Rechtsextremistische Fahnen auf einer Demonstration zur Illustration des Arbeitsfeldes „Rechtsextremismus“

Right-wing extremist music

While right-wing extremist music is not as important to the right-wing extremist scene as it was back in the 1990s and 2000s, when right-wing extremism in Germany was considerably influenced by the subcultural skinhead movement, it still has an important function. Visiting relevant music events is often an introduction to the scene. Initial contacts are made, existing connections maintained and a feeling of solidarity is built up. Concerts are often planned in a conspiratorial way. Most concerts are advertised only via the scene’s internal communication channels. Venues are determined at very short notice in some cases to avoid or impede police controls.

Musikveranstaltung in HildburghausenZoomMusic event in Hildburghausen

This year saw the biggest right-wing extremist music event in recent years in Hildburghausen (Thuringia) on 7 May 2016. The event’s motto translates as “Rock for identity – music and speeches against the abolition of Germany”. Approximately 3,500 visitors had travelled to the venue from within Germany and neighbouring European countries.

Since 2012, we had seen an increase in right-wing extremist music events, which continued in 2015. With a total of 199 performances of right-wing extremist music groups and solo artists at live concerts, song recital evenings and other music events in 2015, they had reached their largest number since 2012. While the significant growth in the number of performances by right-wing extremist singers at more than just one music event resulted in that increase, the number of live concerts and song recital evenings remained relatively constant.

Compared to last year, the number of concerts slightly grew to 63, which was the first increase in four years. Seven events alone saw the band “Kategorie C” perform, which is especially popular with hooligans, but also with the right-wing extremist scene. Smaller events with less than 200 people attending on average have been a trend for 15 years. The major concert of 2015 took place in Neuensalz-Zobes (Saxony) on 5 September. The open air event was attended by approximately 640 people. This size, however, was a definite exception in 2015. None of the other concerts saw more than 300 people attending.

The number of 54 song recital evenings in 2015 was almost identical in a year-on-year comparison. Such events have a particularly emotional effect on the audience as the political messages conveyed via the lyrics and moderation in between songs have more impact. And as the organisation of a song recital evening requires a relatively low effort compared to other types of events, their number is quite large.

Demonstrations and public appearances of speakers accompanied by right-wing extremist singers performing music are comprised under the category “other music events”. This category saw the strongest increase with 82 appearances. Compared to 2014, this corresponds to an increase of almost 80 %. 33 of those events were organised by right-wing extremist parties. In most of the cases these events were singer-songwriter performances during party indoor events, but also open-air events with a long-standing tradition such as the “Rock for the freedom of opinion” festival in Hildburghausen (Thuringia) on 23 May 2015, which was attended by approx. 1,500 people or the “Eichsfeldtag” of the NPD’s Eichsfeld section in Leinefelde (Thuringia) on 13 June 2015, which up to 450 people attended.

The fact that right-wing extremist music events have seen an increase for four years proves that music with right-wing extremist lyrics continues to be relevant for various right-wing extremist spectrums. Music, especially during live concerts, is a means of self-portrayal, internal scene communication of values and concepts of an enemy, and also an expression of solidarity within the subculture. Performances of right-wing extremist singers serve to communicate explicit political messages and to recruit prospects for both the neo-Nazi scene and right-wing extremist parties, with the small parties “Der III. Weg” and “DIE RECHTE”, which are subject to neo-Nazi influence, representing an overlap of the two.

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Anti-terrorist Hotline: +49(0)221/ 792-6000

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Publications

Antisemitism in right-wing extremism

Antisemitism in right-wing extremism

DOI: July 2020
Further information Download PDF File
2019 Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution (Facts and Trends)

2019 Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution (Facts and Trends)

DOI: July 2020
Further information Download PDF File
2018 Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution (Facts and Trends)

2018 Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution (Facts and Trends)

DOI: June 2019
Further information Download PDF File
Cyber attacks controlled by intelligence services

Cyber attacks controlled by intelligence services

DOI: May 2018
Further information Download PDF File
Antisemitism in Islamist extremism

Antisemitism in Islamist extremism

DOI: March 2019
Further information Download PDF File