In Hitler's Shadow: An Israeli's Amazing Journey inside Germany's Neo-Nazi Movement

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In September 1992 Yaron Svoray, an Israeli journalist, was traveling in Germany when he met a young man, a skinhead, who, taking Svoray to be a sympathetic American and not realizing he was Jewish, introduced him to the semisecret world of German neo-Nazism. In a short time, Svoray contacted the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and, with the center's backing, returned to Germany under the name of "Ron Furey," the American representative of a fictitious right-wing organization. So began a remarkable and ...
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Overview

In September 1992 Yaron Svoray, an Israeli journalist, was traveling in Germany when he met a young man, a skinhead, who, taking Svoray to be a sympathetic American and not realizing he was Jewish, introduced him to the semisecret world of German neo-Nazism. In a short time, Svoray contacted the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and, with the center's backing, returned to Germany under the name of "Ron Furey," the American representative of a fictitious right-wing organization. So began a remarkable and shocking series of encounters between Svoray and members of Germany's neo-Nazi underground. Putting himself at great personal risk and constantly fearing that his identity would be discovered, Svoray met - and documented with hidden cameras and recording devices - a terrifying array of believers both young and old whose reach, he was shocked to find out, extends throughout Germany and beyond. He came across brutal young skinheads; paramilitary training camps that have sent neo-Nazi fighters to support Croatian soldiers in the former Yugoslavia; a network of committed neo-Nazis who are using their money and connections to establish political organizations; and politicians of the far right who cloak their connections to the movement in nationalist rhetoric. In Hitler's Shadow is a sobering report on the real threat that is posed by Germany's neo-Nazi movement, and a startling portrayal of the dangerous personalities behind it, told by a man of immense courage who has penetrated its heart of darkness.

Since Germany's re-unification, disturbing headlines have poured out of the unstable country: Violent attacks by neo-Nazi skinheads against foreigners and the rise of militant far-right nationalism have caught the attention of the world. Now an Israeli journalist who infiltrated the movement gives an extraordinary personal report. HBO tie-in (early 1995).

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Israeli journalist and ex-detective Svoray pulled off a stunning investigative coup by penetrating Germany's neo-Nazi movement in 1992-93, and this extraordinary report, coauthored by Taylor (Sins of the Father), makes urgent reading. Posing first as an Austrian journalist, and later as a neo-Nazi sympathizer promising to funnel U.S. funds to German ultra-rightists, Svoray met several of Germany's leading neo-Nazis and toured a clandestine skinhead training camp. With assistance from the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, he exposed close links among various German neo-Nazi groups, as well as their ties to U.S. and European neo-fascists. Svoray documented many of his encounters using hidden cameras and microphones, and this chilling expos is the basis for an HBO feature to air in 1995. His mission, unveiled to news media in mid-1993, forced the German government to acknowledge the threat posed by anti-Semitic, racist, hate-mongering neo-Nazi groups. Author tour. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Journalist Svoray, who served in the Israeli Army and on the Tel Aviv detective force, describes himself as "a large man with a natural sense of self-confidence, a gift for talk, and a curiosity that sometimes outweighed prudence." Still, it must have take extraordinary courage for Svoray, the son of Jews who had fled Hitler's Europe, to infiltrate Germany's neo-Nazi movement and detail their political intentions. Svoray stumbled upon his initial neo-Nazi contact by accident. Backed by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, he posed as a right-wing Australian journalist living in the United States who had the contacts to help fund the movement. Using the third person, he here recounts his experiences in colorful, you-are-there prose that brings home just how sleazy as well as frightening these fanatics are. Some readers might initially find the cloak-and-dagger tone a little offputting, but Svoray ultimately delivers a solid, highly readable account of an organized group that Germany has been trying to write off as a few malcontents.-Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"
Aaron Cohen
Israeli Svoray's account of his encounters with neo-Nazis in today's Germany is one of the most astonishing, frightening stories yet about contemporary hate groups. While searching for diamonds in Europe, Svoray found a few skinheads and organized neo-Nazis who did not know or learn his nationality. Later he obtained U.S. Jewish organizational funding to return to Germany to investigate further. Gradually, as he convinced them he was an American sympathizer, Svoray got further inside those groups. He witnessed their violence (too closely in one case), and he observed how some new fascists are starting to pass as respectable politicians. Surprisingly, one of their most virulent leaders became very affectionate toward him. Much of this book is cloak-and-dagger intrigue and succeeds on that level. Its scariest aspect is that it shows that seemingly quiet citizens and official policies do not contradict the thugs' rhetoric; the line between Germany's tightening of refugee asylum provisions and skinhead attacks on immigrants is not clear, Svoray says. Did he need to risk his life to learn that?
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385472845
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/1/1994
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 275

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