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Member of Golden Dawn denies the Holocaust against Jews

07 June 2013 / 20:06:24  GRReporter
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Golden Dawn’s deputies are no longer hesitant to show their true face in parliament. In a speech to his colleagues in the National Assembly, party spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris had said that he denied the Holocaust against Jews during World War II as a historical fact. This was another challenge from the neo-Nazi party. The most recent was the statement by its parliamentary representative Christos Pappas, who had admitted that in the past, he had written texts praising Hitler, adding, "Nazism is the future of this country".

Ilias Kasidiaris’ words caused commotion in parliament. He made the statement commenting on the refusal of Sammy Mionis, former head of the investment fund, to appear before the parliamentary commission, which is investigating the "Lagarde list" case.

The Golden Dawner defined Mionis as "the key figure in the case" and said that his reluctance to testify was due to his Jewish origin and especially to the fact that the commission involved deputies, who deny the Holocaust.

"Of course, it involves lawmakers who deny the Holocaust. We do not want to go to the state of the Zionists - killers. When this gentleman comes to our country, he would be brought to justice," Ilias Kasidiaris said in a very challenging way, causing strong reactions from the deputies, who were present in the plenary hall.

Vassilis Oikonomou of the Democratic Left, who took the floor after the Golden Dawner, had directly asked Deputy Minister of Interior Charalambos Athanasiou what would the attitude would be towards a man who denied the Holocaust in Germany. "One such person stood at the rostrum before me. Is there a punishment for his behaviour? The Democratic Left party had alerted about the need for adopting a law against racism and now, reality itself shows how much it is necessary."

When the spirits calmed down, the Deputy Minister took the floor and explained that the proposal of New Democracy provided for sanctions on those claiming that there was no persecution against Jews. In response, the Democratic Left deputy said that Ilias Kasidiaris would be sentenced to five years in prison for his words.

A little later, the Golden Dawner again took the floor and urged the Democratic Left to stop talking about the Holocaust. " 'Subjects' like Maria Repousi, who denies that there was genocide on Pontic Greeks in Asia Minor, are members of the particular party. New Democracy is also to blame for this story as it has issued her disgusting book. You will not turn Greece into Germany, Golden Dawn will not allow it," said Kasidiaris whereas presiding Maria Kolia – Tsrouha of the Independent Greeks ordered that the word "subject" should not be entered into the minutes. "Although I disagree with Maria Repousi’s position, this word is unacceptable," she said.

The Jewish community in Thessaloniki had immediately reacted and condemned in the strongest manner the statements of Golden Dawn’s deputy. Community chairman David Saltiel states that Holocaust denial offends mainly the Greek parliament, which, in 2004, announced a day dedicated to the memory of Greek Jews - martyrs and heroes of the Holocaust, "like all civilized nations that do not want to forget history do".

"It is also an insult to the struggle of Greeks against Nazism and repression of the memory of the dead who fought for dignity and humanity against the cruelty of Hitler, to the victims who died in the gas chambers, including 6 million Jews and 70,000 Greek Jews among them". David Saltiel urged the democratic parliamentary forces to enact an explicit law as regards racist violence, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and denial of the Holocaust.

In the spirit of the events associated with New Democracy, the Konstantinos Karamanlis Institute for Democracy has drawn up a programme that aims to fight racism and xenophobia in Greek society by highlighting lesser-known events related to the Holocaust against Greek Jews.

The programme will be implemented in cooperation with the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki, the Jewish Museum in London and the German Hanns Seidel Foundation, which is associated with the party of Christian Democrats. The Greek Foundation is planning to publish a book of documents from the period of World War II that are related to the Holocaust against Greek Jews. "There will be interviews with survivors who are living in Thessaloniki or who have moved to Israel. We will hold educational seminars and we will enhance the participation of members of security forces as well as of primary and secondary school teachers. They are the people who can influence the students, parents and citizens to remove racism and xenophobia," said Mariana Pirgioti, director of the Foundation. She pointed out that last year, a meeting with the participation of the Jewish community in Thessaloniki and in cooperation with the Jewish Museum and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki was held in the city. "It covered the history of the city from the Balkan wars to the German occupation, when the majority of the Jewish community was liquidated. Although the topic is not among the most popular ones, the presentation took place in a hall full of students, teachers and ordinary citizens. They all wanted to know the history of their city."

The initiative of the Foundation was born after the discussion about whether there should be a law against racism, which has caused commotion in the relationship between the three government partners. Many members of New Democracy opposed the adoption of such a law. "There is no contradiction between the position of New Democracy and the initiative of the foundation. To the contrary – in the draft amendments required, New Democracy refers in particular to the denial of the Holocaust and the genocide against Armenians and Pontic Greeks in Asia Minor," she added.

Tags: PoliticsGolden DawnIlias KasidiarisDenial of the HolocaustJewish community
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