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Undercover as a Neo Nazi; Lost histories of Australia

October 12th, 2016

Episode 501 of 506 episodes

In 1797, fifteen men became the first overlanders in Australia to walk through 700 miles of Aboriginal country, from Ninety Mile Beach in Victoria to Sydney Cove. And yet this journey and the shipwreck of their vessel the Sydney Cove, led to the discovery of Bass Strait and sparked the frenzied industry of seal culling in Southern Australia. The written account of William Clark's trek is also evidence of the humane and generous treatment of these forlorn interlopers by Indigenous Australians, who ensured the party's survival. For most of the 20th century, when anthropologists did their ‘fieldwork’, it meant becoming immersed in a non-western, pre-industrial society. But Nitzan Shoshan is a very unusual anthropologist. He is Israeli by upbringing and chose to do his fieldwork as an undercover anthropologist amongst neo-Nazis in East Berlin. His book, The Management of Hate details his experiences amongst marginalised youth of East Berlin, and his thoughts on the enduring role of right wing extremism in Germany.