A wave of hatred

the broader picture
Click to follow
The Independent Culture
THIS PICTURE was not taken in Thirties Germany. In fact, these formidable young women were photographed last year in Hayden Lake, Idaho, at the headquarters of the White supremacy group Aryan Nations while its Annual World Congress was going on. During a break in the festivities (rhetoric from the founder, Richard G Butler, barbeques, setting fire to crosses and so on), they performed a Nazi salute for the photographer Steve Simon. The three-day event in "20 beautiful wooded acres of towering tamaracks, fir and pine trees" was organised by Butler, who hyped it as "the most monumental witness to the world for Aryan Unity".

It's a chilling scene, and puts one in mind of the persistence and pervasiveness of Nazi symbolism in American society - as attested by the recent killings at Columbine High School in Colorado, the perpetrators of which were said to have been so enamoured of Nazi culture that they chose the date of Hitler's birth to carry out the massacre.