As shown in the CNN video above, hundreds of Neo-Nazis wearing black robes and white masks take to the streets at night spreading their hateful rhetoric. They organize themselves entirely online and via text message, which reminds me of that famed New Yorker cartoon where one dog says to another, “Online, no one knows you’re a dog,” but in this case it’s with a perverse twist: “Online, no one knows you’re a Neo-Nazi.” Actually, they do. Because the Internet provides false anonymity, they feel emboldened to spew their hatred as a group. And offline, of course, they feel the need to disguise themselves. (Honestly, to me, they come across as scarier versions of the Phantom of the Opera.)
“It is a frightening scene that resembles the Nazi torch marches of the 1930s,” reports CNN’s International correspondent Isha Sesay. German officials say this group, which goes by the self-appointed moniker, The Immortals, is a serious and growing concern.
Professor Hajo Funke of the Free University of Berlin, who appears on the CNN clip above, The Immortals have already attacked people and institutions and are a group “not without violence.”
And of course, they are using modern technology to its full advantage by recording video of their marches and then uploading them to YouTube. Before they do that, though, they head to the editing room and manipulate their footage to full effect and add haunting music to the audio track.
I don’t want to link to it (I watched 10 seconds of it and almost vomited on my keyboard) but if you want to find it, type “The Immortals. Bautzen, Germany, May 2011” into YouTube’s search bar. Forewarned though, you’ll want to have a barf bag at the ready.