Circulating on Telegram channels lately has been a 12-second video of a Chihuahua puppy snuggling up to a tiny, chirping chick, eventually resting its head upon the chick and falling asleep. The caption reads, “Love, Hate Antifa.” If such a politicized caption to an innocuous video proves a surprise to readers, the purveyor of the content will come as a shock: WAP1488, an unabashed community with more than 1,000 subscribers.
The Godfather of Fascist Terrorism
From Telegram to Reddit
WAP1488 serves as one of the most unadulterated manifestations of this attempt to wed animal rights and. The name of the organization alone signals its ideological disposition — the numbers being a reference to the “14 Words,” a slogan of the white power movement, and to the salute “Heil Hitler” (“H” being the eighth letter in the Roman alphabet).
“There was widespread support for animal welfare inamong the country’s leadership,” the group’s pinned post reads. “ and his top officials took a variety of measures to ensure were protected.” What follows is a list of the various conservationist and anti-hunting efforts by the likes of Heinrich Himmler, Joseph Goebbels and Hermann Goring, men more widely known for their role in orchestrating World War II and the Holocaust.
The post goes so far as to observe that “Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels described Hitler as a vegetarian whose hatred of the and Christian religions in large part stemmed from the ethical distinction these faiths drew between the value of humans and the value of other ,” a statement followed by an observation that “Hitler planned to ban slaughterhouses in the German Reich following the conclusion of World War II.” This last comment is perhaps most jarring to mainstream audiences, given the morbid irony of Hitler’s use of slaughterhouses in the form of concentration and extermination camps that killed millions of , individuals with disabilities, sexual minorities, Romani, intellectuals and political opponents.
Beyond these written arguments articulatingcare for are scores of photographs and videos of with . Not only is there an array of images of soldiers playing or relaxing with German Shepherds and cats, but also dozens of images of Hitler posing with dogs, rabbits and fawns. At times, the images do not feature humans at all, and yet they still publicize this line of reason, typically through tea-cup-sized perched among uniform.
This is not just a strategy of WAP1488, though. It is a tactic used by many supporters of. Telegram channels such as the NSDAP International (almost 10,000 subscribers), the NSDAP (more than 5,000 subscribers) and the nSDAP International (almost 2,500 subscribers) now all fairly prominently feature animal-centric images and rhetoric.
Meanwhile, on Reddit, several subreddits discussing r/awwschwitz, which describes itself as a subreddit “for pictures of adorable or cute things that one would not normally associated with positive emotions,” and which an observer characterized as a dispenser of “all your cutesy Hitler needs.”post both official propaganda of and unofficial -animal content. Perhaps exemplary of this is one private subredding called
More than just cute photos and references to Hitler’s alleged vegetarianism, a common refrain among neo-across various platforms is one claiming that the current German animal welfare legislation is the descendant of policy. In fact, contemporary national socialists depict as being trailblazers of animal rights and preservation of the natural world. The obscuring of these “facts” are then denounced as attempts by biased media to unjustly vilify and all its devotees.
The Nazi Regime
Universal cuteness of fuzzy baby Norbert Bromberg and Verna Small, Arnold Arluke and Boria Sax and Jan Mohnhaupt have described high-ranking as demonstrating a public interest in animal welfare due to some mixture of personal affection for and political messaging.aside, it appears that there exists a propagandistic through-line between the arguments of then and certain national socialists now. Current national socialists rely heavily upon the plethora of staged animal- propaganda produced and initially disseminated in and by the itself. Scholars such as
To the latter point, it is clear that many of these images were staged rather than natural displays of affection, as signaled by the unnatural poses and contexts of the photographs — soldiers patrolling war-zones bending over to play with cats, Hitler staring off into the distance flanked by a dog standing on hind-legs in the same pose, and kittens curled up inhelmets that dangle from fences. All of these images may simply exist because the regime felt that an articulated interest in animal welfare for the purposes of presenting a compassionate and trustworthy side to the public, but also to normalize their social Darwinist ideas and vilify racial, ethnic and religious others that they strove to paint as cruel toward .
In the vivisection (operating on live for experimental purposes), tormenting their test subjects and fulfilling bloodlust., the “other,” and in particular, were characterized as brutal toward . This was most frequently discussed in relation to alleged cruelty in the kosher butchering process, which propagandists noted as being evidence of ’ “other” status and depicted as ritualistic and sadistic. Meanwhile, attacks on intellectuals — particularly ones — also made use of animal welfare issues, claiming that scientists engaged in the practice of
Curiously, the other unpopular .also produced a plethora of propaganda that painted these “others,” their enemies, as in their own right, the only for which the did not show any care. The waged a relentless propaganda campaign dehumanizing their opponents, particularly . propaganda depicted as rats, snakes, spiders and
It is significant to note themost often chosen: those with multiple appendages, such as spiders and octopuses, to reflect the narrative of control over society; or dangerous, poisonous or diseased . The snake, for instance, harkens back to parallels of the creation story and Satan in the form of a snake, whilst rats carry diseases and spiders fatal venom.
Today’s National Socialists
National socialists today rely upon the exact same framing of these issues, though with an expanded pool of racial, ethnic and religious communities to vilify and with one additional purpose. Juxtaposed with other national socialist content, be it animal-propaganda or otherwise, are images of the “other” as subhuman or as , as well as animal cruelty perpetrated by non-white peoples.
In the latter case, the most commonly used scenarios are Kapparot (used by some communities in the lead up to Yom Kippur to cleanse the person of sin through the transference of sins to a chicken, which is then ritually killed in the street); halal slaughter practices by Muslim communities; the killing and consumption of dog meat in China and South Korea (taken as metonyms for all Asian cultures); detusking elephants and other killings of large ; and vivisections by pharmaceutical companies.kosher slaughter practices and
The examples have been carefully selected, attempting to characterize non-white people as inherently violent, as Kapparot and the Yulin dog meat festival are annual, while the vivisections, religious slaughtering and big game hunting are relatively common practices. National socialists use these moments of violence against to make audiences wonder: Would these “others” attempt to mainstream such practices if given the opportunity?
Beyond this, though, is an implication of supremacism, with white people displaying the more advanced emotions of empathy and compassion absent in the “uncivilized” communities that commit animal cruelty. The videos and images are incredibly violent — blood spurting,squealing and resisting their victimization, and carcasses in disrepair. Aside from being graphic in their own right (as any slaughter video, kosher, halal or otherwise, is want to be), the cruelty in these videos may be said to also encourage audiences to extrapolate — if this is how these communities treat innocent , how might they treat white people?
Using a Different Brush
Finally, in addition to the obvious attempts to paint theas less brutal than these other groups through their contrasting approaches to animal welfare, the use of animal content is meant to chip away at mainstream anti- sentiment. These images clearly seek to generate an implicit connection between viewer and subject, resulting in the humanizing of individuals involved in a regime considered so brutal that it is widely denounced as unequivocally inhumane.
As social media commenters in these sections — even those professing not to be radicalized but mere observers of said content — have noted, seeing and hearing about’ care for has the effect of chipping away at the whole evil characterization of the as depicted in mainstream history. According to the logic of propagandists, if were not always cruel and instead cared for innocent , then the stories about — and by extension — are exaggerated; if stories of their cruelty are exaggerated in this regard, then perhaps they are dramatized in other areas as well, such as in relation to the Holocaust. Meanwhile, if were caring for , i.e., the innocent, then it would stand to reason that they vilified communities that were not innocent and instead the bloodthirsty “others” living in . Thus, neo- use animal welfare concerns to pull at a thread of the metaphorical tapestry of evil, a thread that they want to tug to the point where it entirely unravels.
It warrants reiterating that absent from this modern national socialists analysis is any acknowledgment of the unprecedented violence and cruelty of theregime. No matter how many kittens SS officers held or dogs that posed beside, the reality is that the most brutal butchers of life were the German themselves. All of the torturous behaviors projected onto the “other” — experimenting on and brutally slaughtering living beings — were acts that committed against other humans.
Advertisers and people on dating apps usein their content to grab attention, appear relatable and induce those positive thoughts that incline the viewer to further consider them. While for different goals, the same is true for national socialists today. Thus, a puppy falling asleep with a chick speaks less to national socialist interests in the cute and more with their hope that, in time, they can draw viewers near and make them dream of a national socialist world.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.
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