Murder at Belgian Jewish museum ‘by European-looking man’


This video is called Three dead after shooter opens fire at Brussels’ Jewish Museum.

A horrible crime this afternoon in Brussels, Belgium. In the street where the Jewish Museum is, a man stepped out of a car, opened fire, and killed three people (four, according to other sources).

Was this an anti-Semitic murder by an extreme Right winger, like in the USA recently? It is too early to be sure about the murderer and his motives.

According to the Belgian police, quoted in daily De Morgen, and on Dutch site The Post online, the murderer was ‘a European man with dark clothes on’.

Whatever the motives, this is a terrible crime. My condolences to all families and friends of the people killed and wounded.

Belgian police arrest one person and hunt a second after fatal shooting of three people at Brussels Jewish museum: here.

See also here. And here.

Suspect in Brussels shooting linked to Western-backed Syrian opposition: here.

Svoboda party anti-Semitism in Ukraine


This video says about itself:

Jews upset over Ukraine election

11 November 2012

For the first time the nationalist Svoboda or Freedom party will be represented in Ukraine‘s parliament.

The movement which has links with foreign far-right groups like France’s National Front has been accused of anti-Semitism. Their election showing has raised concerns among the Jewish community.

“Unfortunately I have read their speeches and statements not once but many times. So I do not need any proof that they are anti-Semitic,” said Rabbi Pynchas Vyshedski.

More than 800,000 Jews were killed in Ukraine during the Second World War. There remains deep ties with Israel where there is anger at Svoboda’s success, winning parliamentary seats.

“We don’t understand why they gave them the opportunity to go to the election, we understand the democracy of Ukraine but this kind of party ought to be out of parliament,” explained
Alex Miller head of inter-parliamentary Ukrainian-Israeli committee.

[Svoboda leader] Oleh Tyahnybok was expelled from the centre right Our Ukrainian party eight years ago. In a speech he referred to Jews as being among the enemies of Ukraine. …

Tyahnybok and his party has forged links with other political groups including that of Yulia Tymoshenko and could be set to be part of a coalition in the forthcoming legislation.

From the Jewish Telegraph Agency:

Ukrainian Jews worry that rise of Svoboda party will bring anti-Semitism back into vogue

By Cnaan Liphshiz

April 26, 2013 6:14pm

KIEV, Ukraine — Marching in formation, six young men in dark jackets approach an anti-government rally in Cherkasy, a city some 125 miles southeast of Kiev.

At the appointed moment, they remove their windbreakers to reveal white T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Beat the kikes.” Their jackets carry the name of Svoboda, the ultranationalist Ukrainian political party.

A small riot quickly ensues. Angry protestors rip at the T-shirts, but the Svoboda-labeled men give as good as they get. One of the men beats Victor Smal, a lawyer and human rights activist, so savagely that he is rendered barely recognizable.

But denials notwithstanding, the incident has raised anxieties among Ukrainian Jews fearful of rising xenophobia and racially motivated violence they say is inspired by Svoboda, a party with neo-Nazi roots and a penchant for thuggery.

“Svoboda lifted the lid from the sewer of anti-Semitism in Ukraine and it’s spilling out,” said Joel Rubinfeld, co-chair of the European Jewish Parliament.

A U.S. State Department report this month singled out Ukraine, along with Hungary and Greece, as places of “concern” because of growing anti-Semitic parties. But open anti-Semitism is still rare in Ukraine. Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry documented just 15 cases of anti-Semitic violence in 2012. In France, the number was 200.

But the behavior of some Svoboda politicians risks changing that, some Ukrainian Jews worry.

Founded in 2004, Svoboda (“freedom” in Ukrainian) is the latest incarnation of the Social-National Party, a far-right movement ideologically aligned with Nazism. But while the Social-National Party never enjoyed any electoral success, Svoboda garnered more than 10 percent of the vote in the 2012 elections, becoming the country’s fourth-largest party.

“Svoboda is perhaps the biggest challenge facing Ukrainian Jewry today,” Ukrainian Jewish Committee President Oleksandr Feldman told JTA. “It has no structure and operates in a political vacuum and turmoil which allow it to run rampant.”

Svoboda’s unstructured nature also makes it difficult to pigeonhole. Party leader Oleh Tyahnybok has praised supporters for being the “worst fear of the Jewish-Russian mafia” and has called Jews “kikes.”

Yet the party also speaks admiringly of Israel, and Tyahnybok has made a point of advertising his meeting last December with Israel’s ambassador to Ukraine. Alexander Aronets, Svoboda’s press secretary, has praised Israel on his Facebook page as ”one of the most nationalistic countries in the world.”

Good relations with Israel may be desirable to Svoboda as a defense against accusations of anti-Semitism, a tactic employed by other European nationalist movements that have made overtures in Israel’s direction.

“They know anti-Semitism is preventing the good relations they seek,” said Moshe Azman, Ukraine’s Chabad-affiliated chief rabbi. “But Svoboda is not a uniform entity and I’m not sure the leaders control the rank and file.”

Feldman, an energetic businessman, lawmaker and founder of the Kyiv Interfaith Forum, says Svoboda has helped erode the shame associated with open expressions of anti-Semitism and other ethnic hatreds. His interfaith forum, which each year brings together hundreds of clerics from five faiths, was marred for the first time this year by a minor assault on a Muslim participant outside the conference.

“Svoboda is very frightening to Ukrainian Jews and other minorities because it is an ultra-Jobbik that evolved quickly,” Feldman said, referring to the anti-Semitic and Iran-friendly Hungarian party that also has enjoyed recent electoral success.

“We had hoped Svoboda would tone it down once it’s in parliament, but the opposite has happened,” said Vyacheslav Likhachev, a Ukrainian researcher with the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress. “The electoral gains have emboldened Svoboda lawmakers to incorporate thuggery as a modus operandi, a very dangerous development.”

One example came in February, when party member Igor Miroshnichenko shimmied up the towering statue of Vladimir Lenin in the town of Akhtyrka, threw a rope around the communist leader’s head, tied the other end to a truck and brought down the monument.

In December, the same man said Mila Kunis, a Ukrainian-American Jewish actress, was “no Ukrainian, but a kike.” Asked by a newspaper if Miroshnichenko could be prosecuted for making a racial insult, a Justice Ministry official said the word he used — “zhydovka,” a feminized version of kike — was permissible and part of the official vocabulary.

“This was another Svoboda success in poisoning the public sphere,” Likhachev says.

Svoboda officials declined several JTA requests for comment for this story.

In February, Likhachev signed a letter along with several other Jewish Ukrainians asking the Jewish Agency for Israel to cancel plans to hold its board of governors meeting in Kiev in June. The letter, which several Jewish leaders dismissed as overblown, said that poor democratic standards and Svoboda’s ascent made Kiev an ill-suited choice.

“Svoboda are riffraff — nothing comparable to Jobbik, which has its own militia and coherent policy,” said Yaakov Bleich, a Ukrainian chief rabbi.

“Svoboda is troubling as a symptom of the main challenges facing Ukrainian Jewry: the economic recession and political uncertainty,” Bleich said. Still, he added, “because Svoboda is a mob, it’s less predictable than Jobbik. Svoboda’s leaders may be unable to control anti-Semitic displays.”

Despite the disagreements, many Jewish leaders seem to agree that Svoboda’s success owes more to frustration with the establishment than to its anti-Semitic statements. Likhachev pointed specifically to the discontent that emerged in the wake of the Orange Revolution, the protests following the 2004 election that brought former president Viktor Yushchenko to power on a platform of greater government accountability.

Bickering and disunity cost Yushchenko the presidency in 2010. He was succeeded by Viktor Yanukovych, the man whom protestors accused five years earlier of election fraud. That development strengthened Svoboda in two ways, Likhachev says.

“First, it radicalized disgruntled voters,” Likhachev says. “Second, the opposition allies learned they needed to stay united to win. So they are willing to overlook Svoboda’s anti-Semitism — to the detriment of Ukrainian society and its Jewish population.”

KENNY COYLE examines the liberal media’s refusal to put the true politics of Kiev’s neonazi groups under the spotlight: here.

Swedish neonazis to Ukraine to support their local colleagues: here.

As the Obama administration and its allies in Europe escalate their threats against Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, the American media plays its assigned role as propaganda mouthpiece: here.

Britain: Gung-ho Tory backbenchers demanded action yesterday to stoke up the Ukraine crisis: here.

By Patrick Martin:

White House cynicism on the Holocaust

29 April 2014

For sheer cynical doubletalk, it is hard to top the statement issued by President Obama Monday, to mark the annual worldwide commemoration of the Holocaust, one of the greatest crimes in modern history.

The statement concludes, “let us recommit ourselves to the task of remembrance, and to always oppose anti-Semitism wherever it takes root. Together, we must give enduring meaning to the words ‘Never Again’.”

The two-paragraph text is posted on the White House web site immediately below a statement issued the same day on US policy in Ukraine, announcing new sanctions against Russia for Moscow’s public opposition to the US-backed takeover of Ukraine by right-wing nationalist forces that hail the Ukrainian Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera.

The February 22 coup was spearheaded by thugs and gunmen from the Right Sector, an openly fascistic organization, and it elevated into the Kiev government representatives of the fascist Svoboda (Freedom) Party.

Svoboda’s top leader for the last 10 years, Oleh Tyahnybok, is on record calling for an all-out struggle against the “Yid-Russki mafia” in Ukraine (i.e., Jews and Russian speakers). He made that statement in a speech at the graveside of a leader of Bandera’s Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which fought alongside Hitler’s Wehrmacht in World War II.

Tyahnybok has received a series of high-level visitors in Kiev, including US senators John McCain (Republican) and Christopher Murphy (Democrat), Secretary of State John Kerry (for a photograph of Kerry with Tyahnybok see the Kyiv Post here), and most recently Vice President Joe Biden.

Anti-Svoboda demonstrators in Washington DC, USA

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Ukraine Jews denounce anti-Semitic provocation


This video says about itself:

31 October 2012

Ukraine far-right Svoboda party anti-Semitism:

Ukraine’s far right-wing Svoboda party has secured nearly 12% of the vote in the country’s recent parliamentary election, provoking concern among European Jewish groups.

This is the first time in Ukraine’s brief history — the country only became independent in 1991 – that a far-right faction has entered parliament; the party received just 1 percent of votes cast at the previous election in 2007. Svoboda — which translates into English as “Freedom” – performed strongly in western Ukraine, which borders the European Union.

Member of the European Jewish Parliament Rabbi Levi Matusof implored people to “vigorously condemn, unambiguously isolate and unequivocally ostracize those seeking the revival of the darkest ideology of European history“.

The EU has witnessed a general rise in support for far-right parties since the onset of the global economic crisis in 2008, with parties such as Jobbik in Hungary and the Golden Dawn in Greece entering their respective national parliaments despite openly professing anti-Semitic views.

By Alex Lantier:

Donetsk rabbi, protesters reject anti-Semitic leaflet as “provocation”

21 April 2014

In Donetsk, the Jewish community and pro-Russian forces protesting against the US puppet regime in Kiev have rejected as a fraud an anti-Semitic leaflet distributed by an anonymous group and attributed to the anti-regime Donetsk People’s Republic.

In language directly recalling the measures implemented by the Nazis against the Jewish people in the years before the Holocaust, the leaflet demanded that Jews in Donetsk register themselves and their property with the pro-Russian authorities and pay a $50 fee or face deportation and persecution.

The chief rabbi of Donetsk, Pinchas Vishedski, denounced the leaflet as a “provocation.” He said, “We are not taking this out of proportion. It did not come from some organization …We called on the security service of the country and the police and we asked them to take care and find out who made it.”

The leaflet was also denounced by the pro-Russian Donetsk People’s Republic, led by Denis Pushilin, which has occupied local state administration buildings in Donetsk.

“This is the method Kiev has used,” Pushilin said. “The leaflets say they are from the People’s Republic about Jews—all these are provocations. They have no basis at all.”

These comments refute the attempts of US officials to turn the leaflet into an asset in a propaganda campaign to smear pro-Russian protesters and prop up their puppet regime in Kiev, which is based on fascist groups with deeply anti-Semitic politics.

In line with comments by US Secretary of State John Kerry, US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt had declared, “Everything we’re hearing suggests this is the real deal, and that it is coming from someone on the ground there among these radical groups.”

Given the widespread reports that Donetsk residents viewed the leaflet as a fake and a provocation, one can only conclude that Pyatt’s comments had ulterior motives. They served the function of creating an alternative media story to the open and intimate ties of the pro-Western Kiev regime to fascist groups such as the Right Sector militia and the Svoboda party, which openly praise Nazi-era Ukrainian fascist groups that participated in the Holocaust, and whose leaders have issued public attacks on Jews.

See also here.

Western powers, Ukrainian regime call for military buildup against Russia: here.

The German government is taking part in the NATO mobilization in Eastern Europe with at least one warship and six combat planes. According to the Ministry of Defence, the vessel “Elba” will head a flotilla of five mine detectors due to depart soon from the port of Kiel in the Baltic Sea: here.

Canada: Stephen Harper’s acutely embarrassing behaviour regarding the crisis in Ukraine — demonizing Vladimir Putin and upping the rhetoric — must be welcomed in the U.S. which created the crisis in the first place and apparently believes it still has something to gain by isolating Russia. But it is not clear that Harper even realizes — or cares — what the larger game is: here.

US Vice President Joseph Biden began his two-day trip to Ukraine Monday as the country continued to teeter on the edge of civil war. Tensions are mounting over killings in the eastern part of the country, where demonstrators calling either for union with Russia or a federalized system of government have seized control in at least ten towns and cities: here.

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Spanish village changing anti-Jewish name?


This video says about itself:

Spain and the Holocaust

29 October 2008

Maureen Tobin Stanley, associate professor of Spanish language, literature, and culture at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, spoke at Vanderbilt University Oct. 23 as part of the Holocaust Lecture Series.

Maureen Tobin Stanley has spent her career examining Spanish voices of resistance, exile and deportation. Though 10,000 to 15,000 Spaniards were imprisoned in Nazi camps with the implicit endorsement of Francisco Franco’s regime, their experience in concentration camps has been largely suppressed. As part of contemporary Spain’s critical, literary, and current legislative drive to recover its democratic past and renounce Franco’s totalitarianism, Stanley’s research seeks to demonstrate the cultural relevance of these frightening realities. Supporting contribution by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

From daily Haaretz in Israel:

Spanish village called ‘kill Jews’ mulling name change

Village of Castrillo Matajudios will convene its 60 families to vote on name dating back to Spanish Inquisition.

By JTA | Apr. 12, 2014 | 11:18 PM

A Spanish village is considering removing the phrase “kill Jews” from its name.

The village of Castrillo Matajudios near Leon in northern Spain will convene its 60 resident families at a town hall meeting next week to discuss and vote on the first formal proposal to change the village’s name, the regional daily Diario de Burgos reported Friday.

Mayor Lorenzo Rodriguez, who submitted the proposal, suggested changing the village’s name to Castrillo Mota de Judios, which means “Castrillo Jews’ Hill.” He said this was the village’s original name, but it was changed during the Spanish Inquisition.

In parts of Spain, and especially in the north, locals use the term “killing Jews” (matar Judios) to describe the traditional drinking of lemonade spiked with alcohol at festivals held in city squares at Easter, or drinking in general.

Leon will hold its “matar Judios” fiesta on Good Friday, April 18, where organizers estimate 40,000 gallons of lemonade will be sold.

The name originates from medieval times, when converted Jews would sometimes be publicly executed in show trials at around Easter, Maria Royo, a spokesperson for the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain told JTA.

“Regrettably, this type of expression exists in Spain in ceremonies and parties,” she said, but added that “the people saying it are mostly unaware of the history. It is a complicated issue that is ingrained in local culture.”

The federation is in contact on this issue with authorities, but given the popularity of the expression, “it is impossible to forbid this language” in that context, she added.

Last month, Ramon Benavides, the president of a local associations of hoteliers, told the news agency EFE: “When ‘killing Jews,’ it’s best to take it slow and keep track of how much you drink to avoid excesses and its consequences the next day.”

Spain is inviting back Jews expelled from the country in the 16th Century. But don’t mention the Muslims: here.

Discovery of oldest mikvah in Europe harks back to Sicily’s ancient Jewish presence: here.

Greek nazis and Greek police update


Golden Dawn graffiti: 'Greece belongs to the Greeks. Anarchists and communists, we will turn you into soap’ reads this graffiti outside a high school in Athens (photo: AFP)

This Golden Dawn graffiti says : ‘Greece belongs to the Greeks. Anarchists and communists, we will turn you into soap’ (like Adolf Hitler did with Jews in the 1940s).

From EnetEnglish in Greece, 23 September 2013:

Two senior police officers have resigned following a barrage of revelations into neonazi Golden Dawn and its activities.

They are Lieutenant General Yiannis Dikopoulos, inspector general of the police in southern Greece, and Major General Apostolos Kaskanis, general police director of Central Greece.

The two officers submitted their resignations to the public order minister, Nikos Dendias, on Monday.

Both men stated that they were resigning for personal reasons, but their departure is being widely interpreted as being related to revelations into the activities of neonazi Golden Dawn since the murder last week of Pavlos Fyssas by one of its members.

Moreover, the chief of police has suspended four officers and launched a sworn administrative enquiry into an incident on 20 September in Halkida, in Evia.

The officers are accused of failing to intervene at the sight of Golden Dawn members transporting weapons – namely batons, shields and helmets – into the local party offices, which is located a few hundred meters from the police station.

The four officers are also accused of failing to inform their superiors.

The inquiry will also examine whether there were failures in a subsequent police investigation into weapons found during a search of the Golden Dawn offices.

Infiltration

Dendias has also ordered the police’s internal affairs division to investigate whether the force’s ranks have been infiltrated by Golden Dawn.

“In order to facilitate the objectivity” [of] this investigation, the chief of police also announced the transfer of seven officers:

- the major general who heads the security (detective) division of the Hellenic Police
- the colonel in command of the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit (Ekam)
- the colonel who heads the subdirectorate for organised crime and human trafficking of the Attica police directorate
- the lieutenant colonel in charge of the department for arms and explosives of the subdirectorate for state security of the Attica police directorate
- the head of the YAT riot police platoon of Keratsini, whose members were seen throwing stones at demonstrators during the riot on 18 September
- the commander of the Delta motorbike-mounted police unit
- the police chief of Nikea police station

See also here.

Golden Dawn member identified in riot near police lines against anti-fascists: here.

From Dawn of the Greeks blog, 24 September 2013:

Nine hundred migrants have fallen victim to neonazi attacks in the last three years, the head of the country’s Pakistani community has claimed, also accusing police of generally refusing to record racist incidents and, in one case, of joining in on a racist attack by Golden Dawn thugs.

In an interview with Monday’s issue of Eleftherotypia, Javed Aslam said neonazis have “played football with our heads” in scores of incidents that are rarely reported in the media or to the police.

Also from Dawn of the Greeks blog:

On May 8, 2012, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, representing the Greek Jewry, in its press release announced that “the election of the followers of Fascism and Nazism in the Greek Parliament on May 6, was a strong hit against Greek Democracy”, and called upon all democratic forces of the Greek Parliament to join forces in order to “preserve our dignity and safeguard the principles of freedom, democracy and humanism”.

On September 17, 2013, Pavlos Fyssas, a defender of Democracy, was murdered by a sworn follower of Nazism. Our dignity, our freedom, our democracy, our humanism were literally violated. The punishment of the perpetrators is not enough.

We urge the Prime Minister, as well as all the leaders of the democratic parties to work together in the struggle against the “morphemes” of Nazism and Fascism in Greece, to cooperate for the voting of a strong and effective legislation that will combat racism, intolerance and anti-Semitism and undertake all necessary steps in order to ban from contesting elections individuals and / or organizations that profess nazi methods and have committed crimes against Democracy and society. All parties have to turn their promises into legislative action and finally stop those who seek the return of the darkest period of our history.

Those who deny the Holocaust, the ultimate crime against Humanity, do not just preach Anti-Semitism, they incite to hatred against the political opponent, the immigrant, the Roma, the black, the yellow, the DIFFERENT. Pavlos Fyssas was one of the ‘different’, he was a political opponent of Nazism and this is why he was murdered.

It is our duty to defend our dignity, the principles of freedom, democracy and humanism

Athens, September 23, 2013

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece

Local Golden Dawn office in Ierapetra (Crete) closes after murder of Pavlos Fyssas: here.

Golden Dawn’s secret army: here.

Athens: Shop owner kicking a Roma girl with her leg: here.

Strikes and demonstrations against social cuts and fascist terror are continuing in Greece: here.

Golden Dawn popularity in decline following Fyssas murder: here.

Greece anti-fascist protests: share your stories, video and images: here.

Berlusconi praises dictator Mussolini


This video is called Berlusconi defends Mussolini’s alliance with Hitler.

By Marianne Arens:

Former Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi praises Mussolini

8 February 2013

Italy’s former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, used the occasion of Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27, to praise the fascist “Duce” Benito Mussolini. Mussolini had “done a great deal of good”, notwithstanding the racial laws that were “his worst mistake”, Berlusconi said.

Italian responsibility for the Shoah was “not comparable to that of Germany”, Berlusconi continued. It had been “difficult” for Mussolini, who acted under pressure from Hitler. Italians had merely tolerated Nazi racial policy and were “not really aware of it at the beginning”, he said.

Italy’s political leaders immediately sought to play down the significance of Berlusconi’s statements, describing the provocations of the 76-year-old multi-billionaire as a “minor offense”.

Mario Monti, the outgoing prime minister, remarked tersely that Berlusconi had used an “unfortunate phrase on the wrong day and in the wrong place”. Just prior to his comments, the Ansa news agency reported that Monti did not rule out collaboration with Berlusconi’s party, PdL (People of Freedom), following parliamentary elections on February 24, on condition that Berlusconi did not take up a leading post in the new administration.

The Christian Democrat Pierferdinando Casini (UDC) declared that Berlusconi had “spoken nonsense”. Politicians aligned with the country’s so-called “left” also made just brief comments on the incident and were quick to move on.

Pier Luigi Bersani, the leader of the Democrats and leading candidate for the post of prime minister, complained that Berlusconi had made the “Day of Remembrance” a “day of election campaign maneuver”. The regional president of Puglia, Nichi Vendola (Left, Ecology and Freedom, SEL), described Berlusconi as a “falsifier, who would be advised to keep silent”.

Berlusconi expressed his comments on fascism during the official inauguration ceremony of a Holocaust memorial on “Platform 21” of the Milan Central Station. The memorial has been erected around the hidden railway tunnel originally used by the fascists to conduct deportations.

From 1943 to 1945, thousands of Italian Jews were deported from this point to extermination camps such as Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen, and the Italian camps of Bolzano and Fossoli. A total of around 8,600 Jews were deported from Italy to the death camps.

Contrary to Berlusconi’s remarks, anti-Semitism was not merely imposed on Italian fascism externally by Hitler and Nazi Germany—the persecution of the Jews was entirely in line with Italian fascism and Mussolini’s own racist ideology. Jews were socially isolated and dispossessed; they were banned from attending state schools in Italy, heading a business, carrying out an official function, and could not marry Italians.

In order to create a new “Roman Empire” around the Mediterranean Sea the Italian fascists occupied North Africa and parts of Yugoslavia, classifying Africans, Slavs and Jews as “subhuman” and discriminating against them. The defense of a “pure Italian race” was used, especially in Abyssinia and Libya, to justify massacres and genocide.

As historian Carlo Moos demonstrates, racial laws against the Jews were first introduced in Italy in 1938 in accordance with the racial policies of the Third Reich. At the same time they corresponded to “a long-existing, general-fascist racial concept” (Moos, Carlo: Late Italian Fascism and the Jews, 2008).

Berlusconi, who is facing a series of criminal charges for business and sex crimes, is deliberately turning towards the extreme right in his election campaign.

One of his candidates for the Senate is Mussolini’s granddaughter, Alessandra Mussolini. Berlusconi’s party, the PdL, has not only allied itself with its long-time former partner, the racist Northern League, but also with ultra-right-wing parties such as the neo-fascist La Destra, led by Francesco Storace. The ranks of La Destra include Giuliana De Medici, stepdaughter of the fascist leader and founder of the neo-fascist Movimento Sociale Italiano (MSI), Giorgio Almirante (1914-1988).

Berlusconi has continually relied on the fascists in the course of his political career. In 1994 he drew the MSI into government for the first time since the overthrow of the fascist dictatorship. The MSI at that time openly professed its adherence to Mussolini. The party later changed its name to National Alliance (NA) and joined Berlusconi’s supporters to form the PdL. Former MSI leader Gianfranco Fini is currently backing the electoral list headed by Mario Monti.

Following Berlusconi’s resignation in November 2011 as head of government, his PdL party fully backed the austerity measures of the Monti government for a year in parliament. Berlusconi is now trying to divert increasing social anger into right-wing channels. While all other parties, including alleged “leftist” organizations, advocate the continuation of Monti’s austerity measures and support for the European Union, Berlusconi is conducting a populist nationalist campaign, blaming the European Union and the German government for the social decline of Italy. …

In this context Berlusconi’s allegation that Mussolini had done “much good” assumes menacing dimensions. Mussolini smashed the organized labor movement, destroyed its social gains and democratic rights, and went on to conduct brutal colonial wars in Libya and Abyssinia. …

Across Europe bourgeois politicians are forming alliances with racist, ultra-nationalist and fascist parties. Such parties have been playing an important role for some time in political life in Hungary, Greece, France and Austria. Against a background of increasing social tensions they are needed by the ruling class as a battering ram against the working class.

Hitler’s holocaust in the Soviet Union, photos


From TIME magazine in the USA:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

By Simon Shuster

World War II Through Soviet Jewish Eyes

Grief, Kerch, Crimea, January 1942

Grief, Kerch, Crimea, January 1942

One of the earliest Holocaust liberation photographs, Grief was originally a news photograph that circulated widely in the Soviet press throughout 1942. At the time it was taken, the photographer, Dmitrii Baltermants, was documenting Nazi atrocities for a traumatized Soviet population. Soviet wire services sent the image around the world, but few news outlets picked it up, fearing that the photograph was Soviet propaganda. The image re-appeared in the 1960s, when the Soviet Union began remembering World War II, or the Great Patriotic War as it was known there, as the great triumph of Communism.

In 2003, a young American historian named David Shneer was conducting 
research in Moscow when he heard about an exhibition of photographs called Women at War. At the time, displaying photography on gallery walls was still a fairly novel concept for Russia, and the exhibit was
 not meant to be a blockbuster. To get inside, Shneer found that he had 
to ring a doorbell at a nondescript building, at which point a raspy 
voice came over the intercom and demanded: “Who are you? What do you 
want?” But the images inside astounded him.

Not only had they been taken with incredible skill—arranging light
 and form in a way that would put to shame many of today’s war 
photographers—but they were from the Soviet battlefields of World
 War II, which made the surnames of their authors seem all the more
 strange. About four out of five of them, Shneer noticed, were Jewish
 surnames. “How is it possible,” he thought, “that a bunch of Jews, who
 are supposed to be oppressed by the Soviet Union, are the ones charged 
with photographing the war?”

As delicately as he could, Shneer put the question to one of the curators, who in typical Moscow style had a glass of wine in one hand
 and a cigarette in the other. “She looked at me like I’m an idiot and 
said, ‘Yes, the photographers were all Jewish.’” It turned out she was 
the granddaughter of one of them, Arkady Shaykhet, and their 
conversation that day is what led to the exhibit that opened on
 Nov. 16 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City. It has the
 same title as the book Shneer wrote from his research—Through
 Soviet Jewish Eyes: Photography, War and the Holocaust.

The show explores the way World War II was covered in the pages of
 Soviet newspapers such as Pravda, casting light on a side of the Holocaust that often gets short shrift in western history books. The 
genocide against the Jews, usually associated with images of Nazi 
death camps and gas chambers, was also perpetrated through mass 
shootings across Eastern Europe. Later termed the “Holocaust by 
Bullets,” it took more Jewish lives than the concentration camps, says Shneer, and it was documented most poignantly by the Jewish 
photographers of the Soviet press.

Although none of them are still alive to tell their story, Shneer spent the better part of a decade tracking down their relatives in 
Moscow and collecting nearly 200 works from their family archives. The
 prints were often no bigger than a pack of cigarettes, taken with 
beat-up cameras and two roles of film allotted for each battle. There
 are more faceless soldiers in these frames than intimate portraits of victims, and the most common theme is emptiness, at once bleak and monumental. But given their historical context, what seems most 
striking is the duality that runs through the lives and works of these 
photographers. On the one hand, these are works of Soviet propaganda,
 glorifying the Red Army in the tradition of socialist realism. “They 
needed photos of nurses doing good work on the home front, patriotic
 soldiers conquering territory,” says Shneer. “And their Jewishness rarely appears in that kind of material.”

But it does appear when they go off assignment to explore the Jewish
 ghettos in places like Ukraine and Hungary. There they found survivors 
living among the ruins of Europe, the yellow Stars of David on their 
overcoats still marking them for death. In the Budapest ghetto, the photographer Evgenii Khaldei found the corpses of his fellow Jews strewn about the floor of a gutted shop, a scrap of butcher paper covering the face of a man whose body lies in the doorway. Images like
 this did not appear in the mainstream Soviet press, but they were
 published in Eynikayt, or Unity, the Yiddish-language newspaper of the USSR. “We have this image in our heads that Jewishness was completely suppressed in the Soviet Union,” says Shneer. “But that’s really a
 post-war image of the country.”

Auschwitz survivor and anti fascist Leon Greenman, 1910-2008


Auschwitz survivor Leon Greenman

By Claire Dissington and Julie Waterson in Britain:

Leon Greenman 1910-2008

“Young and old alike must learn about the Holocaust as warning against the dangers of racism. There is no difference in colour or religion. If I had survived to betray the dead it would have been better not to survive. We must not forget. Please do not forget.”
Leon Greenman, Auschwitz survivor 98288

The movement against fascism has lost one of its most dedicated fighters with the death of Leon Greenman, aged 97.

After surviving five concentration camps, including Auschwitz, and enduring a forced march in which many others died, he pledged his life to educating others against the Holocaust.

Thousands have heard Leon’s moving story, with many becoming anti-fascist activists as a result.

Leon was born into a large working class family in the East End of London. His family moved to the Netherlands and he became a bookseller, married and lived in Rotterdam with his wife and son.

As the threat of war rose, Leon, a British citizen, had been contemplating a move back to London.

He changed his mind when in 1938 he heard prime minister Neville Chamberlain declare there would be “no war with Germany”.

Leon traced his distrust of politicians back to that statement. He would tell his audiences never to trust the government, urging them instead to create a movement that could prevent a repetition of the Holocaust.

When the Second World War came, it blew his life apart.The Nazis invaded the Netherlands and persecuted its Jewish population, eventually deporting them to the death camps.

Leon, his wife Else, and his two and a half year old son Barney were bundled onto cattle trucks and sent to Auschwitz. Leon last glimpsed his wife and child as they entered the camp – both perished in the gas chambers.

Leon believed education to be a powerful weapon against the Nazis and was awarded an OBE for his work in schools.

But he was also a firm believer in participating directly in the struggle against fascism.

He was an enthusiastic supporter of the Anti Nazi League and Unite Against Fascism and joined in many demonstrations.

He gained immense enjoyment from attending Love Music Hate Racism events, sharing the stage with singer Pete Doherty in Trafalgar Square in 2005. He loved young people and sparked off their energy.

Aged 82, Leon led the 60,000-strong Unity demonstration in 1993 that demanded the closure of the British National Party (BNP) headquarters in Welling, south east London.

As the police charged, he was bundled over a wall, narrowly escaping the truncheons. Months later, he led the victorious procession to a carnival to celebrate the defeat of the BNP’s first councillor in east London.

What a fighter Leon was. Of the 700 Dutch Jews who were transported from Westerbork, only Leon and one other ­survived.

In fact, many more Dutch Jews were transported from Westerbork. Maybe the 700 figure is about one transport.

His determination was matched only by his ­stubbornness.

On one occasion in 1994, the Anti Nazi League organised to stop a fascist “Blood and Honour” gig. It resulted in us being chased by the police and attacked by Nazi thugs.

Leon was put into a taxi and sent home for his safety. Five minutes later, we turned around and there he was – back at the front of the demonstration waving his walking stick.

That summed up Leon, a man with no regard for himself who would do anything to fight back against the Nazis.

He will be sorely missed – and we will never forget him.

See also here.

Jewish radicals of the East End in London: here.

Britain in the Second World War, 1939-1940: here.

Warsaw ghetto uprising: here.