From his own experience, David Saavedra relates in Memoirs of an ex-Nazi. Twenty years on the Spanish extreme right, his experience inside what he calls the Nazi “bubble” and how he got out of it. “Nazism is more than an ideology, it is like a sect”, he assures.
The author has not only lived the experience in the first person, he has also become an expert after studying the theory and history of Nazism for years. In his book, just published by Editions B, lists the extensive Nazi bibliography that he has analyzed.
“It all comes down to a great conspiracy of Jewish powers, you are the only one who sees them and decides to entrust your life to fight against them. That was what I did since I was 16 years old, everything was oriented to that mission “says Saavedra in an interview.
He started writing this book as a form of therapy to find himself and understand what happened to him. “If ten years ago they had told me that I would end up writing this book, without a doubt I would have thrown myself off a bridge to avoid it“, he assures.
“If ten years ago they had told me that I would end up writing this book, without a doubt I would have thrown myself off a bridge to avoid it”
As a cover, a photo of his tattooed back where you can see the phrase “my honor is called fidelity” in German, crowning a portrait of Hitler’s lieutenant Rudolf Hess.
Why that phrase and that character? Because it perfectly represented the ideology he defended at that time: “fidelity to death in what he believed in”, the idea of loyalty to the National Socialist cause and Hitler.
He does not define himself as an ex-Nazi, but as exnacionalsocialista, And he says that, although those ideas are no longer inside his head, there is a part that remains in him, conditioning his thoughts to levels that he is not able to control.
Can it be rehabilitated?
Faced with the question, can an extremist be rehabilitated? He believes that an extremist can be “redirected” and, for this, he needs what he calls “reconnection” with the vision of reality. Getting out of this bubble and reconnecting with reality has been a “vital break” for him. The purpose of this book “is to ensure that others do not fall into this world.”
Military by trade but with a vocation as a teacher, he has already given a talk in schools on this subject. “When I was 15 years old, I didn’t know anything about the Nazis. I had no information to contrast and it is a very attractive speech painted with glory, honor, to a boy in adolescence that catches his attention, “he says.
Despite having suffered threats after the book was published and from a television interview, he assures that he does not feel intimidated and that he is clear about his objective.
“My mother asked me on more than one occasion with tears in her eyes to stop being like this”
“I’m going to be here, telling this, or they get used to me or they kill me,” he says emphatically, before adding that they threaten are “a test” of everything it says in the book.
It is more worrying how, “disguised as political ideology, fanaticism threatens to re-enter our society. “And he sees indications among the discourses of the extreme right-wing parties of their relationship with the Nazi world, since all radicalisms share the same structure of thought.
“They are the same structures, it is the same, but changing the message. I thought inside the Nazi bubble in the same way as an Islamic fundamentalist “, he affirms convinced.
He dedicates the book to his parents as a tribute – “my mother asked me on more than one occasion with tears in her eyes to stop being like this” – and regrets the time wasted with them. it can no longer be recovered.
“And thank goodness that I have not left that world with a toll of which I have to be ashamed. I have not left anyone in a wheelchair or without an eye, I have friends who have participated or caused these things, “he laments.
In addition to the book, Saavedra has a YouTube channel where every week he publishes a video analyzing that “bubble” in which he was stuck. And you already have ideas for more posts.