Hotline for neo-Nazis who want out
EXIT has helped a number of neo-Nazis leave the movement.
Felix Benneckenstein was a rising star on Germany’s far-right scene, a young songwriter whose rousing guitar anthems made white nationalism sound romantic and rebellious.
But when fellow neo-Nazis attacked a friend and Benneckenstein, still in his early 20s, found himself in jail, the doubts he’d ignored for years came to the surface.
“It was a rude awakening,” he recalled. “You have an idea of what’s wrong with the world and believe you’ve discovered hidden truths…And to then realize that everything you’ve done to yourself and others in the past years was built on lies is a bitter moment.”
After almost a decade on the far-right fringes, Benneckenstein is now part of a small but effective network of former neo-Nazis helping people to leave the scene. Spread across Germany, they work closely with an organization called EXIT that provides quick, unbureaucratic advice to extremists who want out.
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