The German Olaf Rose is an far-right historian and politician of the neo-Nazi NPD party.
Olaf Rose was born in Arnsberg in 1958. After his civil service he studied history and German language and literature at the Ruhr-University Bochum. As a student and young academic, Rose belonged politically to the left. For example, in 1986 he published an article on the Soviet Union in an anthology of the West Berlin Elefanten Press, to which prominent left-wing authors such as Jürgen Kuczynski, Georg Fülberth, Stephan Hermlin and others contributed
Following his studies, Rose worked from 1987 to 1996 as a part-time archivist for the North Rhine-Westphalian city of Herdecke. With financial support from the "Clausewitz Society" (Clausewitz-Gesellschaft), an association of active and former officers in the general staff and admiralty service, Rose received his doctorate in 1992 from Frank Golczewski at the Helmut-Schmidt-Universität of the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) in Hamburg. His dissertation was a military history thesis on Carl von Clausewitz and his impact in Russia and the Soviet Union.1 His dissertation appeared as Volume 49 of the series of publications of the Military History Research Office of the Bundeswehr. In 1994 he was awarded the "Werner Hahlweg Prize" for Military History and Science.2
Yet, Rose was during that time already firmly anchored in the German neo-Nazi scene. Since 1991, Rose has been a member of the board of the right-wing extremist cultural association "Society for Free Publicism" (Gesellschaft für Freie Publizistik). From 1996 onward, for several years Rose worked as an editor for Dietmar Munier's publishing group.3 Together with Alain de Benoist, Reinhold Oberlercher and Franz Schönhuber, he also edited the journal Opposition and was an author and member of the editorial board of the magazine Deutsche Geschichte, also published by Verlagsgesellschaft Berg.4
From 2001 to 2003 Rose worked in the framework of a job creation progam as employee at the Ruhr district city of Herne,4 where he was asked to produce a documentation for the city on the subject of "Forced labor and prisoners of war in Herne and Wanne-Eickel between 1940 and 1945." After Rose's political activities became known - i.a. by reports of the newspaper taz - and after he had "downscaled" the number of forced laborers in the region from 30,000 to 9,000 in this work, his documentation was not published.5 Rose's contract with the city of Herne was subsequently not extended. The Main Committee of the Council of the City of Herdecke, in which he had worked for years before, decided on 17 July 2003, at the request of the citizens, that there would be no further cooperation with the former archivist on the part of the city in the future.3 In 2006, the Saxony NPD Landtag faction employed Rose as “parliamentary advisor.”6
His book “The Great Wendig - Corrections to Historiography” (Der Große Wendig - Richtigstellung zur Zeitgeschichte), written jointly with Rolf Kosiek, was published by right-wing extremist Grabert-Verlag. According to the Germany's domestic intelligence service, the book "met with lively demand in the right-wing extremist intellectual scene."7 "Thus 'Der Große Wendig' was advertised in a review of the right-wing extremist theoretical organ Nation & Europa - Deutsche Monatshefte as a 'milestone of revisionism.'"7 Rose became particularly well-known with his film Geheimakte Heß, produced together with Michael Vogt and published in 2004, and with the translations of the books of the British conspiracy theorist Martin Allen.
Rose has been a member of the Pirna City Council for the NPD since August 2009. In 2012 he was nominated as a candidate for the office of Federal President by his party, which was represented by three delegates in the Federal Assembly.8 Rose received three out of 1228 valid votes in the election for Federal President.
Rose, together with Thomas Sattelberg, seem to be the most important liaison persons of the neo-Nazi NPD party with the neofascist Italian CasaPound movement. Both are also the main heads behind a far-right house project in the Eastern German city of Pirna, called Haus Montag Pirna (HMP). From the outset, the HMP identified itself with CasaPound. Its very name “Haus Montag” is an allusion to “Casa Montag,” which was the first house occupied by the Roman neofascists before they occupied the current Casa Pound.
And it is CasaPound’s veneration for Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 and its main protagonist “Guy Montag” which inspired the HMP in their choice of name and the aesthetics of the house project.9
Far-right lecturing activity
Rose has given lectures at numerous right-wing extremist and revisionist organizations, the most pertinent among them:
- Hilfsorganisation für nationale politische Gefangene und deren Angehörige (“Relief Organization for National Political Prisoners and their Relatives,” HNG)
The HNG was an organization founded in 1979, which consulted and supported convicted right-wing extremist offenders nationwide during and after their detention in prisons. Before it was outlawed in September 2011, the organization had around 600 members, making it one of the most influential right-wing extremist organizations in Germany. Among the supported prisoners were i.a. the Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke, Gottfried Küssel (NSDAP/AO), Manfred Roeder (lawyer of Rudolf Heß and convicted terrorist), Christian Worch (NSDAP/AO, NPD, Die Rechte), as well as Uwe Mundlos and Beate Zschäpe (both NSU).
- Staats- und Wirtschaftspolitische Gesellschaft (“Society of State and Economic Policy,” SWG)
The SWG is a historical revisionist association based in Hamburg that primarily focuses on lectures and publications. The SWG was founded in 1962 by Hugo Wellems, editor-in-chief of the Deutsche Partei newspaper Das Deutsche Wort and former press officer in Goebbel's propaganda ministry, together with the former CDU MP Artur Missbach and the journalist Karl Friedrich Gray (CSU).
The association and venue Collegium Humanum (Internationales Studienwerk - Collegium Humanum e.V.) was founded in 1963 by Werner Georg Haverbeck, a former Nazi, and pastor of the anthroposophical Christian community, as “Home Education Center for the Environment and Life” in Vlotho, East Westphalia. The Collegium Humanum was first active in the German environmental movement, but turned in the early 1980s towards right-wing extremism, anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. In 2008, the Association was banned by the Federal Minister of the Interior Wolfgang Schäuble due to “continued denial of the Holocaust.” The successor organization to the Collegium Humanum is the association Gedächtnisstätte e.V., founded by W.G. Haverbeck’s wife, the celebrity holocaust denier Ursula Haverbeck, which rented a manor in Guttmannshausen for the association.10
In April 2011, (Father) Florian Abrahamovicz,12 a priest of a Society of St. Pius X splinter group SSPX Resistance and former “spiritual advisor” of Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke, invited Dr. Olaf Rose to hold a lecture on Rudolf Hess in Northern Italy.13 14
Father Florian Abrahamowicz was born in Vienna in 1961, the son of a Protestant pastor and an Italian mother. In 1978 he met Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the founder of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius, and eight years later he decided to become a priest there. After stops in Albania and in the Zaitzkofen seminary, where Bishop Richard Williamson gave his momentous interview, he was ordered to Northern Italy in 1998. In 2007, he resisted the Brotherhood’s advances to Rome, and in 2009, because of his Holocaust-critical remarks, it finally found an occasion to exclude the uncomfortable and consistent advocate of truth from the Brotherhood. However, his congregation remained faithful to him, and so Father Abrahamowicz reads his mass in Italian every Sunday with a French and German summary.
Abrahamovicz must have been in contact with Priebke since the early 2000s, since he said in an interview later held with Olaf Rose that he had met Priebke when he was in his early 90s:13
A believer of the Priestly Society of Bologna, Andrea Avanzi, brought me to Erich Priebke. I should offer him priestly assistance. On that occasion I first learned that Erich Priebke was a Catholic.
When Priebke died shortly after his 100th birthday on October 11, 2013, a funeral mass was to be held for the die-hard Nazi in the rooms of the Pius Brotherhood in Albano Laziale near Rome, but due to fierce local protests the event had to be cancelled.15 16 The priest that was to celebrate the mass was no other than Abrahamowicz.
Two months later Rose interviewed “the friend and spiritual assistant of Erich Priebke, Father Florian Abrahamovicz, on the death and the circumstances of the failed burial of the deceased.”13 In the interview Abrahamowicz is fiercely attacking the SSPX, Vatican II, and the "dishonorable" treatment of Priebke:13
After reading the almost a thousand pages of Priebke's autobiography, which is, by the way, brilliantly written, I come to the conclusion that it is not Priebke, not the simple soldier, but the godless ideology of modern democracy, which is to blame for the massacres. The terrible mass shooting of hostages in the Adreatine trenches is expressly anchored in international martial law, i.e. it is not a war crime. A crime in the military and bourgeois criminal sense, on the other hand, was the cowardly bombing of Wehrmacht soldiers by the Communists.
Noteworthy are also Rose's appearances at the 4th "Liberty Congress" (Freiheitlicher Kongress) of the far-right publushing house Deutsche-Stimme-Verlag in 2006. Rose gave also a lecture at an event organized by the right-wing extremist mail-order bookseller Gert Sudholt, which took place in Munich on May 6, 2006. The topic was "Did Adolf Hitler Want the War?," and Rose was in charge of the panel discussion.
- 1Olaf Rose, Carl von Clausewitz: Wirkungsgeschichte seines Werkes in Russland und der Sowjetunion, 1836-1991 (München: R. Oldenbourg, 1995).
- 2Thorsten Stegemann, "Die Altlasten der Bundeswehr," Telepolis, June 21, 2012, https://www.heise.de/tp/features/Die-Altlasten-der-Bundeswehr-3394651.html.
- 3 a b Tomas Sager and Jan Spreuk, "Das Aus für Dr. Rose," Lotta Nr.13, Summer 2003, https://web.archive.org/web/20070125105308/http://projekte.free.de/lotta/pdf/13/rose2.pdf.
- 4 a b Kevin Londer, "Zwischen Lokalgeschichte und der extremen Rechten: Der Herner Stadtarchivar Dr. Olaf Rose," Lotta Nr.12, Spring 2003, https://web.archive.org/web/20060517101140/http://projekte.free.de/lotta/pdf/12/rose.pdf.
- 5Albrecht Kolthoff, "Braunes Merchandising," Telepolis, September 30, 2004, https://www.heise.de/tp/features/Braunes-Merchandising-3436561.html.
- 6"Geschichtsrevisionist wird NPD-Mitarbeiter," redok, October 6, 2006, https://web.archive.org/web/20071215114932/http://www.redok.de/content/view/254/38/.
- 7 a b "Verfassungsschutzbericht 2006," Bundesministerrium des Inneren, 2007, https://web.archive.org/web/20090806205226/http://www.verfassungsschutz.de/download/SHOW/vsbericht_2006.pdf.
- 8"Wahl des Bundespräsidenten NPD stellt Historiker Rose als Kandidaten auf," Der Spiegel, March 5, 2012, https://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/wahl-des-bundespraesidenten-npd-stellt-historiker-rose-als-kandidaten-auf-a-819446.html.
- 9Martin Lichtmesz, “Casa Pound,” Counter-Currents Publishing, March 2013, https://www.counter-currents.com/2013/03/casa-pound/.
- 10“Gedächtnisstätte e.V.,” Belltower News, May 19, 2008, https://www.belltower.news/gedaechtnisstaette-e-v-51270/.
- 11Domus Marcel Lefebvre, http://www.domusmarcellefebvre.it/index.html.
- 12Facebook page of Florian Abrahamowicz, https://www.facebook.com/people/Florian-Abrahamowicz/100006443100139.
- 13 a b c d Olaf Rose, “‘…sie werden mein Leben haben, aber nicht meine Ehre,’” Dr. Olaf Rose, December 5, 2013, http://dr-olaf-rose.de/sie-werden-mein-leben-haben-aber-nicht-meine-ehre/.
- 14“‘Geheimakte Hess’ Vortrag von Dr Olaf Rose in Treviso am 2 April 2011,” domus Marcel Lefebvre, http://www.domusmarcellefebvre.it/p.abrahamowicz,-nachrichten-aus-der-domus-m.-lefebvre.html.
- 15“Priebkes antisemitischer Freund,” Stoppt die Rechten, October 21, 2013, https://www.stopptdierechten.at/2013/10/21/priebkes-antisemitischer-freund/.
- 16Phoebe Natanson, “Nazi Erich Priebke’s Funeral Held by Catholic Splinter Group,” ABC News, October 15, 2013, https://abcnews.go.com/International/notorious-nazi-erich-priebke-uproar-death/story?id=20568531.