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The Neo-Nazis of Hipster Brooklyn


It is at once a deeply-rooted Polish neighbourhood with industrial roots where immigrants still speak in their native tongue on the streets.

At the same time, Brooklyn's Greenpoint neighbourhood is a fast-gentrifying area of New York full of young families and working professionals who wish to live close to Manhattan.

But the northernmost neighbourhood in Brooklyn is also home to a group of Polish neo-Nazis, who walk the streets, just like anybody else, and are fiercely proud of their beliefs.

Captured by Brooklyn-based photographer Adam Krause, the images tell an unspoken tale of a taboo counterculture and puts faces to a largely underground movement.

Mr Krause, who grew up in south Florida but later moved to Brooklyn, said he first noticed a man wearing a T-shirt of a racist symbol at a gym in Greenpoint.

He approached the man and said that he didn’t agree with it, but thought it was interesting.

Shooting the subjects wasn’t easy, he told MailOnline. ‘It took a lot of coordination (to photograph them), but I introduced myself to them and showed them my work and obviously there was some sort of interest for them as well,’ he explained.

The photographs show five separate men, some with faces covered and others exposing their faces to the camera. They were all shot in Greenpoint – some even let Mr Krause into their homes because ‘I asked nicely.’

Mr Krause did not wish to go into the details of the men’s identities, nor the history of neo-Nazism in the predominantly Polish community.

He told MailOnline: ‘If the photos ask more questions than give answers, that’s good.’

A Facebook group called Greenpoint Antifa was founded by activists in the neighbourhood who serve as vigilantes against what they say is ‘fascist, violent’ conditions.

In fact, there have been rumblings of unrest over the past few years. Only last month, earrings bearing the symbol were spotted at a store on Manhattan Avenue.

The swastika studs were nearly sold out at The Bejewelled shop, with only one pair left. ‘It’s totally outrageous,’ City Councilman Steve Levin told the New York Daily News.

In 2009, the Greenpoint Gazette noted that there was an upsurge of anti-Semitic and homophobic graffiti posted on mailboxes or sprayed on walls.

Some had tags from a website called tightrope.cc, which sells racially-charged apparel.

Swastikas and other neo-Nazi symbols have also been spotted tagged on lampposts and furniture left out for trash collection.

To see Adam Krause’s work go here.

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