A former neo-Nazi this week announced he was renouncing his ties to hate groups — while also opening up about his sexuality and his Jewish heritage.
In an interview with the UK’s Channel 4 News, longtime National Front organizer Kevin Wilshaw disavowed his past racist views, while also admitting for the first time that his own mother was partially Jewish.
“She was part Jewish, maiden name was Benjamin, we have Jewish blood on that side,” he said.
Wilshaw also said that he started to realize that being a Nazi was wrong when he was harassed on suspicion of being gay.
“On one or two occasions in the recent past I’ve actually been the recipient of the very hatred of the people I want to belong to,” he said. “If you’re gay it is acceptable in society but with these group of people it’s not acceptable, and I found on one or two occasions when I was suspected of being gay I was subjected to abuse… 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.”
Wilshaw said he first joined up with neo-Nazi groups while in school because he didn’t have many friends and he wanted to feel like he belonged to some kind of group, even if that group was shunned by society as a whole. He was involved with far-right extremist groups as recently as this year.