Perhaps “the” ultimate mastermind of the Holocaust – culminating in Auschwitz – was an Austrian-German SS-Obersturmbannführer by the name of Adolf Eichmann. Like his beloved Führer – the Austrian-born Adolf Hitler – the Austrian-educated and deeply anti-Semitic Eichmann engineered the Holocaust during the 1940s. In 2023, a new man has appeared on the scene: Martin Sellner, who was also born in Austria. 

Like his ideological predecessors – foremost Hitler and Eichmann – Sellner, too, plans to eliminate virtually anyone not fitting into his racist dystopia of a white Aryan Volksgemeinschaft. Like Eichmann’s Wannsee Conference of 1942, the Wannsee 2.0 conference that took place in 2023 was led by the Chief Neo-Nazi ideologist Seller as the keynote speaker.

Without a doubt, Sellner is the right-wing extremist agitator, poster-boy, and the “cool Neo-Nazi” of today’s far right as well as the adjacent Neo-Nazis. But who is Martin Sellner? Sellner is personally and ideologically linked to right-wing extremism, which in turn, is linked to a neo-fascist combat unit called, Identitarian Movement or Identitarian Bewegung (IB).

Yet, the neo-fascist Martin Sellner became truly known to the wider public through the secret Neo-Nazi meeting in Potsdam in 2023. At the gathering, he fabulated about his so-called master plan that planned the mass deportation of thousands, if not millions of non-German-looking people.

With Sellner’s copycat Wannsee meeting in late 2023, the East-German city of Potsdam started to plan a ban of entry against Seller. 

Unlike the city of Braunschweig who gave German citizenship to Austrian-born Adolf Hitler in 1932, in 2024, the also Austrian-born neo-fascist Martin Sellner was banned from entering Germany – days after he was deported from Switzerland. Times have changed – apparently. Today’s Germany is less welcoming toward Austrian fascists as it once was.

Sellner’s true fame genuinely started on a cold and dark November day in 2023, when he assembled (as a remake of Wannsee 1942:

Under Sellner’s ideological leadership, assembled right-wing extremists and Neo-Nazis exchanged their racist views on the mass deportation of people from Germany for which they developed a detailed master plan. This time however, it was not called “final solution” in the camouflaging language of Hitler’s Nazis. In 2024, it is purely a master plan!

Sellner’s secret conference took place in a Potsdam hotel run by far-right companions – a kind of 2024 version of Fasci Italiani di Combattimento. Naturally, the ideological Führer of the so-called mass remigration plan was Martin Sellner.

Missing out on the 1942 meeting of the real Nazis, the 1989-born Neo-Nazi Sellner has still managed to confirm both his participation in the secret meeting and his hate speech outlining the plan “to reverse the settlement of foreigners”. 

Neo-Nazi Sellner wants to revert a policy that had started in the 1950s when German industry began recruiting workers. On 10th September 1964, the Portuguese Armando Rodrigues de Sá became the 1,000,000th so-called guest worker. After decades with first, second, and third generation migrants, Sellner wants to eliminate all this.

Already as a young Austrian teenager, Sellner became known to local police where he grew up – at the outskirts of the Austrian capital, Vienna. During his early years, Sellner made his first contacts into Austria’s the far-right scene. By the year 2006, anti-Semitic Sellner attracted the attention of local police again when he placed swastika stickers on a synagogue. 

Like almost all Neo-Nazis, plastering a synagogue with swastikas was, as Sellner says, merely a youthful indiscretion – a well worn-out Neo-Nazi excuse. Sellner, too, and very cunningly concocted a similar story in an interview with a German magazine called Zeit Campus in 2017. 

Back then, Sellner emphasised that he himself “had been” (!) a Neo Nazi until 2011. This too, was a rather common strategy of Hitler’s real Nazis as it is for today’s Neo-Nazis.

The man who cooked up a plan for the ethical cleansing of Germany in 2023, seriously believes in his own hallucination that putting Nazi symbols on a synagogue was just a little “sin”. Sellner, Germany’s Neo-Nazis, and the far right AfD dreams of 25% to 30% of people to be deported.

In truth, Sellner’s political socialization was significantly influenced by the Holocaust denier Gottfried Küssel, and later by a far right, thuggish street-fighting student association called Wiener Burschenschaft Olympia

Meanwhile, Neo-Nazi Sellner completed philosophical studies in Vienna with a bachelor’s degree. But soon dropped out of further studies in law. At the same time, Sellner caught the eye of a young group of people as a suitable target for his xenophobic, racist, and inhuman views. 

Neo-fascist Sellner was also looking for new ways to anchor right wing extremist ideas among young people and then manipulating them into joining his far right and anti-democratic world.

From Sellner’s Neo-Nazi viewpoint, democratic parties are no longer relevant. They belong to the dust bin of history – a classical Nazi idea found in the 1920s and 1930s already. Seeking to recruit young people into Neo-Nazism, Sellner – from around 2012 onward – began to be ever more deeply involved in the founding of the neo-fascist Identitarian Movement (IB) in Austria.

Around that time, smart-boy Sellner shaped a new Neo-Nazi strategy: merging Greenpeace-style activism with Neo-Nazism. This copycat approach is designed to get into the mainstream press – which Neo-Nazis, paradoxically, despise and defaming it as Lügenpresse. The “lying press”.

The new strategy of the neo-fascist IB was guided by the very public actions of the European environmental movement. This gave far right extremist messages a more modern look. It created the hallucination of a downright youthful appearance of European neo-fascism. 

The French neo-fascist Bloc Identitaire and the Italian neo-fascist movement CasaPound served as models for Sellner’s IB. No matter how different the groups may seem – Bloc Identitaire, CasaPound, and IB – are all united by three rather common Neo-Nazi strategies:

  1. through pro-active actions, including the use of parliaments and attacks on democratic politicians;
  2. online posts in social networks (e.g. Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, etc.); and,
  3. rallies, i.e. menacing marches (Aufmärsche).

Through these three strategies, Neo-Nazi ideology is to enter ever more deeply into society. The goal is what Neo-Nazi strategists call occupying the pre-political space. Neo-Nazis call this Landnahme – the taking of space.

The ideological target is to make right-wing extremism socially acceptable. In other words, the limits of what can be said should be pushed further and further towards the far right. Worse, the IB and Sellner propagate that they want to preserve an “ethnic European culture”

The word “culture” is used in order to push the word “race” [Rasse] into the background. But to Sellner, racism is culture. It is a rather typical Nazi strategy that conjures up an invented threat from non-white ethnicities.

Sellner has proposed to foster a so-called “counter public”. According to Neo-Nazi strategist Sellner, this can be achieved with the help of right-wing influencers. He argues that, first of all, a “climate of right-wing opinions” should be established. 

For his far right, this is a decade-long project of forced deportation that is euphemistically labelled “remigration”. It targets three groups of people:

  1. Those who have applied for asylum and have been granted refuge status;
  2. All non-Germans who live permanently in Germany; and,
  3. All those who are not “assimilated”, i.e. those not fitting the Volksgemeinschaft.

The far right has invented rafts of far right camouflaging codes and Neo-Nazi symbols. Using such far right symbols and adjacent Neo-Nazi strategies (e.g. TikTok to reach young people), Sellner’s IB has caught on among many young people in the German-speaking world. Within a few years, the IB was able to win over hundreds, mostly young people in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. 

With this stunning success, neo-fascist Sellner quickly became the role model of the far right. Sellner also embodies what the far right wants to convey: modern way of lifestyle and traditional values. These are no longer seen as mutually exclusive. With youthful style and often with distinctive glasses, Sellner gives speeches at far-right events, neo-fascist rallies, and in right-wing online platforms.

His vocabulary is pseudo-intellectual postulating the traditional and free market values of the IB spiced up with fascist, racist, and deeply xenophobic slogans. Meanwhile, Sellner avoids the clumsy Neo-Nazi shouts like “foreigners out!” – Ausländer Raus! 

Instead, Sellner demands “remigration”. Remigration looks so much better than “foreigners out!”. This is a racial doctrine spiked with neo-Nazim but euphemistically labelled: ethnopluralism.

Ethnopluralism is racist idée fixe which, at its surface, claims to preserve mutual respect but strictly segregates ethno-cultural regions and nations. “We are here, and they are over there”. 

The far-right ideology is based on a so-called “right to difference” (droit à la difference). It seeks cultural homogenisation – the code-word for a racially pure white Aryan Volksgemeinschaft.

Every culture (read: race) is to stay where it came from. This is the-boat-is-full rhetoric of Neo-Nazism. To achieve all this, Sellner proposes to build a so-called “model city” (read: ghetto) somewhere in North Africa in order to move unwanted (read: non-white) people there. 

Sellner sells the remake of Hitler’s Madagascar plan as an opportunity for training and sports and as a place that works for refugees – once they got there. Meanwhile, Sellner wants to construct a so-called “internment camp” (read: concentration camps) for all those who do not fit into his Aryan worldview. 

Sellner’s IB even sees itself as a resistance. Neo-Nazism, too, works with the old enemy thinking once outlined by top-Nazi Hermann Göring,

The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.

For today’s Neo-Nazis like Sellner, this is the ideology of an alleged “Great Replacement”. It is a conspiratorial phantasm to which Europe’s population is replaced by ethnic groups of predominantly Arab and African descent, and their culture. This will destroy the beloved white Aryan Volksgemeinschaft

As a consequence, Sellner, fabulates about “remigration now!” H speaks of a “fortress Europe” and “defending Europe”. To modern-day Neo-Nazis, it is no longer just the purely Aryan nation, but also includes a racially and white Europe. 

This, too, is not new. It dates back to the fascist ideologue Oswald Spengler and his far right esoteric mass-selling pamphlet, “The Decline of the West”.

Yet, it still gets worse with Sellner. He had been in contact with the Neo-Nazi Christchurch killer Brenton Tarrant and donated money to him before his terrorist attack. Known as the Christchurch mosque shootings, it included two consecutive mass shootings on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2019.

In 2020, Tarrant pled guilty to 51 murders, 40 attempted murders, and engaging in a terrorist act. He was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Like Sellner, Tarrant believes in white supremacy.

In the end, what distinguishes Sellner from the chief architect of the Holocaust – Adolf Eichmann – is that he hides Eichmann’s ideology in a very polished language and he does this extremely cunningly. 

And what distinguishes Sellner from his friend and Neo-Nazi terrorist Brenton Tarrant is that he is more of an ideologue and a strategist than Tarrant. What unites all three however, is a common ideology that seeks to eliminate everyone not fitting into white supremacy.

Born on the foothills of Castle Frankenstein, Thomas Klikauer is the author of over 970 publications including a book on Alternative für Deutschland: The AfD – published by Liverpool University Press.

Photo: Martin Sellner (source: Flickr, Martin Sellner, CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED)

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