The post in the photo above is from an anti-fascist protest in London after the murder (in cold blood) on 18th September in Athens, Greece of a Greek left-wing hip-hop artist (Pavlos Fyssas) by Golden Dawn, a far-right party that was elected and entered the Greek Parliament in 2012 (http://greekleftreview.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/on-the-murder-of-pavlos-fyssas-and-the-rise-of-fascism-in-greece-interview-with-costas-douzinas). It is not my purpose here to analyse the reasons behind the rise of Golden Dawn in the Greek political landscape or to give details of the numerous disgraceful atrocities committed by Golden Dawn and its supporters – particularly against Pakistani and African immigrants in Greece; atrocities including beatings, stabbings, killings…
My purpose here is to draw attention to the fact that Golden Dawn is essentially a Neo-Nazi party; a party that endorses, among others, the Nazi ideological principles of ethnic (racial) hygiene, ethnic (racial) purity, and national health. It is a party that endorses those very ideological principles underpinning the Nazi Euthanasia Programme. More specifically, in the fall of 1939, the German government established, under the Reich Chancellery, the Euthanasie Programme. ‘Guided by the over-riding principles of racial hygiene, racial purity, and national health, the Nazi regime seems fairly consistently committed to the removal of those unfit to live and produce inferior offspring. In 1935, the Nuremberg Laws provided for the forced sterilization of the unfit. Not only did Hitler have in mind such “inferior races” as Jews and Gypsies, he also included unfit Aryans—the mentally defective, severely handicapped, the incurably insane and the incurably sick’ (www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/t4.html).
‘To implement the Nazi Euthanasia Programme, special carbon-monoxide chambers were constructed. ‘Between December 1939 and August 1941, about 50,000 to 60,000 Germans—children and adults—were secretly killed by lethal injections or in gassing installations designed to look like shower stalls. It was a foretaste of Auschwitz. The victims were taken from the medical institutions and put to death…. ‘ (Milton Meltzer, Never to Forget, New York, Harper Collins, 1976:131)
‘Of the number of people killed in the Nazi Euthanasia and other extermination projects, the following statistics are usually given: adult mental patients from institutions, 80,000 to 100,000; children in institutions, 5,000; special action against Jews in institutions, 1,000; concentration camp inmates transported to killing centers, 20,000 […] It is estimated that at the end of 1941, some 93,521 `beds’ had been emptied for other uses [70,000 patients gassed, plus over 20,000 dead through starvation and medication] – in other words, approximately one-third of the places for the mentally ill. But these figures may well be too low; twice these numbers of people may have perished…’ (www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/t4.html)
All the above makes me think, in particular, of the thousands of people with mental illnesses that were forcibly sterilised or put to death in the context of the Nazi Euthanasia and other extermination projects…and I am mortified by the thought that an elected political party in my country (Greece) subscribes to the very Nazi ideology that generated and sustained such projects…bearing in mind that Greece suffered so much under the German/Nazi Occupation in WWII…
Some positive developments…in the last week or so, a number of key Golden Dawn MPs and members, including the party leader, were arrested by the Greek police and they have been charged under the criminal law. The Greek government and judicial system has promised to investigate Golden Dawn’s criminal activities fully (www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/28/greece-golden-dawn-leader-charged-criminal-gang).
Massive anti-fascist protests have been a common spectacle in Greek cities in the aftermath of the murder of Pavlos Fyssas and the key Golden Dawn MPs and members’ arrests…the main mottos in these protests have been ‘Kick the Neo-Nazis Out!’ and ‘Let’s Crush the Beast of Fascism!’
Kick the Neo-Nazis Out!