A British Neo-Nazi said he has decided to quit the far-right group he has long been a member of after coming out as gay and admitting to having Jewish roots.
Kevin Wilshaw, a member of the UK National Front, opened up about his Jewish heritage in an interview with British Channel 4 aired Tuesday, and acknowledged the paradox of being a gay and Jewish white supremacist.
The NF has for decades been a marginal party within the UK’s far-right, attracting neo-Nazis, fascists and other racists to its ranks.
According to Channel 4, Wilshaw was active within the movement, and spoke at a number of rallies. He later joined the BNP, another radical far-right party, and was active with it as well.
Despite having “Jewish blood” on his mother’s side, Wilshaw said he wrote about his hatred of Jews on his application to join the National Front.
“That term ‘the Jews’ is the global faceless mass of people you can’t personalize it, not individuals. That’s the generalization that leads to 6 million people being deliberately murdered,” he said in the interview.
Noting he himself had long gone after both Jews and gays, Wilshaw said he did not realize the problem with his actions until he himself was recently targeted when suspected of being gay.
“It’s a terribly selfish thing to say but it’s true: I saw people being abused, shouted at, spat at in the street. It’s not until it’s directed at you that you suddenly realize that what you’re doing is wrong,” he said.
Wilshaw said during his years as a neo-Nazi, he had used violence in self-defense, but never sought out members of minority groups to attack.
“I’d never do that, but I have seen incidents where people were singled out because they were black by a group of people. It turned my stomach, I rejected that, I pushed it to the back of my mind,” he said.
Wilshaw, who continued to participate in far-right circles until earlier this year, said he now feels “appallingly guilty” about his white supremacist past and wants “to do some damage” to his former comrades.
“I feel appallingly guilty as well, I really do feel guilty. Not only that, this is also a barrier to me having a relationship with my own family, and I want to get rid of it, it’s too much of a weight,” he said.
“I want to do some damage as well, not to ordinary people but the people who are propagating this kind of rubbish – want to hurt them, show what it’s like for those who are living a lie and be on the receiving end of this type of propaganda. I want to hurt them,” he added.
Having now repudiated the far-right ideology he long ascribed to, Wilshaw said: “I am going to find it difficult, granted, to fill a void that has occupied my life since childhood.”