“We may sometimes raise our hand this way, but these hands are clean, not dirty. They haven’t stolen,” shouted Nikolaos Mihaloliakos as he stood, floodlit, in front of about 2,000 diehard party followers filling an open-air amphitheatre at Goudi park, a former military camp near Athens.
“We were dozens, then a few hundred. Now we’re thousands and it’s only the beginning,” cried the leader of Golden Dawn, a far-right party that is seeing its support soar amid Greece’s economic collapse. Last month’s rally revealed the party, which describes itself as nationalist and pledges to expel all illegal foreigners, has a new-found sense of triumph, even a swagger, that some find menacing. (REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis)
Why Europe can’t shake its weakness for Nazism Like vermin in a time of pestilence, neo-Nazi groups appear to be enjoying a resurgence in a Europe plagued by increasing financial chaos and uncertainty. As Europe celebrated the 67th anniversary of V.E. Day and the defeat of Hitler’s Nazis last week, it also reeled in disbelief as an angry Greek electorate gave 7% of their votes to the neo-Nazi, anti-immigrant Golden Dawn party.
Boasting an “army of brave boys in black,” who strut the streets of rundown Greek neighbourhoods, flicking off Hitler-esque salutes and staging anti-immigration rallies around a swastika-like flag that is based on an ancient Greek decorative border called a meandros, Golden Dawn became the first far-right party to enter the Greek parliament since the collapse of a military dictatorship in 1974.
In an echo of Europe’s tortured past, Nazism, with its association with the Holocaust and horrors of the Second World War, not only survives, but in some instances is thriving. (Illustration: Richard Johnson/National Post)