Update: August 19, 2019
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 continue to battle over ownership of the group. Both have filed corporate registrations for the NSM in their home states, Stern in California and Colucci in Florida.
Despite Stern’s claims of leadership, Colucci continues to operate the group’s website and has 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 has been in decline for several years, and the ongoing struggle over leadership has clearly hurt the group. For the first time in many years, the NSM failed to hold their annual April rally. In June 2019, Colucci and nine other members of the group protested Detroit’s Motor City Pride Festival, carrying guns and shouting homophobic and anti-Semitic slurs.
- The National Socialist Movement (NSM) is a neo-Nazi group.
- Jeff Schoep led the group from 1994 until March 2019.
- The NSM is the largest and most explicitly neo-Nazi group in the United States; its 30 to 40 core members routinely travel for events. The NSM calls for a “greater America” that would deny citizenship to Jews, non-whites, and members of the LGBTQ community.
- The NSM leads the Nationalist Front, an umbrella organization that consists of neo-Nazis, traditional white supremacists, and, to a lesser degree, racist skinheads.
- The Nationalist Front wants to achieve unity within the white supremacist movement, with the ultimate goal of creating a white ethno-state in America.
The National Socialist Movement (NSM) is a neo-Nazi group led by Jeff Schoep and based in Detroit, Michigan.
Schoep has been the leader of the National Socialist Movement (NSM) since 1994. The NSM attends rallies around the country to openly promote virulently anti-Semitic and racist ideology.
The NSM, the largest neo-Nazi group in the United States, has attempted to remain relevant in recent years by cooperating with other white supremacist groups, forming alliances like the Nationalist Front.
Like most neo-Nazi groups that are active in the United States today, the National Socialist Movement 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 St. 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.
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 anti-Semitic 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 from all international bodies and the establishment of a white nation.
In recent years, the NSM has attempted to tone down its image; in 2008, members’ public uniforms went from brown (modeled after the Nazi’s paramilitary wing) to black. And in 2016, the group replaced their swastika logo with the more innocuous-looking Othala rune, an ancient Nordic symbol also used by pagans. This change was pitched on the NSM website as the best way to “launch our Party into the mainstream,” and members were assured: “Your Party Platform remains the same, your Party remains unchanged, it is a cosmetic overhaul only.”
In April 2016, a group of existing white supremacist groups – including the NSM -- formed a new coalition called the Aryan Nationalist Alliance (ANA). After NSM dropped the swastika from their logo, the ANA, not to be outdone in the quest for mainstream acceptance, renamed themselves the Nationalist Front, and changed their own logo from the Celtic cross, wolfs angels and two white arms to “NF” surrounded by a circle of stars, with the words “Iunctus Stamus” (“United We Stand”). The Nationalist Front’s color palette remains the red, black and white traditionally associated with National Socialism.
The NSM holds two annual events. One coincides with Hitler’s April 20 birthday, and the other is in the fall, typically late October of early November. They also hold private chapter meetings and book burnings throughout the year.
Nationalist Front (formerly known as the Aryan Nationalist Alliance)
The Nationalist Front was formed to unite various facets of the white supremacist movement. Its ultimate goal is to create a white ethno-state in America. The NSM leads this umbrella organization.
The Nationalist Front was originally called the Aryan Nationalist Alliance. The Aryan Nationalist Alliance was formed in April 2016 during the NSM’s 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 ANA 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 joined the alliance after the NSM/Nationalist Front rally in Pikeville, Kentucky, in April 2017.
The Nationalist Front promotes a virulent form of anti-Semitism, blaming many of the country’s problems on Jews. The organization believes that the dissolution of the U.S. government is the only way to build their ethno-state, which would be devoid of Jews and other minorities.
The group’s mission statement proclaims, “We too in America can end the Federal tyranny and have a positive future for our people by establishing on the North American an ethnostate for our people. Each racial group in America can and should establish for themselves a nationalist community where they can be independent and govern themselves according to their culture and ethnic self interest [SIC].”
The Nationalist Front holds rallies across the country.
Recent Activity of NSM and Nationalist Front:
Shelbyville, Tennessee, October 28, 2017: Several dozen NSM members, along with other groups associated with the Nationalist Front, participated in the NSM’s annual fall 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 21, 2017: Jeff Schoep spoke at the East Coast Knights (Klan) cross burning.
Pikeville, Kentucky, April 28, 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 18, 2017: Approximately 15 individuals associated with the NSM and the Nationalist Front demonstrated in Daley Plaza.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, November 5, 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 23, 2016: Several dozen NSM members, accompanied by other groups associated with the Aryan Nationalist Alliance, participated in the NSM’s annual rally.