Something nasty in the woodshed

Woodcraft Folk to boycott Israel


Following the second world war it didn’t take much for the Hitler-Jugend to morph into the Freie Deutsche Jugend. All that was required for the guardians of eastern Germany’s young people was to dispense with a distasteful cult of personality which no longer had a personality to be cultish toward, and implement an ideological shift from one form of fascism to another.

It doesn’t surprise me, therefore, to see the English ‘progressive’ alternative to the boy scouts and girl guides adopt a reactionary position vis-à-vis the beloved Zionist Entity. After all, the Woodcraft Folk is at root a creature of a peculiarly English stalinism mixed with secularised folk religion, and any organisation that classes its younger members into Elfins, Pioneers and Venturers has got to be at least a bit dodgy.

Segueing from the Hitler Youth to the Woodcraft Folk is a bit naughty of me, given the role that certain members played in helping Jewish refugee children from pre-war Nazi Germany as part of the Kindertransport programme. But the politics and psychology of the Woodcraft Folk as a whole are complex, and there has long been a deeply reactionary element within the movement. To me the Woodcraft Folk are every bit as creepy as the scouts, and in them I detect strong echoes of ecofascism in 1930s Germany.