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New Extremely Right-Wing Intellectual Circles in Russia

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Geidar Dzhemal's Florian Geyer Club

The most astonishing new foundation in the extreme right-wing intellectual milieu, however, is a small circle, which calls itself Conceptual Club "Florian Geyer" [6] and was founded on 22 September 2011. Led by the notorious Islamist and avowed anti-Western activist Geidar Dzhemal, the group uses the name of a figure from the German Peasants' War of the 16th century. The historical figure Geyer is entirely unknown in Russia, and unfamiliar even to many Germans. The name "Florian Geyer", however, is well known among experts on contemporary European history, as the byname of the Third Reich's 8th SS Cavalry Division, which was deployed on the Eastern front in 1943-44.

Dzhemal, Dugin and Shevchenko, the founders of the Florian Geyer Club, claim to be referring to the former peasant warrior and not to the SS division. Dugin's past in particular, however, indicates that the club's founders are probably familiar with the use of the name in the Third Reich which indicates that the twofold historical significance of "Florian Geyer" is actually intended. From 1980 to 1990, Dzhemal and Dugin were members of a small occult circle in Moscow that called itself the "Black Order of the SS". During the 1990s, Dugin, both under his pseudonym "Aleksandr Shternberg" and under his own name, repeatedly expressed support for sympathizers, members, and divisions of the SS, for example the Institut "Ahnenerbe" (Institute "Ancestral Heritage") of the SS, the Italian fascist theorist and admirer of the Waffen-SS Julius Evola, the SS-Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler, and the SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich (the initial organizer of the Holocaust).

The above-mentioned TV host Shevchenko -- probably the best-known, to the larger Russian public, among the three founders -- did not concede that the club's title "Florian Geyer" referred to the SS division of the same name. However, in his opening speech for the foundation of the circle, he admitted: "This name was also used by those German National Socialists (the left wing), who were linked to National Bolshevism. And the Florian Geyer song, which the young generation is familiar with from the work of the group Rammstein, was very popular with those left- and right-wing circles that adopted an anti-elite and anti-liberal stance". [7] Thus, it is all the more astonishing that -- in addition to several right-wing extremists -- some well-known Russian intellectuals were participating in the club's round-table-talks who do not fit this context, among them historian Igor Chubais, legal scholar Mark Feygin, and sociologist Boris Kagarlitsky. It is also worth noting that, at the meetings of the club, anti-American activists from abroad were also invited to speak, including, for instance, the notorious Italian "traditionalist" Claudio Mutti.

Another participant in the club worth mentioning is the infamous political writer Vladimir Kucherenko, better known under his pseudonym "Maksim Kalashnikov", who is also a member of the Isborsk Club. Like Dugin, he sympathizes with aspects of National Socialism and also develops extravagant flights of political fantasy in his publications. In the book "Onwards to an USSR-2" (2003), which had a large print run, for example, Kucherenko-Kalashnikov speculates about a future "neuro-world" that would be a "structure" combining the characteristics "of a church, a giant media conglomerate, and a financial empire" that is "equipped with a secret service".

As in the case of the Anti-Orange Committee, despite its continued internet presence, it is unclear whether the club is still active. The last meeting documented on the Florian Geyer club's website took place in June 2012.

Are Russian anti-Western activists on the rise?

Since the announcement of Putin's third presidency in September 2011, a restructuring of the ultra-nationalist intellectual milieu has been underway in which the Isborsk Club plays the leading role. Extreme right-wing publicists comment unfavorably and, sometimes, hysterically on today's situation in Russia. They frequently conjure up apocalyptical scenarios for the future of their country and the world. Notwithstanding their dubious background, questionable academic credentials and tarnished reputation, they can act freely, often appear on governmental television, and are regarded with favor by the Kremlin, if not purposefully promoted. Should these tendencies continue, the already critical Russian public opinion towards the US will deteriorate even more, and the alienation between Russia and the West will increase further.


[1] See

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[3] See

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Translated by Christopher Findlay

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============================================================================== Andreas Umland, CertTransl (Leipzig), MA (Stanford), MPhil (Oxford), DipPolSci, DrPhil (FU Berlin), PhD (Cambridge). Visiting fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution (more...)

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