Press enter after choosing selection

Never Again?

Never Again? image Never Again? image Never Again? image Never Again? image
Parent Issue
Month
April
Year
1994
Copyright
Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)
Rights Held By
Agenda Publications
OCR Text

Editor's Note: The text below Is an abridged version of a talk given In Ann Arbor In February by Martin A. Lee, entltled: "Resurgent Racism and NeoFascism In Europe." Lee, a journalist and author, Is cofounder of FAIR (Faimess and Accuracy in Reporting), and the publisher of "Extra," a New York-based, media focused, blmonthly magazine. The talk was sponsored by the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, and can be seen on Ann Arbor Community Access TV's "Peace Insight" program the week of April 12 (see CALENDAR). Racism and fascism in Europe is a big topic, and acomplexone - all the more so because Europe still isn't really one continent, even though the Berlín Wall has disappeared. I will try to touch on the situation in a lot of different countries. I want to start by mentioning the overlyoptimistic predictions of State Department strategist Francis Fukiyama, who wrote a book called "The End of History" a few years ago, just after the Berlín Wall feil and communism crumbled. We've reached a point, he said, where it is the end of history, communism is dead and the liberal democratie system, in the broad sense, has won. I think this judgement is a little premature, given that what we saw right after his prediction was a wave of rabid nationalism - including ethnic cleansing - in Europe. I think that this nationalist upsurge calis into question this prediction that the liberal democratie system has prevailed. Europe is at the beginning of something that's very, very disturbing, and I don't know where it's going to go. We are at the beginning of a process that could go in a number of different directions. We see signs of neofascist resurgence in Europe, all throughout the continent, in many different ways. One sign is the proliferation of skinhead gangs in many different countries, not just Germany. We see attacks against foreigners, asylum seekers and im migrants, again not just in Germany but throughout Europe, both East and West. Whether it's the desecration of mosques and sy nagogues, the outbreak of anti-Semitism in countries where very few Jews live, or the fast-growing popularity of extreme-right pol itical parties (like the National Front in France) - in many different ways we see the resurgence of fascism expressing tself. There are a number of key factors that have accentuated this development. Certainly the unification of Germany and the collapse of the Soviet Union are two crucial factors. There are anumberofotherfactorsthatapplytodifferent parts of Europe. When we speak about fascism, I think it's quite striking thatthere isn't an accept edscholarly consensus regarding what it is, or what explains its rise during the inter-war period (between WWI and WWII). There are different interpretations but no overall consensus among scholars. A f riend of mine, Chip Beriet of Political Research Associates in Cambridge, Mass., half-jokingly defined a fascist as a nationalist on crack-cocaine. When we think of the historical expression of fascism between WWI and WWII, in a very broad sense, there are three categories in which it was manifested: one was national socialism - biologically-based racism - we saw that in Germany. Some scholars don't even agree that Nazism is a form of fascism, but l'd put Nazism in that category. The second would be Mussolini-type fascism, orcorporatism. The third would be more of a religious-oriented fascism, like the Action Francais of France or theFtexistmovementinBelgium - sortofCatholic integralists. The Iron Guard in Rumania was another example of this. These all have some things in common, yet some things different. We see each of these three broad categories manifesting themselves today, in addition to other forms. When we think of fascists and Nazis, today, we often think of dumbells with no hairon their heads going around beating up people. It's not that simple. Skinheads are a part of it, but only one aspect of the current fascist youth culture, which has many layers to it There is an intellectual stratum to it, as well. You mightthink: " How can one be an ntellectual and be a fascist?" Go back in history and you'll find many intellectuals attracted to the fascist movements. There are other aspects to it: a paramilitary underground; extra-parliamentary fascist groups; and fascist groups involved in the electoral process. It's a very textured and multi-layered phenomenon. Italy: Birthplace of Fascism Geographically, we may as well start where fascism started - in Italy. There was recently an election in Rome for mayor in which the candidate of the oldest neo-fascist party in Europe (by "neo-" I mean simply after WWII), the Italian Social Movement (MSI), won 47% of the vote. Mussolini 's granddaughter, Allesandra Mussolini, ran for mayor of Naples. She won 46% of the vote. Just a few years ago, the MSI would have been considered a laughingstock if not for the fact that many of its former leaders and members were involved in terrorism. In such a short time, that a political party that seemed on its last legs - that barely got 5% of the vote - should be polling 47% of the vote in Rome, is really astounding. A psychological banier has been crossed for people. You have your hardcore 5% that would have voted for a fascist party bef ore, but that almost 50% of the people of Rome should cross that line and pull the lever for a fascist candidate means next time it becomes that much easier to pull the lever this way, and the time after... What's even more disturbing is that the biggest Italian media owner, Silvio Beriusconi, endorsed the fascist candidate. Berlusconi is a man of immense influence in Italian society. He's like Rupert Murdoch, times ten. He owns newspapers, magazines, and the main private televisión channels. In Italy there were many different parties in the initial election for the mayor's race in Rome. No party won 50%, but the MSI was the biggest party in the first round of voting . Then there was a coalition party of the Greens and of different factions of the left They backed a second candidate who ended up winning, but just barely. In Italy it's a complicated situation because the MSI is re-emerging very strong in the south of the country. But in the north you have this curious phenomenon called the Northern League. It's basically a new political party. Ten years ago it didn't exist It's a regionalistoriented party that started out in Lombardy, one of the wealthiest regions in Europe. The Lombard League started there and did so well that it spread throughoutthe north and changed its name to the Northern League. It's a party that, like the MSI, is anti-immigrant, xenophobic, and overtly-racist in its orientation. lts political platform is basically that Lombard women should stay home and cook Lombard food. It's anti-gay and lesbian. Xenophobia is its main priority. It is the dominant political party in northem Italy. It won the mayorship of Milan. Italy's once-dominant Christian Democratie Party was so corrupt that it just collapsed along with the Socialist Party, which was also involved in a major corruption scandal. The only survi ving parties seem to be these new ones - the Lombard League, the fascist party, and this warmed-over communist or ex-communist party, the Democratie Party of the Left (PDS). Y ou have a situation where if the Northern League and the MSI were to make some kind of alliance, they'd be a very formidable forcé nationally. I don't know if they will be able to because they have one strong disagreement - the Northern League essentially wants to break Italy up into three countries. The MSI wouldn't hearof breaking Italy up - they want one, strong Italy. It remains to be seen how it will play out. It is a very dynamic, fast-moving situation. tl European Fascist From the ' Margins to the Masses The next group I will talk about is another regionalist party called Vlaams Blek. lts a Flemish nationalist party that supports the idea of splitting Belgium . nto three parts. It wants an m dent Flanders. I visited Europe a number of times in the last few years and I had occasion to interview many different figures in the fascist and Nazi scène. One of the people i spoke to last year was a man named Xavier Buisseret f rom Vlaams Blek. He's one of the founders and leaders of this party. He's also ts propaganda chief. Vlaams Blek is the strongest ! party in Antwerp. When I visited the Vlaams Blek headq uarters in 1 993, it so happened that Antwerp was the "Cultural Capital of Europe" for that yearfitshiftsfrom yeartoyear). Inthe year when this city was the "Cultural Capital of Europe," its biggest party was a fascist party - overtly racist, anti-Semitic, very anti-American, and anti-immigrant. It tums out, Buisseret, prior to being V the propaganda chief for Vlaam's Block, was the editor of a magazine called "Haro," a magazine that denied the Holocaust ever happened. I asked him about this and he kind of fudged it. People like him try to distance themsel ves from their Nazi past now that they 're doing well electorally . Buisseret used to be a member of a group called the Vlaams Militanten Orden, the VMO, a fascist paramilitary organization.lt was banned in the early 1980s by the Belgian government because of its terrorist activities. The core leadership of the VMO went into Vlaams Block, now an organization that is gaining by leaps and bounds in the polls among Flemish people. The VMO used to host an international convention of sorts every summer - a gathering in a town called Diksmuide, Belgium. Fascists and Nazis from all over the worid (even from the United States) would come to this gathering. They'd get together and ( have this big weekend and do Hitler salutes and they'd get drunk at the end and beat each other up. Now that the VMO is banned, they don't host t anymore, but the festival continúes to happen each year. When I asked Buisseret about his fascist connections, he said, "Oh, no, no, we're not fascists. Look around. Do you see anything that would indícate we're fascists or Nazis, around our office? There's nothing that indicates we're anything like that" Well, except for the SS insignia that was engraved in stone on the wall in the room in which we were speaking, and the many books denying the Holocaust, I guess there was nothing that would make me think I was in anything but an interesting smokefilled beer parlor. Groups like Vlaams Blek, not too long ago, were very marginalized - basically inhabiting the underground, the paramilitary scène, the terrorist scène, and the fringes of political society . In a very short time they have been thrust into the mainstream, sometimes as the dominating party of their area. Because of this process where they've moved from the underground to the aboveground, from the margins to the masses, there is an attempt on the part of these parties to distance themselves from the legacy of the Third Reich. When I spoke to Buisseret about Haro, he said: "Oh, no, no, that was just a mistake, it didn't really mean anything. We just want to debate these questions. We don't really take a position on the Holocaust one way or another." It was very different from what he was saying when he edited that joumal 15 years ago. They're very conscious of the fact that in ordertocontinue to gain popularity, they have to distance themselves from their past. International Nationalists and Yuppie Fascists Groups like Vlaams Blek are very well-connected intemationally. Even though they are extremely nationalist in their orientation, hy pernationalist if you will, they have extensive international connections - not only within Europe, not only on both sides of what was once the socalled "Iron Curtain," but across the ocean as well. There are many connections between extreme-right groups in Europe and the U.S. This is somethingyousee notjustat Diksmuide; the international neo-fascist ment has many annual events. They all get together to celébrate Hitler's birthday or Franco's death. They go to the same conferences that deny the Holocaust ever happened. It's Ilegal to do thisinGermany, yet these conferences take place in Germany without nterference from the police. (SEE PAGE 5) Europe's Fascist Threat (FROM PAGE THREE) The popularity of these parties goes beyond Italy and Flanders. The Freedom Party in Vienna is very strong - nearly the largest party in Vienna. Jorg Haider is the leader of that party. He's very charismatic. They cali him the yuppie fascist. I think it's an apropos description. It's a party that gained around 25% of the vote in Vienna. We can go on and on and list these examples, but certainly the grand-daddy of them all, the most important in some sense because it was the first to emerge, was Jean-Marie LePen's party in France, the National Front. Again, LePen goes to great lengths to distance himself f rom any kind of fascist background, yet you'll find his right-hand man at these no-Holocaust conferences with leading Nazis from Germany, Britain, and the United States. There are these connections, despite what he might want people to believe. LePen's party, in the last national election, gained about 1 3% of the vote. We might think that doesn't seem like a lot because in the U.S. we have basically a two-party system, and 13% would be insignificant. But when you have a parliamentary system as in Europe, 1 3% can be decisive in terms of tipping the balance one way or another. The influence of LePen's party is much greater than its vote totals. The issues that he has popularized, anti-immigration among otherthings, have recently been dominating the political agenda in France. The mainstream right-wing parties that won the last election basically ran on a platform that could have been written by LePen's party a few years ago. They're now implementing harsh anti-immigrant measures. In Germany, the mainstream parties also seem to be falling all over themselves moving to the right in response to the fact that their base of support seems to be hemorrhaging voters, who are defecting tothe extreme right parties. In order to prevent that, the Christian Democratie Union [CDU], which is the dominant party in Germany (maybe not f or long), very quickly tried to incorpórate the issues of the quasi-fascist Republikaner Party and the Deutsche Volksunion. It's a big problem for the CDU. What this means is that the candidates of the CDU have themselves waged a campaign against immigrants and foreigners. Often you can't teil the difference between what they and the fascists are saying. The Radicalizaron of the Middle Class What is fostering the growth of these parties? Certainly the end of the Cold War and the economie situation are key factors. In Eastem Europe, it's very clear because you have acollapsed economy. The devastated economy in the Soviet Union certainly hasfostered the riseof Zhirinovsky. In Western Europe, economie factors are significant as well. The economie boom in Western Europe has ended. This has aroused a lot of fears among the middle class that they may lose what they have. One theory of fascism is that it entails a radicalization of the middle class. Historically, I think there's some validity to that. If we look at the Ross Perot phenomenon here or the Reform Party of Canada, in some sense it represents that as well. It's this populist anger against the status quo - a middle class anger and a radicalization that may not be all that well-informed, but a gutlevel radicalization that could be very dangerous. During the Third Reich period, the Nazis were able to take advantage of a radicalized sensibility of the middle class and move it in the direction they wanted. Certainly economie factors are very important when we speak about the resurgence of fascism. The end of the Cold War is another significant factor. The unification of Germany has given a great boost to nationalist feelings in that country, and has inspired fascists throughout Europe. During the Cold War, anti-communism was the main political line of the right wing. Once the Soviet Union collapsed, anti-communism no longer served as a motivating factor - you can't base your politics on it anymore. In the United States, for example, we see ultra-conservatives emerging out of that anti-communist coalition, emphasizing the traditional right wing theme of race - the David Dukes of the worid, the Patrick Buchanans. Racism is re-emerging as a preeminent theme, taking the place of anti-communism. I think that's the case for a lot of these political ■ parties in Europe as wel I. tf they ' re not attacking the Soviet Union anymore, what issue can they adopt? Well , they've got foreigners and immigrants, and racism. Other factors contributing to the re-emergence of fascism differ from place to place. In Western Europe a key factor is what I cali the "conflation of the center." That is, mainstream politica! parties in Europe are drawing closer together, becoming more and more likethe Democrats and Republicans here - particularly with Clinton it's hard to teil the difference between the two parties. In Germany, with the Christian Democrats on the one hand and Social Democrats on the other hand, or in France, with the Socialist Party and the Gaullist Party - politicaliy it seems they've drawn together. Often times it's hard to see how they really differ. So if you're angry at the system, if you are one of these radicalized middle class people - not necessarily politicaliy involved but just angry - you want to cast a vote against the system. If you had voted Christian Democratie in Germany, as a protest vote you're not going to vote Social Democratie. You're going to vote forthe party that seems to be different - one that's outside the mainstream - and that tends to be the neo-fascist parties. They've emerged in a lot of places as the main opposition party. I think we see that in the United States, too, this conflation of the center, and Perot benefitted from that I don 't think he's a real altemative by any stretch of the imagination, but it's a similar phenomenon. Close to 20% of Americans (who voted) voted for him. Germany is Where Germans Are? It's well known there's been a lot of neo-Nazi violence in Germany since the Berlín wall crumbled. In October 1 991 there was essentially a Nazi riot in the to wn of Hoy erswerda, which was in East Germany, going on for a number of days. Pólice did not intervene. As a result of that, Hoyerswerda became a foreigner-free city. Essentially, the Germán authorities capitulated and moved the foreigners - the guest workers - out. This repeated itself in even more dramatic terms in Rostock, also in Eastem Germany, in August 1 992. After Rostock there was an incredible wave of violence that lasted for a couple of months, where day in and day out, there were hundreds of attacks taking place. A hundred different cities were experiencing Nazi gangs roaming the streets. The press in Germany was quite alarm ed . They took this very, very seriously. They did not see it as just an example of racist hormones running amok among young people, or neo-Nazi wilding, or something like that. The raw statistics we have for that year show over 4,500 neo-Nazi attacks, resulting in 21 officially-acknowledged deaths. Actually it's more than that. The European Parliament keeps its own statistics, and they say the number of deaths from neo-Nazi violence is higher than the German govemment admitted. One of the innaccuracies that the press reports convey about the violence is that it is mainly an East Germán phenomenon - as if it was sort of a hangover of communism - that the communist regime suppressed these people's violent, fascist tendencies. In fact, three-quarters of the many thousands of attacks that took place in 1992 occurred in Western Germany, not Eastem Germany. The killings of the Turks occurred in Western Germany, not Eastem Germany. This is not an East Germán problem. This is an all-German problem. And it can't be explained just in terms of economics, because West Germany is one of the economie powemouses of the world - despite the problems of unification. As frightening and disturbing as this may be, in some ways I consider more disturbing the Germán govemment's response to these attacks. They have basically capitulated to the demands of the Nazis. After a week of violence, Rostock became a foreigner-free city. The pólice moved the Vietnamese and the gypsies out. A few weeks later, the Germán officials announced 80,000 gypsies were being deported to countries like Rumania. The Germán govemment is committing a human rights violation by sending people back to countries where they're being persecuted, and sometimes killed. The govemment also passed a constitutional measure that basically eliminates the right of asylum in Germany. This was a right that had (SEE PAGE dt Europe's Fascist Threat (FROM PAGE Fl VE) been part of the constitution as a result of what happened in World War I! and the Holocaust Now it's all being reversed. There are other forms of cooperation between the CDU (the goveming party) and the neoNazis. Forexample, the govemment in Germany officially refers to what was once East Germany as "Middle Germany." In the Germán budget, the official budget, they refer to East Germany, or that región, as "Middle Germany." Moreover, the Germán govemment gives millions of Deutschmarks to organizations that want to take back parts of other countries - Poland, Czechoslovakia- and incorpórate them into Germany again. If East Germany is now "Middle Germany," then what's east? You're talking about Silesia in Poland, Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia, so forth and so on. The Germán govemment is actually increasing the funding for these organizations at a time when the budget is being crunched - at a time when they're asking for concessions from workers and labor unions. I have seen joint press releases of organizations that are funded by the Germán govemment, with overt neo-Nazi groups - both listed on the same press release, talking about the need to take back Silesia or Konigsberg. A peculiar concept of the nation-state is shared by neo-Nazi groups and the mainstream parties in Germany. The concept is that Germany is where Germans are. If there are a lot of Germans in Poland, well that means that's where Germany is. In this case, the concept of a nation-state is not a civic-oriented concept. It'sYiot govemed by set boundaries, a set of laws that applies equally to everybody. No, for these fascists groups and for the Germán govemment, what constitutes a nation-state is based on ethnicity, on bloodline, on lineage. Therefore, a Turk who's bom in Germany of Turkish parents is stilt not a Germán and never will be. This concept of a nation-state is very operati ve in Eastern Europe. It causes a lot of problems because you have the boundaries that were created after the Austrian-Hungarian empire collapsed. Hungarians were all over- same problem - Hungarians in Slovakia, Hungarians in Rumania. The ruling Hungarian party, which was supported by the Republican Institute in the United States despite the fact that it's an overtly antiSemitic party, says, "Hungary is where Hungarians are." It's the same concept of a nation-state. Nationalism in the Cold War I think there's acommon misconception about Eastem Europe - that there was the communist period, and then after communism, suppressed nationalists came burrowing up. In a way that's true, but in a way that's not true. What happened during the communist period is that the govemments in Eastem Europe, the Soviet Union included, at various times used nationalism and anti-Semitism in order to divert economie resentments. There were the famous show trials back in the 1950s, for example the Slansky trial in Czechoslovakia. Most of the people on trial, once the leaders of the communist party there, were Jewish. And it was very clear what was going on. These people were used as scapegoats for the problems that the communists had created. Rather than acknowledge responsibility, they blamed it on the Zionists and the Jews. It played to nationalistic sentiments, which were always there in their societies, fostered from above but repressed at the grassroots. Grassroots expressions of nationalism were forbidden, but the govemments of Eastem Europe were more than happy to use this for their own purposes. The Ceaucescu case in Rumania was a classic example of this. U's called national communism. You would think this is a contradiction in terms. Communism is supposed to be an internationalist movement, but in fact, in a lot of ways it was very nationalist, in the Soviet Union as well. Stalin has been called the greatest Russian nationalist. There was a very strong f action - I would cali it a National Bolshevik f action - in the Soviet govemment and society. The Soviet Union's ruling circle was always accomodating and catering to them - u si ng anti-Semitism under the guise of anti-Zionism to do precisely what I just described, to direct attention from what was really causing their problems. !ts'rfbt,aLili(jetui8tiondsm waa ent n Eastem Europe during the Cold War, and then all of a sudden popped up. No, it was there all along, being fostered in strange ways. But once com munism collapsed , what else was there? Nationalism came up very strongly. Carried to an extreme, the end-result of this ethnic-state concept is ethnic cleansing. You see what's going on in Yugoslavia and what might happen in other areas. A fact that's not widely reported about the Yugoslavia situation is that Nazis f rom Germany and other countries in Europe, as well as the United States, have formed volunteer brigades that have gone to f ight in Croatia alongside the Croatian regular soldiers, to make an independent Croatia. In fact they're still there. On the other side you have Russian nationalists fighting in Serbia as mercenaries. I interviewed some of these people, on both sides of this. This underscores those international connections again. Russia: The Red-Brown Threat We all know about Zhirinovsky. Let's go back a little before that. Before Zhirinovsky there was Yeltsin and the whole situation with the parliament holed up in the White House, after it was abolished. Yeltsin banned Parliament - we all saw it on CNN. Troops surrounded the place. As it tumsout,neo-fascistsfrom Western Europe were also inside the White House, showing their solidarity with the anti-Yeltsin opposition. The ultranationalists hate Yeltsin. They see him as a pawn of the United States, which I think in some ways may be true. They see him as a free market fundamentalist - and that's not the economie position the extreme rightists usually expound. They are against the so-called new world order and the domination of capitalism and the spread of global monoculture. They identify with the opposition to Yeltsin, the so-called red-brown alliance - the red being former and current communists, the brown being fascists. The main opposition organization in Russia was called the National Salvation Front. It included groups that are nationalist, neo-fascist, monarchist, and formerly communist under one umbrella - a hundred different organizations. This red-brown configuration is not a recent thing. It goes back a long way in Russian history, I dare say even to the time of Lenin. The communist ruling circles were nevera unified, monolithic entity, contrary to the impression we may have been given through our media and history books. There were always different factions and some factional tendencies were very nationalistic. We know about the Hitler-Stalin pact - that's the tip of the iceberg in some ways. There 's always been sort of a red-brown configuration in the U.S.S.R., eversince whole groups of former Czarists supported the Bolsheviks because they saw it as the best way of building a strong Russian empire. Yeltsin banned a number of different groups within this red-brown configuration. One of the groups Yeltsin did not ban - for reasons that are not quite clear to me (although l'm willing to speculate) - was Zhirinovsky's group, the Liberal Democratie Party. It is certainly a neo-fascist party, even though its literature was being printed at the communist publishing houses. (Figure that one out.) With all thatdiscontent percolating in Russia, many voted for Zhirinovsky. He got close to 25% of the vote. Some speculate that Yeltsin actually wanted to build up Zhirinovsky. By having this guy emerge - who seems like a raving maniac - and present a threat, it will allow Yeltsin to maintain his support from the West no matter what. If Yeltsin doesn't remain in power, then there's going to be Zhirinovsky and these crazy fascists. I don't know if that's really what's going on. But I do think that Russia is the country in the greatest danger of a fascist seizure of power. I think what is emerging is two altematives in Russia, and it seems to be a lose-lose situation. On the one hand you have these neo-Nazis like Zhirinovsky. Ontheotherhand you have Yeltsin - sort of a Pinochet, a free-market fascist who thinks: we're going to ram these so-called refomns down your throat, the army will impose them. That seems to be the choice that's shaping up in Russia. There's a serious chance that this red-brown configuration will eventually win out in Russia, which would have serious implications for not only Europe, but the whole world. _ ._ Zhirinovsèkiy,h,asiconnectins.iQ a.gouj) in Germany called the Deutsche Volksunion (DVU) led by a man named Gerhardt Frey, who's one of these people who deny the Holocaust ever happened. You may think: How could a Russian nationalist make an alliance with a Germán neo-Nazi after what happened [in WWII] - after so many Russians were killed? It seems inexplicable; it seems unfathomable. And yet throughout this century, even before this century, there's always been a very complex, dynamic relationship between Germany and Russia. Afterthe First World War, Germany and Russia collaborated closely, even though Germany's was a conservative govemment, and Russia was communist. And in Germany during this period- the inter-war years, the 1920s before Hitler took power- within the conservative right-wing nationalist camp, there was always a strong faction oriented towards Russia and the Soviet Union. They wanted to make alliances with Russia- not because it was communist (if anything that just got in the way), but because they believed that Russia and Germany together would be an invincible force. Russia had the raw material, and Germany had the industrial base to use the raw materials to make the goods to sell back to Russia, and so forth and so on. This geopolitical dynamic has always been very strong in both countries and transcends ideological differences.That's why (even though it might seem unfathomable) someone like Zhirinovsky, a Russian nationalist, would pal around with these Nazi types. It goes beyond ideology- it's geopolitics and it goes back a long, long time. Gerhardt Frey in some ways is an anomoly within the Nazi scène in Germany. After WWII there were two broad tendencies in Germany, as there was throughout Europe, that split the radical nationalist orfascist camps. Certain groups went along with the United States and made anti-communism their main politics, as a way to survive politically. There's a very ugly history involving alliances between the United States intelligence community (the CIA) and Gemían Nazis after the war. Many of the Nazis and Mussolini ex-fascists ended up working with the CIA in the anti-communist crusade. Yet there was another faction of fascists, that said: "We're going to be anti-communist, but we're also anti-capitalist. We're anti-Soviet but we're also anti-American." They adopted a third position, and tried to become a third political force. This was the dominant view within the fascist scène. Within Germany almost all the Nazi groups took this third position line: 'American troops are the occupiers, American soldiere there are breeding this terrible culture - the U.S. was full of 'Negros' who played decadent jazz music, the Jews ran Wall Street, blah, blah, blah..." But Gerhardt Frey's group was one of the few neo-Nazi groups to go along with NATO and the Western alliance and to emphasize anti-communism above all else. Yet when the Cold War ended, Frey switched and began denouncing NATO. I think it's symbolic of something that's happening now across the board, where the fascists who adopted the anti-communist position as their main political line - since that's not a viable politie anymore with communism ha ving collapsed - are now moving over and joining with Pan-Europeanor the third-force fascists and adopting their position. Gerhardt Frey is one of those who has done just that Frey had been very closely aligned with a man named Gen. Reinhart Gehlen, Hitler's intelligence chief against the Soviet Union during WWII. Gehlen became a principal CIA operative after the war and brought with him into the CIA hundreds f not thousands of Nazis. They did for the CIA exactly what they were doing for Hitler- spied on Russia and Eastem Europe. In some ways it'sjust desserts- thatthe United States did this unpardonable thing, working with Nazi war crimináis and giving them a new lease on life. Fascism is reemerging and becoming a serious threat again. The U.S. govemment bears some responsibility for this. I 'm not predicting that neo-Nazis will take over Germany, but we should realize that they already have influenced Germany's politics to a significant extent As I said before, I think we're at the beginning of something that's very dangerous, very disturbing, and very powerful. It certainly refutes this idea that "democracy" has achieved such a thorough victory that we can cali it the end of history. Subscriptions to "Extra," are available for $30 year. Write to FAIR, P.O. Box 91 1, Pearl Rhrer, Naw York 10965; or caU 1-800-847-3993.

Article

Subjects
Agenda
Old News