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Golden Dawn has no elite

28 February 2013 / 21:02:41  GRReporter
3783 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

A message on the official website of the Golden Dawn party announced that it would start a new cycle of spiritual awakening of children called "Forming the children".

As stated in the message, its implementation began in the office of the party in the village of Artemis in Athens last Saturday. Two days later, Golden Dawners published photographs, showing about 20 children aged between 6 and 10 years.

Two teachers dressed in the usual "uniform" of the followers of the party showed a film and told the children about "the birth of the ancient world as seen by the ancient Greek thought". In addition, they told them about "the gods of Olympus, the ancient Greek pantheon and the Christian faith".

"After the children played and had fun they ate some sweets and said goodbye to their teachers until the next lesson," wrote the authors of the message. At the end of the idyllic lesson, the participants, their parents and the "teachers" from Golden Dawn took some pictures as a memento of that day.

According to the commentators, the 'spiritual awakening' is based on a publication by one of the theoreticians of the junta - George Georgalas, issued in 1967. It has recently appeared on the website of the local organization of Golden Dawn in the northern suburbs of Athens. It states, "This age is appropriate for creating a model of behaviour in the child. Childhood is the most appropriate time for shaping trends, interests and ideas through imagination".

Attracting children to the extreme ideology of Golden Dawn has shocked much of Greek society. An increasing number of people are starting to compare the methods of Greek xenophobes with those of the Nazis in Nazi Germany. Even the famous historian and expert on Greek history and reality Mark Mazower had recently said that Golden Dawn was "the ideological kin of German National Socialism".

"They obey the "mystical voice of blood" and a kind of a "fuehrer". Put immigrants in the place of Jews and you will see startling similarities," said Mazower.

Yet the historian admitted that "Golden Dawn is a purely Greek phenomenon" and despite the similarities or analogies, "the syndrome of the Weimar Republic is not applicable to Greece".

"The rise of Hitler was supported not only by lower social strata, but by the average and high as well. I think that at least for now Golden Dawn is a rabble of scoundrels. Its deputies are extremely narrow-minded and the things they are talking about are funny at best. What I mean is that Golden Dawn has no elite. So, the analogy seems excessive to me".

His Greek counterpart Thanos Veremis does not support this view. "I do not think we can make some analogy. The rise of Hitler was supported not only by lower social strata, but by the average and high as well. I think that at least for now Golden Dawn is a rabble of scoundrels. Its deputies are extremely narrow-minded and the things they are speaking about are funny at best. What I mean is that Golden Dawn has no elite. So, the analogy seems excessive to me".

"I think that Mazower and other commentators attach to Golden Dawn many things, which it does not possess at least at present. If they obtain them, things will be different, but I do not think it is likely to happen. There is nothing serious in their behaviour. Hitler relied on serious people in Germany. After he took power, many intellectuals such as Martin Heidegger - one of the brightest representatives of existentialism - supported him. Hitler had a strange talent to influence the audience and capable people surrounded him. In no case is Golden Dawn supported by such individuals. I even fear that we might create a myth about them for things that are not real".

The professor said that Golden Dawners have the support of people of low intellectual level. "Not to speak about the era. The time of Hitler was very different from ours mainly because people were not yet aware of the nature of fascism and Nazism. I do not think it is possible for similar ideologies to find a response in a country like Greece, which the Nazis seized and which suffered a lot because of it".

Thanos Veremis upholds the view that the only reason for the election percentage of Golden Dawn was the desire of some of the voters to "punish" the political system. He explained that the party has become the third political force because "it is seeking support among the extremes in society".

According to him, giving too much attention to a phenomenon sometimes makes it strong. "I do not mean that we should not pay attention to it; it is just that I am not sure at present that Golden Dawn is the biggest problem of Greece. I think it is different – the lawlessness that lies inside every Greek regardless of their social position and ideology. I'm talking about the behaviour of the people, who do not obey the laws and do whatever they want. Golden Dawn is surely an expression of that lawlessness, but at a much lower level. I do not think these people will be able to establish themselves and to attract serious adherents to become a mass movement".

Tags: SocietyGolden DawnNazismFascismIdeologyHitlerMark MazewerThanos Veremis
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