David Duke, To Russia With Hate

Under investigation by federal agents at home in the United States, white supremacist David Duke has taken his crusade against Jews and non-Europeans to Russia, which he now sees as "the key to white survival."

During several trips to Russia over the past year and a half, Duke has spoken in public, exchanged views with hard-line Russian nationalists and published a book, according to his Web site.

The 412-page Russian version of My Awakening is now on sale in the Russian parliament's bookstore for 50 rubles, or about $1.75, in hardcover. The Russian title translates as The Jewish Question Through the Eyes of an American.

The former state legislator from Louisiana was in Russia on Nov. 16 when federal agents searched his home outside New Orleans. The search warrant was based on testimony from informants that Duke took money donated by supporters and gambled it away in casinos.

Through a spokesman, Duke has denied wrongdoing. No charges have been brought.

Duke did not immediately respond to an interview request made through an associate in Moscow, but a Duke associate in the United States said Duke was still in Moscow on Friday.

Duke's ideas that white people are threatened by the growth of nonwhite populations and by "Jewish supremacism" are largely the province of tiny, splinter groups of extremists in Russia. Parties with openly anti-Jewish or racist platforms get only microscopic support.

Nonetheless, the country has a long history of anti-Semitism running back through the czarist and Soviet periods. Some current politicians have made anti-Semitic remarks, there have been vandalism and bombings aimed at synagogues, and a Jewish official was stabbed by a man who reportedly had a swastika painted or tattooed on his chest. Political and religious leaders condemned the attack.

Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, last year founded the National Organization For European American Rights, or NOFEAR. He touted Russia's racist potential in an article on his Web site detailing his Russian travels.

“Russia is a White nation!” Duke wrote. “In my opinion, Russia and other Eastern countries have the greatest chance of having racially aware parties achieving political power.”

Duke blames Jews for the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and the subsequent evils of communism — a shopworn idea found in far-right literature in Russia and the world over for decades.

The book has chapters titled, “The Jewish Question,” “Who Controls the Mass Media?” and “The Question of the Holocaust.”

Duke's visits have drawn little news media attention. He spoke to several hundred nationalists at a Moscow museum in August, and in December appeared to promote the book at an auto factory auditorium, according to news media reports.

Alexander Axelrod, head of the Anti-Defamation League' Moscow office, said Duke was dangerous because his knowledge of how to market hate could help unite scattered extremists.

While extremist numbers are small, there is also little social or governmental resistance to them, Axelrod said, adding that the government should not have given Duke a visa because his book possibly violates Russia's law against inciting ethnic hatred.

“What is worrisome is the attitude of the state, which is no attitude,” he said. “If this is not stopped, he will take it farther.”

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