May 19, 2024

DNA testing leads to a change of heart: The neo-Nazi from 'American History X' is now an Orthodox Jew

Actor Edward Norton plays skinhead Derek Vinyard in “American History X,” a character based on real-life neo-Nazi Frank Mink.

Image: Imago Stock & People

Former neo-Nazi Frank Mink has found the Jewish faith. This was after he was sentenced to prison – and because of a DNA test that revealed his Jewish origins.

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  • “American History
  • The inspiration for the main character is Frank Mink, a right-wing American extremist who has now converted to Judaism in real life.
  • The 48-year-old has also changed his mind through a DNA test.

He was the inspiration for Edward Norton's neo-Nazi character in the film “American History X.” However, Frank Mink has now abandoned his anti-Semitic outlook – after DNA testing identified Jewish roots.

The 48-year-old has now founded a brutal white supremacist group after being kicked out of the Ku Klux Klan at the age of 15.

At the time, he had a skinhead tattooed with a swastika on his neck, and believed the Jewish population was “the root of all evil.” In 1992, he was forced to serve three years in prison for kidnapping and torturing an anti-fascist activist.

Spiritual salvation in film and reality

Behind bars, he began to question his ideology. Because of his interest in football and basketball, he befriended two black inmates. Thus begins the spiritual redemption of the character of the 1998 film.

After his stay in prison, he clung to his fiercely anti-Semitic worldview for a while – even attending “anti-Jewish” protests – until he found a job at the Jewish Brockenhouse in New Jersey in 1994.

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The owner showed him compassion and kindness, which was inspiring to Mink. At the age of nineteen, he decided to stop shaving his head and remove his discriminatory tattoos.

Today, Frank Mink has Jewish roots and originally belonged to a white supremacist group he founded.
Today, Frank Mink has Jewish roots and originally belonged to a white supremacist group he founded.

Frank Mink

Today, Frank Mink is an Orthodox Jew who keeps kosher and prays three times a day.

To the British “telegraph” “I learned through a divine gift that I have Jewish ancestry in my DNA,” he said. Mink regularly visits the synagogue and attends Torah classes.

2.4% of Jewish origin

“I don't do these things just to be accepted as part of the Jewish community,” he continues. “I do it because God is always at the forefront of my mind. It's His world, not mine.”

The decision to take a DNA test came after a friend apparently described him as “Jewish-looking”. The result was that Frank Mink was 2.4% Ashkenazi on his mother's side – this is what the Jewish population that comes from Western, Central and Eastern Europe is called today.

Traditionally, Jewish identity is transmitted to children through the mother.


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