Matthew Heimbach: Five Things to Know

  • July 28, 2016

1) MATTHEW HEIMBACH IS A CO-FOUNDER OF THE NEO-NAZI TRADITIONALIST WORKER PARTY.

Heimbach, his father-in-law, Matthew Parrott, and Tony Hovater founded the Indiana-based Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP) in 2015, with the idea of attracting white working-class families to white nationalism.  Originally the political arm of the Traditionalist Youth Network (TYN), Heimbach and Parrott’s previous group, TWP ultimately became a champion of neo-Nazi ideology.  

While TYN focused on the recruitment of high school and college students to the white nationalist movement, TWP touted the idea of protecting and preserving white families.  Ironically, in March 2018, Heimbach was arrested for domestic battery after allegedly assaulting his wife in front of their children. Additionally, when Parrott confronted Heimbach about his affair with Parrot’s wife, Heimbach reportedly assaulted Parrott. After the details of these altercations became public, Parrott announced that he was leaving the white supremacist movement and allegedly destroyed the membership information for TWP.

Two factions want to re-brand TWP without Heimbach and Parrott at the helm. One faction wants to continue promoting National Socialism while the other wants move towards a less extreme version of white supremacy.

2) HEIMBACH HAS BEEN ACTIVE IN VARIOUS GROUPS SINCE 2011, WHEN HE ATTENDED TOWSON UNIVERSITY IN MARYLAND.

Before founding TYN and TWP, Heimbach created the White Student Union at Towson in 2012, and headed a chapter of the Youth for Western Civilization (YWC), a now-defunct group that straddled the line between mainstream conservatism and white nationalism.  During each successive attempt to establish a viable organization, Heimbach embraced increasingly radical iterations of white supremacy, eventually promoting the creation of a white ethno-state led by a government steeped in National Socialism.

Under Heimbach’s leadership, TYN and TWP focused on street activism. He and other TWP members were in Charlottesville at the Unite the Right rally in August 2017, where they were involved in altercations with counter-protestors. Heimbach also led his group to a number of other rallies around the country between 2016 and 2018.

In February, 2018, Heimbach kicked off his “National Socialism or Death” university tour at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. The tour is likely to be suspended due to Heimbach’s recent arrest and the possible dissolution of TWP.

3) HEIMBACH HAS TIES TO A WIDE RANGE OF EXTREMISTS.

Heimbach was a very active promoter of the Nationalist Front, an umbrella organization for a number of white supremacist groups including TWP, League of the South, National Socialist Movement, Vanguard America and to a lesser degree, racist skinhead groups. In the past, Heimbach was an active member of the League of the South. He has been a speaker at events hosted by the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a white supremacist group that emerged from the segregationist white citizens’ councils that were active in the South. He has also spoken at conferences hosted by Stormfront, the largest white supremacist Internet forum, and American Freedom Party, a white supremacist political party.  Heimbach also actively builds alliances with neo-Nazis and racist skinheads.

In addition, Heimbach has attended a number of events hosted by Richard Spencer.  Heimbach and TWP acted as a security force at Spencer’s April 2017 speech at Auburn University in Alabama. Heimbach and TWP attended additional events with Spencer, including a December 2017 anti-immigrant rally in Washington, D.C., and a speech at Michigan State University in March 2018.

4) HEIMBACH WAS CHARGED WITH HARRASSING A WOMAN AT A TRUMP RALLY.

At a March 2016 Trump campaign rally in Louisville, Kentucky, Heimbach was videotaped shoving and yelling at an African-American woman who was protesting Trump’s appearance, apparently attempting to get her to leave the event. Heimbach, along with two others, was charged with misdemeanor harassment for making physical contact with the woman. Heimbach was also accused of assaulting two other protestors at the event. At a hearing about the incident in June 2017, Heimbach said he had “no regrets” about actions.  In July 2017, he pleaded guilty to an amended charge of second-degree disorderly conduct.  He was fined, ordered to attend anger management classes and received a suspended jail sentence.

5) HEIMBACH, A VIRULENT ANTI-SEMITE, PROMOTES AN EXTREME VERSION OF ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY.

Heimbach uses his own extremist version of Orthodox Christianity to promote white nationalist views, and believes that traditional religion is crucial to preserving white heritage and culture. He also sees traditionalism as a bulwark against secular humanism, multiculturalism and globalism. In April 2014, Heimbach was publicly rebuked by the priest at his Orthodox Christian church, who said that Heimbach “must cease and desist all activities…promoting racist and separationist ideologies.” Heimbach and Parrott took a brief “sabbatical” from those activities. By June 2014, Heimbach had resumed his role in the white supremacist movement.

Heimbach also virulently hates Jews.  He has accused Jews of having “a malicious hatred of Christendom,” and alleged that Jews are responsible for the death of Christ and Christian martyrs. He traffics in age-old anti-Semitic tropes, writing in 2014, , “International Jewry and the Jewish State are dedicated to subversion, manipulation, and total control over the worlds [sic] finances, media, governments, and our personal lives.”  Heimbach has also embraced Holocaust denial.