Rightwing Training Ground: The „ Young National Democrats“ („Junge Nationaldemokraten“), ca. 1967–1994
Associated PhD project
The „Young National Democrats“ („Junge Nationaldemokraten“, JN) occupy a key position in the history of the ‚National Opposition‘ of the Federal Republic of Germany. The party youth of the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD), which was established in 1967, was the largest youth organization of the radical right in the Bonn Republic until the 1990s. It had a decisive influence on its mother party, held the nationalist camp together during the crisis of the 1970s and 80s and was the driving force behind the rejuvenation, radicalization and expansion of the ‚National Opposition‘ in the youth cultures as well as in the soccer fan scene. The „Young National Democrats“ functioned as an entry gate and flow heater for right-wing careers, from which the first post-war generation of right-wing terrorists emerged.
How the „Young National Democrats“ attained and exercised this key position in the right-wing milieu has not yet been researched historically. The project pursues this question by analyzing their structures, alliances, and activities from the perspective of social history. In addition to the formal organization, it also takes a praxeological look at the „social structure“ of the „Young National Democrats“. Using approaches from the cultural history of the political, I analyze their culture of organization, ideology production, and social structure, as well as how other groups perceived them, opened up spaces of possibility for them, or curtailed them. In doing that, I try to view the „Young National Democrats“ not only be as an organization of the extreme right, but also as part of a self-confident youth that demanded a greater say in the shaping of social and political orders.
Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam
Am Neuen Markt 1
E-Mail: laura.hassler [at] zzf-potsdam.de