Megan Harlan
February 02, 1996 AT 05:00 AM EST

Fuhrer-ex: Memoirs of a Former Neo-nazi

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Ingo Hasselbach, Tom Reiss
genre
Politics and Current Events, Memoir

We gave it an A-

When Ingo Hasselbach warns that ”a sewer of Third Reich wastewater flows beneath the clean streets of modern Germany,” he should know; this is a scary account of his sewer days in Fuhrer-Ex: Memoirs of a Former Neo-Nazi. Dubbed the ”Fuhrer of the East” (thanks, in part, to his ”very tall and blond” looks), Hasselbach founded the former East Germany’s first neo-Nazi party. With incisive candor, the 28-year-old traces how his Communist-hating teenage punk years landed him in jail, where inmates wore swastika armbands made of toilet paper and where a long-imprisoned gestapo chief introduced him to militant fascism. On his release, Hasselbach became a media-savvy neo-Nazi spokesman while running terrorist paramilitary camps. Since renouncing neo-Nazism — even attending a screening of Schindler’s List — he has lived in hiding from his former comrades. Packing his book with bizarre details (who’d guess that the ”world’s greatest anti-Semite,” Austrian neo-Nazi leader Gottfried Kussel, loves Monty Python’s The Life of Brian?), Hasselbach offers a riveting, seamlessly written memoir of his hate — and redemption.

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