World Jewish Congress sounds alarm on proliferation of neo-Nazi marches across Europe

14 Feb 2019
14 Feb 2019 Facebook Twitter Email Print

New York – The World Jewish Congress is extremely concerned by the recent and repeated proliferation of neo-Nazi marches across Europe, which draw a broad range of international supporters in a show of solidarity with local demonstrators, united by an agenda of antisemitism, hatred, xenophobia, and Nazi glorification.
 
“It is absolutely abhorrent that in 2019 in Europe, the very place in which the Nazis attempted to wipe out the entire population of Jewish men, women, and children, far-rightists continue to parade unfettered through the streets with swastikas, SS symbols, and messages of hatred for Jews and other minorities,” said WJC CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer.
 
“If this were just an isolated phenomenon, reserved for a single city or country, the repercussions would already be extremely worrisome. But the reality is that the marches are taking place repeatedly and far too frequently in cities across the continent, often on a regular basis,” Singer said. “These demonstrations cannot and must not be tolerated by any defender of democracy and tolerance, or indeed, by anybody who strives for a safe and secure Europe. We must remember clearly and vividly the dangers that arise when such demonstrations are allowed to proceed, drawing in masses with their messages of hate and violence.” 

“Only on last Saturday, several hundred neo-Nazis from across Europe joined their peers in Budapest to form a 3,000-person strong march in celebration of the Nazi-collaborating Hungarian Arrow Cross Party, under whose short rule 10,000-15,000 Jews and minorities were murdered outright and another 80,000 were killed by deportations, death marches, or shot into the Danube,” Singer added.


"These marchers spared no words of hatred or harassment of Jews, in a violent spirit of incitement, and yet they were permitted to exhibit their vile ambitions in the middle of a public street,” Singer noted. “This Saturday, February 16, hundreds more neo-Nazis from different cities will gather in Sofia for an annual march to honor General Hristo Lukov, whose movement supported the implementation of the anti-Jewish legislation and deportation of more than 11,000 Jews to their deaths in Treblinka. Every year, the Sofia municipality calls for a ban on this march, but every year it continues, now under heavy police protection."

“These are just a few examples. Similarly dismaying reminders of Europe’s murderous fascist past are allowed to take place in Sweden, Poland, Germany, and many other countries, where Nazism is still and continuously exalted to the detriment and disservice of all. Let us also put into perspective that just a few months ago, a CNN survey found that a shocking one in 20 Europeans has never even heard of the Holocaust. How have reached a point where the greatest tragedy in European history has become either celebrated or forgotten?” Singer said.
 
“It is important but no longer enough for opponents of such repugnance to counter-march or protest in order to dim these disgusting displays. These glorifications of hatred and murder must be outlawed, across the board, as vehicles of public provocation and disorder, unworthy of permits and deserving of penalty,” Singer said. “We urge governments across Europe to prioritize (or) introduce administrative bans against such marches. This is not just a problem of the Jewish communities, but of European citizens and governments at large.”
 
Last week, the World Jewish Congress released a detailed report exposing the undeniably antisemitic language used on social media by the ultra-nationalist promoters and participants of the Lukov March in Bulgaria, who claim to be not to be antisemitic. Nevertheless, comments left on its official Facebook page indicate a clear proliferation of Jew-hatred among its supporters against the Bulgarian Jewish community and the Jewish world at large.

Below, please find a selection of the offensive posts recorded in the World Jewish Congress report: