As an autistic, I have this obnoxious tendency to blurt out things without thinking, which sometimes makes people uncomfortable. I was sitting at my Eastern European Studies round-table recently, listening to people talk about their research, when suddenly I announced,
“I’ve been reading Russian neo-Nazi websites. . .”
People at the round-table don’t know me well, and judging by physical appearance alone, I look extremely Russian. The facial expressions of my colleagues betrayed horror. “Did we invite a Russian neo-Nazi to our roundtable?” they were thinking.
So I continued, trying to salvage the situation, “. . . because as a Jew, I consider it crucial to track the developments of neo-Nazism in Europe.”
The feeling of relief in the room was palpable.
I do, indeed, follow Russian neo-Nazi websites because it fascinates me to see how their contributors manage to reconcile their love for Hitler with the fact that Hitler considered Slavs to be an inferior race and was preparing to wipe us all out. Neo-Nazi sentiments in the Russian society are strong and it is a huge mistake not to pay attention to their consolidation.