The Time I Met A Neo-Nazi Camping In Spain

I don’t remember his name, but still he left a profound impact on me and is a character on the road I will never forget.

A Beach in Spain

His head was shaved and his German accent thick. He had a thick, bristled jaw and solid, tree trunk legs. He was friendly to us, charismatic even. We were, after all, two young backpackers with a thirst for adventure.

Spain was providing hot, balmy days – perfect for swimming and exploring. We had set up our tent in a town along the coast of the Costa Brava, the camp site was a decent stroll from the beach but it was cheap and a huge supermarket lounged nearby. We had secured a spot under the shady trees with a view out over the town, to us it was the perfect location.

He was camping near us and he met us jovially as we were sipping warm beers that we had procured earlier from the supermarket and lugged up to our tent. We made our introductions, as travellers do.

“The German language” he declared after the normal pleasantries, “is the most wonderful language in the world.” He went on to describe it’s depth and the amount of words one could use to project feeling and meaning.

A woman was camping nearby with her friend. “Mmmm” he said, looking at her, breathing deeply. “The THINGS I would do to that woman..”. After that, I knew he was a bit weird. You know when you get that feeling in your gut that tells you to edge away, but you stay anyway for fear of being fearful.

He told us of growing up in Berlin and he became more animated as the night wore on.

“Muslims” he growled suddenly, and literally jumped forward and air stomped the ground as if he were squashing a fleshy watermelon into the dust with his black boot.

The action was almost comical except for the under searing violence in his manner, the unbalanced swivel of his eyes as they lit with the fire of radical hate.

His stories got wilder as he regaled us with tales of days with his friends, fighting groups of Turkish men in Berlin during the 70’s. He talked of stabbings at the subway and beatings amongst the burrows of his neighbourhoods.

This guy was serious. He was a bona fide boot stomping, bald headed Neo Nazi and he had decided we were ready to hear what he had to say. We weren’t and we didn’t, we were two young backpackers who had come to enjoy the spanish sun.

At one point I asked him who attacked first in these fight situations, and for this alone I will never forget him…

“We always attacked them first, but we had to…if we didn’t, they would have got us instead”.

I’ll never forget that reasoning, the wild justifications of a mad man. No wonder everything goes to shit sometimes when you have people like that being so proactive with a knife.

I’m sad people like this exist in the world and never grow the wiser.

We actively avoided him after that night, but we saw him once down on the busy beach. He was squatting in the shallows of the water and digging a hole with his hand. He then pulled down his shorts and proceeded to take a dump. He covered it up with some sand as if he were folding the morning newspaper, pulled up his shorts and started walking over.

Time to leave!

Note from Tom: This is a story from backpacking with a mate through Europe when I was 18. We met lots of fabulous people and had a tonne of positive experiences, this wasn’t one of them of course, but it is something I often think on when I think about that trip.

8 Responses to “The Time I Met A Neo-Nazi Camping In Spain”

  1. Alex says:

    Terrifying story, very hard to believe that people like that exist. But a great reminder of why travel is so important: To remind us that no matter what race/religion people are people where ever you go! Hopefully this Neo-Nazi realized that, even a little bit, during his travels…

    • Tom says:

      Hey Alex, people are people wherever you go certainly is the perfect reason everyone should travel! Not sure that was ever going to dawn on this bloke 🙁

  2. Arielle says:

    i try to keep an open mind about most people but that guy freaks me out. so sad that that kind of mentality is still alive. I can see why that memory is still so prominent for you!

    • Tom says:

      Hiya Arielle! Yep, he was a freaky dude. It’s certainly scarily eye-opening to run into that mentality where reason and common sense seem to just go out the window.

  3. Laurence says:

    I’ve met some characters on the road, including the odd racist, but nothing that compares to this guy! It’s sad really, how narrow minded people can be. Best to steer clear, and hope the world will move on from this sort of hatred 🙁

  4. Wow. I’ve met a few strange characters…you can usually tell a few sentences into the conversation, but never someone that extreme. I would not want to be camping near him!

  5. Sujan says:

    There’s a feeling that not only is the Euro-crisis far from over, but that there could be a lot worse to come. Greece will come to a head one way or the other – it will eetihr be bailed out / restructured, leave the Euro or simply go bust – and the markets will swiftly move on to the next weakest link in the Euro until they come to Spain and Italy.It may now be too late even for a much talked about fiscal union to save the Euro – the imbalances within the Eurozone are already quite extreme and the sacrifices required by the winners and the losers of the Euro are also likely to be unbearable.If the architects of the Euro wanted it to succeed they should have put the infrastructure in place before hand (though “ignorant & ungrateful” populaces may have opposed that via referendums), they did really put the cart before the horse hoping it would all fall into place.But this time it might just be a crisis too far to drive the ever closer union Euro types are so fond of.

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