WW2 Relevance

|   26 May 2012

Greece and a warning from history

Greece – a country in real danger

Two years ago, in the first blog I ever wrote for WW2History.com, I talked about my visit to Athens in April 2010 and my fears for the future of Greece.

I said that we should all remember that the rise to power of Hitler was only made possible by the collapse of German banks and economic crisis in the early 1930s. The Nazi party polled a derisory 2.6% of the vote in the 1928 elections in Germany, but within 5 years Hitler was Chancellor and the Nazis the biggest political party in the country.

So it’s frightening to see the rise of the right wing extremist party, ‘Golden Dawn’ at the last Greek elections held a couple of weeks ago. This party – slogan ‘let’s rid this country of the stench’ – massively increased its share of the vote to 7% and its leader, Nikis Michaloliakos, who has previously served a jail term for carrying explosives and weapons, was catapulted into a position of real political influence in this fractured country.

Just three days ago Greek Police trying to protect a group of immigrants in the port of Patras came under attack from supporters of ‘Golden Dawn’. The ‘Golden Dawn’ supporters chucked stones at the police and tear gas was used to disperse them.

‘Golden Dawn’ deny being neo-Nazis, yet their leader, Nikis Michaloliakos, has given a Nazi salute in the past, and is protected by a group of toughs. In a recent interview on the Mega TV channel, he remarked about the Holocaust that: ‘There were no ovens, no gas chambers, it’s a lie.’

I have always feared that millions of people learn nothing from history – indeed that millions of people know hardly any history – but I hope that sufficient Greeks remember enough about the past to vote the right way in the forthcoming elections on 17 June…

3 Responses to “Greece and a warning from history”

  1. What is even more alarming is that most people refuse to see what is right in front of their eyes:
    For example, when I attempt to discuss with Golden Dawn sympathizers (that is already 1 out of 10 Greek voters), I usually present some evidence demonstrating violent racist attacks. However, no matter how solid these evidence may seem (photos, interviews, even videos of policemen torturing immigrants, foreign newspapper or International Amnesty articles) – I am always confronted with honest doubt: Almost everyone assumes that “these are all fabrications in order to harm a rapidly growing political force that is needed in order to fight corruption”.

    Probably you are guessing that these people are mostly not educated. However high ranking liberal(?) politics like for example Dora Bakoyannis have repeatedly denied the fact that there are neonazis is Greece. The minister of justice also denied that there are strong ties between Golden Dawn and the Greek police and even threatened to sue foreign press that published such claims…

    Absorbed with their battle with the left, most conservative and liberal politics seem to have formed a strange alliance of silence with the neonazis… The tollerance of openly racist views is growing with even faster pace than the (already fast enough) growth of the neonazi party…

  2. Patrick says:

    Perhaps Greeks along with everyone else are seeing through the usual fallacious connection between the any squib of nationalist sentiment and the Holocaust.