Growing up in Milwaukee in the 1940s, Matthias Koehl Jr. played violin with the Civic Opera and studied journalism at UW-Milwaukee. His other talents weren’t quite so urbane. An anti-Semitic activist as a teenager, Koehl worked with East Coast and Southern hate groups before joining George Lincoln RockwellÕs notorious American Nazi Party in 1963. Koehl […]


Growing up in Milwaukee in the 1940s, Matthias Koehl Jr. played violin with the Civic Opera and studied journalism at UW-Milwaukee. His other talents weren’t quite so urbane.

An anti-Semitic activist as a teenager, Koehl worked with East Coast and Southern hate groups before joining George Lincoln RockwellÕs notorious American Nazi Party in 1963. Koehl took command of the party after an assassin gunned down Rockwell in 1967.

The party fell apart in the 1980s, and Koehl returned to Milwaukee to form New Order, a leading neo-Nazi group. The organization, which idolizes Adolf Hitler and preaches “racial idealism,” reaches across a dozen states. Its leader, now in his 70s, lives undercover, possibly in New Berlin.

Koehl’s sect distributes leaflets and a quarterly newsletter through a West Allis post office box. By sending $2, anyone can receive some literature. But to become a Registered Supporter, you must send money and pledge in writing to be non-Jewish, white, and not a fugitive, drug addict or homosexual.

New Berlin police caught up with a Matt Koehl in 2004 when he drove off without paying for gas. The address on the vehicle’s registration, police later determined, was a fabrication.

An organization named Asgard Press Inc. may lead to Koehl. Named after the Scandinavian mythological paradise, Asgard shares New Order’s post office box and owns 56 acres in rural New Berlin. Asgard also owns two houses on the land, one of which is rented out through a Brookfield management company.

The renter, Ray Knebel, says he’s never met the residents of the other house on the property. Knebel’s shared driveway continues past his house and into the woods, winding past “No Trespassing” signs and ending at a small house far from the road.

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When I approached it, an elderly woman leaned out a second-story window. I asked for Matt Koehl. “I’ll ask the questions,” she said. I asked if I could speak to him. She scolded me for trespassing, slammed the window and disappeared.

Neighbors say this house received frequent visits from cars with out-of-state plates, though few in recent years. But New Order still lives on.

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