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El Daily Stormer: In search of new readers, leading neo-Nazi site starts publishing in Spanish

Andrew Auernheimer leaves the Martin Luther King Jr. Courthouse in Newark, N.J., on Feb. 28, 2011. (AP/Julio Cortez)

It’s been a banner year for the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website known for its crude, hate-filled attacks on Jews, women, immigrants and people of color.

After its preferred presidential candidate prevailed in the 2016 election, the site saw a surge in popularity, its Web traffic eclipsing that of the white supremacist Web forum Stormfront. In February, the Southern Poverty Law Center dubbed it the “top hate site in America.

Now, the Daily Stormer is looking to expand its audience and bring Hitlerism to new corners of the world — by publishing in Spanish.

It might seem like an odd move for a site known, at least in part, for its invectives against Hispanic immigrants. After all, it was President Trump’s baseless remarks about rapists and drug dealers crossing the border from Mexico that earned him an endorsement from the Daily Stormer in June 2015. (Trump has disavowed white supremacists through his spokesmen.)

But for Andrew Auernheimer, one of the site’s writers, it’s all about garnering new followers.

Auernheimer, a known computer hacker and Internet troll, announced the launch of the new Spanish language page, called El Daily Stormer, in a post earlier this month. Publishing only in English had become “a problem,” he said.

“If our goal is to spread National Socialism and Hitlerism across the world, we must have sites publishing in all the world’s most spoken languages,” Auernheimer wrote.

“Speakers of Spanish have historically provided a fertile ground for National Socialist ideology and the reverence of Adolf Hitler,” he wrote. “Of all the world’s languages, it was the easiest to build a new site on and provided the most value add.”

The post linked to a video of a speech by Miguel Serrano, a late Chilean diplomat and writer who espoused “esoteric Hitlerism,” a mystical spin on Nazi philosophy.

Founded in 2013 by neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin, the Daily Stormer started as an outlet for meme-type content related to the white supremacist movement. Taking its name from the Nazi newspaper “Der Stürmer,” it expanded to include sections dedicated to black-on-white crime, anti-Semitism and longer, slur-laden takes on social issues.

The site regularly encourages its “Stormer Troll Army” to harass its perceived enemies online. Shortly after the presidential election, for example, it called on readers to troll Hillary Clinton supporters into suicide.

Anglin is currently being sued by the Southern Poverty Law Center and Tanya Gersh, a Montana real estate agent who alleges she received hundreds of harassing messages after the Daily Stormer urged readers to participate in a “troll storm” against her. A post on the site accused Gersh of blackmailing the mother of fellow white nationalist Richard Spencer.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, has warned that the Daily Stormer’s growing influence could have dangerous results. “The Daily Stormer is not merely a propaganda shop,” the organization said in February. “Increasingly, it has become a malignant presence in the real world.”

In his post about the launch of El Daily Stormer, Auernheimer boasted that the flagship site was clearing 3 million visitors every month. Many readers were Spanish speakers, he said, particularly in the Daily Stormer’s Web forums.

“From those the new site grew,” he wrote.

A tiny Spanish flag at the top of the Daily Stormer’s home page sends visitors to the new Spanish language page. There, the content is similar. One section is titled “Judiadas,” an anti-Semitic term that maligns Jews as barbaric and inhuman. It also features Spain and Latin America sections, as well as a forum where on Tuesday readers discussed Holocaust denial, complained about immigration in South America, and the casting of black actors in an upcoming Spider-Man movie, among other topics.

Auernheimer told the Associated Press that the Daily Stormer has never been profitable. It relies largely on donations and unpaid contributors to produce much of its content. A “contribution” tab on the Spanish language page calls for volunteers “who, like us, love their identity and are willing to risk everything for their survival. Because it is not worth living a life in the absence of our race.”

Auernheimer added that the Daily Stormer hoped to soon start publishing in Mandarin, Hindi and French, and launch a women’s publication modeled after Nationalsozialistische Frauenschaft, the magazine distributed by the women’s wing of the Nazi Party.

“The effort does not stop here,” Auernheimer wrote.

The Daily Stormer’s expansion comes at a time when advocacy organizations have warned that hate groups are on the rise. Oren Segal, director of the Anti-Defamation League’s center on extremism, told The Washington Post late last year that white supremacists were looking to reach broader and younger audiences. “The alt-right in general,” he said, “thinks this is the time to pounce.”

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