right - political history and general facts
The right-wing opposition in Parliament (Fremskrittspartiet/Progress party) has gained politically from disseminating propaganda for an even stricter asylum policy. Combined with their hostile attitude toward immigrants in general, this position has given them a rise in the polls.
Unemployment among immigrants has remained high, while it decreased
in the population as a whole.
THE EXTREME RIGHT: HISTORY AND
From 1987 on, racist groups and parties were founded around the country,
and from 1993, militant youth groups started to pop up. These groups
flourished especially in 1994 and 1995. Nevertheless, on the whole,
the number of active neo-Nazis and organised racists is still small.
Some figures will illustrate this: only around 12,000 persons are willing
to vote for the two extreme racist parties (White electoral alliance
and the Fatherlands party). And only around 1,000 persons are willing
to run as their candidates for elections. None of these two parties
made any headway in the September 1997 general elections. The Fatherlands
party got 0,2% of the vote while the White electoral alliance only managed
to present candidates in three counties. They did not gain more than
0,1% of the vote in any of these places, as all of the racist votes
were won by the populist Progress party.
After having some growth in 1995 and 1995, the Nazi movement has been
diminishing these last two years. Several activists have been arrested
and convicted, weapons has been captured by the police and local communities,
schools, and local police seem to have taken the problem of their existence
seriously. Furthermore, public exposure of their activities, internal
quarrels and untalented leaders have helped facilitate this decline
in the movement. For the extreme right, the year started disastrously
as the police arrested 9 young Nazis, for plotting against the government
and for planning to free the convicted Nazi/Satanist murderer and church
arsonist, Varg Kristian Vikernes from prison, where he is serving a
21 year-long term. Among the arrested was the leader of the Einsatz
group, Tom Kimmo Eiternes, who had escaped from prison where he was
serving a sentence for armed robbery and knife-stabbing.
The neo-Nazi’s first public appearance this year was 35 individuals demonstrating outside the South-African embassy in Oslo - for “white justice in South-Africa”. One month later, a number of them marched through the small town of Hoenefoss on the anniversary of the Kristallnacht, shouting “Sieg heil” and “Norway for Norwegians”. Afterwards 11 persons were arrested for the possession of offensive weapons (mostly baseball bats). The major success for the nazis came on New Year’s eve 1997, where, under full police protection, they arranged a White power gig in Nittedal, just outside Oslo. It caused public outrage when it was revealed that the police established road blocks in co-operation with the violent Nazi group Viking.
This party made its headway in the 1997 general election, getting 15,3% of the votes mainly because the party leader, Carl I. Hagen and the MPs Oeystein Hedstroem and Vidar Kleppe played the immigration card during the election campaign. They also launched a campaign of hatred against the Saami (Lapp) minority. One of their MPs, Fridtjof Frank Gundersen, described his journey to the north of Norway as “a trip down to Hell”!
Pensjonistpartiet (The pensioner’s party)
This party consists primarily of elderly men. They are strongly opposed
to immigration, and nationalism pervades the entire party program. In
the parliamentary elections of 1993, the party only got 11,546 votes,
0.5% of the electorate. In the local elections two years later, it did
not win more than 5,004 votes. In 1997, the number of votes was even
lower (3,775 votes and 0.15%). In 1995, 4 of the party’s 1993 parliamentary
candidates were arrested after Nazi riots in Oslo. Among the arrested
were their youth leader and party secretary, Arnljot Moseng, as well
as the youth organisation treasurer, Andreas Wang. Moseng is also, secretly,
operating a Website named Norges nasjonalistiske bevegelse (Norwegian
nationalist movement). This site is dedicated to boasting about attacks
on anti-racists and young left-wingers, and to Holocaust denial. Through
this “movement”, Moseng has contacts with the British group, International
This party is an amalgamation of two fringe groups, Stopp innvandringen
and Hjelp de fremmedkulturelle hjem ellers mister vi landet värt.
(Stop immigration and Help the remote culturals [meaning non-Europeans]
back home or we will lose our country). The first is led by Jack Erik
Kjuus and the latter by convicted treator and SS-veteran, Arne Borgir
This party has never participated in any elections. Its membership is suggestively low, though it is still the most consistent nationalistic party in Norway. Its ideas about how to organise Norwegian society are, in many ways, similar to those of Benito Mussolini or the Norwegian war-time pro-Nazi leader, Vidkun Quisling. The party claims it is not national-socialist, but supports a third way between capitalism and socialism. The party mainly recruits its members among former SS soldiers and members of the war-time Quisling party.
Westland, the party leader is a captain in the Norwegian army. Formerly
in charge of the Oslo branch of the Norwegian officers’ union, he was
expelled in 1996. Westland started his political career as a board member
in the now almost dormant Folkebevegelsen mot innvandring (The popular
movement against immigration).
These groups include all racist, fascist and extreme-right movements which share one thing in common: they do not, as organisations, participate in elections. Many of their members are active in different extreme-right groups and parties. The contradictory alliances between persons and groups are numerous, overlapping and changing all the time. Yet, essentially, we can divide these groups into two different types: militant youth groups and more legal groups with mainly elderly members. Nevertheless, it is also true that some cadres are using their work in one group or party as a front for the illegal activities on the agenda of other more radical groups.
This organisation tries to present itself as a legal think-tank concerned
with problems linked to immigration. In fact many of its members have
a past in the notoriously racist organisation Folkebevegelsen mot innvandring
When founded in 1987 this was the first racist organisation with some public appeal. At its peak it had several hundred members. This however did not last long. The leader, Arne Myrdal, was arrested and later convicted for planning to bomb a refugee camp at Tromoeya in the south of Norway. Myrdal was subsequently expelled from the organisation and its public support vanished. Almost every member of any Norwegian racist and fascist group started their “career” in this group which, today, is almost practically non-existent. The group manages to arrange an annual convention designed to re-elect its leaders, however. This excepted, the only visible sign of activity can be found in one local branch on the west coast of Norway. As in Den Norske Forening, many members of the Folkebevegelsen mot innvandring are members of or have connections with other parties and organisations. For instance, the leader of the Fatherlands party, Harald Trefall, was present at the last convention in June 1996. Except from their annual meeting, there has been no signs of visible activity from this organisation in 1997.
This institute is not an authentic research institution. It is a revisionist
organisation for such wartime criminals as former members of the Quisling
party and the Waffen SS. Its main purpose is to cleanse their reputation
and defend their actions during World War II. The institute awards scholarships
to students who want to write about the Second World War.
This group is avowedly national-socialist. Portraits of Hitler and
swastikas in its publications, Gjallarhorn and their webpage, leave
no doubt as to where it stands. In all probability, its membership does
not exceed fifty persons. They are Holocaust deniers and publish lots
of well-known revisionist material. Some of the members are former war-time
criminals while others once belonged to the now defunct neo-Nazi party
of the ’70s, Norsk Front (Norwegian Front).
Forente nasjonalister (United nationalists)
The purpose of this movement is to affiliate all the different Norwegian groups with one organization and co-ordinate their work. It uses such well-known far-right symbols such as the Celtic cross and the SS totenkopf (skullhead) as logos. The organisation claims to be built on non-democratic principles. No one is actually elected but rather selected. Only one person in the leadership has complete control over the organisation. On one of its posters, the group threatens to use terrorism if it is not taken seriously. It has three leaders, one of whom is responsible for collecting intelligence on political opponents. After some of the leading members were arrested by Norwegian police intelligence in the spring of 1997, the activities seem to have ceased. Probably the group will end up as another name on the endless list of defunct paper organisations that have never succeeded to unite the Norwegian extreme right.
These are neo-Nazis, some of them skinheads, in the small Norwegian town of Toensberg, for some years now a stronghold for violent neo-Nazis. Toensberg is also one of the very few places in Norway where they managed to recruit new members during 1996. Two young members of this movement were arrested in autumn 1996 for a firebomb attack against a Kurd family. One of its spokesmen claimed that they are presently members of the local branch of Forente nasjonalister. In 1997 there has not been very much activity, as many of the members have been imprisoned for different acts of violence.
This violent group is based in Oslo. Its members are mainly middle-class
adolescents from “respectable” neighbourhoods. Members wear a uniform
with a brown shirt and black trousers. In spite of rapid growth in 1994
and 1995, the group was entirely inactive from the summer of 1996. Its
leader, Solheim, was sentenced to a three month suspended jail term
on two occasions for threatening people with a gun. Viking’s biggest
fiasco was when it tried to infiltrate the youth organisation of the
Progress party. The plan was publicly exposed, and, some time later,
the infiltrators were expelled from the party. The group’s members have
also participated in several attacks against anti-racist activists and
young immigrants. After great efforts from local police and social workers,
many young members, especially on the fringe of the group left the milieu.
This is a female neo-Nazi group with branches in Oslo, Hoenefoss and Drammen. It was founded to keep girls in the movement even after they had broken up with their boyfriends. Another such female group is Jenter for Norge, (Girls for Norway), in the southern town of Risoer, an organisation connected to the group Hvit revolusjon (see below). Other female groups to be mentioned are: Embla, at Romerike just outside of Oslo, Huldra in Trondheim (mid-Norway) and Gyda in the northern town of Bodø. None of these groups seems to have any mentionable activity today, and mainly exists only on paper.
(Short for Vern av rikets grenser/Protect the country’s borders. The
word “varg” also means wolf)
This group, from Romerike (east of Oslo) participated among others
in the Hess memorial march in Trollhättan (Sweden) in August 1996.
Its members are famous in their neighbourhood for their capacity for
drinking and their eagerness to fight. The group members participate
in hate-concerts, and on the Kristallnacht anniversary, a young anti-racist
was attacked by some of the members.
Riksfronten/Norwegian Blood & Honour
This neo-Nazi group in the southern town of Risoer has not been too active and its membership is low. Some of the group’s central members also belonged to Vern om Risoer (Protect Risoer). This group proved to be something of a flop, and even manages to evoke the ridicule from other neo-Nazis.
This group has been known under different names, and has been connected
to other groups such as the Oslo-based Viking group. They have recruited
members from 12 years of age. The group has been involved in several
serious violent incidents, and many of the members have been convicted.
Many of the members are former Satanists. Local social workers suggest
that the number of active members and sympathisers is 30 persons.
Folkets motstandsbeveglse (The
Peoples Resistance Movement)
Leader: Alfredo Olsen
This is perhaps the most bizarre of all the Norwegian extreme-right groups. It probably has less than ten members. The group is Catholic, fascist and extremely antisemitic. It has extensive contacts with Holocaust deniers all over the world. The leader, Alfredo Olsen, was convicted for receiving ten stolen assault rifles from the army. He produces lots of booklets in which he discusses various conspiracy theories, most of them including Jewish plots to take over the world. Olsen operates a website called Holy War, where he promotes his bizarre theories. His rabid antisemitism is admired by some of the hard-core former SS members.
This group is based in the small town of Hoenefoss, about 50 kilometres
west of Oslo. This is one of the few neo-Nazi groups which did not see
its membership decrease over the course of 1996. In January 1996, its
leader, Fred Ove Olsen, was expelled from the army because of his activities.
Einsatzgruppen (The Einsatz group)/Ku
The group members just got out of prison after serving sentences for armed robbery and knife-stabbing. While on the run, the leader, Tom Kimmo Eiternes, was arrested in a forest, dressed in a bullet-proof vest and camouflage gear. He was charged with plotting against the government and for planning to free the convicted murderer and church-arsonist, Varg Kristian Vikernes, from prison. Vikernes, a former Satanist, has now declared himself a national socialist and an Odinist. He has produced a book, Vargsmaal, (Wolfs’ speach), with extremely antisemitic contents, which is now sold by mail order. The publisher is a leading person in the Norwegian national-socialist movement, Jan Erik Kvamsdal, who is also planning to print a new Norwegian edition of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. (the last edition was published in 1944, during the German occupation). After being released from prison, Eiternes arranged a demonstration outside the South-African embassy in Oslo. The purpose was to show solidarity with the white population in South-Africa. The demonstration was a flop, as Eiternes, dressed in Ku Klux Klan garb, had to run from furious anti-racist counter-demonstrators. He finally had to call the police and ask them to drive him away.
Vern av Oestfold (Protect Oestfold)
Leader: Oeyvind Olsen
This is an extremely violent and vicious group whose members openly carry Nazi symbols such as the swastika and also wear uniforms. It is based in Moss, not far from the Swedish border. The members participated over the last two years in the Hess memorial marches in Denmark and Sweden. Leader Oeyvind Olsen was arrested in February 1995 after members shot at anti-racist demonstrators. Since then, the group has been almost dormant.
In Norway there is a quite large black metal/Satanist environment. Satanic rock in Norway has attracted the same groups as Nazi rock has in, for instance, Sweden and Germany.
Many of the bands have declared themselves nationalist or racist. For some of the bands it is unclear whether they are Satanists or Odinists. Many of their texts are anti-Christian or antisemitic. Norwegian Satanists have burned a number of churches and vandalised graveyards. One of the leading figures in Norwegian black metal is “Varg” Kristian Vikernes, also named “Count Grishnak”, now serving a 21-year prison term for murder and arson. Vikernes has become a cult figure for young black metal fans. After being imprisoned he declared himself a neo-Nazi and an Odinist. Norwegian Nazis have, with some success, tried to recruit people from the Satanists’ ranks. Satanist fanzines (like Genocide magazine) also print ads for Nazi magazines. Different Nazi publications have published interviews and articles from the Satanist scene. The Zorn 88 magazine Gjallarhorn, for instance, named Vikernes as “an apprentice without a master”.
Right extremists have also tried to establish the Norwegian Aasatrusociety,
a group of Odinists (a pagan cult referring to old Scandinavian mythology:
Aasatru). The leader of this organisation also leads The Patriot Unity
party of Norway. Another, Vilfred Hansen, has a past in the popular
movement against immigration and the third, Lillian Evant, is a member
of the editorial group of Fritt Forum .
MUSIC AND THE FAR-RIGHT MEDIA
The largest magazine is Fritt Forum (Free Forum), edited by Michael Knutsen. Although traditionally it is considered to be moderate nationalist, in the last couple of years it has begun opening its columns to militant Nazi commentaries, thereby consolidating the magazine’s position in the market as the leading extreme-right publication. From time to time, other openly neo-Nazi publications spring up.
Via the mail order company, Nord Effekter, the people behind Fritt
Forum advertise t-shirts, books, magazines and music . Some of
its selections are openly Nazi propaganda, such as the book Turner diaries
(by William Pierce, leader of the American National Alliance) , and
CDs from such groups as No Remorse (U.K) and Pluton Svea (Sweden). Consequently,
at the end of 1996, the police began to investigate Nord Effekter for
breaking the legislation against racism. The sate attorney sent the
case back to the police for further investigation: it was not yet concluded
by the end of 1997.
Until recently the Norwegian extreme right imported most of its music from abroad and its links with Swedish organisations have been especially strong. Members of Norwegian groups often go to the neighbouring countries to take part in concerts and demonstrations such as the Rudolf Hess memorial march in Koege in Denmark in August 1997 and different concerts in Sweden.
In the last couple of years the Norwegian extreme right has adopted
the strategy of using concerts and music to recruit young members. One
consequence of this strategy has been an increase in the number of Nazi
bands, as well as the efforts to organise mass concerts. Because of
public pressure, and anti-racist demonstrations, they have never been
able to organise big concerts. The only reason why they have managed
to arrange their concerts at all is that the police have protected the
events. Critics says that this might turn Norway into a free-zone for
European Nazis, and the government is now discussing how to deal with
Even though Norwegian neo-Nazis are few, divided and miserably organised, they have always had some potential for violence. Every time their dream of parliamentary success is shattered, they turn to physical force. Their history is full of killings, bombings, arson, assaults and shoot-outs. There is a possibility that out of electoral frustration, they will try to escalate their assaults against immigrants, anti-racists and leftists. For the time being, they seem content to occupy themselves with running hate pages on the Internet and ordering Nazi music and paraphernalia from mail-order companies.
After the elections in 1997, many of the older cadres, trying to keep up a respectable front, are frustrated. Some of the young Nazis have turned into a larger degree of militancy, without any success, as they, because of the great number of police informers within their ranks, always seem to get arrested before they manage to cause any damage.
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