Monday, March 16, 2009

The new Nazism: Is history repeating itself?

The current world economic crisis that envelops the world mirrors to some degree what was happening in 1930’s. While the depression of that era created a lot of suffering throughout the globe it also created an excuse to hate. With Germany still suffering the affects of their defeat of World War One, the global crisis only deepened the despair of the German people.

In 1932, Adolf Hitler came to prominence with his 30.1% showing in the presidential election. Even though the National Socialists never gained a majority of seats in the Reichstag, President Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler chancellor of Germany. Hitler’s rise came at the expense of the European Jews in general and German Jews in particular. Hitler and the NSDAP blamed the financial malaise of the German economy on the Jews and the populace ate it up.

Present day Europe seems to be history repeating itself. While anti-Semitism has always had a hold on Europe, the financial crisis seems to be feeding a new rise in far-right groups in Austria. Last September, Austria’s far right gained massive political influence in an election that saw Austria’s Freedom Party (FPO) along with another far right party – Alliance For The Future (BZO) – gain 29 per cent of the vote, the same share as Austria’s main party, the Social Democrats. The election stirred up terrifying memories of the rise of the Nazi Party in the Thirties.

After the FPO’s election victory, Nick Griffin, leader of the British Nationalist Party (BNP), sent a personal message to the FPO’s leader that said, “We in Britain are impressed to see that you have been able to combine principled nationalism with electoral success. We are sure that this gives you a good springboard for the European elections and we hope very much that we will be able to join you in a successful nationalist block in Brussels next year.”

One of the co-founders of the FPO is a former Waffen SS officer and unrepentant Nazi Herbert Schweiger. Mr. Schweiger has stated, “The Jew on Wall Street is responsible for the world’s current economic crisis. It is the same now as in 1929 when 90 per cent of money was in the hands of the Jew. Hitler had the right solutions then.” They blamed the Jews then and they blame the Jews now. Schweiger is a rock star to the anti-semantic groups and he curries much influence with Austrian politicians.

What is the EU doing to curb the rise of neo-Nazi influence in Europe? Not much it appears. The problem is the FPO is doing what the National Socialist Party did in the 1930's and it is all legal. The populace needs a scapegoat and the Jews have always been a favorite target and the extremists are winning at the ballot box. Is history repeating itself within a generation? The world seems to be tone deaf to the phrase "Never Again."

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  1. In fact,, much of Europe now is displaying a broader racism as the economic downturn bites:

    Much like in America, there is a surge in anti-immigrant sentiments and especially immigrants from poorer countries (Mexico or Eastern Europe, Africa etc).

    In Britain, a new survey shows two thirds of Britons are against immigrants from Western Europe being given the right to work in Britain.

    Poverty and bigotry go hand ion hand and poor people are always more bigoted than richer ones.

    It is a powder keg.

  2. I read about this yesterday - it's quite frightening actually. Given what is happening over there - I can see history repeating itself.

  3. No danger of it happening again. Totally different conditions and different situation as well. People said the same thing in the 80s with Jorg Haider... nothing happened really. Jean Marie Le Pen caused the same feelings in France in the 90s... nothing happened.

  4. Harrison, I hope you are right, I do know that the Mossad kept close contact on Haider and others on the far-right. Who knows, Haider's auto accident may not have been an accident after all. The Mossad is very canny about neutralizing potential problems.

  5. Haider had lost his luster. Hadn't thought maybe he got knocked off but I think his time had passed him.