The Rise of Fascism in Europe Country By Country

NPD poster with black boots
…Four neo-Nazi murderers hell-bent on building a ‘Fourth Reich’ in Germany were the biggest extremist threat seen in the country since the demise of Hitler, according to police. Neo-Nazi terrorists are responsible for a crime wave reaching back more than a decade that includes the murders of at least 10 people, including immigrant shopkeepers and a police officer.The group is also suspected in more than a dozen bank robberies and a bombing in Cologne.Bild reported that the killers had shot many of their victims in the face at point-blank range and even filmed their bloodied bodies as trophies. The “foreigner” is at fault as a rule; they are the “enemy” and have become the target of blind aggression, especially among those people who feel they are the losers in society, due to unemployment or for a lack of any promising prospects.For example, today the fascists do the dirty work by frightening away potential asylum seekers and by helping to drive ‘unwanted’ immigrants out of the country. This heated nationalist climate makes it much easier for the capitalists to divert attention from their attacks on the working class—wage cuts, firings, etc. The nightmarish scenes of broken glass, burning buildings and bleeding victims recall the Hitlerite terror of the 1930s.How was it possible that neo-Nazis, already known to be dangerous, had managed to live for more than a decade in the centre of Germany without detection? What was the role of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, the Verfassungsschutz, in this case? Was it possible that any of the members of the National Socialist Underground were informers or otherwise known to the Federal Office? How many supporters did the group have and what were their connections to the various neo-Nazi networks that seem to be flourishing, especially in parts of the former East Germany but also in the west?What is already known is that in recent years theVerfassungsschutz in Thüringen – the state where the trio lived – had been paying a local neo-Nazi leader as an informant; and that this money apparently did more to support local extremist networks than to break them up..…Murderers, sadists, assassins, sociopaths and psychopaths all thought Hitler was a great man …many still do.In an echo of Europe’s tortured past, Nazism, with its association with the Holocaust and horrors of the Second World War, not only survives, but in some instances is thriving.Running on nationalist and often racist platforms, far right parties have gone from the streets into government, enjoying renewed popularity on local and national levels throughout Europe. In Germany, neo-Nazis are becoming popular again despite the fact that displaying the swastika or saluting Hitler is illegal. Even so, the popularity of the extreme right is becoming so high that Germany’s neo-Nazi “National Democratic Party” (NPD) even has political seats in the German states of Saxony and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Every day in the Federal Republic of Germany there are at least two or three violent attacks by radical-right wingers.The enemy? ” Foreigners”, the root of all problems.After 1989 [the fall of East Germany], the number of radical-right offences and crimes of violence increased dramatically.Between 1999 and 2000 the number of racist and other far right crimes rose by 59% to 16,000 in Germany, with violent crime accounting for more than 1,000 cases, including more than 30 brutal murders of foreigners. Particularly in times of crisis, right-wing extremists and right-wing populists in many places are trying to use the fears of European citizens to promote their ‘cause’ by providing simple answers to complex social challenges. A survey released last year by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation,13% of Germans say they want a new “fuhrer” to lead the country and 14.9% agreed with the statement: “There is something special about Jews, something peculiar. They don’t really fit in with us. Today we are witnessing the resurgence of old hatreds, with the Roma, particularly in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, again scapegoated for the economic crisis.The last time racist extremism surged to the fore in Europe was in the years of the 20th Century’s Great Depression, and the targets of the Nazis were Jews, the Roma and Sinti peoples [“Gypsies”], and Slavs.Both former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and French President Nicolas Sarkozy launched mass arrests of Sinti and Roma and expelled them from their borders. Far-Right parties are currently in government in Italy and also sit in the parliaments of Austria, Bulgaria,Belgium, Finland, Italy  Denmark, Hungary, Latvia,Slovakia,and the Baltic countries, as well as in the European Parliament.World War II brought more suffering to humanity than any other event in the 20th century. Nearly 60 million people died throughout six years.Action is urgently needed to stop history from repeating itself. “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce”, said Marx.                                                                                                       
German neo-Nazis helped the Palestinian terrorist organisation Black September to carry out the infamous massacre of 11 Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.Historical documents released to the magazine by the German secret service show that Dortmund police had been aware of collaboration between Palestinian terrorist Abu Daud and neo-Nazi Willi Pohl seven weeks before the attack – yet did not intervene. –
France: The National Front, led by Marine Le Pen, won nearly 18 per cent of the vote in April’s first round of presidential elections. The party is eyeing seats in June parliamentary elections.
Greece: Golden Dawn is the chief right-wing movement in the country, an openly neo-Nazi party that is one of Europe’s most extreme.Right-wing extremists Golden Dawn won 6.9% of the vote and will have 21 seats in Greek ParliamentThey adopt Nazi salute and have stylised swastika as their logo.The entrance of Golden Dawn into the national parliament in Greece has sparked widespread concern about the return of nazism.In 2000, Golden Dawn symbols appeared in vandalised Jewish cemeteries in Thessaloniki and Athens, as well as in the Monastiroton synagogue, a memorial for Holocaust.
The Netherlands: The Freedom Party, led by Geert Wilders, is the third-largest in parliament – and brought down the minority government by withdrawing support.
Austria: The Freedom Party, having 34 of the 183 seats in parliament, is the second-strongest party in opinion polls.
England: British National Party has a policy that restricts membership to ‘indigenous British people’. Ten local councillors, a fall from 50 in 2008.
Germany: The NPD has two of 16 state legislators but no seats in national parliament. Support base in former Communist east German states, where unemployment and discontent is high.
Italy:Italian fascists gaining 47 per cent of the vote last year in Rome.
Norway: The Progress Party holds 41 of 169 seats in parliament and is Norway’s biggest opposition party. More moderate than many European counterparts.
Denmark: The Danish People’s Party is the nation’s third largest political organisation, and has pushed Denmark to adopt some of Europe’s strictest immigration laws.
Sweden: The Sweden Democrats entered parliament in 2010 with 19 of 349 seats, but has had no major impact on legislation.
Finland: The Finns party won 19 per cent of parliamentary election votes in 2011 – up from four per cent four years earlier.

Hungary: Jobbik won nearly 17 per cent of the 2010 vote, and is one of two leading opposition parties.The conservative Fidesz party of Prime Minister Viktor Orban has passed laws restricting civil rights and basic freedoms that go against the country’s EU membership……Could fascist politics in Europe be on the rise again?Neo-nazism seems to be going increasingly global, with groups in different European countries and the US building increasingly strong alliances.   
File: Rijen van lichamen van dode gevangenen vullen de tuin van Lager Nordhausen, een Gestapo concentratie camp.jpg 

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The European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize despite the Norwegian prize jury’s warning Friday that the financial crisis challenging the bloc’s unity could lead to a return to “extremism and nationalism.”

The award was hailed at the EU headquarters in Brussels and by pro-EU government leaders across Europe, but derided by “euroskeptics” who consider the EU incapable of addressing its most pressing crises.

European unity, as we’re sure you know, is being threatened by a debt crisis that has stirred deep tensions between north and south, caused unemployment to soar, and sent hundreds of thousands of its citizens into the streets to protest tax hikes and job cuts.

The bloc’s financial disarray is threatening the euro — the common currency used by 17 of its members — and even the structure of the union itself. The debt crisis is also fueling the rise of extremist movements such as Golden Dawn in Greece. The party, which opponents brand as neo-Nazi, has soared in popularity as Greece sinks deeper into a debt-fueled morass.

“We do not have a position on how to solve these problems, but we send a very strong message that we should keep in mind why we got this Europe after World War II,” Nobel committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland told The Associated Press.

“And that we should do everything we can to safeguard it, not let it disintegrate and let the extremism and nationalism grow again, because we know what catastrophes that all this leads to,” he said. “If the euro starts falling apart, then I believe that the internal market will also start falling apart. And then obviously we get new nationalism in Europe. … This is not a good scenario.”[]

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the Nobel committee had made a “wonderful decision,” and linked it to efforts to salvage the euro even though the judges didn’t mention the common currency, specifically.

“I often say the euro is more than only a currency. We shouldn’t forget this in these weeks and months in which we work for the strengthening of the euro,” Merkel told reporters at the Chancellery in Berlin. She said the euro “has always and primarily been about the original idea of Europe as a community of peace and values.”[]

Neo-Nazi attacks on the rise in western Germany

Since reunification, the prevailing view has been that right-wing extremism is mainly restricted to eastern Germany. But now the number of neo-Nazi offenses is soaring in the west. A new trend? DW takes a look.

Scenes from near Nuremberg in Bavaria: Right-wing extremists threaten some young Kurds, shouting, “Get out you damned Turks!” Then several neo-Nazis attack the group, brutally beating up the migrants. One young man sustains severe injuries, falls into a coma and only barely survives.

On a different occasion some youths hold a vigil for the victims of right-wing extremism. They hold up banners saying “Fascism – never again.” Suddenly they are bombarded with fireworks by a group of masked people. Later the youth center is daubed with swastikas and the threat: “We will get you all!”

Growing radicalism and more public

Jewish graves desecrated by neo-Nazis Jewish graves desecrated by neo-Nazis

During another incident in the same region the windows of a car parked outside a house are smashed during the night. Butyric acid is also poured through the letter box into the hallway of a house. “The smell was so bad that for days my family and I almost vomited every time we stepped into the hall,” recounts Michael Helmbrecht from Nuremberg. After the attack Helmbrecht, who supports an alliance against right-wing extremism, found a statement on the website of a regional right-wing extremist group which said he had now experienced his very own “Kristallnacht” – a cynical reference to the nationwide 1938 Nazi pogrom targeting Germany’s Jewish population, synagogues and shops.

Police cordoning off a street protest against neo-Nazis in Weißenberg A street protest against neo-Nazis in Weißenberg

Herbert Fuehr, an editor with the “Nürnberger Nachrichten” newspaper, says there were over 50 attacks on people and property from November 2011 until April 2012. Fuehr reports critically on right-wing extremist terror which has led to his picture being published on neo-Nazi websites and him being denounced as a troublemaker. It’s dangerous to be singled out by the neo-Nazi scene, Fuehr says, adding that he hopes the perpetrators will refrain from publishing his personal address on the Internet.

These incidents are not just restricted to Bavaria. “It’s getting worse, more brutal and increasingly public,” says Michael Helmstedt of the alliance against right-wing extremism, adding that similar attacks have taken place in other parts of western Germany.

Targeted attacks

Vegetable dealer Murat outside his shop in Weißenburg Vegetable dealer Murat outside his shop in Weißenburg

Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution puts the number of right-wing extremist offenses at several hundred in the area of Nuremberg alone. Many of the perpetrators aren’t even trying to keep a low profile. Michael Helmbrecht and his family were harassed for three days by 250 neo-Nazis who had taken up position on a lawn they had deliberately rented close to his house. The family received comprehensive police protection, and friends moved in with them in a show of solidarity.

Experts say right-wing extremism in western Germany is taking on increasingly eastern German patterns: Migrants and people actively fighting right-wing extremism are spied on and targeted. Some families have seen their cars torched several times, says Günter Pierzig, spokesperson of the north Bavarian federation against right wing extremism.

The fear of attacks is mounting, for instance in Weißenburg in Bavaria, where a growing number of neo-Nazis are moving to from larger cities. A few weeks ago a right-wing extremist group openly paraded through the streets of Weißenburg. Subsequently the office windows of democratic parties were smashed, and foreign looking people were attacked with knives. Murat, a vegetable dealer of Turkish origin, told DW that he is worried: “Experiencing this is not nice. One doesn’t even feel like a second-class human being any more, it’s more like third class.”

Helpless authorities and politicians

The perpetrators are seldom found. Many citizens turn a blind eye to the neo-Nazi attacks because they are afraid to end up on the target list themselves. Although the police are trying hard to pinpoint the perpetrators, many victims feel left in the lurch by the state.

Mayor Schröppel blowing a whistle Mayor Schröppel takes part in a demonstration against neo-Nazis in Weißenburg

Michael Helmbrecht and Doris Groß from Nuremberg’s office for human rights both say the police have been boosting their efforts to track down neo-Nazi offenders following the disturbing revelations over a string of neo-Nazi murders targeting migrants from Greece and Turkey as a well as a female police officer.

In his capacity as mayor of Weißenburg, Jürgen Schröppel defends the administration of many towns that are forced to grant neo-Nazis freedom of assembly, which is guaranteed by the country’s constitution. “Of course the first reaction is that we must stop these marches,” admits Schröppel. However, being a former judge he is also a staunch supporter of the freedom of speech. “A democracy must also be able to bear extremist forces.” Schröppel responded to the neo-Nazi activity in his town by organizing a counter-demonstration together with alliances against right-wing extremists. [read more]

Europe’s neo-Nazi revival worries Russia

Francis Levy, head of the North Alsacian Jewish community, inspects desecrated tombstone in the Jewish Cemetary of Cronenbourg near Strasbourg. (REUTERS/Vincent Kessler)

Francis Levy, head of the North Alsacian Jewish community, inspects desecrated tombstone in the Jewish Cemetary of Cronenbourg near Strasbourg. (REUTERS/Vincent Kessler)

With economic turmoil and extreme-right political parties on the rise, Moscow has expressed its concern that factions inside of some European countries are attempting to revive and glorify the Nazi ideology.

Russia, which experienced tremendous pain and devastation during World War II, says it will not tolerate the “erosion of moral standards” when reflecting on the grim history of those six long years that shook the planet.

“Russia attaches great importance to preserving the memory of millions of victims of WWII, including the Holocaust,” said Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, addressing an international conference in Moscow on Thursday entitled “Never again: the memory of the Holocaust and prevention of crimes against humanity.” “The erosion of moral standards cannot be tolerated when it comes to assessing the outcomes of that war.”

Attempts to rewrite the history of World War II in a way that acknowledges the rights of the hangmen alongside those of the victims, placing the occupiers alongside the liberators, are deeply immoral, he added.

Lavrov then mentioned the rise of “right-wing extremism” in some European states, where efforts are being made to transform “war criminals into heroes.” This disturbing trend naturally causes “deep concerns” in Russia.

The Foreign Minister also mentioned the curriculum in some European schools, where the history textbooks “allot more space to the deeds of the Nazis…than to the Nuremberg Trials.”

At the same time, “monuments to the victors over Nazism are being desecrated, while the invaders are being commemorated,” he said.

In April 2007, Estonian authorities made the decision to remove a World War II monument from the center of Tallinn. The statue, known as the Bronze Soldier, was also the grave site of Soviet soldiers who had sacrificed their lives in the fight against fascism. The decision sparked massive protests in the Estonian capital that killed one and wounded dozens.

Meanwhile, neo-Nazis in Latvia, another Baltic State that shares a border with Russia, make annual efforts to hold parades on July 1, 1941 – the day when Hitler’s German forces launched an invasion on Latvian territory.

Speaking out against these alarming incidences in Europe remains one of Russia’s foreign policy priorities, Lavrov stressed.

“We are calling for the resolute condemnation and prevention of any attempts to revive Nazism, as well as other extremist ideologies,” Russia’s Foreign Minister said. “The imperative of the present day should not be an appeal to phantoms of the past but, on the contrary, inspiring a…common response to the challenges of a rapidly changing world.”

Russia lost an estimated 27 million people in World War II. [Source]

The British National Party will be joined in the European parliament by far-right parties from across the continent. But how much support are fascists and racists really picking up? Tom Walker investigates

The recent European elections saw all sorts of far-right parties making gains across the continent. They ranged from right-wing populists and nationalists to outright fascists and neo-Nazis. With no end to the recession in sight, and with social democratic parties often totally discredited, some on the left fear that we could all soon be crushed under the far right’s jackboots.

But the picture of the far right across Europe is more subtle than that. For every country where the far right picked up votes and won seats, there was another where they were hardly even noticed.

Of course, there is more to the far right than elections. But it is winning elections that allows them to access the resources – and ‘respectability’ – to build mass organisations on the ground. (The non-electoral far right may be vicious, but it is also tiny.)

If we are to fight the forces of the far right, we need to look at where they are strong and where they are weak – and, most important of all, ask: why?

On the up
The highest vote for the far right in all of Europe – 17 per cent – was, remarkably, in the Netherlands. Often considered a paradise of freedom and liberalism, the Netherlands has little history of voting for the far right (although the anti-immigrant List Pim Fortuyn had made some gains in local elections before its leader was assassinated). But this time around, the Partij voor de Vrijheid (Freedom Party), led by Islamophobe extraordinaire Geert Wilders, came from nowhere to win four seats out of 25.

How did that happen? After all, the party is entirely centred on one man, Wilders – it is not a mass movement and has few activists. Wilders appears to have managed to build up his vote by manufacturing controversy and relentless self-publicising. He gathered a following after the assassinations of Pim Fortuyn and filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, as well as frequent threats on his own life.

Wilders built on this by putting out the virulent anti-Muslim hate film Fitna and posing as a ‘free speech’ martyr whenever he was banned from showing it. An attempt to prosecute him for hate speech backfired when the Freedom Party’s poll ratings just rose even further.

Wilders paints himself as a sort of leftish-libertarian, concerned about ‘extremist Muslims’ who are against women’s rights and so on. He makes a point of enthusiastically supporting gay marriage. He even calls himself an anti-fascist, claiming that the Koran is a ‘fascist book’.

The growth of the Freedom Party shows no sign of relenting. Gerrit de Wit of De Fabel van de illegaal (‘The Myth of Illegality’) says, ‘The polls for the national elections in 2011 have shown for months now that the Freedom Party will be the biggest party. They are only polls, but it’s still quite scary. Other parties in Holland aren’t able or willing to fight the Freedom Party – they’d rather take some of its views in an attempt to win back voters.’

Wilders was banned from visiting the UK for his hate speech. But the question of the nature of Wilders and the Freedom Party is one that the Dutch media find much more difficult to grapple with. René Danen of Nederland Bekent Kleur (‘The Netherlands shows its colours’), points out that the media generally describes the Freedom Party as ‘populist’ rather than racist – even though Wilders has said that race riots are ‘not necessarily a bad thing’, and that he wants to ‘tear down the mosques’, ban Islamic schools and stop all immigration.[read more]

By Europe Editor | Published: November 2, 2012

Czech Republic:

Prague Daily Monitor: Far-right leader Vandas pulls out from presidential race. ‘Tomas Vandas, leader of the Czech far-right Workers’ Party of Social Justice (DSSS), has given up his candidature for the presidential election, Vandas said yesterday. Vandas said the petition for his support had been signed by 39,126 Czechs. He said he was considering lodging a constitutional complaint over inequality between parliamentary and non-parliamentary candidates in the first direct presidential election.’


New Statesman:Golden Dawn’s third place in the polls is not all it seems. ‘Polls in Greece show the far-right Golden Dawn party would come third were an election held tomorrow. The party’s policies include putting landmines on the Greek border to kill illegal immigrants, and its logo is a Hellenised swastika. The country’s Prime Minister and BBC journalists alike have drawn chilling parallels between the rise of Golden Dawn and the rise of the Nazis in the 1930s.’

JTA:As Golden Dawn gains popularity, Greek Jews strategize on how to combat neo-Nazi party. ‘For every Jew who lives in Greece, there are about 100 Greeks who voted for the country’s neo-Nazi party, Golden Dawn, last spring.’


Open Democracy:Ukraine: the far-right in parliament for the first time. ‘The Parliamentary election in Ukraine has, as expected, returned President Yanukovych’s Party of Regions to power. It has also had one less predicted result: the first election to the country’s parliament of MPs from the ultra nationalist far-right. Anton Shekhovtsov looks at the rise of ‘Svoboda’ (Freedom).’

Gay Star News:Fears Ukraine far right will push through anti-gay bill. ‘Human rights campaigners fear the election of far right party Svoboda to the Ukraine parliament will ‘encourage’ the passing of an anti-gay ‘propaganda’ bill.’

On the second of November fascists succeeded in preventing the neo-nazi Forza Nuova from marching in Catania, Sicily’s second city. The fascists had ironically chosen the ’Day of the Dead’ for their procession. They had intended to march up Via Etna, the main street in the centre of Catania, but a coalition of anti-fascists from the trade unions, the young communists and the social centres organised a counter protest at the intersection at Villa Bellini. Here the coalition held a single banner reading “Fascists and Bosses Out of the City”. The blockade continued for about five hours with hundreds involved.

The anti-fascists were mainly made up of Catanese youth with some trade unionists also present. There were some immigrants present but from within the EU. The coalition was supported by the unions the local social forum and the ex partisans organisation. The anti-fascists refused to leave until it was certain the nazis had dispersed.

This action forced the police to set up two major roadblocks – one at Villa Bellini in front of the anti-fascists and the other two blocks away at Piazza Umberto where the nazis were forced to stop. It was possible to cross the police lines and see the fascist procession. In all there were fifty to seventy present – a fraction of the numbers at the counter protest. This was after the city had been plastered in literally hundreds if not thousands of Forza Nouva posters advertising the event.

They were made up of a core of about thirty who were wearing militaristic uniforms and were mainly nazi skinheads. They formed a circle and held a sort of candlelight mass to commemorate the nazi and fascist dead from the Second World War. A few supporters surrounded them holding nazi style red and black flags with the Celtic crosses in the centre.

(The Celtic cross has unfortunately been turned into a nazi symbol here and they are busy trying to steal as much of the Irish culture as they can. The Celtic cross is the official Forza Nouva symbol and is losing any other meaning. Fascist graffiti in memory of Bobby Sands is even common. What their allies in the BNP would think of this is anybody’s guess!) The fascist demonstration was also protesting against the right to choose, probably explaining one reason so few women were there.


Last But Not Least.. GREECE’s Golden Dawn

[must watch] viewers discretion strongly advised

Comments below this video:Judge for yourselves

Because of war in afghanistan we are suppost to let the barbarians to our country??? No. The americans can let the barbarians to their country, not us, we did not start the war or participate in the war to have to let these illegal barbarians into our country. My ancestors did not spill their blood in war on Greek land or rise against the ottomans and die for freedom to let barbarians come to my country in millions. GREECE FOR GREEKS!!!

History shows the Greeks ruling the world with dictators and with democracy we are being ruled by Germans

So I understand Greece for Greeks…but what makes you Greek? If I am born in Greece does that make me Greek? What if my parents are none Greek am I still a native. Your corrupt government has left you in a mess and I can sympathise if you take extreme action and kick out all illegal immigrants however this could result in a civil war no? Martial law? Giving food hand outs to only Greek is that morally right? What are you going to do if your leader rises and sends immigrants to “detention camps?

In Greece, Golden Dawn won 21 seats in parliament, although new elections may diminish that number [Reuters]

New York, New York – By now, nearly everybody has been exposed to the phenomenon of Golden Dawn (Chrysi Avgiin Greek), the neo-Nazi organisation that received almost 7 per cent of the vote in the Greek elections of May 6.

After the initial shock, the question “How is this possible?” was followed by the legitimate worry: “Are Greeks becoming fascists?” Some commentators on various blogs (many of them from northern and western Europe) even left messages urging the Greek electorate to feel shame, the deeper the better, for this unsightly and frightening development.

But let’s set a few things straight. First of all, Golden Dawn, despite its recent claims, is indeed a neo-Nazi party. Their ideology, which they describe on their website as “Popular and Social Nationalism”, gives their precise coordinates within Nazi ideology.

So do the origins of their party, which was founded by Nikolaos Michaloliakos in 1985 under a direct order from the imprisoned leader of the Greek junta, George Papadopoulos. And so do their self-representation, language and tactics. The official publication of Golden Dawn runs articles praising the Nazis and often places photographs of Hitler, Himmler, and Nazi gatherings on its front cover. The members of the organisation have the same uneducated, invented, and highly idiosyncratic understanding of ancient Greece as the Nazis did.

And their tactics are virtually indistinguishable from Nazi terrorist tactics: they terrorise immigrants, leftists, and journalists; they beat and maul teachers and students; they have infiltrated athletic clubs and have introduced hooliganism to the Greek landscape; and they have assumed the role of vigilantes and protectors of the general public. Some of those attacks have been documented, and the Golden Dawn-affiliated perpetrators have gone on trial and been imprisoned.

The history of the organisation is inextricably connected to the history of Michaloliakos, whose first public intervention in 1976 was an attack on journalists who were covering the funeral of the junta torturer Evangelos Mallios, who had been executed by the urban guerrilla organisation 17 November. Arrested and briefly detained, Michaloliakos met the leaders of the military junta in jail. Two years after his release he engaged in a series of bombings of public places in Athens, for which he was indicted. Golden Dawn gained notoriety after 1991, when it started attacking the first Albanian immigrants and after some of its members participated in the Srebrenica massacre. The organisation registered as a political party in 1993 and first won political representation in 2010, when Michaloliakos was elected to the Athens City Council.

It is doubtful, however, whether the 21 Golden Dawn deputies will ever enter the Greek parliament (legally, that is). We now know that no coalition government can be formed (without a gross violation of the Constitution), which means that new elections will be held, probably on June 17. Yesterday’s polls showed that 76 per cent of the Greek electorate expects Golden Dawn to lose most of its vote, with a large number of those polled expressing doubts that it would even win the 3 per cent needed to enter parliament.

Two questions remain, however, regardless of whether Golden Dawn ever enters parliament. The first one is a question of democracy: namely, what sorts of legitimate steps are available to democratic polities when they face the development of a totalitarian, racist, exclusionary formulation that actively engages in violent acts that severely restrict the civil and human rights of others? I argue that when a state is faced not simply with ideas but with the materiality of actions, then the state is obligated to outlaw them and the media are obligated to report on them. In Greece this is a multiply complex issue, since what I suggest was used from the beginning of the 20th century as the groundwork upon which the elimination of the left took place, based on fabricated accusations.

A second question remains: Why would Greeks, who fought against totalitarianism in massive numbers and paid one of the heaviest tolls in Europe for their participation in the resistance against Nazi Germany, vote for this despicable, emetic, and deeply anti-political formation, even as a protest?

What we need to keep in mind is that this tolerance of violence in the public sphere, especially violence that is directed towards the unarmed and the unprotected, is the result of the state’s long-term suppression of dissent and the collaboration of the police forces with right-wing extremists whose violent tactics the police have used. This tolerance is evident even in mundane instances, such as when, in 1999, the ludicrous Gerasimos Yakoumatos, a deputy and member of the centre-right New Democracy party, wanting to show the Minister of Public Order that he “meant business”, walked into Parliament brandishing his (legally obtained) revolver as protest for his house having been burglarised by immigrants the previous evening. Not only was this tolerated, but he was not arrested and was not in any way reprimanded.

The Greek polity has always found itself in a tug-of-war. On one end, there is a wide, democratic, proceduralist, but largely powerless (and ultimately apathetic) body politic. On the other end, there is a small but powerful authoritarian class that constitutes the core of state structures. Decades of brutal suppression of dissent has relied upon various para-state and paramilitary organisations. Police brutality, hooliganism, and the deep-seated intimacy between fragments of the police force and Golden Dawn have made the organisation’s temporary surge possible.

There is no right, centre, or left distinction in this, if by left one means the nominally socialist PASOK party. All post-junta Greek governments have availed themselves of this intimate relationship, as all Greek governments, at least from the early years of the 20th century, have invested more energy and resources into producing a polity that relies on snitches and turncoats than in producing responsible, accountable, and democratically minded citizens. For example, in the summer of 2002, as the dismantling of 17 November was taking place, the Greek prime minister – clearly at the behest of the British and the American antiterrorist secret services – asked the citizens to report anyone who appeared to be suspicious and dangerous.

A month ago I wrote in the Anthropology Newsletter about the claim that under the current circumstances in Europe, in which the social welfare state is being eviscerated and the destitute are pitted against the poor, the distinction between right and left is no longer useful. I argue, however, that it is precisely now that the elision of such a distinction is pregnant with dangers that the world has faced before.

The neo-cons, the neo-fascists, and the neo-Nazis have been selectively appropriating leftist discourses and practices in order to obscure and obfuscate the distinctions between left and right. Michaloliakos, the coddled child of the junta, uses the term “junta” pejoratively (to indicate the totally inept but democratically elected Greek government, the press, and the memorandum), calls the actions of Golden Dawn “national resistance” when he instigates violence against immigrants and politicians, and has warned about an “uprising of the masses”.

Europe stands on the head of a needle, steeped in a crisis that threatens the foundational premises of democracy, self-determination, and autonomy. Golden Dawn is a European problem, not a limited and containable Greek one. It is a European problem because its ideology developed and flourished in Germany and Italy of the early 20th century. It is not a “natural”, essential, ontological property of Greece, and it is intractably connected to the moralistic and punitive positions that have organised the actions of the troika that put the bailout packages together.

When people are pushed to the brink, ugly things happen, and the troika (and particularly Merkel) ought never to forget the warning of George Santayana: “Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it”.


Are Greek police colluding with far-right Golden Dawn?


Greece’s far-right party, Golden Dawn, won 18 parliamentary seats in the June election with a campaign openly hostile to illegal immigrants and there are now allegations that some Greek police are supporting the party.


“There is already civil war,” says Ilias Panagiotaros. If so, the shop he owns is set to do a roaring trade.

Greek society is ready – even though no-one likes this – to have a fight: a new type of civil war,” he says.


“On the one side there will be nationalists like us, and Greeks who want our country to be as it used to be, and on the other side illegal immigrants, anarchists and all those who have destroyed Athens several times,” he adds.


You hear comments like this a lot in Greece now but Ilias Panagiotaros is not some figure on the fringes: he is a member of the Greek parliament, one of 18 MPs elected for the far-right Golden Dawn in June’s general election.

Theatre attack

…Last week he led a demonstration that closed down a performance of the Terence McNally play, Corpus Christi.

Wrap it up you little faggots. Yes, just keep staring at me you little hooker. Your time is up. “You Albanian assholes,” shouts Mr Panagiotaros in the YouTube clip.


Footage filmed inside the theatre, as rocks showered into its open-air auditorium, shows the manager making frantic calls to the chief of police, demanding protection from a mob that had begun to beat up journalists outside.


Other footage shows Golden Dawn MP Christos Pappas “de-arrest” a demonstrator, pulling him from a police detention coach, as the police do nothing.

“People went home with broken bones. Every day they phone me now, they phone the theatre, saying: your days are numbered.”

 They phoned my mother, Golden Dawn. They said we will deliver your son’s body to you in a box of little pieces.


I want to be told if we are in a democracy or a dictatorship?

 I ask Mr Panagiotaros: how can it be right for a party in parliament to have a uniformed militia that takes on, violently, the role of law enforcement, checking papers and overturning market stalls? He explains:


With one incident, which was on camera, the problem was solved – in every open market all over Greece illegal immigrants disappeared.


“There was some pushing and some fighting – nothing extraordinary, nothing special.


“Now, only with one phone call saying Golden Dawn is going to pass by, the police is going there. That means the brand name of Golden Dawn is very effective.”


He confirms the party’s strategy is to force police action against migrants and to claim their right to make citizens’ arrests against those they suspect of criminality.


“It’s like fashion – our dress code is now extremely popular and more people want to follow it. The brand name is synonymous with order, law and order and efficiency.”


And if it projects fear among perfectly legal migrants? I ask.


“There are no legal migrants in Greece,” says Mr Panagiotaros “not even one.”


Now Golden Dawn is suddenly everywhere. Its eight local offices at election time have become 60 nationwide. It is polling consistently as the third most popular party at 12%.

 “Rest assured we stand by the citizens and we try to prevent such situations.

 And the issue driving support for Golden Dawn is clear: illegal migration.

 “Golden Dawn is at war with the political system and those who represent it, with the domestic and international bankers, we are at war with these invaders – immigrants.




9 thoughts on “The Rise of Fascism in Europe Country By Country

  1. I AM INCLINED TO BELIEVE THAT WITH EUROPE, I WAS ” Told that Norway is the West’s most anti-Semitic country, diplomat lashes out at Israel, ”

    BUT AT LEAST, on the other side of the rotating ball, ” Anti-Semitism reaches historic low in US ”


    • Honestly I just don’t know any more! When i arrived to Europe,not to mention when I came to Greece, there was just a slight trace of fascism,now well let’s just “skip” this topic 😉 But I strongly believe governments helped it develop as it has as they do serve their dark purposes

      • Isn’t fascism a form or Terrorism? Of course it is.. Bred by the governments,with THEIR backing and with THEIR support..But they do terrorize the average civilian so much that they tend to believe that this form of terrorism is the only solution to their(whatever) problems.We here are forming a great example 😦

  2. Pingback: Germans move to quash rising right-wing extremism « just telling it as it is

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