Written by alex palamedes
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Topics: Racism, Germany

Tuesday, 27 April 2004

image for Germany Demands Freedom for European Nazis
"Danke Deutschland!"

A Russian-cum-Belarus-sponsored resolution at the Geneva conference on human rights against racism and xenophobia expressed deep concern at the tendency of some states to glorify former members of the SS, instituting monuments in their honour and allowing some of these people to take out marches. Among the 36 countries that supported it were India, China, Ukraine and Armenia.

The vote was opposed by some of the leading members of the so-called ‘‘free world'', whose leading nations have been active in attempts to impose 'peace' solutions in Yugoslavia, Palestine, Iraq and Cyprus. The countries against the resolution included the USA, Japan, Great Britain, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Germany, Australia, Hungary and Croatia - where visiting Germans are sometimes embarrassed when Croats enthusiastically welcome them with a raised arm and a Nazi "Heil!" greeting.

Slovenia, Latvia, Estonia and Croatia, all new or likely NATO and EU members, have witnessed a rise of state sponsored glorification of former members of the Waffen SS-voluntary detachments, attended by leading government politicians.

Germany and Britain, as well as the US, inexplicably refused to condemn such outrages. Vast amounts of weaponry were trucked illegally to Slovenia and Croatia during the 1990s - where the pop song 'Danke Deutschland' reached number one in the local charts in 1991. In 1999 the magazine "Globus" reported that "Mein Kampf" sold like hotcakes in all segments of Croatian society.

A Berlin based political scientist pointed out that as recently as the 1990s Croatian Nazi emigres supported by German secret services channelled huge funds into revived Ustasha regiments. It was notable, he said, that independent Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia were in the last decade governed by leaders who either denied the holocaust or participated in rallies for 'victims of communism' at which speakers glorified Slavs who had collaborated with the Nazi occupation.

Nevertheless it would be "impolitic" to support dissidents like writer Predrag Matvejevic, who in 1999 gave voice to ashamed Croatian citizens, many of whose parents took part in the anti-fascist Partisan struggle. "The publication of Nazi literature is a disgrace to Croatia and its culture". This is "no accident", he said, "in Tudjman's Croatia."

Croatian Nazi nostalgia was now "more subtle", with the destruction of thousands of monuments to the victims of fascism complete. It would be "ungracious" of Berlin, having carved out spheres of influence in the Baltic and Balkan regions, to deny satellite states the right to celebrate their connection to the Fatherland. Germany had "a special responsibility" to keep safe its continued influence in its Nazi era European allies.

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