“A constructive rebellion”: A Wroclaw skinhead’s journey from brown to red


Investigating the history of Poland’s skinhead scene, you’re bound to get your hands dirty. That is to say, although the mid-80s beginnings were relatively apolitical (see our article on Kortatu’s visit to Warsaw in 1987), no neat separation between ‘boneheads’ and others is possible until at least 1992-93. Although the information flow from Western Europe to the Polish People’s Republic was somewhat hampered in the 80s, whatever made it through the Iron Curtain in the form of zines and tapes was happily absorbed. This included the likes of Blitz, Kortatu, Symarip and Angelic Upstarts – all of which received mention in the pioneering Polish skinzine Fajna Gazeta – but also Skrewdriver, provocative nazi posturing and ultra-violence against enemy tribes. All of these influences added up to a subculture made up of hooligan ex-punks, determined to make a name for themselves as the most fearsome youth cult of all.

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