Christian Worch (*1956) is one of the leading cadre of the German neo-Nazi scene, and founder of the around 600 member strong1 German far-right party Die Rechte ("The Right," DR). DR links directly into some of the most notorious elements of Germany's right-wing extremist scene. Worch was convicted multiple times on accounts such as assault, incitement, and dissemination of Nazi propaganda.
Little is known about Worch's childhood and youth, but already in his early twenties he was very active in the neo-Nazi scene. In 1975, Worch was leading a controversial press stunt, where several neo-Nazis with donkey masks were holding a poster that read: "I, donkey, still believe what I am told." Although ambiguous, the slogan was certainly referring to holocaust denial, since similar actions followed with less ambivalent maxims. On a later rally, a neo-Nazi with a poster had been spotted, reading "I, donkey still belief that in Auschwitz jews were gassed to death".
In his twenties Worch established the neo-Nazi organization "Action Front of National Socialists" (Aktionsfront Nationaler Sozialisten, ANS), together with probably the most well-known German neo-Nazi at the time, Michael Kühnen. The ANS fetishized the Nazi Party and Ernst Röhm's "Storm Detachment" (SA), whose habitus and ideology it adopted, including the support of the race laws of the Third Reich. To gain first-hand knowledge from the "old guard", the ANS sought contact to various Nazi veteran organizations that had emerged in the postwar era, but also Nazi-inspired youth organizations, such as the "Viking Youth" (Wiking-Jugend), which saw itself in the footsteps of the Hitler Youth.
After the ANS was banned in 1983, Worch joined the later equally outlawed "Free German Workers' Party" (Freiheitliche Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, FAP) and participated in Gary Lauck’s NSDAP-Aufbauorganisation / NSDAP/AO, a US-based organization pretending to be a legitimate successor to the NSDAP.
Since 1984, Worch has also been involved in the "Relief Organisation for National Political Prisoners and their Families" (Hilfsorganisation für nationale politische Gefangene und deren Angehörige), banned in 2011, an organization that assisted and supported right-wing extremist criminals during and after their imprisonment throughout Germany.2
With the help of Michael Kühnen Worch established contact with the holocaust denier David Irving, and subsequently the two appeared on several occasions together.3
There is footage of a rally of Irving in Munich on April 21, 1990, for which Worch led the security team. During that event he was seen together with Bela Ewald Althans, a central figure in the German neo-Nazi scene at the time.4
Worch had also organized a speech for Irving in Hamburg.5 Furthermore, he appeared at a historical revisionist meeting in Haguenau, France, where Irving was invited as a speaker. One of the hosts was Robert Faurisson, who had for many years taught literature at the University of Lyon while pretending to be a leftist, but in April 1991 was sentenced to 100000 Francs because of denying Nazi war crimes by a French court. Also present at that event was the holocaust denier Ernst Zündel of Samisdat Publishing fame, and gave an insidiously racist and anti-Semitic speech.
Although not much is known about their contact there exists a picture of Worch together with Horst Mahler from 2001, a former RAF member who later became a neo-Nazi.
In 2012, Worch founded Die Rechte after the dissolution of the far-right party Deutsche Volksunion (DVU) in 2011, in the hope of filling a market gap between the neo-Nazi NPD party and more moderate right-wing populist parties such as the Pro-Bewegung ("Pro Movement") or Die Republikaner ("The Republicans").
In order to woo former DVU members to join the newly founded party, DR copied the language and strategies of the DVU, particularly its delimination towards the NPD. Also in other aspects DR was orthodoxly adhering to former DVU strategies, since it had - basically verbatim - taken over the DVU's party program.6 However, various political observers classify the party as openly neo-Nazi and even more radical than the NPD.7
This was just a year before the swooping success of the far-right Alternative for Germany party, when it emerged in 2013. Worch remained leader of Die Rechte until 2017.
- 1. "Verfassungsschutzbericht 2018," Bundesministerium des Innern, für Bau und Heimat, https://www.verfassungsschutz.de/embed/vsbericht-2018.pdf.
- 2. "Friedrich verbietet neonazistische Gefangenen-Hilfe," Süddeutsche Zeitung, September 21, 2011, https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/rechtsextreme-hng-friedrich-verbietet-neonazistische-gefangenen-hilfe-1.1146880.
- 3. Schmidt, Wahrheit, [00:28:30].
- 4. Michael Schmidt, "Wahrheit macht frei," Documentary, 1991, [00:28:00]. Available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsQsgei98sk.
- 5. Schmidt, Wahrheit, [00:28:22].
- 6. "Warum DIE RECHTE?," Die Rechte, June 8, 2012, https://web.archive.org/web/20120622053756/http://www.die-rechte.com/warum-die-rechts/.
- 7. Christoph Asche, "Die Rechte: Diese Neonazi-Partei ist gefährlicher als die NPD," November 25, 2014, https://www.huffingtonpost.de/2014/11/25/die-rechte-npd-neonazi-partei_n_6217690.html.