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BOOKS . . . FUHRER-EX:

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If the autobiography of 27-year-old former neo-Nazi hooligan Ingo Hasselbach (Random House; 384 pages; $24) demonstrates anything, it is that Germany's small but venomous neo-Nazi movement can tap the same depths of irrationality that possessed Central Europe 60 years ago. "Notions about the banality of evil are severely tested by Hasselbach and his former comrades," says TIME's R.Z. Sheppard. "Clerks and metal workers by day turn into street brawlers and arsonists at night. For nonviolent recreation some play a kind of anti-Semitic Can You Top This: a distributor of Holocaust-denial material jocularly offers his customers a computer game called Concentration Camp Manager." A poster boy for the neo-Nazi movement throughout much of his youth, Hasselbach renounced his past two years ago. But his conversion seems less a moral rebirth than simply the end of an unpleasant, unpromising stage of life, Sheppard says. "Part of this can be blamed on the bookŇs remorselessly deadpan style. Part is owing to the narrativeŇs unnerving emotional detachment, 'an awful condition I still fight against,' he admits. Understandably Herr Hasselbach has much from which to detach himself."