By Adam Contini and Chris Salierno
Cold Spring Harbor High School, New York
Ever listen to controversial music? Explicit lyrics and unfavorable messages are found in bands such as Pearl Jam, Snoop Doggy Dog, Megadeth, and many others in the United States. However, there is another kind of music that takes the words controversial and explicit to a higher and more deadly level. This music is "hate music."
Hate music is the driving force behind the rise of neo-Nazism around the world, specifically in Germany. This music calls for the purification of the German people and a militaristic renaissance of the German nation. These skin heads use the fast-paced and hard-hitting pulse of heavy metal to inject a rush of hatred into the hearts of neo-Nazis and their sympathizers.
Student Art by AETI Staff Artist Joe Vaux
In 1992, five members of the antisemitic band Tonstorung, were sentenced to twenty-one months in jail for arousing racial brutality, but these sentences were later suspended. German authorities understand the connection between hate music and acts of violence, and in response to the problem, they developed a list of recordings that if found in a distributor's possession can be cause for prosecution. This list is known as "the index," and as of early 1993 there were more than 50 albums and singles on the list. That number has grown in the past year.
The police are constantly working to combat the problem by destroying as many hate records, tapes, and compact discs as possible. In February of 1993, the authorities led a raid that resulted in the capture of more than 30,000 musical recordings filled with messages of hate and bias.
Some of this hate music praises Adolf Hitler, the founder of the Nazi Party after World War I. Other songs pertain to the cleansing of German society. The band Radikahl (Radical/bald) released a song entitled "Swastika," and directly below is an excerpt:
Give Adolf Hitler, Give Adolf Hitler,
Give Adolf Hitler the Nobel Prize
Raise the red flag, Raise the red flag
raise the red flag with the swastika
Even as a boy it was clear to me
That this symbol was my guide
And today I feel just the same
There's only one and you're it.
For me what matters hasn't changed:
Race and Pride and swastika!
These lyrics, and others like it, are being sung by teenagers, praised by the twenty-somethings, and contemplated by six-year-olds. Much has been done to put an end to this hate music, but it will remain as long as the neo-Nazi movement, and religious and racial prejudice remain.
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Access the HGP's An End to Intolerance Web page.
Access the Holocaust/Genocide Project's Home Page.