Number of employees
|International Brands General Trading (since 2009)
Thor Steinar is a German clothing brand manufactured by Thor Steinar Mediatex GmbH, a subsidiary of International Brands General Trading, a Dubai-based company.
In Germany, the brand is considered closely associated to neo-Nazism by the Verfassungschutz of the state of Brandenburg.In German media, the brand is most often discussed in the light of this association. Wearing Thor Steinar clothes is expressly forbidden in the Bundestag, the Landtages of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Saxony, and in several football stadiums.
The brand was registered as a trademark by Axel Kopelke in October 2002 and was manufactured by Mediatex GmbH. In March 2009, Mediatex sold the brand to International Brands General Trading, a Dubai-based company.
Since the inception of Thor Steinar, the company has used two logos. Much of the controversy regarding the clothing label revolves around their first logo, featuring a combination of a *tiwaz rune and a *sowilo rune: the runes were so combined that a part of the logo became very similar to the wolfsangel which is used by some organisations with neo-Nazi connections. It was also used by the Nazis as exemplified by the insignia of the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich. In addition there is some similarity to the insignia of the Schutzstaffel. The manufacturers of the Thor Steinar brand rejected this interpretation of the original logo.
Their second logo is a Gyfu rune, similar in appearance to a saltire, and has not caused controversy. This rune is known as an apolitical symbol given its historical relationship to pre-Christian mythology.
On occasions, Thor Steinar shops have been attacked with stones or paint bombs.
In Germany, public display of Nazi-associated symbols, as well as glorification of Adolf Hitler and denial of the Holocaust, are illegal (under Strafgesetzbuch section 86a and Strafgesetzbuch paragraph 130, respectively). Despite that, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which collects domestic intelligence for the government, appraises the number of active participants of the far-right movement at around 40,000.
Various authorities and organizations, including Brandenburg Verfassungsschutz ,have identified the wearing of Thor Steinar clothes as one of the indications of membership in the far-right subculture.
Wearing the label is prohibited in the German Bundestag and in the Landtags of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Saxony. In addition, several football clubs including Tennis Borussia Berlin, Borussia Dortmund, Werder Bremen, Hamburger SV and Hertha BSC prohibit wearing the label in their stadiums.The online retailer Amazon stopped selling the brand in 2009. Despite this, Amazon has since been criticized for employing internal security guards with far-right connections who wore the same clothing.
Various designs by Thor Steinar have had Norwegian flags and Norwegian names, such as Trondheim, Nordfjord, Nordstrand or Bergen. The official stores selling the clothes are also named after the oldest Norwegian city, Tønsberg.The government filed a complaint against the use of the Norwegian flag in February 2008. The legal complaint however failed and it is unlikely that a second attempt will be made. The Norwegian Embassy, the Norwegian Office for Foreign Affairs were informed by Mediatex – the company behind the Thor Steinar brand – in December 2007 that future collections starting and including the spring and summer 2008 collection will no longer use the national symbol of Norway. The company issued a statement in response to the issue.
Until 2008, the chain operated a store named Brevik, for the town Brevik in Telemark, Norway. In February 2012, Thor Steinar opened a new store in Chemnitz also with the name Brevik. Its similarity to the last name of Anders Behring Breivik (who committed the July 2011 Norway attacks) in conjunction with his far-right politics led to public outcry and local authorities sought to have the store closed.The store was eventually renamed to Tønsberg in March 2012.
Othala, also known as odal and ēðel, is a rune that represents the o and œ phonemes in the Elder Futhark and the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc writing systems respectively. Its name is derived from the reconstructed Proto-Germanic *ōþala- "heritage; inheritance, inherited estate". As it does not occur in Younger Futhark, it disappears from the Scandinavian record around the 8th century, however its usage continued in England into the 11th century. As with other symbols used historically in Europe such as the swastika and Celtic cross, othala has been appropriated by far-right groups such as the Nazi party and neo-Nazis. The rune also continues to be used in non-racist contexts, both in Heathenry and in wider popular culture such as the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.
The National Democratic Party of Germany is a far-right Neo-Nazi and ultranationalist political party in Germany.
Strafgesetzbuch, abbreviated to StGB, is the German penal code.
The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution is Germany's federal domestic intelligence agency. Together with the Landesämter für Verfassungsschutz (LfV) at the state level, the federal agency is tasked with intelligence-gathering on efforts against the liberal democratic basic order, the existence and security of the federation or one of its states, and the peaceful coexistence of peoples; with counter-intelligence; and with protective security and counter-sabotage. The BfV reports to the Federal Ministry of the Interior and tasks and powers are regulated in the Bundesverfassungsschutzgesetz. The President is Thomas Haldenwang; he was appointed in 2018.
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Lonsdale is a British sports equipment, textile and footwear brand focused on boxing and mixed martial arts established in London in 1960. Former boxer Bernard Hart started the brand as a boxing equipment company, but it eventually branched out into clothing as well. The company is named after Hugh Lowther, 5th Earl of Lonsdale, who in 1891 set up the first organised boxing matches with gloves, following the deaths of three boxers in bare-knuckle fights. As of 2020 the Lonsdale brand is owned and operated by Sports Direct owner the Frasers Group.
The Black Sun is a type of sun wheel symbol originally employed in Nazi Germany and later by neo-Nazis. The symbol's design consists of twelve radial sig runes, similar to the symbols employed by the SS in their logo. It first appeared in Nazi Germany as a design element in a castle at Wewelsburg remodeled and expanded by the head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, which he intended to be a center for the SS.
The 20th-century German Nazi Party made extensive use of graphic symbols, especially the swastika, notably in the form of the swastika flag, which became the co-national flag of Nazi Germany in 1933, and the sole national flag in 1935. A very similar flag had represented the Party beginning in 1920.
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The t-rune ᛏ is named after Týr, and was identified with this god. The reconstructed Proto-Germanic name is *Tîwaz or *Teiwaz. Tiwaz rune was an ideographic symbol for a spear.
The Left, commonly referred to as the Left Party, is a democratic socialist political party in Germany. The party was founded in 2007 as the result of the merger of the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) and Labour and Social Justice – The Electoral Alternative. Through the PDS, the party is the direct descendant of the Marxist–Leninist ruling party of the former East Germany, the Socialist Unity Party of Germany. Since 2022, The Left's co-chairpersons have been Janine Wissler and Martin Schirdewan. The party holds 39 seats out of 736 in the Bundestag, the federal legislature of Germany, having won 4.9% of votes cast in the 2021 German federal election. Its parliamentary group is the smallest of six in the Bundestag, and is headed by parliamentary co-leaders Amira Mohamed Ali and Dietmar Bartsch.
The German Alternative was a minor neo-nazi group set up in Germany by Michael Kühnen in 1989.
The far-right in Germany slowly reorganised itself after the fall of Nazi Germany and the dissolution of the Nazi Party in 1945. Denazification was carried out in Germany from 1945 to 1951 by the Allied forces of World War II, with an attempt of eliminating Nazism from the country. However, various far-right parties emerged post-war, with varying success. Most parties only lasted a few years before either dissolving or being banned, and explicitly far-right parties have never gained seats in the Bundestag post-WWII. The closest was the hard-right Deutsche Rechtspartei, which attracted former Nazis and won five seats in the 1949 West German federal election and held these seats for four years, before losing them in the 1953 West German federal election. This was until the election of Alternative for Germany representatives to the Bundestag in 2017.
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Autonome Nationalisten are German, British, Dutch and to a lesser degree Flemish Nationalists, who have adopted some of the far-left and Antifa's organizational concepts, demonstration tactics, symbolism, and elements of clothing, including Che Guevara T-shirts and keffiyehs. Similar groups have also appeared in some central and eastern European countries, beginning with Poland, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Romania and Greece and others.
Nipster is a slang term used in Germany and the U.K. to refer to young neo-Nazis who have embraced aspects of hipster culture. Historically, German neo-Nazis promoted an ultra-masculine and extreme right-wing image, preferring short hair, violent imagery and combat gear—in keeping with the white power skinhead or casual subcultures—while rejecting most modern pop culture. This has changed, with young "nipsters" embracing causes such as animal rights and environmentalism alongside historically far right positions, including anti-immigration views. Nipsters, rather than rejecting modern pop culture, seek instead to appropriate it to promote neo-Nazi ideals. This has also been seen in the New Right and National Anarchism movements.
Far-right subcultures refers to the symbolism, ideology and traits that hold relevance to various politically extreme right-wing groups and organisations. There are three kinds of subcultures within far-right movements to distinguish: subcultural parasitism, subcultural creation around ideology and subcultures that are networking with far-right movements, as some football hooligans did with neo-nazis.
Dagmar Enkelmann is a German politician.
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