30 June 2011

Explaining the "14" and "88" memes

Excerpts from an article at Spiegel Online discussing subtle new neo-Nazi codes:
Openly Nazi symbols such as the swastika are banned in Germany, so neo-Nazis get around the law by using coded combinations of letter and numbers such as 14 and 88. A new book explains the meaning of such codes, and reveals that far-right style is becoming increasingly diverse and hard to spot...

According to Weiss, the number 14 is a reference to the so-called "14 Words," a phrase coined by the American white separatist David Lane ("We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children"). The meaning behind "88" -- often found in conjunction with 14 -- is slightly more complicated. Here, the number eight stands for the eighth letter of the alphabet, forming "HH" -- an abbreviation for "Heil Hitler," a phrase which is banned in Germany. Similarly, the number 28 signifies "BH," standing for "Blood and Honour," a far-right network that was banned in Germany in 2000.

The secret code numbers can be found "everywhere," says Weiss, including on license plates, tattoos and on signs at football games. "There are fans who travel 400 kilometers (250 miles) to a game just to hold up the four numbers that form 1488," he says...

The increasingly diverse image of right-wing extremists mean that neo-Nazis can often blend in at left-wing demonstrations or in a sports stadium, Weiss explains. "The problem is that many of these people no longer stand out."
More at the link.


  1. The use of 88 is here in the US as well. I remember about 10 years ago when I worked in a tattoo studio a bunch of "skinheads" came in to see about getting their new buddy an 88 tattooed on him like the rest had. There were a four tattoo shops in my city. Two of which were part the skinhead crowd... We weren't one of them.

  2. Also, the use of 14 and 88 is strong with the Aryan Brotherhood.

  3. I'm 14 years old... :(

  4. "The problem is that many of these people no longer stand out."

    What, we should require them to wear some kind of identifying markers?

    Nietzsche had it right when he cautioned on the outcome of fighting dragons...

  5. I find the use of BH quite ironic because I know a lot of religious Jewish people use it at the beginning of any writing. For them it stands for "B'ezrat Hashem" which translates to "with the help of G-d".


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