Holocaust-denying pseudo-historian Irving, new film

This video says about itself:

DENIAL Official Trailer (2016) Rachel Weisz, Andrew Scott Movie

Based on the acclaimed book “History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier,” DENIAL recounts Deborah E. Lipstadt‘s (Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz) legal battle for historical truth against David Irving (Cannes Award winner Timothy Spall), who accused her of libel when she declared him a Holocaust denier.

In the English legal system, the burden of proof is on the accused, therefore it was up to Lipstadt and her legal team to prove the essential truth that the Holocaust occurred. Also starring two-time Academy Award nominee Tom Wilkinson, the film is directed by Emmy Award winner Mick Jackson (“Temple Grandin”) and adapted for the screen by BAFTA and Academy Award nominated writer David Hare (THE READER). Producers are Gary Foster and Russ Krasnoff.

Release Date: Coming Soon
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Director: Mick Jackson
Writers: David Hare (screenplay), Deborah Lipstadt (book)
Stars: Rachel Weisz, Andrew Scott, Timothy Spall, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Gatiss

From daily The Guardian in Britain, 3 February 2000:

Mr Rampton, questioning Mr Irving on his various “utterances both in public and private on the subject of Jews, blacks etc”, accused him of teaching his daughter aged nine months a “racist ditty” when he took her out for a walk.

The QC read out a September 1994 extract from Mr Irving’s personal diaries in which the historian referred to a poem he had sung to his daughter when “half-breed children” were wheeled past:

“I am a Baby Aryan,

“Not Jewish or Sectarian.

“I have no plans to marry-an

Ape or Rastafarian.”

By Joanne Laurier in the USA:

Denial and the assault on historical truth

22 October 2016

Directed by Mick Jackson; screenplay by David Hare, based on Deborah Lipstadt’s History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving

British-born filmmaker Mick Jackson’s new movie, Denial, is based on the book by US academic and author Deborah Lipstadt, History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving. The 2005 work chronicles the struggle pursued by Lipstadt and her legal team with Irving, the right-wing British pseudo-historian and Holocaust denier, in a London courtroom in 2000.

It was Lipstadt’s 1993 book, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, that prompted Irving to target the professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta. In her work, Lipstadt called Irving “one of the most dangerous spokesmen for Holocaust denial.” In 1996, Irving sued Lipstadt and her British publisher, Penguin Books, alleging they were part of an “organised international endeavor” to destroy his reputation and livelihood as a historian.

According to Denial ’s production notes, veteran British playwright and screenwriter David Hare proceeded with considerable care in defending “objective historical truth.” Hare crafted the scenes in court by using verbatim portions of the trial’s official transcript. The screenwriter explains that “I had to be historically accurate myself, so that enemies of the film, the people who agree with David Irving, couldn’t accuse me of distorting the record.”

Hare was further motivated by the insidious character of Irving’s attempt to give anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial a respectable veneer. “Irving dressed like an English gentleman,” notes the scriptwriter. “He lived in Mayfair. John Keegan, an extremely distinguished military historian, said that David Irving was a first-rate historian who happened to take Hitler’s point of view and that there was a significant historical value in looking at history from the side of the loser.” Irving contended that no Jews were gassed at the Auschwitz concentration camp and that Hitler and the Nazis were innocent of genocide.

When the film opens, Lipstadt (Rachel Weisz), has just published her earlier book. As she is delivering a talk promoting the work to a room full of students in Atlanta, Irving (Timothy Spall) appears with two associates, who videotape the proceedings. He attempts to disrupt the event by waving $1,000 in the air and yelling, “I’ll give it to anyone who can prove Hitler ordered the killing of the Jews!” Deborah refuses to engage with Irving, insisting that one can have different opinions about the Holocaust, but it is not possible to dispute whether or not it happened: “That isn’t an opinion. That’s a fact.”

In Denying the Holocaust, Lipstadt argues that following World War II, “Nazism in general and the Holocaust in particular had given fascism a bad name. … Consequently Holocaust denial became an important element in the fabric of their [neo-fascist] ideology.”

Deborah is then shocked to learn from her British publisher, Penguin Books, that Irving is suing her and Penguin for libel. She quickly discovers that libel laws in Britain differ from those in the US: in the UK, there is no presumption of innocence in such a case. Consequently, Deborah, as the defendant, must prove that her assertions were true and, furthermore, that Irving’s falsifications were deliberate.

While Irving chooses to represent himself in court, a top legal team headed by solicitor Anthony Julius (Andrew Scott) and barrister Richard Rampton (Tom Wilkinson) acts on behalf of Lipstadt and Penguin. Julius and Rampton insist that Deborah place complete confidence in her legal representatives. This leads to various conflicts (and a share of the film’s drama). Rampton refuses her request to put British Holocaust survivors on the stand so as to avoid subjecting them to Irving’s abusive and humiliating tactics––and he will also not allow his client to testify.

When Deborah demands “my right to stand up against someone who wants to pervert the truth,” her attorney counters that “these things are happening to you, but the case is not about you … What feels best is not necessarily what works best.” Rampton and Julius are convinced their “atom bomb defense” involves keeping the focus on Irving’s falsehoods rather than putting the Holocaust on trial. Towards this end, eminent British historian Richard Evans (John Sessions)––renowned for his research on the history of Germany in the 19th and 20th centuries, particularly the Third Reich––is brought on board.

In History on Trial, Lipstadt observes: “After detailing numerous examples of Irving’s historical malfeasance regarding the Holocaust and the bombing of Dresden, Evans wrote: ‘If we mean by historian someone who is concerned to discover the truth about the past and to give us as accurate a representation as possible, then Irving is not a historian … Irving is essentially an ideologue who uses history … in order to further his own political purposes.’”

In one telling scene, Deborah, seeking financial backing for legal fees, meets with leading figures in Britain’s Jewish community. To her surprise and dismay, they advise her to settle with Irving out of court and, generally, not rock the boat.

In preparing for the trial, Deborah accompanies her lawyers to what remains of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The no-nonsense Scotsman Rampton is doing forensic work in what the equally no-nonsense New Yorker Lipstadt considers a disrespectful manner. Only in the course of the trial does she learn to appreciate the efficacy of Rampton’s seemingly callous methods.

The dust jacket of History on Trial explains that Lipstadt’s lawyers “gained access to Irving’s personal papers, which exposed his association with neo-Nazi extremists in Germany, former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, and the National Alliance, which wanted to transform America into an ‘Aryan society.’ In the course of the trial, Lipstadt’s legal team stripped away Irving’s mask of respectability through exposing the prejudice, extremism, and distortion of history that defined his work.”

One of the trial’s pivotal moments, which gives the defense considerable momentum, occurs when Rampton proves that Irving manipulated the call logs of leading Nazi Heinrich Himmler to whitewash Hitler’s role in the annihilation of the Jews.

Rampton also produces a 1991 video clip in which Irving spews out his reactionary poison for the benefit of an audience in Calgary, Alberta: “I say quite tastelessly in fact that more women died on the back seat of Edward Kennedy’s car at Chappaquiddick than ever died in a gas chamber in Auschwitz.”

The trial lasts from January 11 to March 15, 2000. Ultimately, Judge Charles Gray (Alex Jennings) rules that “Irving’s treatment of the historical evidence is so perverse and egregious that it is difficult to accept that it is inadvertence on his part.” Lipstadt and Penguin win the day, and Irving is liable to pay all the substantial costs of the trial.

Irving was a notorious reactionary, with an extensive history of sympathy for fascism. In the 1980s he spoke to meetings of the anti-immigrant German Peoples Union (DVU). At least one audience included skinheads chanting “Sieg Heil!” In his final argument, Rampton observed (not included in the film) that “Mr. Irving is a Hitler partisan, who has falsified history on a staggering scale in order to ‘prove’ Hitler’s innocence, which like Holocaust denial is obviously very appealing to his fellow travellers. After all, if the Holocaust were a ‘myth’, then, obviously, Hitler could have no responsibility for it.”

Jackson’s Denial is a conscientious reconstruction of the libel trial. However, it was a commentary on the British legal system in general and its anti-democratic libel laws in particular, as the WSWS noted in 2000, that despite Irving’s history, “the High Court did not summarily dismiss Irving’s claim and instead provided him with a platform from which to propound his extreme right-wing views.”

The historical issues, along with Hare’s intelligent script, no doubt helped inspire the remarkable performances of Wilkinson, Weisz and Spall. Scott as Julius also deserves special mention.

In an interview, director Jackson (The Bodyguard, Temple Grandin) suggested that his film was “about historical truth … All the interactions between the characters, the tension between Deborah Lipstadt and the legal team, everything that happened is what actually happened.”

Denial has its weaknesses. The acting and the courtroom sequences, which are tightly and tautly done, are relatively subtle; other elements and scenes are not. The complacent and idyllic picture of Lipstadt’s suburban life in the US seems out of place. There is no hint of a connection between the historical issues, the emergence of neo-fascist forces and the state of contemporary society (including American society). The Irving trial itself demonstrated, for those who cared to see, that as long as the system responsible for the fascist barbarism continued to exist even such an apparently “settled” question as Nazi guilt for mass murder of the European Jews remained unresolved.

The filmmakers do not help their artistic cause by including a corny and unconvincing moment when, following her legal victory, a jogging Deborah (the recurring jogging scenes themselves are tedious and a distraction) stops––apparently to make common cause––with the statue of Queen Boadicea located on London’s Embankment, near the Houses of Parliament. The sequence seems to imply that like Boadicea, an early Briton who led an uprising against the Roman occupiers in 60-61 AD, Lipstadt is a female warrior leading her people.

More significantly, like virtually every film on the Holocaust that has come out over the past several decades, Denial is entirely silent as to the origins and sources of fascism. Unfortunately, one does not expect anything different.

Nonetheless, within its limited scope, Denial is valuable, particularly as an antidote to the efforts in Germany to relativize the crimes of Hitler and fascism, spearheaded by Professor Jörg Baberowski of Humboldt University in Berlin.

Holocaust survivor’s daughter protests against Hungarian government

This video says about itself:

Dozens of Hungarian award recipients return orders to protest ‘racist’ journalist’s receipt of same

23 August 2016

Over 40 Hungarian public figures that have received the country’s third-highest decoration in the past have returned their orders in protest of the government awarding it to a controversial right-wing journalist who has been deemed racist by his critics.

Zsolt Bayer, 53, was among several Hungarians who were awarded the Order of Merit of the Knight’s Cross by President Janos Ader last Thursday. However, the decision to honor the controversial figure sparked a wave of protest among left-leaning recipients of the decoration who see him as racist and anti-Semite, and dozens decided to return their awards rather than be found in the same group as Bayer.

The prominent journalist, who writes columns for the pro-government Magyar Hirlap daily, as well as in his own blog, is notorious in Hungary for his strongly worded comments targeting various minorities, which are sometimes seen as crossing the line.

The newspaper was fined in 2013 over an anti-Roma piece in which Bayer called them “animals unfit for coexistence” … . Years later, the newspaper was fined again for publishing remarks in which Bayer claimed that all refugee boys over 14 are “potential” terrorists. Commenting on Bayer’s award, businessman Andras Polgar, one of those returning the order, said “The state feels it is appropriate to lift racist criminals onto a pedestal… it is impossible to tolerate this with a sober, decent conscience,” as cited by Hungarian Free Press.

András Heisler, leader of Hungary’s main Jewish community organization and another recipient returning his decoration, said Bayer “harbors burning anti-Gypsy sentiment” and that he “pollutes Hungary with ideas that are fit to destroy the nation.”

The headline of one of the articles criticizing the move read: “By mistake Zsolt Bayer received lovagkereszt (the cross of the knight) instead of horogkereszt (the swastika).”

The Hungarian government defended its decision, saying that Bayer had been awarded for his work protecting victims of communist oppression in Hungary.

… Mária Schmidt, who is the director of the Hungarian capital’s House of Terror Museum, said on her Facebook page: “The Knight’s Cross was received by the Christian crusader who does not allow us to lose our values, traditions, sensibilities, and common sense! I congratulate Zsolt Bayer on his Knight’s Cross!”

Bayer has close ties with the Hungarian government. He was among the 37 Hungarian students that founded the now-ruling Fidesz party back in 1988, and is a personal friend of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Both have made critical remarks about the European Union and the way it is handling the refugee crisis.

Translated from Belgian (right wing) daily Het Laatste Nieuws:

Daughter of Holocaust survivor gives back Hungarian award in protest

5/09/16 – 2:29

Katrina Lantos Swett has returned a prestigious award that she received for her work with minorities in Hungary after the country decided to award that same prize this year to writer and journalist Zsolt Bayer. He has written racist texts several times and his work is considered by critics to be anti-Semitic.

Lantos Swett is the daughter of former US congressman Tom Lantos. He was born in Hungary and survived the Holocaust, before he began a new life in the United States. He died in 2008 and was the only congressman in US history who had lived through the Holocaust.

His daughter received the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit in 2009, after she had founded the Tom Lantos Institute in Budapest, which focuses on the rights of minority groups in society.

Lantos Swett hopes the returning of the prize will make Hungary think again about rewarding Bayer, who, eg, has called the Roma community “animals” and says that all Muslims aged over 14 are “potential killers”. He has also written numerous articles that are anti-Semitic according to critics.

Holocaust Museum

The US Holocaust Museum in Washington has called on Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban not to award the prize to Bayer. Bayer, himself a member of Orban’s party, received the award for “outstanding journalistic activities”.

German extreme right anti-Semitism

This video says about itself:

German AfD branded ‘Nazis’ after it says Islam is ‘unconstitutional’

18 April 2016

The anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party deputy chief has said Islam is a political ideology incompatible with the German constitution, and has called for a ban on minarets and full veils. In turn, the Council of Muslims in Germany has branded the statements “Nazi.”

“We are in favor of a ban on minarets, on muezzins and a ban on full veils,” Beatrix von Storch, who is also a member of the European Parliament, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

From Associated Press:

German nationalist lawmaker lashes out at Jewish activist

Head of Berlin chapter of Alternative for Germany and granddaughter of Nazis’ finance minister calls for anti-racism group to be shut down over criticism

September 1, 2016, 5:55 am

BERLIN — Days before a closely watched regional election in Germany, a leading member of the nationalist party Alternative for Germany launched an attack on a prominent Jewish activist, calling Wednesday for the anti-racism organization she heads to be shut down.

European lawmaker Beatrix von Storch, who leads the Berlin chapter of Alternative for Germany, lashed out online at the Amadeu Antonio Foundation over a brochure that described her party as far-right and populist. Von Storch called for the “plug to be pulled” on the foundation because of the brochure, which provides guidance on how to respond to her party.

Von Storch, the granddaughter of Nazi Germany’s finance minister,

Née Duchess of Oldenburg, Lady Von Storch is the granddaughter of Johann Ludwig, Count Schwerin von Krosigk. The finance minister of Hitler’s Third Reich from its beginning until its collapse in May 1945. Hitler rewarded him with the nazi party’s Golden Swastika badge. After the war, in Nuremberg, Count Schwerin von Krosigk was convicted to ten years in prison for war crimes and, eg, his role in the persecution of Jews in the Kristallnacht.

attacked the foundation’s chairwoman, Anetta Kahane, calling her a “Stasi-aunt.” …

A foundation representative, Timo Reinfrank, accused von Storch of trying to portray herself as a victim ahead of regional elections at the weekend.

“Unfortunately AfD politicians show time and again how well-founded our efforts to preserve the culture of democratic debate are,” he said.

The Amadeu Antonio Foundation has frequently been attacked by far-right groups.

In July, members of a far-right group known as the Identitarian Movement stormed its office demanding to see Kahane.

Reinfrank said at the time that the attacks on Kahane had become particularly “aggressive and often anti-Semitic.”

Anti-Semitic vandalism in Estonia, Russia

This video says about itself:

17 September 2015

Members of the Estonian parliament received parcels containing an edition of a speech on homosexuality delivered by Heinrich Himmler. The booklets were distributed by a neo-Nazi group, with Tallinn set to recognize same-sex unions in several months.

On Wednesday, the book with Himmler’s speech about homosexuality was delivered to the mailboxes of Estonian parliament (Riigikogu) members along with a pen with ‘Natsiweb.info’ written on it, Delfi news website reports. Natsiweb.info is the website of a Neo-Nazi group MTU La Colonia. The organization is a non-profit association headed by notorious Estonian national socialist Risto Teinonen, a Finnish national and one of the leaders of the far-right Estonian Independence Party (Eesti Iseseisvuspartei, EIP).

The EIP is currently not represented in the parliament.

The Natsiweb.info website advertised the mailout, writing “We hope that lawmakers are going to find time and get familiar with this work.”

According to Delfi, the book was printed at the print shop of Haamer publishing house registered in the city of Tartu. Nationalist Risto Teinonen is known for being a member of the board at Haamer.

The incident comes as in the near future the Estonian parliament has to pass implementing acts to the law that will legally recognize same-sex unions from January 1, 2016.

In October 2014, Estonia became the first former Soviet state to recognize same-sex partnerships after passing the Cohabitation Act.

Reichsführer of the SS (Schutzstaffel) Heinrich Luitpold Himmler, one of the senior leaders of the Third Reich and Germany’s Nazi Party, delivered his anti-gay speech to high-ranking SS officers back in 1937.

From the Jewish Telegraph Agency:

Holocaust monuments defaced in Russia, Estonia

Swastikas painted near Tallinn, memorial to hundreds of murdered Jews in Pskov smashed

September 2, 2016, 2:07 pm

MOSCOW — Unidentified individuals vandalized Holocaust monuments in Russia and Estonia.

The Baltic country’s Jewish community last week reported the drawing of swastikas on the Holocaust monument of the city of Kalevi-Liiva, which lies 10 miles east of the Estonian capital of Tallinn.

“It is sad that such incidents are taking place in our country. It is hoped that this will not happen again,” the community wrote about the incident, which was discovered after Estonian National Day celebrations on August 20.

Separately, a monument built near a mass grave of Jews murdered by Nazis in the Holocaust was smashed in the Russian district of Pskov, situated some 200 miles southeast of Kalevi-Liiva.

In January 1942, hundreds of Jews were shot to death by Germans at the site.

According to a report Thursday by the Russian news agency Interfax, the desecration in Pskov occurred sometimes between August 14 and August 29.

Police are investigating both incidents.

Anti-Semitism in Polish history and present

This video says about itself:

29 January 2008

On 10 July, 1941, the Jewish population of Jedwabne, Poland, were rounded up and murdered. Over a thousand Jews were forced into a nearby barn which was doused with petrol and set on fire. Music was played to drown out their screams. For over 60 years, the Nazis were blamed for this pogrom. But new evidence proves residents carried out the massacre. This single revelation — that ordinary Poles willingly participated in the Shoah — has proved the most shattering revelation confronting Polish society since the fall of communism. It further complicates our understanding of the Holocaust. Our documentary this week is a compelling and personal film exploring the legacy of this massacre.

Watch the full film on Journeyman.

By Clara Weiss:

Polish PiS government encourages anti-Semitism

29 August 2016

The Polish government in Warsaw is calling for a revision of history aimed at downplaying Poland’s involvement in anti-Semitic crimes. The centrepiece of the right-wing conservative government’s campaign is the pogrom in Jedwabne, a village in the northeast of Poland. There, in the summer of 1941, Polish anti-Semites killed more than 350 Jews with the agreement of German occupying forces.

Education minister Anna Zalewska asserted in a television interview she was not clear who was responsible for the pogrom in Jedwabne, as well as the pogrom in Kielce in the summer of 1946. Shortly before, Jarosław Szarek, the new director of the Institute for National Memory, which is under government control, denied the responsibility of Polish nationalists for the Jedwabne pogrom.

Soon afterwards, right-wing Lublin-based historian Ewa Kurek announced plans to collect signatures over the summer for a petition calling for the exhumation of the remains of the victims of the Jedwabne pogrom. The mayor of Jedwabne, Michael Chajewski, backed the exhumations, telling the Gazeta Wyborcza, “Yes, I would do that. It is necessary to clarify how many were killed and by whom, in order to overcome doubts.”

The exhumation of the victims’ remains was already ordered in 2001 under the presidency of Lech Kaczynski. But it was never implemented, above all due to worldwide protests. The Jewish religion prohibits exhumations, which are considered to be a desecration of the dead. Representatives of Jewish organisations in Poland and internationally repeatedly spoke out against the exhumations.

Prior to the Second World War, the Jewish community in Poland was the largest in Europe, numbering 3.5 million. In virtually every Polish city, the Jewish population amounted to between 30 and 50 percent of the total, and in some even more. In the country as a whole, which was still dominated by agricultural production, the Jewish community amounted to 10 percent of the entire population.

During the Second World War, the Nazis turned occupied Poland into the main location for the extermination of European Jewry. All six concentration camps (Auschwitz, Treblinka, Chełmno, Sobibór, Majdanek and Bełżec) were located on current Polish territory. Only around 350,000 Polish Jews survived the war, most of them in the Soviet Union. At least 1.5 million Jews from other European countries were transported to camps in Poland and murdered there.

Polish anti-Semites also carried out pogroms against the Jewish population prior to, during and after the war. The Jedwabne pogrom, which occurred soon after the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, is the most well known of these. In 2000, the Polish-American sociologist Jan Tomasz Gross published a book on the pogrom titled “Neighbours,” unleashing the most wide-ranging debate on historical and political questions since 1989.

Gross played an important role in the student protests of March 1968 in Poland and then emigrated in 1969 with his family as a result of the Stalinist regime’s anti-Semitic campaign. In his book, he utilised generalisations and an ahistorical method recalling that employed by Daniel Goldhagen in his book Hitler’s Willing Executioners. Like Goldhagen, Gross, whose writings are riddled with anti-communism, opposes a class analysis of fascism and anti-Semitism. Instead, he makes use of national abstractions and declares “the Poles as a nation” to be “perpetrators.”

By contrast, he says nothing about the history of the Polish workers’ movement, which in the 1930s led a struggle against the anti-Semitism of the government and extreme right-wing forces. …

However, in contrast to the claims of the Polish government, there is no historical doubt about the responsibility of Polish anti-Semites for the Jedwabne and Kielce pogroms. A comprehensive investigation by the Institute of National Memory (IPN), which was commissioned by the government in the wake of the publication of Gross’s book, came to the conclusion that at least 340 Jews were killed in the summer of 1941, broadly agreeing with Gross’s figures.

Many victims were burnt alive in the village’s church. Research by historian Anna Bykont confirmed the findings by the IPN and Gross. According to Bykont, the pogrom was carried out by nationalist elites in the village.

With over 40 fatalities, the Kielce pogrom of July 1946 was the worst of a series of attacks and bombings that killed more than 200 Holocaust survivors between 1945 and 1948. The pogrom was covered up by the Catholic Church as well as the Polish Nationalist Armija Krajowa (Home Army), which was waging a guerrilla war against the Stalinist government and its troops at the time, and deliberately stoking the spectre of a “Żydokomuna” (Jewish commune).

Confronted with this anti-Semitic violence, 150,000 of 250,000 Holocaust survivors who had returned to Poland after 1945, left the country by 1948. In the 1950s, and particularly in response to the student protests of 1968, the Stalinist regime conducted a series of anti-Semitic campaigns that forced tens of thousands more to emigrate. According to various estimates, between 5,000 and 25,000 Jews live in Poland today. (Some estimates, which include fully assimilated descendants of Jews, put the figure at 100,000).

In response to the education minister’s comments, several teachers wrote an open letter to the education ministry that has been signed by 1,300 teachers to date. In it, they resist “the manipulation of Poland’s recent history.” In Polish schools, neither the Holocaust nor Polish anti-Semitism are compulsory subjects, but a growing number of teachers are attending training courses at their own expense to be able to teach the subject.

Shortly thereafter, dozens of renowned researchers on Polish-Jewish relations at universities in the US, Israel and France published a letter opposing the comments of the Polish education minister.

The Law and Justice Party (PiS) government is directly appealing to the far right with its actions. The denial of the responsibility of Polish nationalists for anti-Semitic pogroms has been a key plank of extreme right-wing ideology for decades. A major campaign of agitation against Gross has been waged in Poland for years with unmistakable anti-Semitic undertones.

The Polish attorney general filed a lawsuit against Gross last autumn for “insulting the honour of the Polish people.” The right-wing Gazeta Warszawska, Zakazana Historia published an anti-Semitic caricature and a vile article agitating against Gross. The radical right-wing “Fortress for Poland’s good reputation–Polish anti-defamation League” backed the campaign with petitions against Gross.

The campaign is pursuing the goal of suppressing all historical research which contradicts the nationalist falsification of history. This is in keeping with the anti-communist law from earlier this year, which criminalises “communist propaganda” and requires the removal of all symbols associated with the socialist workers’ movement and the Polish People’s Republic (PRL) from public spaces.

Like the right-wing Polish nationalists in the 20th century, the PiS government combines anti-communism with anti-Semitism. Since the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917, the anti-Semitic spectre of the “Jewish commune” has been a central component of Polish nationalist ideology and of a large section of the bourgeoisie.

In the face of the economic crisis, the Polish government encouraged right-wing tendencies in the 1930s, which carried out pogroms on Jews, organised economic boycotts of Jewish businesses and drove Jews out of the universities. From 1936, the elimination of the Jews from Polish economic life and the “Polandisation” of major cities were official policies of the government, which collaborated closely with fascist groups and drew inspiration from the suppression of Jews in neighbouring Nazi Germany.

In 1937, Polish justice minister Witold Grabowski travelled to Germany to discuss with senior Nazis the adoption of the Nuremberg race laws in Poland. This was not firmly pursued, but between 1935 and 1939, the Polish government implemented several anti-Jewish laws, which dramatically worsened the economic and political position of Polish Jews.

Several professional associations, above all doctors, lawyers and traders, imposed bans to exclude Jews from their professions. De facto ghetto benches and a numerical limit were enforced for Jewish students at universities. Between 1936 and 1938, clashes took place almost daily between right-wing students and Jews or socialists. In some cities, especially Lvov (today Lviv and part of Ukraine), numerous Jewish students were murdered on campus.

Bloody street battles occurred in many villages and towns between fascist bands and armed self-defence groups for Jewish and Polish workers’ parties in the years prior to the German occupation of Poland in September 1939. The government gave free rein to the right-wing Endecja group led by Roman Tmowski, which carried out numerous pogroms.

Although the Nazis persecuted the Polish right wing during the war and drove the nationalists into the resistance movement, some of them supported the Nazis’ “final solution” of the “Jewish problem.” The pogroms by Polish nationalists during the Second World War, above all in rural areas, took place in this context.

Education minister Anna Zalewska is not the only government representative to dispute the responsibility of Polish nationalists for the pogroms in Jedwabne and Kielce. Current defence minister Antoni Macierewicz edited the radical right-wing newspaper Głos (the Voice) in the 1990s, where he published several anti-Semitic articles himself and denied the Jedwabne and Kielce pogroms. Macierewicz declared in an interview in the early 2000s that the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” an anti-Semitic pamphlet, was in essence correct.

The encouragement of anti-Semitism is part of the preparations for war against Russia and the militarisation of society, through which far-right forces are being systematically mobilised and integrated into the state. Macierewicz personifies this policy. As a notorious anti-communist and anti-Semite, he is also among one of the sharpest critics of Russia. At the recent NATO summit, he shook hands with US President Barack Obama and other heads of Western governments who agreed to the demands of the PiS government for the stationing of NATO troops in eastern Poland.

As part of its preparations for war against Russia, the Polish government is deliberately strengthening the far right. Since the Law and Justice Party (PiS) entered government last autumn, the number of attacks of a racist or xenophobic character has risen to its highest level since 1989. This was revealed by investigations by the NGO Nigdy Więcej (Never Again): here.

Hungarian government awards anti-Semite Knight’s Cross

Hungarian Knight's Cross

From Hungarian Spectrum blog:

Zsolt Bayer, the purveyor of hate, in his own words

Decent, democratic Hungarians are stunned. The hate-filled, racist, anti-Semitic journalistic hack, Zsolt Bayer, on the recommendation of Zoltán Balog, received the third highest decoration the government can bestow on people of great achievement. János Lázár presented Bayer with the “Hungarian Middle Cross.”

The independent media could scarcely find words to display its disgust with the government, but some headline writers rose to the occasion. One headline read “By mistake Zsolt Bayer received the cross of the knight [lovagkereszt] instead of the Swastika.” Swastika in Hungarian is “horogkereszt.” A blog writer at Népszabadság titled his piece “The knight of the Godfather” since Viktor Orbán and Bayer are old friends and fellow founders of Fidesz [the right-wing governing party in Hungary].

Instead of trying to describe Bayer’s “literary output,” I think it’s best to let Bayer speak for himself. I will be only his English voice. In the past, every time I wrote about Bayer I always said how difficult it is to translate his prose. For starters, Hungarian obscenity beats American obscenity by a mile. Moreover, I hate to repeat this smut.

The first time I discussed Bayer at some length was in January 2011 shortly after András Schiff, the world-renowned pianist, wrote a letter to the editor of The Washington Post. Bayer retorted with an article titled “The same stench.” Here are a few lines from that piece.

A stinking excrement called something like Cohen from somewhere in England writes that ‘foul stench wafts’ from Hungary. Cohen, and Cohn-Bendit, and Schiff. Népszava appears with the red figure of the man with the hammer and demands freedom of the press. Most people think that this is something new and that war like that didn’t take place before. Nonsense. There is nothing new under the sun. Unfortunately, they were not all buried up to their necks in the forest of Orgovány.

A brief explanation. Orgovány, a small village on the Great Plains, was the site of massacres committed by the leaders of the Hungarian White Terror in 1919-1920. Most of the victims were Jewish. In plain language, Bayer is expressing his sorrow that not all the Jews were killed in those days.

A year later he got angry because Ulrike Lunacek, an Austrian MP in the European Parliament, criticized Hungary. Bayer, who at the time had a program on Echo TVhad the following to say about Lunacek in the company of two other right-wingers:

Then comes a half-witted [The Germans translated it as ‘brain amputeed’] impetiginous lying idiot, Ulrike Lunacek, and I expressed myself delicately … The whole rotten filthy lie from the mouth of a rotten filth bag.” In choice Hungarian: “Csak jön egy olyan agyament ótvar hazug idióta, Ulrike Lunacek, és milyen finoman fejeztem ki magam. … Az egész egy rohadt szemét hazugság egy rohadt szemét szájából.”

In 2013 Bayer wrote another hateful piece in which, although he didn’t use the word “Jew” or “Jewish,” anyone who is familiar with Bayer’s style and way of thinking knows whom he has in mind when he talks about those who have been doing their best to ruin the white Christian race ever since the 1919 Soviet Republic, which in far-right circles is considered to be a “Jewish affair.” Those who are antagonistic toward Hungary organize themselves “in packs and attack their victims like loathsome drooling hyenas.” And he continues: “For you only death is the proper punishment. Because you believe in death, in public executions while your victims are left alone, go bankrupt, their friends deny them, they lose their jobs, and come to a sorry end. This is your goal.” Their sins are immeasurable and they will be punished. Because these mysterious people don’t realize “what monster [they] are trying to resuscitate. In fact, [they] woke him up already.” All that sounds pretty threatening, but then comes the twist:

You don’t foresee yet that it will be only we who raise our voices in your defense. We, the marked victims. We are the only ones to whom you can turn for help. It will be only we who will hide you. Because we are good to the point of ruining ourselves. And take this all very seriously. You miserable ones.

In January 2013, in Berlin, Zoltán Balog proudly outlined the accomplishments of the Orbán government as far as its Roma strategy was concerned. Bayer wrote that

a significant portion of the Gypsies are unfit for coexistence. Not fit to live among human beings. These people are animals and behave like animals. … If he finds resistance, he kills. He voids where and when it occurs to him. … He wants what he sees. If he doesn’t get it, he takes it and he kills…. From his animal skull only inarticulate sounds come out and the only thing he understands is brute force… There shouldn’t be animals. No way. This must be solved, immediately and in any way. [In Hungarian: “Ezt meg kell oldani–de azonnal és bárhogyan.”]

This particular article was deemed to be racist, and the state media authority fined Magyar Hírlap, where it appeared, 200,000 forints. Since then Magyar Hírlap had to pay another fine, this time 250,000 forints, because he called all refugee boys over the age of 14 “potential terrorists.”

When it comes to the migrants, Bayer usually dwells on horror stories, like the IKEA murder in Sweden, which then gives him an opening to blame liberalism for being the source of all the trouble. For example, he expresses his sorrow that the two suspects cooperated with the police because otherwise “the police could have shot them as one does a mad dog.” Now the Swedes have two murderers from Eritrea and two dead white Swedes. “Surely, the exchange was worth it. Long live liberalism! Long live human rights! Except when we talk about the rights of the European, white, Christian race.” Here Bayer uses the word “rassz,” which is practically never used in this sense in modern Hungarian. Bayer’s conclusion is that Europe must be defended. “It must be freed from this horror. If necessary with arms in hand. If everything remains the same, there will be bloodshed. These hordes believe that only the blood of Europeans can be shed.”

Perhaps the most often quoted Bayer lines were written in 2006 after the tragedy that occurred in Olaszliszka when a Roma girl stepped in front of a car driven by a school teacher. The child wasn’t hurt. The man stopped when a group of about twenty men and women dragged him out of the car and beat him to death in the presence of his two young daughters. Bayer wrote at the time:

Anyone in this country who runs over a Gypsy kid acts wisely if he doesn’t for a minute contemplate stopping. In the case of driving over a Gypsy kid, we should step on the gas. If in the meantime Gypsies surround the car, we should step on the gas even harder. Those we run over are unlucky. Leaving the scene at the greatest speed, we should call the ambulance from the car and we should stop at the next police station and turn ourselves in. (Unfortunately, I know that this scenario cannot take place because if someone runs over someone, especially a child, one must stop. So, we will stop. But we will have to do something. It is a good idea to get a gun before leaving. If we hit a child, let’s stop, and if the animals begin to gather we should use our weapon without hesitation.)

I don’t always have the stomach to read Bayer’s articles that appear in Magyar Hírlap and lately on his own blog as well. I’m sure that others could come up with hundreds more quotations that would further demonstrate that this man’s decoration by the Orbán government is a disgrace.

As for the charge of anti-Semitism, analysts pussyfoot around when it comes to the Orbán government’s attitude toward the country’s Jewish citizens and their role in Hungary’s history. I don’t think that, with the decision to award Bayer this high honor, there can be any question where Viktor Orbán stands on this issue. Bayer’s decoration must have been cleared with Orbán himself, and he must have known that this move will be interpreted as the government’s approval of Bayer’s racism and anti-Semitism. It seems that Orbán doesn’t care what the world thinks of him and his regime. Bayer’s decoration strikes me as a purposeful provocation not only of the Jewish community at home and abroad but of democratic communities in Europe and the Americas.

August 19, 2016

Award Given to Writer Fined for Racism Sparks Furor in Hungary: here.

United States Democratic chair resigns in anti-Sanders sabotage scandal

This video from the USA says about itself:

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Resigns, Sanders Fans React

Cenk Uygur announces that Debbie Wasserman Schultz has resigned as the head of the Democratic National Committee at a TYT meet up in Philadelphia.

From United States Representative Alan Grayson from Florida:

Weaponizing religion

A couple of weeks ago, my Communications Director asked me whether I had dual citizenship with Israel. I told him no. And I well recalled that a few months ago, Democratic Party operatives spread the same rumor about Bernie Sanders – and had it sprung on Sen. Sanders, without warning, on national TV.

Your party dollars, at work. Those flaks and hacks have no clue about how to defeat Republicans, but they sure do love that blue-on-blue action.

Blue is the colour of the Democratic party.

They even go so far as to weaponize religion. Like asking whether Bernie Sanders and I are dual citizens with Israel, because we are Jewish. Or planting a question to try to make it seem that Sanders is an atheist, as we found out that they did from WikiLeaks yesterday.

Oy gevalt. God forbid that we should ever have a debate on what’s best for the American people.

Don’t let these scummy party flaks and hacks get away with it. Contribute to our campaign so that we can blow past these cheap attacks, and put another good progressive in the US Senate.

Here’s another example from Wikileaks: Democratic Party operatives tried to plant the story that the Sanders campaign was falling apart. And – lo and behold! – we had exactly the same story planted against us last year, because two campaign staffers left the campaign and one shifted to part-time – over the course of four months!

One reporter told me that he was getting five calls a day from my “Democratic” opponent’s staff, dishing dirt on me. Starting a year ago. (The word “Democratic” is in scare quotes because my primary opponent is really a Republican masquerading as a Democrat – a fact that our corrupt party Establishment actually embraces.)

Of course, the party’s brutal interference in our race isn’t limited to disseminating lies. They’re spending a cool million dollars to try to defeat us – even though we’re doing better in the November polls than the callow tool who they’re desperately trying to drag across the finish line.

It comes down to this – whose party is it? I say that it’s Ours, not Theirs. Are you with me?

Our primary is barely a month away. Please contribute to our “It’s Our Party” fund, and help us to victory.


Rep. Alan Grayson