Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Neo-Nazis of Mongolia: Swastikas Against China

From the "Unlikely Neo-Nazis" file...
From TIME Magazine.
The Neo-Nazis of Mongolia: Swastikas Against China
By MITCH MOXLEY Monday, Jul. 27, 2009

In the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator, "Shoot the Chinese" is spray-painted on a brick wall near a movie theater. A pair of swastikas and the words "Killer Boys ...! danger!" can be read on a fence in an outlying neighborhood of yurt dwellings. Graffiti like this, which can be found all over the city, is the work of Mongolia's neo-Nazis, an admittedly implausible but often intimidating, and occasionally violent, movement. Ulan Bator is home to three ultra-nationalist groups claiming a combined membership of several thousand — a not insignificant number in a country of just 3 million people. They have adopted Nazi paraphernalia and dogma, and are vehemently anti-Chinese. One group, Blue Mongolia, has admitted to shaving the heads of local women found sleeping with Chinese men. Its leader was convicted last year of murdering his daughter's Mongolian boyfriend, who had merely studied in China.
See pictures of race riots continue in China's far west. The neo-Nazis may be on society's fringe, but they represent the extreme of a very real current of nationalism. Sandwiched between Russia and China, with foreign powers clamoring for a slice of the country's vast mineral riches, many Mongolians fear economic and ethnic colonization. This has prompted displays of hostility toward outsiders and slowed crucial foreign-investment negotiations. Fifty-year-old Zagas Erdenebileg is the leader of Dayar Mongol (All Mongolia), the most prominent of the neo-Nazi groups. "If our blood mixes with foreigners', we'll be destroyed immediately," says Erdenebileg, who has run unsuccessfully for parliament four times. He loathes the Chinese — whom he accuses of involvement in prostitution and drug-trafficking — and reveres Genghis Khan, who he says influenced Adolf Hitler. I ask him if he considers his adoption of the beliefs of a regime that singled out and executed people with Mongol features from among Soviet prisoners of war to be in any way ironic. "It doesn't matter," he shrugs. "We share the same policies."

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