Out in the Open·Audio

'I've done horrible things': Former neo-Nazi is haunted by a past that may be fuelling white supremacy today

Arno Michaelis used to be a well-known neo-Nazi organizer and musician. Today, he's a peace activist. But he struggles with the thought that his past actions continue to influence other white supremacists today.

Arno Michaelis used to be a well-known neo-Nazi organizer and musician. Today, he's a peace activist

Former white surpremacist, Arno Michaelis (right), stands with Pardeep Kaleka (left), the son of a Sikh temple leader who was killed during the 2012 Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting. The date on their hands refers to the date of the shooting, when six people died, and four others were wounded. (Submitted by Arno Michaelis)
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Arno Michaelis used to be a well-known neo-Nazi organizer and musician. Today, he's a peace activist. But he struggles with the thought that his past actions continue to influence other white supremacists today.

He tells Piya about the tension between using his story to advocate against hate, and the guilt he feels knowing the ongoing destruction his past could effect.

Michaelis, along with Pardeep Kaleka, the son of a temple leader that was killed during the 2012 Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting, are also co-authors of a book titled, The Gift of Our Wounds: A Sikh and a Former White Supremacist Find Forgiveness After Hate.


This story appears in the Out in the Open episode, "Legacy Projects".

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