British neonazis at Buchenwald concentration camp

British National action nazis at Buchenwald

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Germany: Police probe nazi Buchenwald picture

Friday 27th May 2016

GERMAN authorities are investigating British neonazis that took twisted holiday snaps at Buchenwald concentration camp, the Bild newspaper reported on Wednesday night.

Openly neonazi National Action — whose handful of members include Zack Davies, currently serving 14 years for a racially motivated attempted murder, and Garron Helm who was jailed for sending anti-semitic tweets to an MP — posted the photo on its north-west region Twitter account last week.

The blurred, pixelated image shows the shadowy figures of two members standing in a basement execution room at the camp, holding up their banner and sieg heiling, with the sickening caption: “Oy Vey, such horrors.”

A spokeswoman for the Buchenwald Memorial site said the room was once used to store corpses, but the nazis also strangled over 1,000 people on metal hooks there.

She said officials filed a criminal complaint to police on Wednesday after being informed of the picture.

Holocaust jewelry discovery in Auschwitz

Auschwitz coffee mug and hidden jewelry, AFP photo

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Hidden jewelry discovered in Auschwitz Museum

Today, 11:49

In a museum piece at the Auschwitz Museum in Poland jewelry has been found hidden in the Second World War by Jewish prisoners of the concentration camp. It is a ring and a necklace that had been hidden under the false bottom of a coffee mug.

Curators found the jewelry when they were doing maintenance work on the utensils. The mug’s double bottom was rusting, leading to the discovery of the hiding place.

Under the mug were a woman’s gold ring and a necklace wrapped in canvas. Research has shown that the jewels were made in Poland between 1921 and 1931.

Many Jews hid valuables in their luggage as they were deported. According to museum director Piotr Cywinski because they were cheated by the Nazis. The deported Jews had been told that they would be housed elsewhere and that they were allowed to take a small amount of luggage. In reality, the Nazis were after their valuables.

The museum in Poland has about 12,000 cups, pots, bowls, kettles and jugs taken away by the Nazis during the war.

No traces

The probability that the legal owners of the jewelry will be found is very small according to the museum. In the mug there are no traces which might help to identify them. The jewelry will be documented in any case and will be stored in a safe place.

In Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camp in Poland during WWII 1.1 million Jews and 100,000 other inmates were killed.

Ring found in Auschwitz Museum coffee mug

One should hope that this heart-breaking discovery will give pause to present day politicians in Denmark, Germany and elsewhere who want to steal the jewelry of refugees fleeing NATO’s ‘humanitarian’ wars.

History of British fascism and anti-Semitism

This 2011 video from Britain is called The Brits Who Fought For Hitler.

By John Green in Britain:

Fascinating overview of the activities of the British far-right

Tuesday 17th May 2016

Haters, Baiters and Would-Be Dictators: Anti-Semitism and the UK Far Right

by Nick Toczek (Routledge, £20.99)

ANYONE with even a slight historical knowledge of Britain in the 1930s will have heard of Oswald Mosley and his fascist Blackshirts.

But who knows about Henry Hamilton Beamish and his movement The Britons or Arnold White and the British Brothers League?

In their preoccupation with Hitler and the German nazis, our historians and journalists have invariably overlooked our own home-grown fascists.

Anti-semitism has a long tradition in Britain and various anti-semitic and fascist organisations have arisen, disappeared and then resurfaced in different guises over the decades.

Their leaders have often included members of the aristocracy and military elite as well as assorted racist oddballs.

Over the years, Nick Toczek has amassed a mass of material about right-wing individuals and organisations and this book is the result.

His main focus is on Beamish, who devoted his life to a crusade against the Jews based on the notorious forgery The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.

Born in London in 1873, his antecedents came from the military, clerical or political elite and Beamish went on to serve in the army and spent considerable time in South Africa where his racist ideas were honed.

He went on to produce a range of magazines and other publications in which he disseminated his racism and nationalist fervour and laid the basis for many fascist organisations that followed.

Although such organisations have invariably been marginal to the mainstream political narrative, they have nevertheless often been granted active or tacit support by establishment figures.

Toczek provides a detailed and fascinating overview of the development and activities of the extreme right wing in Britain throughout the 20th century and for anyone wishing to know more about these shady and dangerous organisations his book is a mine of information.

He also attaches a very useful appendix of publications and key figures.

In his conclusion, he perceptively notes: “We’re all guilty of prejudice of some kind, although we usually deny it, and seldom understand the distorted logic behind it.” This book helps shed light on that distorted logic.

Chakrabarti report refutes claims of rampant anti-Semitism in British Labour Party: here.

Dutch anti-Semitic PSV football supporters

This video says about itself:

Auschwitz Chants ‘Not Anti-Semitic’: ADL slams Poland for allowing anti-Jewish football fan abuse

15 January 2014

The Anti-Defamation League has called on the authorities in the Polish city of Poznan to reverse a decision not to bring charges against fans of local football club Lech Poznan who were heard making anti-Semitic chants during a match against Widzew Lodz in September. The local prosecutor declined to pursue criminal charges after deciding the chants were directed at Lodz players, and not intended to harm Jews in general. But ADL chief Abe Foxman disagrees.

It turns out, according to Dutch broadcasing organisation Omroep Brabant today, that this week fans of Dutch football club PSV in a McDonald’s restaurant sang an anti-Semitic song. Translation: ‘My father was a commando, My mother was in the SS, Together they burned Jews, Because Jews burn best’.

Police are thinking about where there will be a prosecution or not.

Israeli general remembers Holocaust, right-wingers attack him

Major General Yair Golan

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

General under fire for talking of nazi leanings in Israel

Friday 6th May 2016

ISRAEL’S political and military Establishment decried army deputy chief of staff Major General Yair Golan yesterday for saying he saw reflections of events in nazi Germany in today’s Israel.

Maj Gen Golan told a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony on Wednesday evening that, “if there is something that frightens me in Holocaust remembrance, it is ghastly trends that took place in Europe in general, and in Germany specifically, 70, 80 and 90 years ago, and finding a sign of them here among us today in 2016.”

He added that, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Israelis should “discuss our ability to uproot from among us buds of intolerance, buds of violence, buds of self-destruction on the path to ethical deterioration.”

Politicians have attacked the decision to charge with manslaughter a soldier filmed shooting dead a wounded Palestinian lying on the ground in the occupied West Bank, but the general pointed out: “Not everything we do is right.”

He suggested, nonetheless, that Israel’s army does not cover up “problematic activity.”

Education Minister Naftali Bennett demanded that Maj Gen Golan correct his statement, lest he be seen as comparing Israeli soldiers to nazis and giving credence to Holocaust deniers.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked called him “a little confused,” claiming that his statement reflected “a lack of understanding, if not a disrespect, of the Holocaust.”

Real ‘credence to Holocaust deniers’ and ‘disrespect of the Holocaust’ came from Israeli right-wing Prime Minister Netanyahu; who whitewashed Adolf Hitler’s guilt of the Shoah, blaming it on Palestinians instead.

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog countered by praising Maj Gen Golan as brave, adding: “This is what ethics and responsibility sound like.”

Israel came to a two-minute standstill yesterday morning, as citizens silently honoured those slaughtered by the nazis.

A quote from General Golan’s speech:

“After all, there is nothing simpler and easier than hating the foreigner, there is nothing easier and simpler than arousing fears and intimidating, there is nothing easier and simpler than becoming bestial, forgoing principles and becoming smug.”

Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and his government have forced Major General Yair Golan, the deputy chief of staff of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), to retract his statement drawing parallels between recent developments in Israeli society and processes that unfolded in Europe before the Holocaust: here.

The army, the last bulwark of national unity, is being torn apart. The high command is openly attacked as leftist, a term not far removed from traitorous in current Israeli discourse: here.

Anti-fascism in London, England, 1936-2016

This video from Britain says about itself:

The Battle Of Cable Street, Sunday 4th October 1936

Short documentary on the East End of London‘s militant anti-fascist action against Mosley‘s British Union Of Fascists on Sunday 4th October 1936

The anti-fascist groups built roadblocks in an attempt to prevent the march from taking place. The barricades were constructed near the junction with Christian Street, towards the west end of this long street. An estimated 300,000 anti-fascist demonstrators turned out Over 10,000 police, including 4,000 on horseback, attempted to clear the road to permit the march to proceed.

The demonstrators fought back with sticks, rocks, chair legs and other improvised weapons. Rubbish, rotten vegetables and the contents of chamber pots were thrown at the police by women in houses along the street. After a series of running battles, Mosley agreed to abandon the march to prevent bloodshed. The BUF marchers were dispersed towards Hyde Park instead while the anti-fascists rioted with police. 150 demonstrators were arrested, although some escaped with the help of other demonstrators. … Around 175 people were injured including police, women and children.

By Phil Katz in England:

Cable Street: an incredible show of unity

Saturday 30th April 2016

DAVID ROSENBERG, whose family fought at Cable Street, discusses its significance and calls on the anti-racist and anti-fascist movement to commemorate the 80th anniversary later this year.

• Why would we march to commemorate the Battle of Cable Street?

Because it was an incredible people’s victory that still has the power to inspire us in our present day struggles.

We should celebrate the unity across communities, and the collective courage and determination shown by women, men and young people that stopped Mosley’s fascists then, but we have to recognise that racism and fascism are still alive and kicking today in Britain and elsewhere in Europe.

In the East End a group called Britain First — who borrowed their name from the standfirst on Mosley’s Blackshirt newspaper — have recently been intimidating the local Bengali and Somali Muslim communities in ways reminiscent of how Mosley’s BUF intimidated the Jews.

• Cable Street seems to be knitted into the fabric of our East End history — what is its special meaning?

This was the largest mobilisation in Britain against the fascists throughout the 1930s. Contemporary reports estimate that anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 were on the streets that day.

It is no accident that this happened in the East End, which was the cradle of so many struggles for better lives from the 1880s to the 1930s — where matchwomen, dockers, gasworkers and Jewish immigrant tailors had led strikes for better working conditions, Suffragettes fought for equality and political rights, and rebel Labour councillors went to prison for standing up for the interests of the poorest people. Everything they had gained was threatened by the advance of the fascists, and people understood that.

• How decisive was the Battle of Cable Street in turning the tide against fascism in Britain?

It was a very serious and unexpected blow to the fascists, who had been telling themselves that, like their counterparts in Europe, they would go from victory to victory, that the streets belonged to them, that the Jews would be too fearful to fight back.

They — and the police who protected and facilitated them — got much more than they bargained for on October 4.

The following Friday, the fascists’ own weekly newspaper admitted they had been “humiliated.” And while they continued, temporarily, to recruit young thugs up for a fight, there was turmoil among Mosley’s inner circle that filtered down.

Its key ideologues started blaming each other for the debacle at Cable Street, and a few months after the Battle of Cable Street the organiser of their powerful Shoreditch branch left and defected to the anti-fascists. He did excellent work in the late 1930s exposing Mosley’s party and their anti-semitism.

• And did it have an internationalist significance?

More than 200 anti-fascists from the East End went to fight in the International Brigades in Spain. An active Aid Spain movement had already started organising in the East End by the beginning of October 1936, but many who actually went to fight against Franco have stated in interviews that what inspired them to go was their participation in the great victory at Cable Street.

• What role do you think was played by police commissioner Sir Philip Game?

His sympathies were shifting. The orders to facilitate Mosley came from higher up and, on the day, it was eventually Sir Philip who called a halt and advised Mosley to march in the opposite direction and disperse.

Sir Philip later wrote an internal memo supporting a ban on the fascists while explicitly not calling for the same treatment of the organisations who were opposing them.

That said, there was rampant anti-semitism throughout the police in the same way we have institutionalised racism today, and there were frequent complaints by the beleaguered Jewish communities of the East End that the local police showed partiality towards the fascists.

Several veterans I knew recounted to me the anti-semitic abuse they received and heard at Leman Street Police Station after they had been arrested on the day.

• Do you feel the participants readily and quickly understood the significance?

Absolutely. Phil Piratin made a powerful statement about the immediate effect in his book Our Flag Stays Red, where he wrote: “The people were changed. Their heads seemed to be held higher, and their shoulders were squarer … The people knew that fascism could be defeated if they organised themselves to do so.”

The anti-fascists received a massive confidence boost, and the Jewish community saw that many of their Irish Catholic neighbours, who Mosley had tried to recruit, were truly on their side.

Also a local coalition — the Jewish People’s Council Against Fascism and Antisemitism (JPC) — had been created in late July 1936, partly in response to the complacency and conservatism of more established Jewish organisations in the West End who were telling Jews to keep their heads down.

The JPC were one of the key mobilisers for October 4, alongside the Communist Party, the Independent Labour Party, the Labour League of Youth and local trade unions.

They mobilised a petition signed by nearly 100,000 local Jews and non-Jews calling on the home secretary to ban Mosley’s march.

And when he ignored it they published thousands of leaflets addressed to “Citizens of London,” stating: “THIS MARCH MUST NOT TAKE PLACE,” and urging popular resistance. The stature of the JPC in the local and wider Jewish community rose enormously with the street victory over the fascists.

• Have you read Granite and Honey: The Story of Phil Piratin, Communist MP published by Manifesto Press? To me that book comes closest to answering how Mosley was defeated: local community organising and non-sectarian organising. Do you agree?

Yes. Piratin understood that fascism, rather than people temporarily drawn to the fascist flag, was the enemy.

He believed that is was possible to detach those who had accepted part of Mosley’s hyper-nationalist and anti-semitic narrative, from the hard core who accepted it totally.

He knew that fascism would not be defeated by one big demonstration or through an accumulation of physical skirmishes.

The key to defeating it was exposing it to its own supporters and building a real unity between the communities that Mosley wanted to divide against each other.

The work that the Communist Party did, together with local campaigners such as Father Groser, in the Stepney Tenants Defence League up to 1939, was crucial in cementing the victory at Cable Street.

The Communist Party should be very proud of its role in these events, but we should celebrate too the role of other local forces.

We need to recognise that the people who blockaded Gardiner’s Corner, making it impossible for anyone to get through, and those who stood behind barricades at Cable Street, far exceeded the members and supporters of the organised political groups in the area. It was truly a people’s victory.

• David Rosenberg is the secretary of Cable Street 80 and is active in the Jewish Socialists’ Group. He is the author of Battle for the East End (2011) and Rebel Footprints (2015). He conducts walking tours of London’s social and political history, including one called Anti-Fascist Footprints. The next walk takes place on Sunday May 22. Details and online booking at

• Phil Katz is a designer and author of Freedom From Tyranny: The Fight Against Fascism and the Falsification of History (Manifesto Books 2010) and a member of the Communist Party.

On Sunday October 9 there will be a march assembling at noon at Altab Ali Park, London E1, which will go to the Cable Street Mural in St George’s Gardens, for a rally with national and local speakers including Jeremy Corbyn.

Ask your union branch to support it. Bring banners.

From September 26 there will be a month-long exhibition about the Battle of Cable Street in the Idea Store at Watney Market E1, and a series of cultural events there relating to anti-fascist themes during that month.

Phil Katz recounts the working class’s firm stand at Cable Street in 1936. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street, which took place on Sunday October 4 1936. At the Battle of Cable Street, the people of London’s East End rose to the challenge of the British Union of Fascists (BUF), which was planning to invade the communities either side of Gardiner’s Corner: here.