There are also frequent ‘Nietschean’ allusions in the lyrics of white power bands, and these chime in with an often naked hostility to Christianity. The references are rendered most explicitly in the actual names of a number of white power bands. Many such bands have also played a version of the Skrewdriver song ‘Triumph of the Will’, including, for example, Vinland Warriors (Canada), Das Reich (USA) and Buldok (Czech Republic).
Generally speaking, skinzines and racist skinhead websites are not given to discussing complex, sophisticated political ideas. That said, Resistance, the publication founded by George Burdi (aka Hawthorne), has over the years contained more considered essays on the ideology and tactics of racialists.
Only very occasionally do these major sources of inspiration for racist skinheads seek to procure wisdom taken from an external fount. One such occasion was when Blood & Honour published in its entirety an English translation of ‘Pourquoi sommes nous des soldats politiques?’ (Why are we political soldiers?) by Rodolphe Lussac, a dissident from the French right-wing intellectual tendency Nouvelle Droite.
Unfortunately, there is no way of gauging the impact on the readers of the magazine of this very sophisticated analysis of the dilemmas facing radical right-wing political militants in revolt against the modern, global order because the next issue does not contain any feedback. One suspects that, with its raft of literary allusions to everyone from Augustus to Max Weber, it might well have gone over the heads of most of them.
–– John Pollard: "Skinhead culture: the ideologies, mythologies, religions and conspiracy theories of racist skinheads", Patterns of Prejudice
Volume 50, 2016 - Issue 4-5: The Ideologues and Ideologies of the Radical Right.
Coming back to the 'when did this change'? There are two positions, or poles, in this non-monolithic spectrum
It has never changed.
1a. 'Slavs' are still viewed as 'inferior' and 'enemy'
1b. 'Slavs' are still 'whites' and as such allies against the others
It is under ongoing debate
2a. networking neo-nazis seek international allies and welcome everyone who shares the ideology (but want to keep 'identity' (racial, geo-political) and that means everyone 'in their place' (again: socially , economically, geographically)
2b. old nazis and traditional rightwing racists oppose the very thought and say anathema
This may be illustrated in a nutshell: by Polish nazis (NOP, Polish Rebirth) being supported primarily by German 'autonomous nationalists' who have heated arguments among themselves about how reasonable that might be:
However, the contacts between the German and Polish scenes are not uncontroversial, as an interview between the Free Network Altenburg and Wojciech Trojanowski, an activist of the NOP from Opole, shows. When asked how the Polish right-wing scene deals with German territorial claims east of the Oder-Neisse border Trojanowski replies: "I didn't mean to be mischievous, but if someone continues to see my people as anti-German 'Polacks' or 'Land Robbers' then he should make his demands on the states that decided at the Potsdam conference.
The reactions of the German comrades didn't take long. [Commented on a nationalist internet platform:] The first commentator immediately reflected a widespread attitude:
"Fortunately, the interview once again confirmed my view. Any discussion with a Pole is a waste of time. To say it with General von Seeckt: 'Poland's existence is unbearable, incompatible with the living conditions of Germany. It must disappear and will disappear through its own inner weakness and through Russia - with our help.'"
–– Uwe Rada: "Nationalbewusst und reaktionär. Polnische Rechtsextremisten in Deutschland", in: Kemal Bozay & Dierk Borstel (Eds): "Ungleichwertigkeitsideologien in der Einwanderungsgesellschaft", Edition Centaurus – Jugend, Migration und Diversity, Springer: Wiesbaden, 2017.