National Socialist Movement

NSM logo

National Socialist Movement logo

Key Points:

  • The National Socialist Movement is a neo-Nazi group.
  • Burt Colucci has led the NSM since March 2019.
  • In decline for several years, the NSM’s core membership has fallen to one or two dozen.
  • The NSM is known for holding public rallies and protests dressed in Nazi-styled uniforms.

Overview:

The National Socialist Movement (NSM) is a neo-Nazi group with membership scattered around the country. Once the largest and most prominent neo-Nazi group in the United States, the NSM has been in decline for several years and its core membership has fallen to one or two dozen.

The NSM is currently led by longtime member Burt Colucci, of Kissimmee, Florida. Colucci took power in March 2019 when longtime leader Jeff Schoep stepped down after James Hart Stern, a black civil rights activist who had previously taken over and dissolved a KKK organization, claimed to take over the NSM with the goal of undermining it. Stern and Colucci battled over ownership of the group until Stern’s death in October 2019.

Despite Stern’s attempt to dissolve the NSM, Colucci continued to operate the group’s website and reverted to NSM’s original logo, which includes a swastika. From November 2016 through March 2019, Schoep, in an effort to make the group appear more mainstream, used a logo featuring the more innocuous-looking Othala Rune.

The NSM’s ongoing struggle over leadership has clearly hurt the group. In 2019, the NSM neglected to hold their annual April rally celebrating Hitler’s birthday. Despite being delayed until June, the 2020 version of that event was not well attended. In fact, under Colucci’s leadership the group has failed to hold an event with more than 10-15 participants.

The last significant rally organized by the NSM was the “White Lives Matter” rally in November 2017. The event in Shelbyville, Tennessee, attracted 200 white supremacists, including several dozen NSM members, as well as members of groups associated with their now-defunct umbrella organization, the Nationalist Front.

The Nationalist Front, an NSM led umbrella organization formed to unite various facets of the white supremacist movement, fell apart shortly after the Shelbyville rally.

The Nationalist Front was originally called the Aryan Nationalist Alliance which formed in April 2016 during the NSM’s annual national meeting in Georgia. It included Klan groups, racist skinheads, and neo-Nazis and held small, mostly localized events that rarely drew more than 25 individuals.

In November 2016, the Aryan Nationalist Alliance changed its name to Nationalist Front. At the same time, the now-defunct Traditionalist Worker Party became part of the alliance. The League of the South and Vanguard America joined the alliance after the NSM’s April 2017 rally in Pikeville, Kentucky.

Origins:

Like most neo-Nazi groups that are active in the United States today, the NSM traces its roots back to the 1960s and George Lincoln Rockwell's American Nazi Party (ANP), the first well-established neo-Nazi organization in America. Following Rockwell’s 1967 murder, a variety of neo-Nazi factions emerged from the disorganized and fractious remnants of the ANP. One such group was a small neo-Nazi group started in 1974 by two former Rockwell storm troopers, Robert Brannen and Cliff Herrington. Operating under the dubious name, the National Socialist American Workers Freedom Movement, the group was tiny and its influence did not extend much beyond its headquarters in South Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Soon after, Brannen suffered multiple strokes, and Herrington succeeded him in 1983. Herrington (born in 1947) ran the group for more than a decade, by which point it had expanded to only a handful of chapters outside of Minnesota.

In 1994, Herrington stepped down from his leadership role, allowing his much younger second-in-command, Jeff Schoep, to take the reins. Schoep, who was born in 1973, was active in the group from an early age, and was better able to appeal to racist skinheads and other young white supremacists. He renamed the group the National Socialist Movement early in his tenure.

Ideology:

Openly worshipful of Hitler, the National Socialist Movement (NSM) is one of the more explicitly neo-Nazi groups in the United States. An Americanized and modernized neo-Nazi group, its platform calls for an all-white “greater America” that would deny citizenship and virtually all legal protection to non-whites, Jews and the LGBTQ population. The NSM reserves the brunt of its vitriol for Jews and immigrants, espousing crudely racist and antisemitic ideology.

The NSM's “The 25 Points of the National Socialist Movement of America” is predicated on the group's demands for the end of taxes, U.S. withdrawal of troops from all international bodies and the establishment of a white nation.

Recent Criminal Activity:

Canton, Ohio, December 2020: Matthew Patrick Slatzer an active NSM member from Canton, Ohio, was sentenced to 27 months in prison after pleading guilty to a federal firearms charge: possession of a firearm by a person with a domestic violence conviction. The charge stemmed from a February 2020 incident in which Slatzer brought a gun into a Canton bar.

Belton, Missouri, March 2020: White supremacist Timothy Wilson of Raymore, Missouri, died during a shootout with FBI agents conducting a sting operation on him. Wilson showed up for a meeting with the FBI agents to pick up an inert explosive device he had sought to obtain from the undercover officers, which he intended to use to target a local hospital. Wilson, who co-hosted several shows on NSM’s Media Network, appears to have been one of three individuals who received a membership patch during a November 2019 NSM meeting in Pennsylvania.

 

Activity:

 

Ulysses, Pennsylvania, June 2020: Previously scheduled for April, approximately 15 members and associates of the NSM participated in the group’s annual national conference in June. Part of the weekend of activity included a flash demonstration in Brandon Park in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

 

NSM members pose in Brandon Park in June 2020

NSM members pose in Brandon Park in June 2020.

Ulysses, Pennsylvania, November 2019: Approximately 10 members and associates of the NSM attended a regional meeting hosted by Daniel Burnside.

Tazewell, Tennessee, July 2019: Several NSM members participated in a white supremacist unity event held on private property. The event was attended by people associated with the United Federation of Klans of America and the American Christian Dixie Knights, and was meant to signal the start of an alliance which has since fallen apart.

Detroit, Michigan, June 2019: Approximately 10 members and associates of the NSM protested Detroit’s Motor City Pride Festival, carrying guns and shouting homophobic and antisemitic slurs.

Little Rock, Arkansas, November 2018: Approximately 20 members and associates of the NSM participated in a public rally on the steps of the Capitol building.

Newnan, Georgia, April 2018: As part of their annual celebration of Hitler’s birthday, the NSM organized a public rally in Newnan. Approximately 40 white supremacists attended the event including members of the NSM, the League of the South and Aryan Nations Worldwide.

Shelbyville, Tennessee, October 2017: Several dozen NSM members, along with other groups associated with the Nationalist Front, participated in a “white lives matter” rally.

Charlottesville, Virginia, August 2017: Several dozen NSM members, along with other groups associated with the Nationalist Front, participated in the Unite the Right rally.

Quarryville, Pennsylvania, May 2017: Jeff Schoep spoke at the East Coast Knights (Klan) cross burning.

Pikeville, Kentucky, April 2017: Several dozen NSM members, along with other groups associated with the Nationalist Front, participated in the NSM’s annual spring rally.

Chicago, Illinois, January 2017: Approximately 15 individuals associated with the NSM and the Nationalist Front demonstrated in Daley Plaza.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, November 2016: Several dozen NSM members, accompanied by other groups associated with the Nationalist Front, participated in the NSM’s annual fall rally.

Rome, Georgia, April 2016: Several dozen NSM members, accompanied by other groups associated with the Aryan Nationalist Alliance, participated in the NSM’s annual rally.