Right-wing extremism in Germany has made headlines in recent weeks, with the first publication since World War II of Adolf Hitler’s autobiography, Mein Kampf, and the anti-immigrant protests that have peppered the country since a group of immigrants attacked women in Cologne. More broadly, the past decade has witnessed a steady rise of far right politics and social movements across Europe — from the rise of the Golden Dawn party in Greece to the 2011 mass shootings in Norway.
My guest today, Cynthia Miller Idriss, talks about her forthcoming book, “The Extreme goes Mainstream?: the Commercialization of Far Right Youth Subculture in Germany,” which will be published later this year by Princeton University Press. Over the past several years, Dr. Miller Idriss has collected thousands of images from the far right youth subculture and conducted interviews in schools where extremism thrives. She argues “that far from being mere ‘subcultural style,’ commercialized extremist products can be a gateway to radicalization and violence by both helping to strengthen racist and nationalist identification and by acting as conduits of resistance to mainstream society.”