Eerie Neo-Nazi flash mobs in Germany have sparked international interest lately as the anonymous group’s demonstrations go viral and echo the terrifying fascist torch rallies of the 1930s.
A May 1 demonstration in Bauzen, Germany saw hundreds of figures clad in black clothing and creepy white masks converge suddenly in a street carrying torches and signs with extremist slogans, only to break up and disappear before law enforcement authorities could arrive, reports German newspaper Die Zeit. According to the New York Daily News, the flash mobs are of particular interest to German history buffs, who compare the eerie demonstrations to the days of the Third Reich during which the Nazi SA would march with torches in the night, saluting Hitler.
The group calls themselves ‘Die Unsterblichen,’ German for ‘The Immortals,’ and have been organizing these flash mobs in German cities over the past several months. Videos of the group’s protests have gone viral on YouTube, documenting the creepy spontaneous protests, reports CNN. The videos call on tens of thousands of viewers to “make your short life immortal, so that those to come don’t forget that you were German.”
The Neo-Nazi group shows cunning and sophistication in their organization, putting together these flash mobs via text message so that no one (including authorities) know when or where they are liable to turn up. The group has also adopted a dated slogan, “Volkstod,” for their signs, a term used by Neo-Nazis to describe the perceived degradation of the German people under a Democratic system. Law enforcement officials have raided the homes of dozens of Neo-Nazis in an effort to find some kind of central leadership, though haven’t come up with anything yet, prompting some to wonder whether there is any sort of organized chain-of-command.
Dr. Hajo Funke, a professor at the Free University of Berlin, believes that the group’s tactics are meant to attract youth to their cause.
“It’s a very simple idea,” he told CNN. “Put masks on your faces and represent the danger to the people.”
Here are some photos of the Neo-Nazi flash mobs, followed by a video report on the group’s methods.