‘Moderate’ racist German politician hates Roma


This video says about itself:

German weekend football dominated by AfD chief’s ‘racist’ Boateng comment

30 May 2016

There is local pride in the Berlin district where [African-]German international footballer Jerome Boateng grew up.

But his and Germany’s performance on the pitch at the weekend were overshadowed by the furore following allegedly racist comments by the deputy chief of the right-wing AfD (Alternative for Germany) party.

The newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sontagszeitung claims that Alexander Gauland, 75, said that Germans thought he was a good footballer but did not want him as a neighbour.

Read more here.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The German [right-wing] newspaper Welt am Sonntag says its has an email in which AfD party leader Alice Weidel describes Arabs, Sinti and Roma as “uncivilised people that we are swamped with”. The letter states that “enemies of the constitution [who govern us]” are doing that for the “systematic destruction of bourgeois society”.

The Merkel government is described as “nothing more than puppets of the Allies in World War II, who have the task of keeping the German people subjected by foreign infiltration inducing molecular civil war in urban areas.” The members of the government are called “pigs”. …

Weidel was relatively unknown until recently but became part of the party leadership after party president Frauke Petry was sidelined after a battle with the far right wing of the party. She is supposedly the liberal face of the AfD, which is pronouncedly anti-Islam.

The 100% neonazis in the AfD party were dissatisfied that under Ms Petry, the party was only 50% neonazi. So they replaced Petry with two party leaders: Alexander Gauland of the racist footballer Boateng comment, clearly further to the right than Petry, and supposedly ‘moderate’ Ms Weidel. Ms Weidel is supposedly moderate for being lesbian while the party platform is homophobic.

Now it turns out that to be a ‘moderate’ racist like Ms Weidel is a bit like being ‘moderately pregnant’.

Ms Weidel is an ex-investment banker and a member of the Friedrich A. von Hayek-Gesellschaft. This organisation was originally founded to promote the pro-Big Business ideas of Austrian economist Friedrich A. von Hayek. But, according to their former president, Ms Karen Horn, who resigned in protest, the organisation at first only attacked socialist and Keynesian economists, but then extended the attacks to ‘democracy, feminism, pluralism, homosexuality and atheism‘.

Not only Ms Weidel, but at least two other prominent AfD politicians are Friedrich A. von Hayek-Gesellschaft members. They are Peter Boehringer and Lady Beatrix von Storch, née Duchess of Oldenburg, the granddaughter of Hitler’s finance minister and convicted war criminal Count Schwerin von Krosigk.

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British Conservative anti-Roma racism


This video says about itself:

Hidden Sorrows – Persecution of Romanian Gypsies during the Holocaust

18 June 2014

A documentary about Romanian Roma (Gypsies) – featuring survivors describing their experiences during the Holocaust. The film also shows the lives of Roma today and current issues such as poverty and discrimination, traditions such as those displayed at weddings and funerals.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Tory MP slammed for racism

Thursday 24th August 2017

TORY MP Douglas Ross was compared to US President Donald Trump yesterday after he attacked the travelling community in an online interview.

When asked what he would do if he was prime minister for the day, Mr Ross responded that he would impose “tougher enforcement against gypsy travellers.”

Scottish Greens justice spokesman John Finnie hit back at the bigoted remarks.

“Douglas Ross was given an open goal, be PM and sort anything you want,” the MSP said.

“He didn’t choose improving health, education or housing, he didn’t seek to eradicate poverty, work for a better planet or peace. Rather he chose to attack an already beleaguered minority, our gypsy travellers.

“Much like Donald Trump seemed emboldened the more outrageous he became, so do Scotland’s Conservatives, whose ranks boast racists and sectarian bigots.”

British Blairite MP Mann accused of anti-Roma racism: here.

Racist French Blairite Valls unwelcome in Macron’s party


This video says about itself:

7 October 2013

Hundreds of pupils in Paris took the day off school to protest on Thursday in retaliation for the deportation of foreign students. Showing solidarity with their peers, the pupils argue everyone has a right to education.

The protest follows the deportation of 15-year-old Roma student Leonarda Dibrani, who was expelled from France to Kosovo October 9.

The demonstration marks a backlash to Minister of the Interior Manuel Valls‘ comments in September, when he said most of the 20,000 Romas in France had no motivation for integrating into society and should be sent back to their countries of origin.

Blairite politician Manuels Valls in 2014 rose to Prime Minister; but now, he seems too fall.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Valls not welcome in Macron’s party

Today, 09:18

Manuel Valls is not welcome as a parliamentary candidate for En Marche!. The French former prime minister announced yesterday his move to the movement of the new president Macron, but the party does not want him. …

The rejection puts Valls in a difficult position. In an interview he said yesterday that his socialist party is dead. He will therefore not be able to return to that Socialist Party.

According to [NOS correspondent] Renout, you could say that Valls is now out on the street. “He closed the door to the socialist party, but Macron closed the door as well.”

This is not so surprising. When Macron started En Marche! Valls cynically predicted it would fail. Macron may still remember now, after Vallsweathervane-like flip-flopping Damascene conversion. In December 2016, Macron called Valls a ‘traitor’. See also here. And Valls’ government was very impopular, so Valls may drive voters away from Macron rather than attracting them.

28 June 2017: Former French Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls, quits Socialists, is humiliated by Macron, and faces Challenge over Electoral Fraud: here.

Musician Django Reinhardt, new film


This 12 January 2017 video is called Berlin: Etienne Comar ‘Django’ at the 2017 Festival.

Another video which used to be on YouTube used to say about itself:

9 February 2017

The Berlin International Film Festival opens on Feb. 9th with the premier of Etienne Comar’s “Django.” The biopic is set in Nazi-occupied Paris in 1943 and tells the story of Sinti jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt.

By Bernd Reinhardt in Germany:

A film about the legendary guitarist: Django

4 March 2017

Finally, a feature film about the legendary jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt!

The timelessness of his music makes one too easily forget that it emerged in a very real and troubled world—characterised by an enthusiasm for everything American in the 1920s and 1930s, by socialist aspirations, by the threats of French fascists, by mass strikes—a time when Paris was regarded as a Mecca for American jazz musicians, the period of the German occupation of France, the Resistance and the flood of refugees from the war across Europe.

Django, the debut film of Étienne Comar—who deals relatively loosely with Reinhardt’s biography—focuses on the year 1943, when the Nazis tried unsuccessfully to convince Django to undertake a tour of fascist Germany.

Reinhardt (Reda Kateb, whose father was an Algerian actor) is initially uncertain. He is drawn to the prospect of sold-out concert halls. He is also of the opinion that the war between rival groups of “Gadjos” (non-Gypsies) is none of his business. In the end, artistic considerations lie behind his rejection of the offer. The Nazis, who could not entirely block the spread of jazz in Germany, demand a “clean” jazz from Django, preferably without syncopation, without blues, played only in optimistic major tones and with very brief improvisations; in short, a completely neutered music. This is unacceptable to the artist.

A blonde admirer, Louise de Klerk (Cécile de France), advises him to flee, but the vain musician enjoys his reputation in Paris as the “King of Swing” (following the departure of a number of outstanding American musicians) and continues to rely on the protection of a jazz-loving Nazi officer. Only when the pressure increases and Manouche [Romani people in France] are sent to “work deployments” in Germany—as the deportations are officially called—does Django flee with his family to the French-Swiss border.

For the many Manouche and Sinti [Romani people of Central Europe] in Django, who speak exclusively in their language, Romanes, the film must have been an affair of the heart. Comar (who also co-wrote the screenplay, based on a 2013 novel by Alexis Salatko) dispenses with such banalities as presenting Roma as spontaneous anarchists who instinctively reject bourgeois society, or as representatives of a nature-based, alternative way of life. Roma families playing idyllically in a forest are suddenly confronted with Nazi machine guns. In the next scene we see Django Reinhardt, the acclaimed guitarist, in a magnificent concert hall. This is the tightrope that someone in his position walks.

The illiterate Django laps up the glamorous world of the rich and famous, and imitates Hollywood film star Clark Gable. On the Swiss border, however, the King of Swing becomes a defenseless refugee whose mother (Bimbam Merstein) fights for her son to play for a few francs in a pub in order to feed the family. When Django plays the French national anthem, “La Marseillaise,” the bar-keeper’s face lights up.

Occasionally Django is contemptuous of Gadjos, but the film refrains from condemning his audiences and refrains from clichés about “other” forms of culture. Rather it reveals the lack of perspective of an oppressed minority, which has internalized its suffering as fugitives and outsiders over many generations. On several occasions Django makes clear that the French police and military hounded Roma with the same ruthlessness as the Nazis. But we also witness Roma joining the Resistance.

Django lives in the middle of Paris. He is not indifferent to the opinion of Gadjos who also play in his band. What Django shared with “non-gypsies” of his generation was, above all, an enthusiasm for America and its music. The arrival of jazz in Europe was a major cultural event and something of a symbol of freedom. Already as a 13-year-old banjo player, Reinhardt listened enthusiastically to bands from the US. Unfortunately, the film makes barely any reference to this formative period that contributed to Reinhardt’s original musical path.

The film’s Django exudes a strong attachment to traditional gypsy music (the film features prominently at the start his well-known “gypsy” song “Black Eyes”—albeit in swing style). In fact, the real Django Reinhardt drew inspiration from many sources. He was interested in the music of Bartok and Debussy (the latter inspired many Hollywood composers), he went to the ballet and began to paint. Unlike many European contemporaries, he was able to swing as well as the best American jazz players and (according to legend) could personally replace a whole rhythm section. This is why so many of the US greats lined up to jam with him.

Reinhardt’s music is finely played in the film by the outstanding Stochelo Rosenberg Trio. Kateb plays the guitarist with the “poker face,” who, with bells attached to his ankles, could entice an entire concert hall of the “master race” into dancing to his tune. Even the hardline Nazis, who raise their glasses and quote the German poet Friedrich Rückert for a “free, a German Europe”, succumb to the power of his music and lose control for a short time.

Reinhardt undoubtedly undergoes a development in the film. At the outset he is very naive. On seeing Hitler in 1943 for the first time in a cinema, Django chortles at the “clown” on the screen. At the end of the film, however, Reinhardt’s “Requiem” is performed; a piece he composed for and devoted to all the Roma victims of the Second World War. His tonal language has changed and become more universal.

The score of the “Requiem” has been lost and only fragments remain. Nevertheless, the score based on the fragments composed by the Australian musician and composer Warren Ellis is deeply touching, in particular during the choral section (sung in Romanes). The notion that Django Reinhardt might have opened up different musical paths is fascinating and, one hopes, may encourage young Manouche and Sinti musicians to go further than the limits imposed by playing exclusively gypsy swing.

Django is to be welcomed for dealing with a neglected chapter of history—the persecution of Roma under the Nazis. At the same time, Comar shows the contradictory nature of his main character who pragmatically tries to survive “between the fronts.” His ignorance of social and political developments and not least his egoism render Reinhardt blind to the impending catastrophe. He is free only in music. In the film, he is able to make it to Switzerland with his family. In reality, Reinhardt’s situation was more desperate. Swiss officials refused him entry due to his status as a “gypsy.”

Hungarian Jews, Roma, LGBTQ against bigotry


This video says about itself:

10 December 2015

Holocaust survivor Eva Bock describes antisemitism in Győr, Hungary during the early 1940s.

By Cnaan Liphshiz for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, February 27, 2017:

Roma Join Jews To Turn Budapest Club Into Anti-Government Hub

BUDAPEST (JTA) — Although she lives in the undisputed nightlife capital of Central Europe, Andi Angelip knows of only a handful of bars here where she is truly comfortable bringing a date.

Angelip, a 19-year-old student and activist for lesbian and gay rights, said she avoids “rainbow” establishments that cater only to homosexuals. Yet in a country where violent far-right activists regularly intimidate gays and lesbians, she also avoids romantic situations in mainstream clubs.

“It’s not so comfortable to be a minority in a country whose politicians preach for discrimination on a daily basis,” she told JTA last month.

Two years ago, Angelip found at least one place where she does feel comfortable: an avant-garde Jewish community center called Aurora. Since its reopening in 2014 in a poor neighborhood of Budapest, it has become one of the city’s hippest coffee bars – and a major hub for social and opposition activists fighting the policies of Hungary’s right-wing government.

“I come here because it’s just a cool place, but also because I feel safe and comfortable here, like I belong,” said Angelip, who is not a part of Hungary’s Jewish population of approximately 100,000.

She is not the only minority rights activist who regards Aurora, a 6,500-square-foot center located in a small building in the crime-stricken 8th District, as a sanctuary from reality in Hungary. Critics of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government here say it is mainstreaming hate crime and Holocaust revisionism, as well as promoting censorship of the press.

Marom, the Jewish association that runs and owns Aurora as part of its outreach mission to young unaffiliated Hungarian Jews, provides office space and facilities to about a dozen non-Jewish activist groups committed to fighting these perceived trends. They include the Roma Press CenterBudapest Pride, the Migszol refugee advocacy group and the Zold Pok agency for social activism.

While Angelip and a female friend chatted over beer on a recent Monday in the Aurora bar – a cozy space with 1970s décor and music by the French protest singer Manu Chao — Marom’s staff of about 12 met in their upstairs office to review last year’s activities, including the group’s weekly Shabbat services in their small egalitarian synagogue and celebrations of Jewish holidays.

In addition to religious services, Marom also organizes educational activities in schools about the Holocaust, programs for street children, and cultural events like film screenings and experimental music concerts. It also hosts political discussions, such as a sold-out Jan. 30 debate on populism featuring László Majtényi, an outspoken critic of Orban.

“We work with non-affiliated Jews who would never go to a synagogue or even the Balint Center,” said Adam Schoenberger, the president of Marom, referring to the Jewish community center in central Budapest funded by the Joint Distribution Committee. “So we try to sneak Judaism into our programming, just to give them a taste and whet their appetite: a klezmer concert here, a Hanukkah candle lighting there.”

As Schoenberger talks to a visitor, in an adjacent room three activists from the Roma Press Center hammer out a strategy for covering the landmark trial at the European Court of Human Rights on the role of Hungarian police in allowing hundreds of rioters in 2012 to attack the home of a Roma family in the village of Devecser.

The court’s Feb. 8 ruling against the police  – one of hundreds of hate crimes against Roma, or gypsies, recorded annually in Hungary – was hailed by Amnesty International as a “drop of hope in a sea of fear.”

“Not only is the far right party, Jobbik, the third largest in parliament, but the ruling Fidesz party has drifter further and further in its negative attitudes towards Roma,” the group said.

Against this backdrop, and amid a government-led crackdown on independent media, the Roma Press Center is “the only outlet that will bring the news about assaults in the countryside to the few news portals that are still not muzzled by the government,” Schoenberger said. “We find it very important that they be a part of Aurora.”

The press center, a nongovernment organization with a shoestring budget, receives a significant discount on rent from Marom.

The cooperation with Marom revolutionized the work of the Roma center, which was founded in 1995, according to the organization’s president, Szilvia Suri.

“We were renting office space in the center before we came here,” she said. “It was more expensive but more crucially, we were isolated there, whereas at Aurora we are better connected not only to the other organizations working here, but to the many Roma people who live in the 8th District.”

The Jewish-Roma partnership at Aurora is unusual in a country where the two minorities rarely act in unison, according to Eszter Hajdu, a Hungarian filmmaker who has studied that relationship.

“While both groups encounter some xenophobia, the Roma are far more vulnerable,” Hajdu said. And while Jewish groups at times participate in educational and charitable activities to assist Roma, “I can’t say the Jewish community is the first one to offer help” to the other minority, she added. She also said that part of the problem are negative biases each group holds of the other in Hungary.

The discounts that Marom offered its partner groups last year on using Aurora facilities and utilities amounted to $25,000 — a substantial sum in a country where the average monthly salary is about half that of the United States. Marom generates 90 percent of its annual budget and receives the rest from donations by JDC, the UJA-Federation of New York, Masorti Olami and others.

Building an alliance of liberal groups would be unremarkable for a Jewish organization in most other Western countries. But in Hungary, it places Aurora squarely at the center of opposition to a government-led campaign to root out foreign-funded grassroots organizations that do not conform to the party line, and to significantly limit the work of nongovernmental groups to local funding only.

Officials from Orban’s Fidesz party have already vowed to root out the network of NGOs that receive funding from the liberal Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros, who is Jewish, and have limited the work of other groups with funding from Norway. Now, most other local groups with a progressive agenda are bracing for intervention by the government.

Marom has experience with such intervention.

In 2014, Budapest officials kicked the group out of its former site in the city center on a building safety pretext. The eviction notice came two days after opposition activists used the space to plan an anti-government sit-in.

It was one of several opposition activities hosted by Marom in recent years, including in the 2013 student protests. Marom’s previous site was also the birthplace that year of the LMP Green party.

Mazsihisz, the umbrella group of Hungarian Jewish communities, has objected in recent years to perceived attempts by the government to whitewash Hungarian authorities’ complicity in the Holocaust, including by celebrating known anti-Semites. But Mazsihisz has remained nonpartisan.

And with good reason, according to Slomó Köves, a Chabad rabbi and leader of the local EMIH Jewish group, which is not part of Mazsihisz.

The government funds Jewish community life with hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, supports Israel in international forums and protects religious freedoms, Koves said. And while “it can be argued that it needs to be firmer on anti-Semitism, progress is being made there, too.” Ultimately, he argued, Hungarian Jews are safer and more secure about their future than their brethren in France.

But for Marom, which began in 1998 as an apolitical group, the penchant for opposition activism is inescapable, according to Schoenberger.

This is partly because “most unaffiliated Jews in Hungary seem to be liberal,” he said. But ultimately, “our opposition activism owes to the government’s war on core Jewish values of tikkun olam,” a Jewish concept of “repairing the world” and helping the needy, Schoenberger said.

“We did not choose to become political,” he added. “But when the government is targeting the poor, the different, the foreign – then we have no choice.”

REVEALED: Top Trump aide Gorka worked with anti-Semitic and racist groups in Hungary: here.

Anti-Roma racism, new book


This video says about itself:

‘United For Dignity’ – Young Roma And The Fight Against Multiple Discrimination

27 June 2014

Key speakers, contributors and the rap group De La Negra are featured in this report on the Council of Europe conference ‘United For Dignity’ which took place earlier this week at the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg.

More information here.

Go deeper on this topic … listen to the podcast on how young Roma people cope with ‘Romaphobia‘ and the prejudice they face because of their gender, migrant status or sexual orientation.

By Tina Carr in Britain:

Hatred of the Roma challenged

Monday 20th February 2017

The Roma need to be seen in all their colours and engaged with on every level to be fully understood, asserts TINA CARR

Romaphobia: The Last Acceptable Form Of Racism by Aiden McGarry (Zed Books, £14.99)

THE ROMA are believed to have arrived in Europe from northern India in waves of migration from the ninth to the 14th centuries.

Found in every country on the continent, it would be difficult to find a more diverse group.

They number 10-12 million, yet are one of its most marginalised minorities, with anti-Roma attitudes on the rise along similar lines to both Islamophobia and anti-semitism.

Although they have traditionally been called “Gypsies,” today many prefer to be called Rom or Roma — men or women in their language, Romanes — because the term “Gypsy” has a pejorative meaning in many societies.

Equally, many Roma prefer to adhere to the term Gypsy or tribal names such as Romungro, Olah, Sinti or Tsigane, having identified as such for many generations.

British Gypsies and Travellers do not use the umbrella term Roma to define themselves, although they may share the same ethnic or linguistic origins as the Roma in Europe.

However, the term Roma is a useful and widely accepted coverall since the umbrella group do have a shared ethnicity, with the exception of Irish Travellers.

It’s said that where the tarmac ends, the Roma settlement begins.

The majority live in dire poverty, are ghettoised behind walls built to segregate them from the majority, are unemployed and, until relatively recently, have received little or no education.

As Aiden McGarry says in his new book: “Romaphobia is the hate or fear of those individuals perceived as being Roma, Gypsy or Traveller; it involves the negative ascription of group identity and can result in marginalisation, persecution and violence. Romaphobia is a manifestation of racism: it is cut from the same cloth.”

Racism is on the rise and, although Romaphobia is no different in form or content to Islamophobia and anti-semitism, its causes can be particularised — there is something specific about Romaphobia even if its racist core is familiar.

And this is what McGarry’s book sets out to explore through the early history of the European nation state and the ways in which the Roma, as “landless nomads,” have been excluded from national communities founded upon a notion of “belonging” to a particular territory.

It uncovers the causes of racism towards Roma communities and points to constructive ways to combat Romaphobia.

The addition of “phobia” to the word Roma is a great idea — to ally Romaphobia to the other more long-lived phobias of homosexuality and Islam gives it immediate parity with the great campaigns that have risen to defend the rights of these minority groups.

As Romani studies gains traction in academia and begins to come out of what McGarry describes as its “splendid isolation” by drawing on concepts and ideas from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including politics, sociology, public policy, humanities and urban geography, the more the under-researched and misunderstood phenomena of the Roma will emerge into the light.

The Roma need to be seen in all their colours and engaged with on every level to be fully understood.

Enlightened, sensitively written and always positive, this book making a valuable contribution to that coming about.

Tina Carr is co-author with Annemarie Schone of From the Horse’s Mouth: A Roma, Gypsy, Traveller Landscape, available from simply-solar.co.uk.

‘Stop segregation of Roma schoolchildren in Hungary’


This video says about itself:

Roma living in fear in Hungary

30 January 2012

Roma people have reason to fear for their lives: seven adults and two children died in 49 attacks on Roma communities in Hungary between January 2008 and April 2011, according to the European Roma Rights Centre.

“The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) reported the four most serious incidents during the patrols to police. One involved a woman giving birth prematurely after being harassed by vigilantes using racially abusive slogans. No charges have yet been brought against the militiamen, though a Roma man was jailed for two years after a fight with the vigilantes; a further five Roma are awaiting trial over the same incident.”

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Segregating Roma pupils should end

Tuesday 20th September 2016

HUNGARY should abolish the “benevolent segregation” of Roma children in schools, experts on the protection of national minorities said yesterday.

A report to the Council of Europe said separate classes for Roma to “catch up” before continuing in mainstream education were ineffective and discriminatory.

It noted a 2015 ruling by the Kuria, Hungary’s supreme court, which “effectively declared segregation of Roma pupils legal in schools run by religious groups.”

The committee said it was “deeply concerned by this development running diametrically contrary to principles of integration and equal treatment.”

Experts also found that PM Viktor Orban’s government had “fuelled xenophobic and intolerant attitudes against refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants.”