The far right is on the rise in Europe. Xenophobic, islamophibic and racist parties and movements have gain ground dramatically the past decade, probably fueled by the economic crisis.
In Switzerland, the Schweizerische Volkspartei, the country’s biggest party, depict immigrants as black sheep that needs to be kicked out, and they have succeeded with banning minarets. In Hungary, the third-biggest party Jobbik has formed a paramilitary Hungarian Guard that marches in romani areas, and a Jobbik member of parliament recently said that it was time to “assess how many MPs and government members are of Jewish origin and who presents a national security risk to Hungary”. But the most worrying far-right movement in Europe is, I would say, the Greek party Golden Dawn.
Golden Dawn is the first Nazi party to occupy seats in a European parliament since the second world war. The party themselves denies being neo-Nazi, however, the evidence that Nazi ideology is an inspiration to them is enormous. Their party symbol, an ancient Greek meander, is often depicted black on a burgundy coloured background, which makes it strikingly similar to the Nazi swastika. On numerous occasions members of the party have given the Roman sallute, widely used by the Nazis, and one Golden Dawn MP has “Sieg Heil” tattooed on his arm.
In April 20, 2011, Golden Dawn spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris wrote in the party’s official magazine:
“What would the future of Europe and the whole modern world be like if World War II (which the democracies, or in fact the Jews – according to general Ioannis Metaxas – declared on Germany) hadn’t stopped the renewing route of National Socialism? Certainly, fundamental values which mainly derive from ancient Greek culture, would be dominant in every state and would define the fate of peoples. Romanticism as a spiritual movement and classicism would prevail against the decadent subculture that corroded the white man. Extreme materialism would have been discarded, giving its place to spiritual exaltation. […Adolf Hitler was a] great social reformer and military genius.”
Kasidiaris has also been quoting the antisemitic hoax text “Protocol of the Elders of Zion” in the parliament, a text which claims that the Jews plan to take over the world.
Also, Golden Dawn’s secretary-general and primary leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos said in an interview, which can be seen above, that six million Jews did not die in the holocaust, that gas chambers didn’t exist, that Adolf Hitler is a great historical figure and that the reason he doesn’t say “Heil Hitler” is because Hitler is dead.
The Greek Nazi threat has to be taken very seriously. Greece is one of the major migration entries to Europe because of its geographical location. If Golden Dawn’s power increases even more, the situation will be very dangerous. They have pledged to send all immigrants “back home” and even mine the Greek-Turkish border to prevent more from coming. With the Hitler inspiration as well as the brutal military rule in Greece 1967-1973 in mind, we cannot exclude the possibility that the situation can turn catastrophical.
Needless to say, we desperately need to pray for Greece. We need to pray for economic stability, for tolerance and peace, for a strong democracy, for truth, love, and revival. And we should also connect with Greek Christians, anti-racists and human rights activists and support and encourage them. We know all too well what the horrible Nazi ideology can create. Let’s do what we can to stop it before it’s too late.