Police crack down on women’s branch of Czech neo-Nazi movement

Illustrative photo: Filip Jandourek

The Czech police have cracked down on a group called Resistance Women Unity, a women´s branch of the Czech neo-Nazi movement National Resistance. Fifteen women were arrested and charged with promoting and supporting a movement aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms. I spoke to Miroslav Mareš of Masaryk University in Brno, one of the Czech Republic’s leading experts on far-right extremism, to find out more about the role of women in neo-Nazi groups in the present day Czech Republic.

Illustrative photo: Filip Jandourek
“The presence of women in this field is nothing new. There were women in the skinhead subculture in the 1990s and in Brno there was an organization called Aryan Sisters in the mid-1990s. I recall that one of the leaders of this group attacked a Romany woman on a bus. But I would say that this police operation against the Resistence Women Unity is new in the sense that the police have focused on a specific women’s group because the members of this group were involved in the political activities of the Czech neo-Nazi movement at the highest level.”

So they have become more active of late?

“Yes, more active, more visible and maybe more professional as well in their activities -including international networking. Because some of these women are known to be in contact with the female German neo-Nazi scene including the Rings Nationaler Frauen (National Women's Circle)– a famous German women’s neo-Nazi organization.”

What activities do they engage in? Do they have a separate agenda?

“One of their tasks is helping and supporting neo-Nazis in jail, preparing packages and presents for jailed neo-Nazis, including those jailed for violent crimes, they attend demonstrations at which they give their men first aid if necessary and they also cater to children’s needs – for instance organizing Children’s Day for children from neo-Nazi families or far-right families.”

So would you say they are a support group of sorts?

“Something of that sort, yes. Women from that circle reject feminism as an ideology. They are against female emancipation in the neo-Marxist sense, they are against the modern concept of feminism – however they are connected with the tradition of strong women within the totalitarian movements of the Nazi and fascist style. On the websites of some of these groups you can find articles about the project Lebensborn - a project for the breeding and education of superior Nazi children during WWII.”

So there would be a lesser degree of aggression or violence in this group?

“I cannot say that these women are aggressive in the sense of direct physical violence. They support male violence in the neo-Nazi movement but they are not directly involved in street fights and so on. For instance these arson attacks against Roma settlements we have witnessed in recent years –they are committed by male not female members of the neo-Nazi movement.”