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In May we heard that the war was over. Peace gave me a curious sensation. I had been told that permanent warfare was the normal condiFriends! This fourth issue of the magazine «Open city» under tion for a young Italian. the tittle «The extreme right and authorities: hate-love rela- In the following months tionship?» focuses on the alarming trends of recent years, I discovered that the Rewhen ultra-right politicians and parties came to power in sistance was not only a various European countries. That is to say, already in a local phenomenon but a number of states decisions at the highest lev- European one. I learned el are making by people with openly intolerant new, exciting words like attitudes toward migrants, religious and sexu- réseau, maquis, armée secrète, Rote Kapelle, al minorities, etc. Much more frightening is that these pol- Warsaw ghetto. I saw the iticians came to power through democratic first photographs of the means, they were elected by a majority. That Holocaust, thus undersame mass of people, who according to the standing the meaning Austrian and American philosopher Wilhelm before knowing the word. Reich «crave fascism». Modern philosophers I realized what we were and psychologists call the current situation liberated from. a conflict between fundamentalism and huUmberto Eco, manism. Roger Griffin, a famous British polit«Eternal fascism» ical scientist and PhD writes: «September 11 clearly demonstrated that the major threat to social peace and political stability of Western societies may not come from a new Hitler or NSDAP, but from the various forms of «Fundamentalism» – secular and religious – that have adopted rhizomic forms that are not amendable to traditional analysis and do not have military solutions». At the international conference «Nonviolent Actions against Racism and Discrimination» (February, 2009, Russia), activists and experts agreed that the anti-fascist ideology of today is experiencing a systemic crisis. First of all, this is due to to the fact that the answers offered by activists from groups is hopelessly out of date: the slogan «no one is illegal!» cannot be the answer to the whole range of migration issues; street violence will not stop hate crimes, as well as the public programs on intercultural dialogue and tolerance. Another philosopher, Daniel Goretsky (Ukraine), proposes that modern fascism is a social phenomenon, which consists of three parts: – totalitarianism (above all, a totalitarian way of thinking); – in fact, discrimination and racism; – militarism and the cult of force. But, importantly, Daniel writes that «the small dictator», «the little racist» and «small militant» is in everyone of us, therefore we must always begin with ourselves, with almost daily (if not occurring every second) choices. We have to understand how to restore the faith of the people in the values of human rights and nonviolence, which words to say and in what form. We have no ready answers about what to do, but we will continue to search and invite you to a join us.
Ultra-Right? Thank you – Yes? Alexey Kozlov – PhD, Moscow Helsinki Group expert, OSCE expert, Movement «GROZA», Voronezh (Russia)
We present to you here excerpts from Alexey Kozlov’s speech at the international conference «Nonviolent Actions against Racism and Discrimination» (February, 2009, Russia). Alexey spoke about the situation in Europe (not only in the European Union, but also in the European part of the continent) as a whole, referring, in particular, to the problem of the ultra-right in power.
Translated by Steve Doyle, British Columbia (Canada)
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Ultra-right in the parliaments of European Union countries I shall present the current trends in general both for Europe and Russia. Every region is, of course, specific. Moreover, there are a number of things that have long been over in one part of Europe, yet beginning in another part of Europe. The first large block is political nationalism. The discussion will deal with those organizations that occupy a legal political space and try to participate in parliament. Specifically, they bear various ultra-right slogans in the political arena as a choice for both national and Euro-parliamentary elections. Finally, in both cases they receive a sufficiently decent quantity of votes. Within this segment, there are different directions. Beginning with Europe, there are parties that can be described as blatantly neo-Nazi. First of all, these are the National Democratic Party of Germany («Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschland»/NPD), German People’s Union (Deutsche Volksunion/DVU), and others. Of course, everything is well hidden, especially in those countries where the outright promotion of Nazi ideas leads to a criminal charge, and yet you can easily trace the ideological connections of these organizations, for example, with the Nation-
al-Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDRP). The annual march of neoNazis in Dresden1 in 2009 was banally connected with the elections in the European parliament. The NPD wants to enter them, not with slogans reminiscent of Nazi Germany, but with «more decent» topics such as problems of historical memory. As for other countries, we can recall Belgium, where there is «Flemish interest» («Vlaams Belang»), advocating the cessation of Flanders from Belgium. This is another party that has had a lot of success in elections – «Flemish interest» is represented in various parliaments of the county (in Belgium there are five of them). Nevertheless, the ultra-right parties, all the same, represent a certain minority in the political segment of Europe. A large part of the supporters of nationalistic ideas are members in the conservative parties, whose agenda is a series of ultra-right slogans (in overwhelming case being anti-migrant). The best-known conservative party is the «Austrian Freedom Party» («Freiheitliche Partei Österreich»). Its former leader, Joerg Haider, has explicitly expressed his sympathy neo-Nazis. Fortunately for us, and unfortunately for the neo-Nazis, Mr. Haider was in a car accident in 2008, and the party is now in crisis. More
1 For several years in a row on 14 February in Dresden (Germany) the German ultra-right have organized so-called «funereal march», that traditionally gathers several thousand neo-Nazis from all across Europe. Officially, the action celebrates the anniversary of the allied bombing of Dresden in 1945, but in reality, the march is the largest gathering of supporters of Nazi ideology from various countries, including America and Australia. The NDP is one of the organizers. More information on www.geh-denken.de
than likely, in the near future the party will cease its active existence. A second similar party exists in Denmark, the «Danish Peoples’ Party» («Dansk Folkeparti»). It is remarkable that for a third time this party has entered a government coalition. <...> I will not enumerate all the achievements of the political nationalists in Europe, although they are quite significant: in almost every European country there is a structure that actively opposes migrants and has some success in elections. The «National Front» («Front national») in France, the «British National Party» («British national party») in Great Britain, the «League of the North» («Lega Nord») in Italy, and others. <...> If we move East and take the countries of the former Warsaw pact, then the situation is somewhat different. The first case of the entry of the ultraright – active ones – in the European parliament comes from this part of Europe. In Bulgaria, two months prior to the 2007 European parliamentary campaign, the coalition «Attack» («Ataka») appeared, with their main slogan «The Turks - to Turkey!». They obtained a sufficiently good result (14.2%), through which the European parliament deputies were able to establish a parliamentary group. The situation is such that after the next elections a similar group will exist in another configuration. The Eastern European phenomenon, in addition to the theme of migration, actively circulates religious problems ,associated with the renais-
In Russia – everything is difficult With Russia everything is sufficiently complicated. Ultra-right parties were in parliament (during the period 20032007) in the form of party «Rodina»2. It is clear that this was due to permission from the Kremlin to bring xenophobic slogans into the political arena of parliamentary elections. Prior to this the nationalists and extreme right entered parliament through another party. For example, the «Communist Party of the Russian Federation» (CPRF) included in their list such people as Mr. Makashov3, who did not hesitate in his xenophobic expressions and tried to use the parliamentary platform for promoting antisemitic views. In 2003, for the first time in the history of the Russian parliament, since the Duma of 1917, a faction built on antisemitic, anti-migrant, and antiCaucasians positions was created. At this time practically every active representative of the Russian ultra-right scene were connected to a faction of the party «Rodina»: from Demushkin4 and Krylov5 to the pagans. They were assistants of the deputies, participated in the activities of this faction. But this was only one convocation. <...> In parliament now, there is not one party that would stand openly on an ultra-right position. Although «separate examples», of course, still exist, including in the faction of the ruling party «United Russia». <...>
A few words on the Ukraine I prefer not to address the Ukraine because, generally speaking, everything is complicated there with political nationalism. I will simply say that, with sufficient regularity, the ultra-right has entered parliament even in its radical manifestation of UNA-UPSD6. But on the other hand this may be an indication that Ukraine has a democratic parliament – in contrast to Russia. <...> I think that with the stabilization of the political situation the ultraright will once again be able to get seats in the parliament of Ukraine. This may also be because there is a liberal (in the good sense of the word) political system: a small percentage for passing the barrier and easy procedure to register a party for the elections. <...> In summary If you remember, something like four or five years ago, when Le Pen7, in the 2002 French presidential elections, unexpectedly obtained a fairly serious percentage of the vote, everyone suddenly started talking about it. Now we see the right-wing politicians coming to power in almost every parliament in Europe. Nevertheless, this is only one of the tendencies. In parallel, the number of hate crimes is rising up, and the so-called musical «white power stage» is intensively developing. It is obvious that the European anti-fascist movement is unable to cope with a challenge of this magnitude, and does not have adequate answers and alternatives. Of course, this is a separate topic for serious discussion. I will only say that, as a minimum, we, anti-fascists from various countries, don not express enough solidarity and support at various levels. Deciphered and prepared by Ivan Kondratenko, Orel-Voronezh (Russia), Irina Aksenova, Voronezh (Russia)
2 The «Rodina» party appeared in 2004 and was headed by Dmitry Rogozin. By 2006 it had become the second largest party in the country. Party leaders have repeatedly and publicly expressed anti-caucuses, anti-migrant slogans. 3 Albert Michaelovich Makashov – an open antisemite and nationalist. In 1995 he became a deputy in the state duma from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. In 1999 met in Moscow the former leader of the Klu-Klux-Klan, David Duke and received assurances of support. 4 Dmitry Nikolaevich Demyshkin – leader of the largest neo-Nazi organization «Slavianskaya Soyuz» (SS). 5 Konstantin Anatolevich Krylov – representative of the governing council «Russian Social Movement», chief editor of the newspaper «Spetsnaz Roccii» (Russian Special Forces). 6 Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian Peoples’ Selfdefence (UNA-UPSD) – Українська національна асамблея – Українська народна самооборона – Ukrainian ultra-right party. In the mid 1990s the party had been denied registration for its actions (the public burning of the Russian flag), was re-registered in 1997. 7 Jean-Marie Le Pen – leader of the French ultra-right part «National Front» («Front national»). Has run in the presidential election on several occasions and received a significant percentage of votes. Was a deputy in the European parliament. In 2002 Jean-marie Le Pen came in second in the French presidential election receiving 16.86% of the vote in the first round and 17.8% in the second.
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sance of conservative religious ideology after the fall of the Berlin Wall. A typical example is «The League of Polish Families» («Liga Polskich Rodzin»), which is part of the government coalition. It is based on an ultraconservative interpretation of Catholic religious ideology, and covers classical utra-right range from a prohibition on abortion to homophobia. <...>
Between Ethnic and State Nationalism Anna Zhuravleva, Moscow (Russia) Viktoriya Kultygina,
Aleksander Verkhovsky, Director of the Sova Center for Information and Analysis (www.sova-center.ru), gave a special interview for on the situation in Russia.
Stavropol (Russia) Translated by Matthew S., Washington DC (USA) Could you, please, tell me about the relationship between the ultra-right and the authorities in Russia.
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For starters, we need to specify whom we call the ultra-right. In Russia, there are three types of organizations that can be without doubt called radical nationalists. The first category is the most obvious – skinhead groups and groups of neo-Nazis, that openly identify themselves as such. The second – groups like DPNI1 (the Movement Against Illegal Immigration) which are not part of the establishment. Those organizations, generally speaking, either don’t practice violence or don’t glorify it. As a rule, their statements are in the realm of the permissible. It makes sense, that if a person started to publicly praise Hitler, no government would allow that, but if they said that all immigrants need to be deported, then that is something that can be discussed. And finally, there are people with the same point of view, but who are
connected to the authorities: Dmitriy Rogozin2, Sergei Baburin3 and others. Thus, the relationship of the authorities to the three groups varies, because for any state authority, it is important to distinguish people «belong to them» – high ranking – from everyone else. For example, Sergei Baburin was a Duma deputy and is rector of the Russian State University of Trade and Economics, and thus, it is impossible to not invite him to events or to ignore someone of that status. It is understandable, that governments don’t like radical political platforms, because they are in opposition to the current order. Thus, the authorities can’t deal with the ultra-right, even within their own. I think that people in the Kremlin and the General Prosecutor’s office know well that there is no difference between Rogozin and any Nazi on the street. Because of this, developing one policy on the whole radical spectrum is complicated; you can’t either accept them all or spurn them all, and
1 The Movement Against Illegal Immigration (DPNI) – founded in 2002, it is one of the largest and most publicized nationalist organizations in Russia. Formally, the DPNI works against illegal (unregistered) migrants, but it actually speaks out against «non-Russian» newcomers, mostly those from Central Asia and the Caucuses. It is the first networked (not party based) nationalist organization in Russia, and has branches in many cities. The DPNI is one of the main organizers of the so-called «Russian March,» an annual demonstration by the «ultra right-wing» which takes place on November 4. In 2006, several Duma deputies spoke openly at the DPNI. Currently, there is a schism in the DPNI. 2 Dmitry Olegovich Rogozin – twice elected deputy of the Russian Duma, up until 2006 served as Chair of the party «Rodina.» He is known for his anti-Semitic and anti-migrant statements. He now serves as Russia’s permanent representative to NATO. 3 Sergei Nikolaevich Baburin – elected several times to the Russian Duma, once serving as Vice Chair, Chairman of the party «Narodnaya Volya.» In 2006 he joined the organizing committee of the nationalist «Russian March.» In 2003, Baburin invited the French right-wing leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, who gave a lecture at the Russian State University of Trade and Economics on the foundations of nationalism, and took part in the second convention of the «Narodnaya Volya» party.
they can’t be easily differentiated. The prosecutor’s main method for distinguishing them is expected to be through the criminal code: if they violated it – bad, if they didn’t – wonderful. The Russian law, however, is set up to make that impossible. Generally speaking, which politicians and political parties would you say exploit nationalistic ultra-right ideas? The idea of «nationalism» is often greatly simplified, under which there are a public-state nationalism, (where the subject of the nationalism is the state or the citizenship) and an ethnic one. Of course, it can be mixed. Ethnic nationalism isn’t beneficial for the government in a multi-ethnic country like Russia. And like today, when there are a lot of people who support ethnic nationalism (not only organizations, but the intelligentsia, public figures), the government says: no, this isn’t right, we can hate America instead of «newcomers». The question is how should the government and politicians deal with the fact that ethnic nationalism is growing? In the 90s, there were politicians who wouldn’t talk about this issue because it wasn’t considered appropriate, but now it is impossible to ignore. The result is that for the past ten years there have been openly ethnic nationalists. People, who had spoken about «newcomers», hung up signs like «Russia for the Russians»
So, you would say that there is a tendency towards moderation? Yes, of course. But, if the authorities were living in a permanent competitive electoral environment, the temptation to use this resource during elections would be great. But because they aren’t, moderation is possible. On the local level, however, the situation can turn the other way. For example, Kondopoga 4 was a classic example. It was completely out of control: for two days there wasn’t any order, no authorities untill OMON (special police forces) arrived. And then authorities agreed to kick all of the «non-Russians» out of the markets, and met the demands of the nationalists. After Kondopoga, local enforcement bodies started to prepare for
such situations. There were attempts by the ultra-right to repeat the Kondopoga scenario, but they weren’t successful. As a whole, the leadership of the country doesn’t try to settle the problem, because the priority is maintaining control. Thus, majority of Russians don’t like a large number of «alien» people, and it is highly explosive. But this problem won’t be solved, because an attempt to cope with it would require serious efforts and in some ways sacrifice from the authorities. For example, giving up the tool of manipulation during elections is a scary proposition for the authorities. Even all of the murdered people that we have counted are not a strong argument for the political leadership. In 2008 (up until the 19th of February, 2009), we counted no fewer than 525 attacks, 97 of which ended in death5 . Perhaps an argument about the possibility of a repeat of Kondopoga would have a political effect. But what conclusions they would draw from such a situation – also unclear, because the whole system is ineffective. Even an acknowledgement of the problem on the political level doesn’t get you anywhere. That is, even if the authorities are worried about something, that isn’t enough – you need for them to prioritize it. It is a huge task to not only replace government employees from time to time, but to develop policies to make the system
4 The event in Kondopoga (Republic of Karelia, RF), September 2006 – mass unrest resulting from a conflict between Russians and Chechens in one of the town’s cafes. As a result of the brawls, two people died, and on the following day locals carried out pogroms and set commercial units owned by expatriates from the Caucuses on fire. The DPNI organized a huge «National Gathering,» where they demanded the eviction of all Caucasians from the town. The gathering ended in mass pogroms. More than 30 Caucasian families were forced to flee from the town. The unrest was suppressed within a few days with the help of the OMON. The Karelian regional leaders of the police department and FSB, and the prosecutor, were fired. 5 Yearly report by the Sova Center, Galina Kozhevnikova, «Radical Nationalism in Russia and Counteraction to it in 2008», http://xeno.sova-center.ru/29481C8/C84DCA7 6 Aleksander Anatolevich Belov (real last name – Potkin) – Coordinator of the Central Council of the Movement Against Illegal Immigration (DPNI), Deputy Chair of the National Patriotic Front (NPF) «Pamyat», Head of the Political Council of the «Russian National Movement» coalition. In 2006, after the event in Kondopoga, a criminal case was brought against him under article 282 of the criminal code («incitement of hatred or enimity based on nationality or religion»).
functional. There were more convictions for violent crimes in 2008 as compared to 2007. That is progress. Still, there are a lot of fewer convictions than the actual crimes being committed. Back to the DPNI – what kind of future do they have? They might not have any future at all, it isn’t that important. If tomorrow the DPNI disappeared, others would take their place. It is unavoidable. There is this niche that is always going to be filled. The niche is for an organization, or maybe a few, to express the public’s xenophobic prejudices in a way that is acceptable to society. Aleksander Belov6, the leader of DPNI is a popular figure. I saw him not long ago on one of the main TV stations where he was presented as an expert on migration. People like him really do have influence. When the results of a sociological survey show that 55% of Russians share the motto «Russia is for Russians!», that is an abstract statistic. But if there is a bunch of those people, who repeat constantly: «Russia is for Russians!» and don’t only say it around the kitchen table, ethnic xenophobia is getting legitimized. Even the most foolhardy nationalists in the 90s clearly knew that they were marginalized. But now, those people believe that they are expressing the majority’s opinion. This rise in the social status of the ultra-right point of view is a big success of people like Belov. And there is nothing the authorities can do about it. You can find the Sova Center’s most recent report «Winter 2008-2009» here: http://xeno.sova-center.ru/ 6BA2468/6BB4208/CE07874
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on local administration buildings. This didn’t turn into a mainstream issue because the authorities didn’t let it totally develop. We can see that previously some people were allowed to talk about their views on immigrants; for example, pro-Kremlin youth groups. But now, they aren’t allowed to do that. The most obvious example to me is the war in Ossetia (August, 2008), when there were no anti-Georgian campaigns.
Geh Denken – a clear «STOP» to right-wing extremism! Appeal. On 13 th and 14 th of February 2009, right-wing extremists from all over Europe will once again mobilise for their annual march in Dresden. During the past years, the march on the occasion of the bombing of Dresden in February 1945 has evolved into the largest regular gathering of old Nazis and neo-Nazis of all shades in Europe.
Let’s stop the biggest Nazi march of Europe – peacefully and determined! We appeal to all people – young and old, from East and West, with or without a German passport – not to allow right-wing extremists to march in Dresden unopposedly. Particularly since we as democrats appreciate the right of free speech as a high value, we must oppose those who spurn the inalienable human rights and want to abolish democracy. We thus call for demonstrations and rallies on the 14th of February 2009 to actively confront this development.
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Reflection – contradict historical revisionism! Right-wing extremist mass events, like in Dresden, promote the entrance into the anti-democratic movement among the participants, celebrate the cohesion of an alleged national-socialist identity and serve as a platform for the networking of right-wing extremists from all over Europe. Such revisionist remembrance events strengthen the traditional lines towards the historical National Socialism. Equalising the victims of the air raids on Dresden and the victims who died in the concentration and destruction camps downplays and trivialises the Holocaust. While Leningrad, Rotterdam or Coventry were targets of the German war of aggression and destruction, Dresden was bombed in the course of the ending of the national-socialist tyranny. In order to oppose the extreme right propaganda, this difference may not be blurred.
Make the right choice – prevent the Nazi kick-off event! The right-wing extremist National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) and other extreme right organisations and groups will try to use the Dresden march as a kick-off event for the election year in 2009. With regard to the intended re-election into the Saxon Parliament, the march is important especially for the NPD. To prevent a successful mobilisation of the right-wing extremists for the upcoming elections, we must stop their march in Dresden!
Get active – use the opportunities! Since some years, there has been a wide variety of activities against the march of right-wing extremists in Dresden. In 2006, the march could be blocked jointly and peacefully. In the years 2007 and 2008, the right-wing extremist demonstrations were considerably disturbed. In 2009, we want to replicate the success of an active civil mobilisation of the past years. All over Germany and Europe, we appeal to stop the right-wing extremists peacefully and determined in Dresden.
Evaluation of the GEH DENKEN campaign – 2009 Sent by: Maria Grjaznow, Kulturburo Sachsen e.V. Dresden (Germany)
The preparation group of the «GEH DENKEN» campaign thanks all participants of the protests against Europe’s biggest neo-Nazi march and criticises the local authorities.
Full information: www.geh-denken.de
he GEH DENKEN demonstrations and activities against the right-wing extremist march on 14th of February, 2009 in Dresden reached many people and sent an impressive signal against right-wing extremism. About 10,000 people took part in the rally and the final event in the city centre of Dresden – many more people than in previous years. We thank all people, young and old, from East and West, with or without a German passport, for their commitment. We thank all organisations and individuals who contributed to the preparation and realisation of the campaign, in particular the 1,000 signers of our call and the numerous donors. We also thank our international supporters who expressed their solidarity with us.
As a clear success of GEH DENKEN we assess the support of the call which was signed by more than 200 prominent initial signatories from civil society, culture and politics. All of them made clear statements against racism and right-wing extremism in the run-up to the campaign and on the day itself. The wide commitment of the GEH DENKEN alliance resulted in the fact that this year, right-wing extremists could not gather in the city centre and march along the synagogue as happened in the previous years. Nevertheless, GEH DENKEN did not succeed to achieve its very aim: «A clear «stop» to right-wing extremism». Also this year, thousands of neoNazis from Germany and Europe could
march repeatedly in Dresden on two days. In the evening of the 13th of February, around 1,100 neo-Nazis gathered with torches and black flags. A speech was made by the extreme right «Alianza Nacional» from Spain. On the next day, the 14th of February, around 8,000 right-wing extremists marched in Dresden. The demonstrators carried inciting banners showing slogans and images glorifying National Socialism. For example, some flags demanded the old German borders of 1937, several banners equated the bombing of Dresden with the Holocaust. Around the demonstrations and also during the travel to and from Dresden, rightwing extremists seriously attacked both GEH DENKEN demonstrators and uninvolved citizens. The victim counselling service RAA Sachsen e.V., which supports victims of racist and right-wing extremist crimes, gained knowledge of at least five concrete neoNazi attacks on 14th February, including an attack on GEH DENKEN demonstrators at a motorway service area close to Chemnitz, an attack on a journalist at the Dresden Central Station, a racist assault on an Asian woman at the Dresden Central Station, an attack on a group of trade unionists at a motorway service area close to Jena with a seriously injured person, and an attack on a group of youngsters in a regional train to Leipzig. The preparatory group GEH DENKEN fiercely condemn these attacks. Unfortunately, this is not a new phenomenon. Also during the past years people were attacked while travelling to demonstrations against right-wing extremism. Against this background, we criticise that the
police concept lacked an adequate protection of the GEH DENKEN demonstrators. The violent assaults clearly show that the moderate image, which right-wing extremists try to spread in their marches, does not correspond to their real nature. 401 violent attacks were committed by right-wing extremists in Saxony in 2008, 30% more than in the previous year. Regarding these numbers, it is incomprehensible why the neoNazi march was led through Dresden downtown without police screening to a large extent. Any peaceful protest by whistles or chants along the march was suppressed by the police. The cornerstones of a democracy are those people who actively stand up for a peaceful living together – not those who honour National Socialism with undisguised propaganda. The preparation group GEH DENKEN criticises that a bus with right-wing extremists who were involved in the serious attack on trade unionists at a motorway service area was allowed to drive on unhamperedly after their personal data were checked by the police. Thus, some of the perpetrators from Sweden could leave Germany unopposedly. After he visited the seriously injured trade unionist in the hospital, Ralf Hron, Head of the German Federation of Trade Unions Dresden and member of the preparation group GEH DENKEN, said: «The attack clearly reveals the methods and ideology of the NPD and its accomplices. We must not tolerate this violence. There is no tolerance towards the intolerant».
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Furthermore, the preparation group GEH DENKEN criticises the local authorities which, according to our information, did not enforce the legal requirements of the right-wing extremist march. Observers informed us that neo-Nazis, wearing masks and combat boots and carrying inciting banners, participated in the march. We also criticise the behaviour of the local authorities towards the participants of the GEH DENKEN demonstrations. Long before the beginning of the demonstrations, the public transport was stopped and main and side streets were blocked,
so citizens were not able to reach the demonstrations easily. The de-escalation strategy of the police was a complete failure; at the Dresden synagogue, e.g., the police took action against the GEH DENKEN demonstrators with excessive, disproportionate rigidity. Immediately after the second request by the police, massive force was used against the demonstrators to push them back to the other side of the river. As a result, people were not allowed to pass the bridges to the city centre, and free access to attend the final event at the theatre square was refused.
Preparation group GEH DENKEN: Amadeu Antonio Foundation, Action Reconciliation Service for Peace, Green Party Dresden, Social Democratic Party of Germany Dresden, German Federation of Trade Unions Dresden, The Left Dresden, Jewish Community Dresden, Campaign Laut gegen Nazis, Kulturbüro Sachsen e.V., Superintendent Dresden centre, RAA Sachsen e.V.
The antifascist demonstration in Dresden. 14th of February, 2009
Russia/Belarus: A chronicle about solidarity campaign in Russia and Belarus www.sos-dresden.yhrm.org #1  2009
10 In January 2009, the International Youth Human Rights Movement together with the Youth Network against Racism and Intolerance started a campaign of solidarity with the German antifascists on Russian-speaking territory. January, 15th – Campaign starts – www.sos-dresden.yhrm.org January, 27th – Theme-based movie showing and discussion in Minsk (Belarus). Organizer is the Belarussian-Helsinki Committee. March, 13th – Discussion in Izhevsk (Russia). Organizer is the «Autonomous action – Izhevsk».
February, 1nd-2st – International conference «Nonviolent Actions against Racism and Discrimination» in Voronezh (Russia). Organizer is the Youth Network against Racism and Intolerance. February, 14th – Solidarity action in Kazan (Republic of Tatarstan, Russia). Organizer is the German House of Republic of Tatarstan. April, 11th-15th – Participation of Russian activists in antifascist demonstrations in Dresden. Translated by Anastasia Mukhlynina, San-Francisko (USA)
Justice for Mike Brennan, U.S. teacher beaten by Austri an police Republished from http://www.policebrutality.info/2009/03/police-brutality-justice-for-mike.html s soon as I got off I got hit. Before I could even see what happened I was on my back, my backpack still on. My head hit the concrete, and there was a guy on top of me, throwing punches. He didn’t say a word». This is how Vienna International School (VIS) teacher and black American Mike Brennan describes the end of what should have been a routine subway journey; except that this time Brennan was jumped as he stepped off the train, he says, pinned to the ground and beaten repeatedly by two men he’d never seen before. The alleged assailants would later turn out to be plain-clothes police officers, and Brennan is now seeking justice for what he sees as an unprovoked act of police brutality and racism. Vienna’s Chief of Police, however, views the incident as a mix-up rather than mistreatment, and has allowed the officers to carry on working as normal. The Public Prosecutor’s Office continues its investigations. It has been over three weeks since the events at Spittelau station in Vienna’s 9th District, and Brennan, a normally athletic ex-football professional, still cannot get around without the support of crutches. The blows he sustained that afternoon put him in the hospital and left him with two broken vertebrae (L1, L2), a sprained wrist, and injuries to his head and neck. Originally diagnosed with a bruised spine, the hospital found the first broken vertebrae after two and a half weeks, and the second one after three and a half weeks. The injuries he received will keep him out of work for three to four months. He takes medication for the pain, will be starting physical therapy in the next week, and still suffers headaches. «And I never had headaches, ever», he says. Despite this he remains calm and patient as he describes what happened that afternoon as the train he was traveling in approached its destination.<...> Realising he was under attack he tried to defend himself, when a second man came at him «from the side», jumped on him and began punching too. According to Brennan the attack lasted some three or four minutes minutes, and the two men stopped only when the teacher’s girlfriend of two-and-a-half years – a white Austrian – arrived at the scene and intervened. «Polizei, polizei!» , shouted one of Brennan’s alleged assailants, briefly flashing his badge at her as she dialed the emergency services. This was the first time either man had identified himself, or even uttered a word, says Brennan. It later became clear that both men were under-
cover agents for Vienna’s drug crime prevention squad, and that they had confused Brennan with a suspected cocaine dealer. Unfortunately, the officers’ aggression didn’t stop after the attack, says Brennan. They then pulled him to his feet, searched his bag and took his phone, and demanded identification. Brennan handed over his VIS identity card, which was never returned. He felt an excruciating pain in his back and sunk to the floor, demanding to be taken to a hospital or allowed to contact the U.S. Embassy. One of the officers replied by telling him to «stop crying» – the only words said in English and addressed directly at Brennan during the whole incident, he says. The officer, referring to Brennan, then told his girlfriend in German that «they always act like this». Brennan’s girlfriend called an ambulance, and he was taken to hospital for treatment and released later that day. He returned to the hospital the following weekend due to the continuing pains, and was kept there two nights. As news of the incident spread, sympathy for Brennan and outrage at his alleged mistreatment grew among friends and colleagues, as did concern that the case would not be taken seriously by the police. <...> By this time, the police had already initiated an internal inquiry into the incident through the Büro für Besondere Ermittlungen (Office for Special Investigations), while the Public Prosecutor began investigating the possibility of criminal proceedings. Nevertheless, fears that Mike Brennan. Picture from www.policebrutality.info
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the case will be swept under the carpet persist, heightened by what many deem as an unsatisfactory reaction by the authorities. Brennan received no apology for the injuries sustained during the incident, despite police claims that several attempts had been made to contact him. «My girlfriend got a telephone call the next day from a lady who apologised and said that «this has never happened before», apart from that I’ve heard nothing», he says. Regarding the incident itself, the police issued a press release on Monday, 16th of February, calling it a «regrettable mix-up», and stating that Brennan had been confused with a suspect with a near identical personal description. Many feel such explanations avoid the real issue. «Given Mr. Brennan’s accusations concerning the police operation, we cannot accept that the police apologises for having mistaken him for someone else», - says Sonja Fercher of ZARA, an organisation that campaigns against racism. «It has been established that he was mistaken for another person because of the color of his skin. But in fact this is not the point. He says that the police did not identify themselves as policemen, and that they attacked him without any reason. If that is true, the problem is not the color of his skin, but the legality of the police operation itself, that is in question». By the end of the following week, however, it became evident that the officers involved would be challenging Brennan’s account of the events. Brennan’s lawyer, Wilfried Embacher, had an opportunity to look at the
written statements given by them after the incident. They contradict starkly with the events as described by Brennan. <...> The police remained tight-lipped over the next days – refusing to comment on an ongoing investigation – until an hour before 25th of February’ press conference held by Mike Brennan in conjunction with Radio Afrika and Africa.net at Vienna’s Presseclub Concordia. In an interview with Wien Heute (Vienna’s Chief of Police) Gerhard Pürstl, stated that an interim-report issued by the Büro für Besondere Ermittlungen had shown that the police had acted in accordance with regulations, had identified themselves, that Brennan had resisted the officers and defended himself prematurely. Eyewitness accounts did not confirm Brennan’s version of events, and therefore there was no reason to consider the incident anything more than a mix-up, said Pürstl, stating that the two officers would remain on duty. During the Presseclub Concordia conference a reporter pressed Brennan with Pürstl’s comments. In the absence of surveillance footage showing the incident, and the apparent lack of witnesses who observed the events from the start, it appears at the moment to be a question of one person’s word against another’s. While Brennan and his campaigners continue to appeal for anyone who was at the scene to come forward, the conclusions of the Public Prosecutor are eagerly awaited.
Аustria: police racism is a permanent problem Irene Brickner, Republished from «Der Standard» (Austria),print edition 17.02.2009
Translated by Andrew Obote, Moscow (Russia)
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An interview with Dieter Schindlauer, adviser for human rights and chairman of anti-racist organization ZARA, for Austrian newspaper «Der Standard», by Irene Brickner, about problems of black-skinned people with the police drug control
Standard: Mr. Schindlauer, do your trainings with the policemen subsequently leave the impression that the local enforcement authorities display intense racism? Schindlauer: It doesn’t differ much from other professions – but it is a permanent problem of the police, because police officers daily turn up to be in respective places. For example, when they investigate cases amidst the drug dealers where an African group is involved. Standard: Does the police suspect all Africans in drug dealing? Schindlauer: Some policemen share the wrong opinion that 90% of Africans in Austria sell drugs. But there are more and more younger police officers who consider it as racism when Africans are being checked
more often than others. Unfortunately the police system does not support them adequately. Standard: The alleged assault on Michael Brennan is not а single case. How do you explain such violence? Schindlauer: To part with excuses which are used by the police, for example that Africans are aggressive and shout «racism» when they are only asked to show the identification card, it is not surprising if you consider that young Africans report two or more checks every day. Standard: What needs to be changed? Schindlauer: Drug control must be practiced by criteria distinct from the color of skin. This is feasible – police officers are expected to be professionals.
movie review «Nazirock il contagio fascista tra I giovani italiani» Directed and produced by Claudio Lazzaro Italy, 2007, Nobu Productions, 75 min. www.nazirock.it/english.php «Nazirock» is a documentary film directed by Claudio Lazzaro, Italy. The film is not so much about so called «white power stage» as about close relationship between political parties and right-wing musicians, about movement leaders and different nationalistic alliances. This film wasn’t let into run: there was no any official prohibition, but not a single film-distributing agency took it because of the threat from Forza Nuova, Italian far right political party. «Nazirock» is the second film of Claudio Lazzaro. He had been working as a journalist in different newspapers and magazines for more than
30 years until he started his producer company Nobu producations. Nobu is from «No budget», what means, according to Lazzaro: «We have no budget, but we will shoot films». Claudio Lazzaro has shot not only concerts of right-wing groups (The Hobbit, Ligittima offesa) but speeches of the leaders of nationalistic organizations and parties (Movimento Sociale Fiamma Tricolore, Forza Nouva, Alleanza Nazionale, etc.) as well. Even though a lot of speakers are former or present members of the European Parliament (for example, Alessandra Mussolini, grand-daughter of Benito Mussolini, «Duce») they are not ashamed of supporting Benito Mussolini Fascist regime, they are talking about Hitler as the man, who «took care» about his people and who made «some mistakes». In the film Lazzaro gives brief biographies of the movement «heroes», a lot of whom were suspected and/or condemned for terrorist sabotages or murders.
The film contains the episodes with actions and demonstrations, interviews’ bits with neo-fascists, reportages from training camps, interviews with musicians and ultra-right activists. The film is in Italian with English subtitles. You can find English transcript here: http://www.nazirock.it/ english.php. You can buy the film on Italian online stores. And you can try to address Claudio Lazzaro for free copy for anti-fascist demonstrations – firstname.lastname@example.org. Irina Aksenova,
Voronezh (Russia). Translated by Tatyana Zhuravleva,
Authors: Alexander Verkhovsky, Galina Kozhevnikova SOVA Center for Information and Analysis www.sova-center.ru, 2009 Russia, 2009 This publication is available in Russian language only. SOVA Center for Information and Analysis has issued the guide «Russian nationalism: structures, ideas, persons». This is not the first document, issued by Alexander Verkhovsky and Galina Kozhevniko-
va about the idea of nationalism and about nationalistic organizations. Such organizations in majority of cases are closely verged on neo-Nazism and neo-Fascism. The «Russian nationalism: structures, ideas, persons» is unique in its essence. Nowadays this guide is the first and the only document, that shows enough research in fields of contemporary nationalistic organizations and movements in Russia for many years. It includes 37 descriptions on outline «leaders – structure – history – ideology». The book consists of three parts. The first one tells about the basic nationalistic organizations of the last few years. In the second part the topic is about small groups which are deserving attention. The third part is dedicated to so-called «neighbouring organizations». Their activity and views can
not be referred to radical nationalistic ones, but ideologically they are close to the other two groups. In this accurately structured publication the significant portion is taken by alphabet indexes of names, organizations, and editions. The guide will be useful for analysts, Human Right activists, the media, and for any readers which are not indifferent to the nationalism problem, xenophobia, and intolerance in present Russia. Elena Ivanova,
Moscow (Russia) Translated by Anastasia Mukhlynina,
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The guide «Russian nationalism: structures, ideas, persons» Справочник «Русский национализм: структуры, идеи, лица»
A pro-nazi party enters the Greek Parliament By Irene Koutelou, Antinazi Initiative, Athens (Greece)
n 2007, the far right party under the name LAOS (Greek Orthodox Rally) entered the Greek Parliament winning ten seats out of total three hundreds. It is the first time since the end of military dictatorship and the re-instatement of democracy in 1974 that a far right party enters the Parliament. The propaganda of LAOS consists of xenophobic, antisemitic and chauvinistic demagogy mingled with declarations against globalization and the «New World Order». This party slowly but steadily incites among the people, suffering from poverty, the hatred towards immigrants with slogans like: «They deprive us of our jobs and our dignity».
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Even though its leader G. Karatzaferis claims that he is not a far right politician, he has a past of cooperation with the Nazis. In 1998, when he was member of the Parliament with the conservative party called New Democracy (that was the major opposition party, and now the governmental party), he invited the members of the overt Nazi organization «Golden Dawn» to take over a ministry if his party won the next elections. This organization, established in 1987, enjoys a legal status in Greece. It has participated repeatedly in national elections and Euroelections despite their overt pro-Hitler propaganda and the violence exercised from its members against immigrants, young people and members of anti-nationalist organizations. G. Karatzaferis faced no consequences for his pro-Nazi statements. The leader of New Democracy Kostas Karamanlis, who is today (Autumn, 2008) Prime Minister, when asked to comment on the fact that one of his
MPs stood in favour of Nazis, stated that «regarding historical issues of the past, there might be different approaches». Two years later, in 2000, the party LAOS was formed. In the local elections at the municipality of Athens on October 2002, LAOS had four members of the «Golden Dawn» as candidates. Antinazi Initiative publicly denounced this fact to the people of Athens, issued posters, distributed leaflets and gave a press conference. This campaign forced LAOS to break up the cooperation with the Nazis at the time. Yet, the pro-Nazi character of LAOS was covered up from all political parties that had influence on the electoral body. One characteristic example was given by the Communist Party of Greece (CPG). During a press conference, when asked to take a position on the campaign of Antinazi Initiative, the General Secretary of CPG stated that there was no need for anti-Nazi organizations! In 2004, G. Karatzaferis won a seat in the European Parliament. He had included in his ballot Kostas Plevris, a Nazi politician, former collaborator of the military junta. A few months prior to the parliamentary elections of 2007, Kostas Plevris was prosecuted for infringement of the Greek anti-racist law that punishes incitement to racial hatred and violence. He had written a book titled «Jews, the whole truth» where he called for the extermination of the Jews, passionately praised Hitler, the SS and the Third Reich and criticized the Nazis for not having fulfilled the task of extermination of the Jews, «although they were in a position to do so».
The book was advertised on TV by the candidate of LAOS Adonis Georgiadis. Thanos Plevris, another candidate of LAOS, son of Kostas Plevris, was his legal counsel in the trial. Finally, Kostas Plevris was convicted in 14 months imprisonment on the 13th of December 2007. Nevertheless, both of them were elected at the Parliament. There was no denouncement of their pro-Nazi stand, from any political parties and the Greek people were never informed about the true political character of the party they voted for. It should be noted that the nazi propaganda (newspapers, magazines) has been completely free for a long time. The recent conviction of Kostas Plevris was the first one in the last thirty years that the anti-racist law exists (since 1979). Yet, the trial was concealed and the conviction was muted. The atmosphere in the courtroom depicted the general political atmosphere. The court decided to expel counsels of the plaintiffs, members of the Greek Jewish Community, and allowed the Nazi and his many defence counsels to turn against the witnesses for the prosecution in the most provocative way. Whenever the prosecutor and the judges took a stand on the essence of the issue, they spoke mostly in favour of the nazi. Especially one of them, the Public Prosecutor Lazarakos, supported and praised K. Plevris, called his book «scientific work» (!), and was hostile to witnesses for the prosecution. The reason for this acceptance of a far right party like LAOS in the wider political spectrum is mainly a national consensus, that includes the left, the right, the far right and the Nazis, on the position that the abso-
This kind of anti-American and anti-globalisation theories are not based on progressive anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist concepts. They are based on xenophobic and nationalistic peti-bourgeois prejudices that turn against the material-scientific progress and the world communication explosion as absolute evils born by a world capitalist conspiracy. This current of thoughts is united with the classic conservative and extreme right ideological patterns like the so–called «cultural superiority of the Orthodox Greek nation», that appears to be threatened by «Western bourgeois culture» and a supposed «Jewish conspiracy». Correspondingly, the real friends of the Greek nation are considered to be Russia and Serbia, as well as any oppressive regime worldwide as long as it is an enemy of the USA and Israel (including Iran and China). Nowhere else in Europe was such massive public satisfaction at the terrorist massacre of 11th of September, 2001 or such support for Hamas or Radovan Karadzic’s ethnic purges. This political stand is shared by seemingly opposite groups from the far right to the so-called extreme left forming what we call the red-brown coalition. There is also a general acceptance of the perception of ethnic homogenizing that results to the brutal oppression of ethnic minorities. The Greek state does not recognize the existence of ethnic minorities on its ground. But there are two major ethnic minorities in Greece. The first is the Turkish mi-
nority that is only recognized as religious Muslim minority. The second is the Macedonian minority that is not recognized at all. The Macedonian minority has often been victims of Nazi attacks under police tolerance. Antinazi Initiative (ANI) has responded to this situation with campaigns aiming to inform people at national and international level and to achieve the widest possible denouncement against the legal status for Nazi organizations like «Golden Dawn» and against the concealment of the relations of LAOS party with the Nazis. Ever since it was established in 1997, ANI launched a campaign asking from the state to ban the Nazis and to have their violence punished. We collected signatures on a petition submitted to the Ministry of Justice with supportive documentation asking for the introduction of legislation for the prohibition of Nazi organizations in compliance with the international Anti-Racist Convention (CERD), ratified by Greece. The Ministry replied that there was no need for such legislation. Nevertheless, our persistent denouncement against the tolerance towards the Nazis brought the matter on the spotlight, attracted international attention and put pressure on the state. This was evidently shown on September 2005. At that time, the European Nazis chose Greece to organise their so-called Eurofest. Among the organisers were the NPD of Germany, Forza Nuove of Italy and La Fallange of Spain. We organised a campaign to ban the festival and appealed to European NGOs and democrats to protest. There was positive response and the event was banned. The conviction of Kostas Plevris was based on strong evidence that were gathered by ANI and submitted to the prosecution authorities, and was a result of democratic pressure at national and international level following our campaign.
Alongside to our demand that the Nazi organizations and propaganda are banned, which we perceive as a minimum condition of democratic struggle, we focus on the ideological and political struggle against the positions adopted by neo-Nazis and neo-Fascists, which are widely spread within society. The danger of the extreme right in Greece lies mainly in the fact that far right ideas are shared by large numbers of the population and supported by a wide spectrum of the political regime. We consider international support as an extremely important factor for our struggle and we appeal for solidarity from the international antifascist movement in order to prevent Greece from becoming a stronghold of neo-Nazism and neo-Fascism within Europe.
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lute enemy of the Greek nation (and not only) is the USA. G. Karatzaferis, at his first speech in the Parliament stated that the division between left and right does not exist anymore. He wondered: «Who is left and who is right, Blair or Athnar, both volunteers of this despicable American president, war criminal, in his war against Iraq? There is globalization, the New World Order and those who are in favor of it and against it».
Right-Wing Extremism in Hungary By: Gyorgy Ligeti and Tamas Nyeste, Kurt Lewi Foundation, Budapest (Hungary). This version was specially edited by What is the situation in Hungary? Before going into the forms of post-socialist right-wing extremism, xenophobia, and racism, we have to outline Hungary’s brief history and geopolitical position. Hungary was a nation successively occupied by the Turkish and Habsburg Empires from the middle of the 1500s to 1918, then ruled by Nazi Germany after World War I, only to fall victim to Soviet occupation after World War II. As a result, the past 500 years or so have been more devoted to the attainment of independence from other nations rather than to democratic civilian development. <...> While Hungary had been used to being an economically and culturally significant multiracial state until the end of World War I, the Treaty of Trianon in 1920 reduced the country to a small, relatively homogenous state. At the end of World War II, Hungary found itself on the side of the losers
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as the last satellite of Nazi Germany, and – like all other small East Central European states – it built up a Soviet-type social system of planned economy that lasted until the political changes of 1989. With the sweeping political changes of the late 1980s, however, Hungary had the opportunity to establish a multiparty democracy, build a market economy based on private property, and to lay down the foundations of social, religious, and ideological pluralism, whose first pillar was the introduction of a free press. The new social order was not however an obvious success story for all; there were many losers of the reforms, long-established social security was replaced by unemployment, and comfortable soft dictatorship was exchanged for the pluralism of values and the freedom of speech. The transition process was finally brought to an end with the accession to the European Union, which has presented Hungary with a
number of obligations – in addition to the economic, cultural, and political opportunities – that many have been unable to accept. They do not see accession as an opportunity to draw neighbouring countries together in terms of culture and politics, but rather, they consider European enlargement a modern form of colonisation. Revisionism and anti-Trianon sentiments Bringing an end to World War I for Hungary, the Treaty of Trianon left the country with only about one-third of its prior territory. That the treaty was disproportionate and unjust was easy to communicate to the mostly poor and under-educated masses. Right-wing governments – availing themselves of the general dissatisfaction among the people – kept pointing at Trianon and neighbouring countries as the source of all social and economic problems. Consequently, contemporary Hungary is characterised by a special, unique set of attitudes – reminiscent perhaps only of Germany – through which the idea of revisionism, so often harnessed by political powers, has lived on since 1920. The epitome of Hungarian revisionism is that the Treaty of Trianon is an illegitimate injunction imposed on Hungary by others. In this light the peaceful or even forceful revision of national borders, the «recovery» of former Hungarian territories is presented as a legitimate objective and whoever thinks otherwise is considered an «alien-hearted» foreigner. Various anti-Trianon postcards and books are undergoing a startling renaissance. We regularly come across musical evenings where revisionist marches hailing the war
Miklós Horthy, the Hungarian dictator (1920 – 1944)
Anti-Roma sentiments Based on perhaps the «richest» and most researched system of prejudice, most xenophobia in Hungary manifests itself in widespread antiRoma sentiments. There are approximately six hundred thousand people of Roma descent living in Hungary and most live under poor social and economic conditions. (These people are all without exception citizens of Hungary). <...>
The Internet abounds in the most humiliating Roma jokes. There is practically no Internet humour site which does not supply a full range of disgraceful Roma jokes generally unacceptable in 21st century Europe. Antisemitism Antisemitism in Hungary has taken on a much more sophisticated form than anti-Roma sentiments. This, on the one hand, means that (open) rejection of Jews is nowhere near as intense as the rejection of the Roma. Latency, however, is presumed to be very high. <...> Under the aegis of the Ministry of Education and with the guidance of Mária Vásárhelyi, the Communication Theory Research Team at HAS – ELTE conducted a research project in 2003 on the professional knowledge of full-time history students in state- and church-run universities. <...> The rather controversial study established that 21% of respondents are openly of the opinion that Jews weaken and subvert the nation that has given them a home, and 22% claim it would be better for all if Jews lived in their own state, Israel. 49% of respondents are of the belief that in Hungary the interests of Jews often do not correspond with the interests of others. Destructive conflicts: fans While the quality of Hungarian football is steadily deteriorating, football fan aggression is becoming ever more tangible. <...> The most notorious and feared fans support Ferencvárosi Torna Club (FTC); during and after matches the fans demonstrate unmistakable anti-Semite and anti-Trianon gestures and acts. <...> The realm of politics In the Hungarian Parliament there is at present (Autumn, 2008 – by editor) no party or faction that
would identify itself as an extreme right-wing group. The only such representative was the MIÉP, who, in the 2002 parliamentary elections, failed to win enough votes to make it into the house. Right-wing parties are, in general, reluctant to mark themselves off from right-wing extremist expositions and they do not always make it clear to the public that they are, in fact, opposed to and in noway support anti-democratic, antihuman groups. <...> How does the state and society handle the phenomenon? <...> In Hungary we traditionally tend to define ourselves as a people incapable of making responsible autonomous decisions; instead we think of ourselves as subjects whom the state is obliged to look after and whose problems and conflicts the state ought to resolve or at least patch up. Consequently, Hungarian citizens tend to assign the handling of the vast majority of problems to the state, expecting it to establish an appropriate institution or earmark a budget, and to take up a position on moral issues and the most diverse walks of life. It is our hypothesis that this attitude constitutes the breeding-ground for extremist views because on our view xenophobia and anti-Semitic ideas can only take root among controlled state subjects. <...> The most important government measure was the enactment of the anti-discrimination act. In addition, the Parliament amended the act banning hate speech in 2003. <...> In Hungary the role of the government in financing culture is considerable. <...> According to public opinion, the government intends to favour both sides. This seems to suggest that while the Holocaust is a just cause for one half of society, Trianon is the cause for the other half of society, and the two halves do not overlap.
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are sung or elegies are cited to the ecstatic joy of the audience. <...> A multitude of amateur bands have sprung up with an exclusive repertoire of original and revised revisionist songs. These bands attract a loyal audience with concerts in which constant concert dramaturgy, tension, symbols and uniforms are pivotal and compulsory elements. There are also a number of music companies that publish and distribute CDs of these bands while also selling Nazi relics, flags, and antiSemite books.<...> Magyar Fórum, the official paper of the one of the most well-known extreme right-wing parties, also regularly treats the Trianon issue. In its endeavours to discuss today’s problems the obligatory scapegoat for our national «tortures» are always the Jews, who – according to the paper – maintain a close and secret alliance with New York, Moscow, and lately with Brussels. The most important festivity of revisionist, anti-Semite, right-wing extremist youth, bands, and public writers has been the annual Magyar Sziget an event now in its fifth year. This event was initially created to counter the Sziget Festival – a major musical event known throughout Europe. Participants in Magyar Sziget include members of the press, writers, journalists, bands, and businesses who constitute the core of extreme rightwing ideologies in Hungary. <...>
BEFORE ELECTIONS: EXTREME RIGHT AND NATIONALIST PARTIES STRIVE FOR POWER Originally published: www.icare.to
he country which is known in the world as one of the poorest postSoviet states, alongside with Armenia and Georgia, but also as one the most multicultural and multilingual countries, with a long tradition of mixed marriages and hybrid identities, is going to have the Parliamentary elections next Sunday1. According to the census of the population from 2004, Moldova is still a home to 22% of minorities, including Gagauzians, Ukrainians, Russians, Bulgarians, Jews and Roma. Paradoxically, the pre-election palette of the political forces include a certain number of parties expressing extreme nationalistic views, and some of them have a good chance to enter the next Parliament. The term «nationalistic» in the Moldovan sense means, first and foremost, exclusion of minority traditions and unification with Romania on the basis of ethnic and linguistic ties, assertion and preservation of ethnic history – the «history of Romanians» (which anyway has been taught in Moldova since its independence in 1991) and primordialist pan-Romanian identity as opposed to the Moldovan multiethnic and civic identity.
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The nationalist parties, which try to present an image to the European community of a democratic opposition to the left-wing government, criticize, first of all, the latter’s initiative to change the subject «the history of Romanians» taught in schools to «the history of Moldova» with inclusion of minority narratives, such as the Holocaust history. Here the 1 Parliamentary elections took place on 5th of April, 2009. Its results have provoked an up-rising and clashes in Moldova.
Byr: Natalia Sineaeva-Pankowska, Helsinki Citizens' Assembly- Moldova, Kishineu (Moldova)- Warsaw (Poland) protagonists of ethno-nationalistic pan-Romanian identity try to whitewash the history of the period when Moldova was controlled by the Romanian government during World War II. The definition of the Holocaust here is strictly limited to the German extermination of Jews and Roma and excludes any participation or responsibility of Romanian state structures in the genocide. Local revisionists attempt to deny or distort the facts of the genocide of the Jews (and other groups) during the fascist Romanian occupation of Moldova (1941-44) and Prime Minister Antonescu’s responsibility for the Holocaust. Therefore, the Holocaust denial phenomenon can be put in the context of pan-Romanian identity formation. It servers as a tool in the political concept of reunification with Romania. Even since the very beginning of the 1990s the pan-Romanian ideology has been dominant in educational and academic discourses, traditionally the Moldovan population votes for more moderate parties, with an exception of 7-10% routinely given for the Christian-Democratic Popular Party under the leadership of Iurie Rosca, who became known in Moldova and worldwide as the main protagonist of the pan-Romanian ideology. The party’s two newspapers «Tara» (Motherland) and «Flux», which for many years were sponsored by the Romanian government, were known by their explicit antiminority and xenophobic rhetoric. However, it seems that today Rosca’s party lost its popularity among the population and, according to all preelection prognoses, will not enter the next Parliament. Therefore, there is
a chance for other parties with similar ideology to occupy the nationalistic niche in the Parliament. It is also the first time when extreme right parties participate in the Parliamentary elections on such a scale. Even though some of those parties were founded just recently, they already enjoy certain support from the population, also because all of them attempt to use widely antipoverty and anti-corruption populist rhetoric. One of their promises is to give everyone who will vote for them the Romanian citizenship and to keep «History of Romanians» in the educational system. European Action One of the hard-line advocates of the ethno-nationalistic version of Moldova’s future is the political movement «European action», whose leaders Anatol Petrencu and Vitalia Pavlicenco are known for their xenophobic and antisemitic views. The movement was founded two years ago by nationalistically-oriented historians, who harshly opposed the attempts to change the «History of Romanians» into the «History of Moldova» and it conducted its preelection campaign jointly with the National-Romanian party. According to the programme of the Movement and as it also follows from its name, it sees the Moldova in the future as a part of the European community, but «European» in this context means simply Romanian. European rhetoric is apparently perceived by party leaders as a tool in the construction of a pan-Romanian identity. Anatol Petrencu is the chairman of the As-
Petrencu writes about Antonescu as an important figure in the unification of «all Romanian lands» and his policy towards Jews can be justified because of «higher goals». Petrencu is also a (co)author of several history textbooks for schools. The infamous book where Anatol Petrencu attempts to justify the policies of Ion Antonescu against the Jewish population «Basarabia in the Second World War (1940-1994)» has been critically assessed by the MoldovanJewish US-based historian Izeaslav Levit as well as by other Moldovan intellectuals such as academician Efim Lefit, historian Piotr Shornikov and publicist and founder of the Antifascist Democratic Alliance in Moldova Efim Tcaci. The book has been strongly opposed by the Jewish community, too. However, the book, alongside other books of the same author, has been included in the list of obligatory
readings for doctoral students in the history of Romanians and officially approved by the Institute of History, State and Law of the Moldovan Academy of Sciences. In 2006 another «European Action» leader Vitalia Pavlicenco, who is also a vicepresident of the Council of the World Romanians, based in the USA, in her interview to the newspaper «Timpul», highly ranked Ion Antonescu as one of the best Romanians who ever lived (the poll on 10 best Romanians was organized by the Romanian TV). In her pre-election interviews for the right-wing news portal azi.md and newspaper «Timpul» she also quotes Antonescu, as her authority in the political struggle: «We will see, hope for success, I believe in it and as Marshal Ion Antonescu said, «life is worth to live only in dignity». Liberal-Democratic and Liberal Parties Two other parties promoting the pan-Romanian nationalistic ideology have more chances to enter the Moldovan Parliament according to the recent opinions polls – the Liberal Party of Mihai Ghimpu and Dorin Chirtoaca and the Liberal-Democratic Party of Vlad Filat. At first glance, the official pre-election programmes of those parties do not explicitly present their pan-Romanian ideology, in comparison with Petrencu’s «European Action». However, it can be seen from their speeches and their political backgrounds. Thus, for example, Mihai Ghimpu in the newspaper interview highly ranked personality of Ion Antonescu during the above mentioned
Thus, for example, Ion Coja, a professor of the Bucharest University, was given a platform by the weekly «Journal de Chisinau», where he said that it was a big mistake to include a chapter on the subject of the Holocaust in the new school textbooks (an initiative of the current Moldovan government). He also claims that in fact the Jews on the Romanian territory were saved, for which they should be grateful. Coja has a status of an authority among Moldovan scholars and now also politicians, such as Anatol Petrencu and Vitalia Pavlicenco. «Where are you, Antonescu?», exclaimed one of the visitors of the «unimedia» blog, an unofficial united pre-election media platform for all three parties. Ion Antonescu and Zelea Codreanu, a founder of the fascist «Iron Guard» are often mentioned in the context of the forthcoming elections by supporters of nationalistic parties in the Internet discussions.
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sociation of historians in Moldova and he has been accused of denying the Romanian Holocaust many times. According to Anatol Petrencu, the Jews were «a fifth column – Soviet agents, robbers, thieves, criminals who betrayed Romanian patriots and desecrated churches». According to the British antifascist magazine «Searchlight»: «the regime’s antisemitism is seen as justified because, in the words of Professor Anatol Petrencu, «many Romanian citizens of Jewish origin were involved in the realisation of alien, Bolshevist interests» and «it made the Romanian authorities and Romanian public opinion take measures».
Romanian TV poll in 2006. He also became notorious for the phrase: «Gagauzians are the ulcers on a body of the Moldovan people» (Gagauzians are a small ethnic Orthodox minority group of Turkish origin, who were granted an autonomy in 1994 in Moldova). Ghimpu’s and Filat’s parties have been supported by mainstream nationalistic newspapers, such as above-mentioned «Timpul» and «Journal de Chisinau», which are also accused of distorting the truth about the Holocaust. «Timpul», for example, published an article describing the Romanian pilots who bombed Moldovan cities and villages on 22nd of June, 1941 as liberators. The newspapers also became a platform for Romanian revisionists such as Ion Coja and Gheorghe Buzatu, a collaborator of the Romania Mare Party (The Greater Romania Party) and Holocaust denier.
Eternal Fascism Umberto Eco, Rome (Italy), Reprinted from http://interglacial.com/~sburke/pub/ Umberto_Eco_-_Eternal_Fascism.html
Writing in New York Review of Books, 22 June 1995, pp.12-15. E xcerpted in Utne Reader, November-December 1995, pp. 57-59.
<...> n spite of some fuzziness regarding the difference between various historical forms of fascism, I think it is possible to outline a list of features that are typical of what I would like to call Ur-Fascism, or Eternal Fascism. These features cannot be organized into a system; many of them contradict each other, and are also typical of other kinds of despotism or fanaticism. But it is enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it.
3. Irrationalism also depends on the cult of action for action's sake. Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation. Therefore culture is suspect insofar as it is identified with critical attitudes. Distrust of the intellectual world has always been a symptom of Ur-Fascism, from Hermann Goering's fondness for a phrase from a Hanns Johst play («When I hear the word 'culture' I reach for my gun») to the frequent use of such expressions as «degenerate intellectuals,» «eggheads,» «effete snobs,» and «universities are nests of reds.» The official Fascist intellectuals were mainly engaged in attacking modern culture and the liberal intelligentsia for having betrayed traditional values.
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1. The first feature of Ur-Fascism is the cult of tradition. Traditionalism is of course much older than fascism. Not only was it typical of counterrevolutionary Catholic thought after the French revolution, but is was born in the late Hellenistic era, as a reaction to classical Greek rationalism. In the Mediterranean basin, people of different religions (most of the faiths indulgently accepted by the Roman pantheon) started dreaming of a revelation received at the dawn of human history. This revelation, according to the traditionalist mystique, had remained for a long time concealed under the veil of forgotten languages – in Egyptian hieroglyphs, in the Celtic runes, in the scrolls of the little-known religions of Asia. This new culture had to be syncretistic. Syncretism is not only, as the dictionary says, «the combination of different forms of belief or practice;» such a combination must tolerate contradictions. Each of the original messages contains a sliver of wisdom, and although they seem to say different or incompatible things, they all are nevertheless alluding, allegorically, to the same primeval truth. As a consequence, there can be no advancement of learning. Truth already has been spelled out once and for all, and we can only keep interpreting its obscure message. If you browse in the shelves that, in American bookstores, are labeled New Age, you can find there even Saint Augustine, who, as far as I know, was not a fascist. But combining Saint Augustine and Stonehenge – that is a symptom of Ur-Fascism. 2. Traditionalism implies the rejection of modernism. Both Fascists and Nazis worshipped technology, while traditionalist thinkers usually reject it as a negation of traditional spiritual values. However, even though Nazism was proud of its industrial achievements, its praise of modernism was only the surface of an ideology based upon blood and earth (Blut und Boden). The rejection of the modern world was disguised as a rebuttal of the capitalistic way of life. The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.
4. The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism. In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge. For UrFascism, disagreement is treason. 5. Besides, disagreement is a sign of diversity. Ur-Fascism grows up and seeks consensus by exploiting and exacerbating the natural fear of difference. The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition. 6. Ur-Fascism derives from individual or social frustration. That is why one of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups. In our time, when the old «proletarians» are becoming petty bourgeois (and the lumpen are largely excluded from the political scene), the fascism of tomorrow will find its audience in this new majority. 7. To people who feel deprived of a clear social identity, Ur-Fascism says that their only privilege is the most common one, to be born in the same country. This is the origin of nationalism. Besides, the only ones who can provide an identity to the nation are its enemies. Thus at the root of the Ur-Fascist psychology there is the obsession with a plot, possibly an international one. The followers must feel besieged. The easiest way to solve the plot is the appeal to xenophobia. But the plot must also come from the inside: Jews are usually the best target because they have the advantage of being at the same time inside and outside. In the United States, a prominent instance of the plot obsession is to be found in Pat Robertson's The New World Order, but, as we have recently seen, there are many others.
9. For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle. Thus pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. It is bad because life is permanent warfare. This, however, brings about an Armageddon complex. Since enemies have to be defeated, there must be a final battle, after which the movement will have control of the world. But such «final solutions» implies a further era of peace, a Golden Age, which contradicts the principle of permanent war. No fascist leader has ever succeeded in solving this predicament. 10. Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology, insofar as it is fundamentally aristocratic, and aristocratic and militaristic elitism cruelly implies contempt for the weak. Ur-Fascism can only advocate a popular elitism. Every citizen belongs to the best people in the world, the members or the party are the best among the citizens, every citizen can (or ought to) become a member of the party. But there cannot be patricians without plebeians. In fact, the Leader, knowing that his power was not delegated to him democratically but was conquered by force, also knows that his force is based upon the weakness of the masses; they are so weak as to need and deserve a ruler. 11. In such a perspective everybody is educated to become a hero. In every mythology the hero is an exceptional being, but in Ur-Fascist ideology heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death. It is not by chance that a motto of the Spanish Falangists was Viva la Muerte («Long Live Death!»). In nonfascist societies, the lay public is told that death is unpleasant but must be faced with dignity; believers are told that it is the painful way to reach a supernatural happiness. By contrast, the UrFascist hero craves heroic death, advertised as the best reward for a heroic life. The Ur-Fascist hero is impatient to die. In his impatience, he more frequently sends other people to death. 12. Since both permanent war and heroism are difficult games to play, the Ur-Fascist transfers his will to power to sexual matters. This is the origin of machismo (which implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality). Since even sex is a difficult game to play, the Ur-Fascist hero tends to play with weapons – doing so becomes an ersatz phallic exercise.
Umberto Eco, the famous Italian philosofer and writer
13. Ur-Fascism is based upon a selective populism, a qualitative populism, one might say. In a democracy, the citizens have individual rights, but the citizens in their entirety have a political impact only from a quantitative point of view – one follows the decisions of the majority. For Ur-Fascism, however, individuals as individuals have no rights, and the People is conceived as a quality, a monolithic entity expressing the Common Will. Since no large quantity of human beings can have a common will, the Leader pretends to be their interpreter. Having lost their power of delegation, citizens do not act; they are only called on to play the role of the People. Thus the People is only a theatrical fiction. There is in our future a TV or Internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People. Because of its qualitative populism, Ur-Fascism must be against «rotten» parliamentary governments. Wherever a politician casts doubt on the legitimacy of a parliament because it no longer represents the Voice of the People, we can smell Ur-Fascism. 14. Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak. Newspeak was invented by Orwell, in Nineteen EightyFour, as the official language of what he called Ingsoc, English Socialism. But elements of Ur-Fascism are common to different forms of dictatorship. All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning. But we must be ready to identify other kinds of Newspeak, even if they take the apparently innocent form of a popular talk show. Ur-Fascism is still around us, sometimes in plainclothes. It would be so much easier for us if there appeared on the world scene somebody saying, «I want to reopen Auschwitz, I want the Blackshirts to parade again in the Italian squares.» Life is not that simple. Ur-Fascism can come back under the most innocent of disguises. Our duty is to uncover it and to point our finger at any of its new instances – every day, in every part of the world. Franklin Roosevelt's words of November 4, 1938, are worth recalling: «If American democracy ceases to move forward as a living force, seeking day and night by peaceful means to better the lot of our citizens, fascism will grow in strength in our land». Freedom and liberation are an unending task.
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8. The followers must feel humiliated by the ostentatious wealth and force of their enemies. When I was a boy I was taught to think of Englishmen as the five-meal people. They ate more frequently than the poor but sober Italians. Jews are rich and help each other through a secret web of mutual assistance. However, the followers of Ur-Fascism must also be convinced that they can overwhelm the enemies. Thus, by a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak. Fascist governments are condemned to lose wars because they are constitutionally incapable of objectively evaluating the force of the enemy.
American journalist, 1998
Ultra-right in Europe electoralgeography.com – «Electoral Geography 2.0» Prepared by: Alexandra Nazarova, Samara-Voronezh (Russia)
Translated by: Sophia Melnyk,
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