Neo-Nazism - a dangerous Threat to Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law
Report of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
NEO-NAZISM — A DANGEROUS THREAT
TO HUMAN RIGHTS, DEMOCRACY AND THE RULE OF LAW
Report of the Ministry of Foreign A? airs
of the Russian Federation
Moscow April 2015
Table of contents
Foreword ............................................................................................ 5 Introduction ............................................................................................ 7 Chapter 1. International neo-Nazi trends and the situation
in the ? eld of the adherence of the states to the international legal obligations in the matter of combating Nazism and Neo-Nazism ................................ 9
Chapter 2. Review of international instruments and mechanisms for the ? ght against Nazism, war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, glori? cation of Nazism, Neo-Nazism, aggressive nationalism, discrimination, xenophobia, racism and other forms of intolerance .......................................... 19
2.1. Charter of the United Nations ..................................... 19 2.2. The International Military Tribunal for the just
and prompt trial and punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis .............................. 19
2.2.1. Declaration “Concerning Responsibility of Hitlerites or Committed Atrocities” signed by President Roosevelt, Marshall Stalin and Prime-Minister Churchill on November 1, 1943 ............. 19
2.2.2. Charter of the International Military Tribunal for the Prosecution and Punishment of the Major War Criminals of the European Axis dated August 8, 1945 ................................................. 20
2.2.3. Extract from the Judgment of the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg dated October1, 1946 ... 21
2.2.4. 32nd Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations of February 13, 1946 ................... 22
2.3. International Humanitarian Law ................................... 22 2.4. Universal Declaration of Human Rights ........................ 23 2.5. Convention for the Protection of Human Rights
and Fundamental Freedoms ....................................... 24 2.6. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ....... 25 2.7. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment
of the Crime of Genocide ............................................ 26 2.7.1. About the resolution of the General Assembly
of the United Nations “Holocaust remembrance” .......... 26 2.7.2. About the resolution of the General Assembly
of the United Nations “Holocaust denial”...................... 26 2.8. The Convention on the Non-Applicability
of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity...................................... 27
2.9. The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination ............................ 27
2.10. The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. ............................................. 29
2.11. The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination .............................................. 29
2.12. The Council of Europe’s documents and activities ........ 29 2.13. The Third World Conference against Racism ................ 30 2.14. Implementation of the Durban Review Conference ....... 30 2.15. The OSCE’s documents and activities ..........................31 2.16. About the resolution of the General Assembly
of the United Nations “Combating glori? cation of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance” ............................................. 32
Chapter 3. Situation in a Number of Countries around the World ............................................................... 35 Austria ................................................................................ 35 Belgium .............................................................................. 38 Bulgaria .............................................................................. 40 Canada ................................................................................41 Croatia ................................................................................ 43 Czech Republic ................................................................... 44 Denmark ............................................................................. 46 Estonia ............................................................................... 48 Finland ................................................................................ 50 France ............................................................................... 52 Germany ............................................................................. 55 Great Britain ........................................................................ 58 Greece .................................................................................61 Hungary .............................................................................. 62 Italy ................................................................................ 64 Latvia ............................................................................... 66 Lithuania ............................................................................. 69 Netherlands .........................................................................71 Norway ............................................................................... 73 Poland ................................................................................ 74 Romania ............................................................................. 76 Spain ................................................................................ 77 Sweden .............................................................................. 79 Switzerland ......................................................................... 82 USA ............................................................................... 84 Ukraine ............................................................................... 90 Situation in Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, in Cyprus and Malta ................................. 97
Conclusion .........................................................................................100 Annex .........................................................................................101
Resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations “Combating glori? cation of Nazism, neoNazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”
On the eve of the 70th anniversary of the end of the World War II the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation has prepared a report “NeoNazism — a dangerous threat to human rights, democracy and the rule of law”.
The World War II has brought the world unseen suffering and destruction. By joining our forces we managed to break the flagitious ideology that posed a threat to the mere existence of human civilization. Today we bow our heads to the courage of the peoples who fought shoulder to shoulder for the sake of the common Victory. We can never sufficiently thank the winners who fought for the truth and justice and who gave their lives for our future.
Unfortunately, the Nazi “vaccine” produced, inter alia, during the Nuremberg Trials is starting to languish. We may witness it in a number of European countries. The propaganda of Nazi ideas and values is being carried on, radical nationalists are lifting their heads. The situation in Ukraine where Nazi criminals are being basically rehabilitated is of particular concern. All this not only defiles the memory of millions of victims but also poses a threat to fundamental principles of democracy and human rights.
We are utterly disappointed as we see cynical attempts to falsify the history of the World War II, equalize the victims and the torturers and heroize the Nazis and their accomplices. The aim of these dishonorable actions, as President Vladimir Putin once said, is to use historical speculations in geopolitical games, provoke political phobias and set entire countries and peoples against each other.
We believe that a full recognition of the outcomes of the World War II enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and other international documents is an imperative for all states.
We are convinced that systematic efforts aimed at combating glorification of Nazism, all forms and manifestations of racism, xenophobia, aggressive nationalism, chauvinism should stay in focus of the international community.
We hope that this report will contribute to these efforts and will be helpful for a wide audience.
Today we need to learn due lessons from our tragic past. In a turbulent situation in today’s world it is important to realize what horrible consequences world domination attempts, blind faith in one’s exceptionality, indiscriminate choice of methods to achieve doubtful goals and neglect of norms of law and morality can bring. True security can only be equal and indivisible based on the international law, central coordinating role of the United Nations in international affairs and collective search for ways to respond to multiple modern challenges and threats.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation S. Lavrov
2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the bloodiest War in the history of mankind that claimed lives of 60 millions people. Many countries and peoples have contributed to the Victory but crucial role of the multinational USSR that sacrificed 27 millions lives of its citizens remains undeniable. It is a fact that can not be deleted from the history.
The Nuremberg Trials of 1946 disclosed to the world the details of horrifying crimes committed by Nazis, their allies and accomplices under the misanthropic concept of superiority and exceptionality. War crimes prosecution was an important milestone on the way of developing international law and international humanitarian law and the international human rights law. The Nazism as well as any related ideas and concepts of hatred based on race, religion and other criteria, was outlawed by the international community.
In the meantime the Nazi matrix is being obviously and rapidly brought back to life in a number of countries across the world. New forms and shapes of neo-Nazism emerge, it changes but remains malformed and dangerous. As the President Vladimir Putin said: “As soon as we let the seeds of anti-Semitism, neo-Nazism, national intolerance and chauvinism grow we will be facing severe consequences for the state and for the entire country. It is a destroying force”.
Some countries are making dangerous attempts to build state concepts of national identity and development on the basis of xenophobia and exceptionality. School books are being re-written, facts related to the World War II are being supplanted and falsified. Millions of liberator soldiers who gave their lives to fight the “brown plague” and to spare future generations from the disasters of war are being labeled as “occupants” and “criminals”. It even comes to absurd and waning announcements at the level of state authorities and international organizations that directly distort the facts related with the history of the World War II.
The present report of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation is primarily aimed at demonstrating current situation with the spread and potential consequences of the neo-Nazi threat in a number of countries. It is focused on the most outstanding and obvious tendencies in this sphere that pose extreme threat to the stability and security of the world order.
The report consists of three chapters. The first describes global neo-Nazi tendencies in a number of countries and demonstrates how they contradict international legal obligations in the sphere of combating Nazism, neo-Nazism, aggressive nationalism, discrimination, xenophobia, racism and other forms of intolerance. The second chapter of the report contains fundamental provisions of international legal instruments and mechanisms. The third chapter exemplifies manifestations of neo-Nazism and related concepts and ideologies of hatred and points out the progress of a number of countries in combating neoNazism that requires further development and consolidation.
The data of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, international NGOs including human rights organizations such as Simon Wiesenthal Center and the International Human Rights Movement “World without Nazism”, reports of the national human rights structures, ombudsmen as well as statistics and researches of state authorities, studies of the leading world experts related to Nazism and neo-Nazism and documents from the Archive of Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation were used as sources in the preparation of this report.
The report is dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Great Victory in commemoration of millions of people who have liberated the world from Nazism.
No one is forgotten and nothing is forgotten!
Chapter 1. International neo-Nazi trends and the situation
in the ? eld of the adherence of the states to the international legal obligations in the matter
of combating Nazism and Neo-Nazism
Chapter 1. International neo-Nazi trends
The universal system of the promotion and protection of human rights which contains several tens of international legal instruments became in many respects the response of the states to the terrors of war, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed by Nazi Germany and Axis Powers in the period from September 1, 1939 to September 2, 1945.
The existing international legal tools in the field of human rights and freedoms have confirmed the inalterability of the core values of humanity — the inalienable right of everyone to life and protection of law without distinction, such as, race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national origin, property, birth or other status — and represented universal remedies for their protection and promotion.
However the comprehensive and objective analysis of some trends of recent decades reveals alarming conclusions — Hitler’s concept of the aggressive exceptionality that laid a foundation for the bloodiest conflict in the history of mankind and then got pulverized by the will and courage of our fathers and grandfathers gradually reappears in some regions of modern world, particularly in Western Europe, evolves and assumes new hideous forms. It gives cause for most serious concern. It seems that the danger of Nazi ideas and the lessons of the Second World War that took the lives of almost 60 million people progressively become forgotten.
Below is a list of possibly the most evident and clear global trends of growth and contagion of Neo-Nazism and related intolerance and hatred that highlight the threat of erosion of fundamental pillars of the international legal regime in the field of human rights.
Falsi? cation and denial of history including through equalization of Nazism with Communism and promotion of a thesis
of equal responsibility of Nazi Germany and the USSR for unleashing the Second World War
The examples of systematic historical distortion, falsification of history and truth about the Second World War, brazen prevarication are recorded in some foreign countries. This notably assumes the following forms:
– Denial of the Holocaust and crimes against humanity; – Throws of brazen fakes in educational and scientific literature, distribution of pseudo-historic information; – Provocative and false statements of the representatives of political
elites of several Western and Eastern European countries on the causes, course and results of the Second World War;
– Adoption of laws, including constitutional ones, that substitute notions and equalize the policies of the USSR with the aggression, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed by the Nazi and their collaborators;
– Insulting labeling of the USSR veterans as criminals and aggressors and initiation of contrived and politically motivated criminal cases against them;
– Adoption of measures aimed at raising those who fought against the countries of anti-Hitler coalition or cooperated with the Nazi to the status of national heroes or members of national liberation movements.
All the abovementioned measures represent a flagrant distortion of the historical truth, a senseless attempt to rewrite the Judgments of the International Military Tribunal for the Major Trial of War Criminals of European Axis and fundamental principles set in the UN Charter, particularly, Article 107 of the UN Charter which confirms the legal force of actions, taken or authorized by the governments of the anti-Hitler coalition countries for the purpose of combating the Nazi terror.
In order to recall the “conceptual” framework of the National Socialist ideology we shall quote several indicative utterances of its author Adolf Hitler.
“There can exist only one great power in Europe and Germany must become that power as the most Aryan country. All the other nations are bastards…”.
“We need to annihilate 20 million people. From this moment on this will be one of the main long-term goals of German policy: extinguish the fertility of the Slavs by all means. The natural instinct orders every creature not only to defeat its enemy but to destroy it as well. The right of victors to exterminate the tribes and whole peoples was recognized in the past”.
“When we talk of conquering new territories in Europe, we may talk primarily of Russia only and marginal states under its control”.
The aim of the Nurnberg tribunal was “the just and prompt trial and punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis” (Article 1 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal).
The verdict of the International Military Tribunal of October 1, 1946. clearly specified the responsibility of leaders, organizers, instigators and perpetrators who participated in drafting or implementation of a general plan or a plot aimed at committing crimes.
The Nazi atrocities were designated as a grave violation of the international law, notably the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 which state that “the Signatory Powers recognize that the military operations between them should not begin without preliminary and clear warning either in terms of declaration of war with the explanation of reasons or through the ultimatum with the declaration of war in the event of disagreement with its conditions”. Moreover Germany violated the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles of June 28, 1919 (in terms of disarmament) and the General Treaty for Renunciation of War of August 27, 1928, (The Kellogg-Briand Pact) that envisages that “The High Contracting Parties… renounce war as an instrument of national policy so that the peaceful and friendly relations now existing between their peoples may be perpetuated “… All changes in their relations with one another should be sought only by pacific means, thus uniting the civilized nations of the world in a common renunciation of war as an instrument of their national policy”.
According to the indictment of the International Military Tribunal for the Trial of the Major War Criminals of European Axis the Nazi were found responsible for the following crimes:
1. Unleashing of aggression against USSR, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Yugoslavia and other European countries as well as against USA;
2. Crimes against peace and numerous violations of the international treaties (26 documents) in the course of planning, preparing and unleashing of the aggressive wars;
3. War crimes against war prisoners and civilians in the occupied territories (mass exterminations, forcing to slave labour, pillage, senseless destruction of the cities, system of hostages, attempts to Germanize the occupied regions etc.)
4. Crimes against humanity and other cases of mass killings on political and racial grounds, shootings, extermination of people in gas chambers.
Annex “B” to the verdict of the Tribunal contains specific list of organizations responaible for those crimes — government’s office, senior management of the Fascist party, security and assault detachments (SS), state secret police (Gestapo), General Staff and Supreme High Command of the German armed forces.
The principles and judgments of the International Military Tribunal for the Major Trial of War Criminals of European Axis were confirmed by the UN General Assembly resolutions 3 (I) of February 13, 1946, and 95 (I) of December 11, 1946 as universally acknowledged in combating crimes against humanity and embodied in the international Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity of November 26, 1968.
Disregard and contempt for human rights which have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind are mentioned in the Universal Declaration of human Rights of December 10, 1948, the creation of which was incited by the horrors of the Second World War and Nazi ideology of exceptionality.
In this context it is evident that all attempts to prevaricate and equalize Nazism with the policies of the USSR are groundless from the historical and legal points of view, reprehensible from the moral standpoint, unjust and dangerous from the social standpoint and “charged” at breaching the international security and harmony. Moreover, such actions undermine the pillars of the international law, international humanitarian law and international law of human rights.
The tendencies of denying Holocaust and crimes against humanity contravene a priori the international obligations of the States and the law enforcement practice.
According to the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of December 9, 1948 genocide is considered a crime violating the provisions of the international law regardless of whether if it was committed in time of peace or war.
In accordance with the UN General Assembly resolutions “Holocaust remembrance” (A/RES/61/255 of November 21, 2005) and “Holocaust denial” (A/RES/61/255 of January 26, 2007) the member states are urged to implicitly reject and condemn the denial of Holocaust of any kind.
As for the law enforcement practice, it is appropriate to refer to the opinion of the European Court of Human Rights which adheres the position that there are certain subjects and historical events that are so “sensitive that their denial represents the incitement to hatred”.
For example, in the case of Garaudy v France1 the Court considered that there was no doubt that the denial of clearly established historical facts such as Holocaust, as it was done in the book “The Foundation of Myths of the Israeli Policies” (including “myths” of the Nuremberg Trial and Holocaust) can not be regarded as a historical research aimed at establishing of truth.
The Court unequivocally determined such “researches” as an attempt to rehabilitate National Socialism and practically to commit a historical distortion in order to accuse its victims of falsifying the history. The Court underlined that the denial of crimes against humanity is one of the strongly pronounced forms of the racial defamation of the Jewish and contributes to the incitement of hatred towards them. Denial or revision of the historical facts of such scope deconstruct the values on which the fight against racism and anti-Semitism are based and can undermine the public order. For the Court, such actions affect the right of other people and are incompatible with the democracy and the human rights and those responsible for such actions undoubtedly pursue the aims prohibited by the Article 17 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (abuse of rights).
The European Court declared this application inadmissible, noting that the larger part of the book and its tone were nihilistic in terms of their nature and contradict the fundamental values of justice and universal peace. The applicant tried to take the advantage of the Article 10, paragraph 1 of the Convention (freedom of expression) to protect his interests which contradict its spirit and letter.
Propaganda and assistance in the dissemination of ideas of Nazism and refusal of an active ? ght against them
In certain countries there is propaganda and support of Nazi and neo-Nazi ideas, slogans, movements and organizations that continues to grow unhindered. This notably assumes the following forms:
– Organizing neo-Nazi marches, torchlight processions with display of Nazi symbols, citation of Hitler and other theorists and figures of Nazism;
– Holding under the patronage, with the support or connivance of authorities of Nazi veteran actions, often displaying uniforms, orders and medals which were awarded to them for the elimination of civilians or for committing war crimes during the Second World War;
1 The ECHR decision on the case # 65831/01 Garaudy v France.
– Display of respect to Nazi criminals — holding of solemn burial ceremonies (sometimes with the state honours), church memorial services, prayer ceremonies, etc.;
– Construction of memorials to Waffen SS legionnaires which includes those built on the sites of destroyed memorials to Soviet Liberators:
– Declaration of the days of the liberation from Nazi occupation as the days of mourning;
– Rapid increase of the number of the organizations and groups seeking to promote the ideas of Nazism, racial superiority or hatred;
– Systematic abstention or voting “against” the Russia sponsored UNGA draft resolution “Combat against glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other kinds of practices that facilitate the escalation of the modern forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”.
All the aforementioned reveals the disregard of a number of states of their international legal obligations and “soft law” instruments.
Pursuant to Article 4 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination of December 21, 1965, the States Parties undertake to:
– Condemn any propaganda and all organizations which are based on ideas of radical superiority or attempting to justify or encourage racial hatred and discrimination in any form;
– Declare an offence punishable by law any dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred;
– Declare illegal and prohibit organizations, as well as organized and any other propaganda activities, which promote or incite racial discrimination, and recognize participation in such organizations or activities as an offence punishable by law.
This Article is particularly important because it draws a distinct line between the offences punishable by law, the freedom of assembly and association and the freedom of expression. This is why groundless are the attempts of certain states to qualify the abovementioned actions as an exercise of the said freedoms.
It is important here to pay special attention to the reservations which the European Union Member States and the United States made to Articles 19, 20 and 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (which establishes the right to freedom of expression and to peaceful assembly) and the crucial above-mentioned Article 4 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Due to these reservations over the years under the pretext of protecting the right to freedom of expression the Western countries are condoning organizations and movements, which spread Nazi, neo-Nazi and other hatred-based ideas.
It is also pertinent to emphasize that the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has repeatedly recognized the reservations of Western countries to Article 4 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination as “incompatible with the object and purpose of the Convention within the meaning of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969.”
1It is particularly disappointing that the reservations to Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (prohibition of propaganda for war, advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence) were made by the United States, Great Britain and France, the Member States of the anti-Hitler coalition, the UN founders and members of its Security Council, that carry a special responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.» The UN Human Rights Committee and the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination repeatedly underlined the need for compliance with these norms.
International oversight on human rights is struggling to establish a fair balance between the right to equality and non-discrimination on the one hand, and the right to freedom of expression on the other.
The noble slogan regarding the need for pluralism, tolerance and broadmindedness without which “a democratic society can not exist”, is deeply rooted in the West European politics32. However, absolutization of this principle, typical for the Western countries, is reflected, for example, in the opinion of the European Commission on Human Rights that the freedom of expression (except for the restrictions provided for in paragraph 2 of Article 10 of the Convention) is applied “to information and ideas that offend, shock or disturb the State or any sector of the population.» Such an interpretation may be acceptable. However it is the main risk that due to a superficial and populist attitude to freedom of
1 Reservations to the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination made by the States https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails. aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-2&chapter=4&lang=en and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.asp x?chapter=4&id=322&lang=en&src=IND#7.
2 Paragraph 49 of Judgment of the European Commission on Human Rights (ECHR) of December 7, 1976 on the complaint № 5493/72 Handyside v United Kingdom.
expression in the context of the Nazi and neo-Nazi issues there are gross abuses of human rights and insults to the memory of millions of people in the world.
1It is telling in this sense that the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights with reference to Article 17 of the Convention allow restriction on extremist and hate speech, which represent an assault on the rights of others. Indeed, in Glimmer Veen and Hagenbeek v Netherlands case the European Commission of Human Rights ruled that the racist statements fell outside the scope of Article 10 of the Convention. In the Gunduz v Turkey case the Court recognized that in some democratic
2societies it may be considered necessary to apply penalties aimed at preventing the expressions that can spread, incite and inflame hostility based on intolerance (provided that these restrictions will be proportionate to the aim pursued). The Court stressed in particular that specific statements which incite hatred and can insult individuals or groups do not fall under Article 10 of the Convention. It should also be mentioned that a number of instruments and mechanisms
within the UN, the OSCE and the Council of Europe, which condemn and deny various manifestations of racism, discrimination, xenophobia and racial exclusiveness, glorification of Nazism, are consistently ignored by many Member States of these organizations.
In this context it can be illustrated by an annual vote of the UN Member States on the General Assembly resolution on Combating the glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
44 States became co-authors of the document in 2014, 133 states voted in its favor. 4 delegations voted against it (Canada, Palau, the USA and, for the first time, Ukraine), 51 state, including all EU member states abstained. Refusal to support this resolution by a number of anti-Hitler coalition Member States is puzzling.
In the annual reports of 2013 and 2014 Mutuma Ruteere, the HRC Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, emphasized that historical revisionism lead to the rehabilitation and dissemination of neo-Nazism and other extremist ideologies, incitement to xenophobia and anti-Semitism, incitement to ethnic conflicts. He indicated, in particular, to the annual marches of the former Waffen-SS legionnaires,
1 Decision of the European Commission of Human Rights of October 11, 1979, №8348/78, 8406/78 Glimmerveen and Hagenbeek v Netherlands.
2 Paragraphs 40–41 of judgment of the European Commission on Human Rights (ECHR) of December 4, 2003, on complaint № 35071/97 Gunduz v Turkey (2003).
funeral with honors of their former officers, the Nazis victories anniversaries, as well as the use of the Internet and modern technologies in order to promote the ideas of racism and xenophobia.
He also noted the need to teach history, show the dramatic events and human sufferings caused by dissemination of fascist and Nazi ideology and take serious measures to prevent distortion of history of the Second World War, Holocaust and denial of the Nazi crimes.
The outcome documents of the World Conference against Racism of 2001 and the Durban Review Conference of 2009 express serious concern over the rise of extremist movements and political parties propagating racism, ethnocentrism and xenophobia.
Paragraph 84 of the outcome document of the Durban Review Conference (Geneva, 2009) directly condemns the revival of the Nazi and fascist ideologies, “which can not be justified under any circumstances.”
The OSCE Participating States adopted a number of political commitments related to the fight against racism, anti-Semitism and aggressive nationalism. The two ministerial decisions (Brussels-2006 and Madrid-2007) directly address the rise of neo-Nazism.
The Ministerial declarations (Sofia-2004, Athens-2009 and Basel-2014) reflected the history lessons learnt during the Second World War and the victory over Nazism. The decisions on anti-Semitism and tolerance (Sofia-2004 and Ljubljana-2005) contain some aspects concerning the Holocaust in order to preserve its memory.
Despite numerous commitments, the Western countries consistently ignore them and exclude neo-Nazism from the OSCE agenda. Moreover, over the past eight years the OSCE (as opposed to the United Nations and the Council of Europe) has not updated its commitments to combat neo-Nazism despite the difficult situation in its area.
Within the Council of Europe there are the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance and the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities of February 1, 1995, which also monitor the legislation and law enforcement activities to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance, carried out by the Member-States.
The Council of Europe annual report, drafted by the European Commission against racism and intolerance in 2013, in the context of identifying the main challenges in the field of racism and related forms of intolerance in the European Union particularly draws attention to the “dangerous phenomenon” of remembrance and glorification of the Nazi ideology “in a number of countries”, including commemorative events in honor of the Waffen-SS, the construction of relevant memorials, rehabilitation of war criminals and rewriting of the history of the World War II. The Commission believes that such a policy fuels ethnic and religious intolerance and hatred.
According to the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks any actions to glorify Nazism, including marches and meetings, should be punished and banned. He considers that the growth of xenophobia in Europe “has reached the point of an early form of far-right terror”.
The report on the state of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe, drafted by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland and presented at the Ministerial Session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in May 2014, defines racism, ethnic discrimination, incitement to hatred and infringement of the rights of national minorities as one of the most serious human rights challenges.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted resolutions to combat neo-Nazism and extremism. Among them we should mention two resolutions: 2011 (2014) and 2052 (2014) on counteraction to manifestations of neo-Nazism and right-wing extremism. The PACE condemns increasing manifestations of Nazism and right-wing extremism, as well as growing popularity of the neo-Nazi parties in Europe.
The resolutions note that this is not an isolated phenomenon peculiar to certain Member States of the Council of Europe, but a pan-European issue. They mention that neo-Nazi and extremist phenomena are often «dozing in a society until there are conditions favorable for their occurrence.»
Chapter 2. Review of international instruments
and mechanisms for the ? ght against Nazism, war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, glori? cation of Nazism, Neo-Nazism, aggressive nationalism, discrimination, xenophobia, racism
and other forms of intolerance
Chapter 2. Review of international instruments and mechanisms
2.1. Charter of the United Nations, 26 June, 1945 The establishment of the United Nations was a response of the member
states of the anti-Hitler coalition to the atrocities and crimes of Nazism, and a means to prevent the recurrence of similar bloodshed in the future.
Save succeeding generations from the scourge of war is a fundamental principle underlying the Charter of the United Nations.
Article 107 Nothing in the present Charter shall invalidate or preclude action, in rela-
tion to any state which during the Second World War has been an enemy of any signatory to the present Charter, taken or authorized as a result of that war by the Governments having responsibility for such action.
2.2. The International Military Tribunal for the just and prompt trial and punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis
2.2.1. From the Declaration Concerning Responsibility of Hitlerites for Committed Atrocities signed by President Roosevelt, Marshal Stalin and Prime Minister Churchill, Moscow, 1 November, 1943
“The United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union have received from many quarters evidence of atrocities, massacres and cold-blooded mass executions which are being perpetrated by Hitlerite forces in many of the countries they have overrun and from which they are now being steadily expelled. The brutalities of Nazi domination are no new thing, and all peoples or territories in their grip have suffered from the worst form of government by terror… At the time of granting of any armistice to any government which may be set up in Germany, those German officers and men and members of the Nazi party who have been responsible for or have taken a consenting part in the above atrocities, massacres and executions will be sent back to the countries in which their abominable deeds were done in order that they may be judged and punished according to the laws of these liberated countries and of free governments which will be erected therein.”
2.2.2. Charter of the International Military Tribunal for the just and prompt trial and punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis (London, 8 August 1945)
Article 1 In pursuance of the Agreement signed on the 8th day of August 1945 by the
Government of the United States of America, the Provisional Government of the French Republic, the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, there shall be established an International Military Tribunal (hereinafter called «the Tribunal’’) for the just and prompt trial and punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis.
Article 6 The Tribunal established by the Agreement referred to in Article 1 hereof
for the trial and punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis countries shall have the power to try and punish persons who, acting in the interests of the European Axis countries, whether as individuals or as members of organizations, committed any of the following crimes.
The following acts, or any of them, are crimes coming within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal for which there shall be individual responsibility:
(a) Crimes against peace, namely: planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing;
(b) War crimes, namely: violations of the laws or customs of war. Such violations shall include, but not be limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity;
(c) Crimes against humanity, namely: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war; or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.
Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan.
Article 9 At the trial of any individual member of any group or organization the Tribunal may declare (in connection with any act of which the individual may be convicted) that the group or organization of which the individual was a member was a criminal organization.
2.2.3. From the Judgment of the International Military Tribunal, Nurnberg, 1 October 1946
The Accused Organizations: the SS Until 1940 the SS was an entirely voluntary organization. After the formation
of the Waffen-SS in 1940 there was a gradually increasing number of conscripts into the Waffen-SS. It appears that about a third of the total number of people joining the Waffen-SS were conscripts, that the proportion of conscripts was higher at the end of the war than at the beginning, but that there continued to be a high proportion of volunteers until the end of the war.
The Tribunal finds that knowledge of these criminal activities was sufficiently general to justify declaring that the SS was a criminal organization to the extent hereinafter described. It does appear that an attempt was made to keep secret some phases of its activities, but its criminal programmes were so widespread, and involved slaughter on such a gigantic scale, that its criminal activities must have been widely known.
Conclusion The SS was utilized for the purposes which were criminal under the Charter
involving the persecution and extermination of the Jews, brutalities and killings in concentration camps, excesses in the administration of occupied territories, the administration of the slave labor programme and the mistreatment and murder of prisoners of war. In dealing with the SS the Tribunal includes all persons who had been officially accepted as members of the SS including the members of the Allgemeine SS, members of the Waffen-SS, members of the SS Totenkopf Verbaende and the members of any of the different police forces who were members of the SS. Tribunal declares to be criminal within the meaning of the Charter the group composed of those persons who had been officially accepted as members of the SS as enumerated in the preceding paragraph who became or remained members of the organization with knowledge that it was being used for the commission of acts declared criminal by Article 6 of the Charter or who were personally implicated as members of the organization in the commission of such crimes.
2.2.4. Thirty-second plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly, 13 February, 1946
Taking note of the Moscow Declaration of 1 November 1943 by President Roosevelt, Marshal Stalin and Prime Minister Churchill concerning enemy atrocities in the course of the war, and of the declaration by certain allied governments of 13 January and 18 December 1942 concerning the same matter;
taking note of the laws and usages of warfare established by the fourth Hague Convention of 1907;
taking note of the definition of war crimes and crimes against peace and against humanity contained in the Charter of the International Military Tribunal dated 8 August 1945;
believing that certain war criminals continue to evade justice in the territories of certain States;
recommends that Members of the United Nations forthwith take all the necessary measures to cause the arrest of those war criminals who have been responsible for or have taken a consenting part in the above crimes, and to cause them to be sent back to the countries in which their abominable deeds were done, in order that they may be judged and punished according to the laws of those countries;
During the Nuremberg trials held between 20 November 1945 and 1 October 1946, 24 high-ranking war criminals from Nazi Germany were convicted.
2.3. International Humanitarian Law International humanitarian law applicable in armed conflicts aims at restrict-
ing violent means and methods of warfare, protecting victims and establishing responsibility for the violation of International humanitarian law. International Humanitarian Law is based on the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Protocols Additional to them.
– Hague Conventions concerning the Laws and Customs of War of 1899 and 1907.
– Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armies in the Field, Geneva, 12 August 1949.
– Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea, Geneva, 12 August 1949.
– Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.
– Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.
– Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977.
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), Geneva, 8 June, 1977.
– Protocol additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August, 1949, and relating to the Adoption of an Additional Distinctive Emblem (Protocol III), Geneva, 8 December, 2005.
2.4. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 10 December 1948 The tragic consequences of the Second World War were the main reason for elaborating the universal human rights instrument. The Preamble of the declaration states that disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind.
Article 1 All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Article 2 Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Article 3 Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. Article 7 All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
2.5. Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, 4 November 1950
Article 2 The right to life Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law.
Article 10 Freedom of Expression 1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.
2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.
Article 11 Freedom of assembly and association 1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to free-
dom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
2. No restrictions shall be placed on the exercise of these rights other than such as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
Article 14 Prohibition of discrimination The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall
be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, color, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.
Article 17 Prohibition of abuse of rights Nothing in this Convention may be interpreted as implying for any State,
group or person any right to engage in any activity or perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein or at their limitation to a greater extent than is provided for in the Convention.
2.6. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 16 December 1966
Article 6 1. Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life. 3. When deprivation of life constitutes the crime of genocide, it is understood that nothing in this article shall authorize any State Party to the present Covenant to derogate in any way from any obligation assumed under the provisions of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
Article 19 1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference. 2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall
include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.
Article 20 1. Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law. 2. Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law. Article 21 The right of peaceful assembly shall be recognized. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
Article 26 All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
2.7. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 9 December, 1948
Article 1 The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish.
Article 2 In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) killing members of the group; (b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. Article 4 Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in
article III shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.
2.7.1. About the Resolution А/RES/60/7 21 November, 2005 on the Holocaust Remembrance
The resolution designates 27 January as an annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust and urges Member States to develop educational programmes that will inculcate future generations with the lessons of the Holocaust in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide, and in this context commends the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research.
The present document rejects any denial of the Holocaust as an historical event, either in full or part.
It should be noted that International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, which is celebrated on 27 January, is a day when the Soviet troops liberated prisoners of the Auschwitz in 1945.
2.7.2. About the Resolution A/RES/61/255, 26 January, 2007 «Holocaust denial»
The Resolution condemns without any reservation any denial of the Holocaust and urges all Member States unreservedly to reject any denial of the Holocaust as a historical event, either in full or in part, or any activities to this end.
2.8. The Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity of 26 November, 1968
Article 1 No statutory limitation shall apply to the following crimes, irrespective of the date of their commission: a) War crimes as they are defined in the Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Nurnberg, of 8 August 1945 and confirmed by resolutions 3 (I) of 13 February 1946 and 9 (I) of 11 December 1946 of the General Assembly of the United Nations, particularly the “grave breaches” enumerated in the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 for the protection of war victims;
b) Crimes against humanity whether committed in time of war or in time of peace as they are defined in the Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Nurnberg, of 8 August 1945 and confirmed by resolutions 3 (I) of 13 February, 1946, and 95 (I) of 11 December, 1946 of the General Assembly of the United Nations, eviction by armed attack or occupation and inhuman acts resulting from the policy of apartheid, and the crime of genocide as defined in the 1948 Convention on the Preventions and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, even if such acts do not constitute a violation of the domestic law of the country in which they were committed.
2.9. The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination of 21 December, 1965
The preamble of the Convention states that any doctrine of superiority based on racial differentiation is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous, and that there is no justification for racial discrimination, in theory or in practice, anywhere. Particularly noted is that discrimination between human beings on the grounds of race, colour or ethnic origin is an obstacle to friendly and peaceful relations among nations and is capable of disturbing peace and security among peoples and the harmony of persons living side by side even within one and the same State.
Article 2 1. State Parties condemn racial discrimination and undertake to pursue by all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating racial discrimination in all its forms and promoting understanding among all races, and, to this end:
a) Each State Party undertakes to engage in no act or practice of racial discrimination against persons, groups of persons or institutions and to ensure that all public authorities and public institutions, national and local, shall act in conformity with this obligation;
b) Each State Party undertakes not to sponsor, defend or support racial discrimination by any persons or organizations;
c) Each State Party shall take effective measures to review governmental, national and local policies, and to amend, rescind or nullify any laws and regulations which have the affect of creating or perpetuating racial discrimination wherever it exists;
d) Each State Party shall prohibit and bring to an end, by all appropriate means, including legislation as required by circumstances, racial discrimination by any persons, group or organization;
e) Each State Party undertakes to encourage, where appropriate, integrationist multiracial organizations and movements and other means of eliminating barriers between races, and to discourage anything which tends to strengthen racial division.
Article 4 States Parties condemn all propaganda and all organizations which are based on ideas or theories of superiority of one race or group of persons of one colour or ethnic origin, or which attempt to justify or promote racial hatred and discrimination in any form, and undertake to adopt immediate and positive measures designed to eradicate all incitement to, or acts of, such discrimination and, to this end, with due regard to the principles embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the rights expressly set forth in article 5 of this Convention, inter alia:
a) Shall declare an offence punishable by law all dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred, incitement to racial discrimination, as well as all acts of violence or incitement to such acts against any race or group of persons of another colour or ethnic origin, and also the provision of any assistance to racist activities, including the financing thereof;
b) Shall declare illegal and prohibit organizations, and also organized and all other propaganda activities, which promote and incite racial discrimination, and shall recognize participation in such organizations or activities as an offence punishable by law;
c) Shall not permit public authorities or public institutions, national or local, to promote or incite racial discrimination.
2.10. The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination of 20 November 1963
Article 1 Discrimination between human beings on the ground of race, colour or eth-
nic origin is an offence to human dignity and shall be condemned as a denial of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, as a violation of the human rights and fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as an obstacle to friendly and peaceful relations among nations and as a fact capable of disturbing peace and security among peoples.
Article 2 1. No State, institution, group or individual shall make any discrimination
whatsoever in matters of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the treatment of persons, groups of persons or institutions on the ground of race, colour or ethnic origin.
2. No State shall encourage, advocate or lend its support, through police action or otherwise, to any discrimination based on race, colour or ethnic origin by any group, institution or individual.
2.11. The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is the body of independent experts who monitor implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination of 21 December, 1965, by States Parties.
2.12. The Council of Europe’s documents and activities Within the framework of the Council of Europe in the field of combating racism and intolerance the state of affairs is occasionally discussed in the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, PACE, European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities of the Council of Europe and by the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe.
Moreover, the European Court of Human Rights deals with violations of rights and freedoms embodied in the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
1.12.1. The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities of 1 February 1995
The preamble of the Convention recalls the upheavals of European history, which have shown that the protection of national minorities is essential to stability, democratic security and peace in the European continent.
The Convention clearly establishes the necessity of not only respecting the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of each person belonging to a national minority, but also creating appropriate conditions enabling them into express, preserve and develop this identity.
Article 1 The protection of national minorities and of the rights and freedoms of persons belonging to those minorities forms an integral part of the international protection of human rights, and such as falls within the scope of international co-operation.
1.12.2. The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) is the specialized independent monitoring body, which responsibility is established by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
According to the ECRI Charter, the Commission conducts country monitoring work on legislation and policies combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance; proposes further action at local, national and European level; studies international legal instruments applicable in the matter with a view to their reinforcement where appropriate; formulates general policy recommendations; communicates with civil society.
1.12.3. The Advisory Committee on the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (AC on the FCNM) is the independent monitoring mechanism responsible for implementation of the Framework Convention in State Parties. Under its mandate the Committee deals with combating racism and the related forms of intolerance regarding non-title population.
The FCNM prepares related country-by-country conclusions, on the basis of which the Committee of Ministers adopts resolutions.
2.13. The Third World Conference against Racism (South Africa, 2001) The World Conference took place in Durban, South Africa, from 31 August
to 7 September, 2001, and became a milestone on elimination of all forms of racism.
The outcome document of the World Conference against Racism expresses serious concern over the rise of extremist movements and political parties advocating racism, ethnocentrism and xenophobia.
2.14. Implementation of the Durban Review Conference (Geneva, 2009)
The Durban Review Conference took place between 20 and 24 April, 2009, in Geneva, Switzerland. One of its objectives was to examine progress and evaluate implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, held in Durban, South Africa, in September of 2001.
2.15. The OSCE’s documents and activities The OSCE Member States undertook an entire array of political obligations
in the fight against racism, antisemitism and aggressive nationalism. Issues regarding resistance over the rise of neo-Nazism are included in the Helsinki Final Act of 1975, the Charter of Paris for a New Europe of 1990, the Document of the Cracow Symposium on the Cultural Heritage of the CSCE Participating States of 1991 Charter for European Security of 1999, Decisions of the OSCE Ministerial Council adopted in Porto in 2002 (MC(10).DEC/6), in Sofia in 2004 (MC.DEC/12/04), Ljubljana in 2005 (MC.DEC/10/05), Brussels in 2006 (MC. DEC/13/06), Madrid in 2007 (MC.DEC/10/07) and Maastricht in 2013 (MC. DEC/4/03).
The OSCE Member States’ attitude towards lessons of the victory over Nazism was set by the OSCE Ministerial Council’s declarations dedicated to anniversaries of the end of the Second World War and agreed in Sofia in 2004 (Annex 2 to MC.(12),JOUR.2), Athens in 2009 (MC.DOC/2/09) and Basel in 2014 (MC.DOC/7/14/Corr.1).
Topics of the combat against neo-Nazism were set in two OSCE Ministerial Council Decisions in Brussels in 2006 and in Madrid in 2007.
In Brussels Ministerial Council Decision No.13/06: Combating Intolerance and Discrimination and Promoting Mutual Respect and Understanding, the Ministerial Council, the Council, “being alarmed at any rise of political parties, movements and groups advocating violence” expressed concern “in this context” over “violent manifestations of extremism associated with racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, aggressive nationalism and neo-Nazism”.
In Madrid Decision (MC.DEC/10/07) the Ministerial Council called “political representatives, including parliamentarians, strongly to reject and condem manifestations of racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, discrimination and intolerance, including against Christians, Jews, Muslims and members of other religions, as well as violent manifestations of extremism associated with aggressive nationalism and neo-Nazism, while continuing to respect freedom of expression”.
One of the exponential documents over the past time, revealing EU representatives’ efforts to rewrite the outcome of the Second World War, became the interpretative declaration made by a EU representative on Ministerial Commemorative Declaration on the Seventieth Anniversary of the End of the Second World War stating, in particular, that “We pay our earnest tribute to the historic role of the allied forces and their sacrifices in the defeat of Nazism during the Second World War. However, likewise, we should remember that the Second World War brought about painful divisions in Europe. For many European countries, the end of the Second World War did not bring freedom, but more crimes against humanity committed against their people”.
2.16. About the resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations “Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”
On December 18, 2014, the 69th UN General Assembly adopted a Russian Federation-initiated resolution A/RES/69/160: Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”.
The resolution was co-authored in total by 44 UN member-states from all regions of the world: Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Belorussia, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Venezuela, Vietnam, Gabon, Guinea, Zimbabwe, India, Kazakhstan, Kirgyzstan, China, the DPRK, Congo, Cote’d’Ivoire, Cuba, Laos, Mauritania, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Rwanda, Seychelles, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea and Ethiopia.
133 countries voted for the resolution, 4 delegations (Canada, Palau, the United States and, for the first time, Ukraine voted against it), 51 countries abstained.
The 69th UN General Assembly marked a memorable event, the seventieth anniversary of victory in the Second World War, which resulted in the establishing of the United Nation Organization itself and all modern system of promotion and protection of human rights.
The Russian Federation’s initiative deals with deep concern over the rise of various extremist groups, including, for example, neo-Nazis and skinheads groups, which resort to violence against people of another color, of different faiths and immigrants. These groups often derive their inspiration from the ideology and practices which the United Nations was established to combat.
The resolution focuses on cooperation and dialogue and does not set a goal to bring to justice any particular states.
It addresses contemporary and very dangerous manifestations of racism, which must be combated both at local and international levels. Rapporteurs of the UN Human Rights Council on contemporary forms of racism pointed out repeatedly, that these manifestations occur all over the world. Russia is not an exception. The highest authority levels in Russia expressed concern over this matter and law enforcement bodies regard counterwork on these manifestations as a priority.
The text recalls the Judgment of the Nuremberg Tribunal, outcome documents of the World Conference against Racism (South Africa, 2001) and the Durban Review Conference (Geneva, 2009), and expresses serious concern at the increase in extremist movements and political parties advocating racism, ethnocentrism and xenophobia and spreading the Nazi ideology and ideas of racial superiority.
The resolution condemns glorification of the Nazi movement and former members of the Waffen-SS, including by erecting monuments and memorials as well as holding public demonstrations in the name of the glorification of the Nazi past, the Nazi movement and neo-Nazism. It emphasizes that such practices as erecting monuments after the SS members, their demonstrations and other similar actions defile the memory of the countless victims of the fascism, negatively influence the younger generation and are incompatible with the obligations of State members of the United Nations. The co-authors cannot but ignore that several states repeatedly carry out efforts to raise to the rank of national heroes and heroes of national liberation movements those who fought against the anti-Hitler coalition and collaborated with the Nazis. It is not about political correctness but about the sheerest cynicism and blasphemy to those who liberated the world from the horror.
The document stresses that such actions do no represent implementation but obvious and undeniable excessive use of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association as well as the rights to freedom of expression. Moreover, such acts may be qualified to fall within the scope of Article 4 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which requires its Member States to subject them to criminal prosecution.
It also stresses that such practices fuel contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia and contribute to the spread and multiplication of various extremist parties, movements and groups, including neo-Nazis and skinhead groups.
The Resolution requests the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance to prepare a separate report on the implementation of its provisions for submission to the Human Rights Council and to the General Assembly on the yearly base.
The Russian Federation and other co-authors of the resolution will not remain indifferent to the annually expanding practice of holding events with the participation of officials in honor of the Waffen-SS legionnaires who have tens of thousands of lives of people of different nationalities on their conscience. It’s impossible to keep calm and see that instead of memorials to the Soviet warriors-liberators monuments to the Waffen-SS legionnaires are being erected, anniversaries if emancipation from Nazi rule are being declared days of mourning, the veterans of the Great Patriotic War are not allowed to wear their war decorations while marches of the Nazi-veterans wearing orders and medals given for the extermination of civilians take place under police guard.
Chapter 3. Situation in a Number of Countries
around the World
In Austria, the combating of Nazism still receives much attention, following the liberation from fascism in 1945 and the drastic measures for de-Nazification taken during the first post-war decade.
Vienna’s international legal commitments to fighting Nazism stem from the provisions of the Treaty for the Re-establishment of an Independent and Democratic Austria of 15 May 1955, in accordance with which (Articles 9 and 10) the state has undertaken to eliminate from Austrian political, economic and cultural life all traces of Nazism, to ensure that such organizations are not revived in any forms and to prevent all Nazi and militarist activity and propaganda on the territory of the country.
The Constitutional Law on the Prohibition of National Socialist Organizations of 1947 banned the activities of the NSDAP, as well as of all the military alliances and other organizations created under its supervision. Any “actions in the National Socialist spirit” are unacceptable and are considered criminal offences. An attempt to recreate Nazi organizations is punishable by imprisonment for a term of 10 to 20 years and up to a life sentence in case of special danger of the act; participation in such organizations or assistance, for example, financial — for a term of 5 to 20 years. Public denial, gross understatement, endorsement or attempts to justify mass murder or other crimes against humanity during the period of National Socialism, including those using the media, carry imprisonment from one year to 10 years and up to 20 years in case of special danger.
The Federal Law on the Insignia of 1960 is aimed at achieving the same purposes; it does not allow the public use of symbols (signs, emblems, uniforms, etc.) of banned fascist and Nazi organizations, including similar symbols and those being used as replacements. Such an offence is administrative and punishable by a fine of up to 4000 euros or an arrest for up to 1 month.
An important role in the education of population, especially young people, in the spirit of understanding and rejection of crimes of National Socialism is played by the state memorial complex on the territory of the former concentration camp of Mauthausen. Educational work with young people is conducted on its base through the Austrian Interior Ministry in order to maintain the memory of the war and to avoid repetition of the horrors of Nazism. Memorial events are held every year in May on the anniversary of the liberation of the camp with participation of the Austrian authorities, the local community and many foreign visitors.
According to the statistics of the Austrian Interior Ministry, 37 cases (6.5 percent) of the 574 illegal acts recorded in 2013 are of anti-Semitic nature and 2 people were harmed as a result. The official data on this subject is at odds with those provided by the Forum on Combating anti-Semitism NGO — in 2014, 255 incidents took place (137 in 2013), including public insults and threats (21 cases), anti-Semitic publications on the Internet (83), phone calls/letters with threats (6) and insults (79), property damage, including the desecration of monuments (57) and bodily injury (9).
In May 2014, two days before the events commemorating the liberation of the Mauthausen concentration camp, images of swastikas and a 20-meter inscription “Turkish race to the gas chambers — Sieg Heil!”, in which the letters S were styled as the SS runes, appeared on one of the outer walls of the memorial complex. Austria’s Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner expressed strong condemnation of the incident.
On 24 July 2014, around 20 supporters, mostly of Turkish origin, ran onto the field with Palestinian flags and anti-Semitic placards and attacked the players of the Israeli football team during a friendly football match between the France's Lille and the Israel's Maccabi Haifa in Bischofshofen. Thanks to the rapid intervention of the Austrian law enforcement forces, nobody was seriously injured.
On 23 February 2015, there was a glaring case of desecration of the monument to the Soviet soldiers who had died during the liberation of Vienna, which is situated in Schwarzenbergplatz in Vienna — the front pedestal was smeared with black paint.
1There are cases of painting racist or Nazi graffiti on the buildings of synagogues or mosques.
The above cases are not tolerated in the Austrian society and are investigated by law enforcement agencies. According to the estimates of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and the Fight against Terrorism (BVT), which is included in the Interior Ministry structure, the right-wing extremist environment in Austria is quite heterogeneous and consists of a wide variety of structures, youth groups of the right-wing extremist “subculture” (mostly regional) and individual activists representing marginal layers of the Austrian society. They have the organizational structure of the so-called “ideological” parties, unions, “circles of like-minded” and “partnerships” and they are under scrutiny of the BVT, one of the main objectives of which is countering the spread of the Nazi ideology prohibited by local law, including through the Internet and social networks.
In a report published in 2014, the BVT, which is responsible for countering extremist and Nazi actions, notes that, as a result of active law enforcement in recent years, a number of leaders of neo-Nazi structures were successfully detained and two neo-Nazi websites were blocked. The guilty were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment.
The BVT experts consider the following to be among the most notorious neo-Nazi organizations in Austria.
The Working Community for Democratic Policy is registered as a political party but does not participate in elections. The community includes a small number of activists and is regarded as a platform for networking of the representatives of the Austrian right-wing radical scene and the like-minded people from abroad; it organizes concerts, discussion evenings, etc. Under the patronage of the organization, annual gatherings of neo-Nazis take place since 1966 within the framework of the “Political Academy” established under its supervision (the most recent event took place in October 2014 in the federal state of Salzburg with participation of representatives of ultra-right and nationalist movements from Greece, Hungary, Ireland, as well as of German and French right-wing radical publicists Richard Mellish and Pierre Krebs).
The Union of Free Youth is a secretly operating youth organization in the federal state of Upper Austria headquartered in Linz. It is composed of people with nationalist views (in particular, National Socialist ideas are hailed and the hatred
1 The most recent case of desecration of a mosque in Vienna was registered in January 2015.
of foreigners on the national and racial grounds is fueled). The union arranges seminars, prepares reports and secretly distributes propaganda leaflets.
The Austrian Society of Peoples’ Friends is a small right-wing cultural and ideological group headed by Herbert Fritz. In addition to resolving cultural issues and supporting the ideas of “German identity” abroad, it promotes racist, revanchist and revisionist approaches.
Against the background of the intensified public debate around the “excessive presence” of migrants and in favour of the need to tighten immigration laws in Austria, anti-Islamic organizations have recently been gaining in popularity and expanding their ranks. The driving force of the process is the Austrian Identity Movement represented in most federal states of Austria. Experts relate the movement comprising different groups of skinheads, football ultras and hooligans to the neo-Nazi wing. Hiding behind the slogans of “ethnopluralism” as opposed to the traditional nationalism and replacing the concept of “race” with the term “culture”, the organization is against mass migration, the ideas of multiculturalism and the islamization of Europe and it maintains close contacts with “partner” organizations in Germany, France and Italy.
There are also a few regional right-wing radical groups — the Partnership of German-Austrian Blood Brothers, Resistance Braunau, the Sturmfuhrer Team, Object 21 (became illegal from 2013), Blood and Honour and the Free Partnerships.
As a media platform for spreading right-wing radical ideas, which are glossed over in journalistic phrases, Die Aula (“The Assembly Hall”) weekly is used; it is professed to be “freedom-loving” and distributed by subscription which can be arranged through the Internet.
Traditionally, the Belgian government, with widespread support of the society, has been taking quite drastic measures to suppress the activities of neoNazi organizations on its territory. In the 2000s, the most prominent activists of extremist movements were sentenced to long imprisonment terms for incitement to racial hatred. According to experts, these actions were a devastating blow to the structure of the ultra-right forces in Belgium. Such associations are currently few (some count no more than ten members) and operate outside the legal field.
Marginal neo-Nazi wing organizations are the Nation movement, the Flemish and Walloon departments of the National Front, Conflict 28, the Genuine Youth of Wallonia, the Flemish and Walloon departments of Blood and Honour, the Flemish Supporters of Order, the Vlaams Blok, the Party of New Forces and the Storm group.
Attempts to rehabilitate collaborationism with Nazi Germany (both the Flemish and the Walloons are known to have equally “succeeded” in it during the Second World War) meet with a strong reaction of the society and the country’s authorities.
In October 2014, a member of the New Flemish Alliance party (N-VA, part of the ruling coalition government) and the Minister of Security and Internal Affairs Jan Jambon made a statement in an interview to La Libre Belgique newspaper that “the people who collaborated with the Germans during the Second World War had their reasons”.
Jan Jambon’s ally in the political party and the Cabinet of Ministers, the Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration Theo Franken took part in the celebration of the 90th birthday of a famous Belgian collaborationist Bob Maes, who had collaborated with occupation authorities during the Second World War, created an ultra-right organization after its end and actively advocated amnesty for war criminals.
Belgian public opinion was strongly critical of both politicians and their party, there were demands for resignation of Jan Jambon and Theo Franken. The Prime Minister of Belgium Charles Michel made a statement condemning collaborationism and apologized on behalf of the whole government for “reckless” actions of its members, the chairman of the N-VA Bart De Wever condemned collaborationism as well.
On 26 January 2015, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Didier Reynders reiterated the call to prevent the repetition of the horrors of the Holocaust and to make joint efforts to fight against the return of the “fascist monster” to Europe in his speech at the PACE session in Strasbourg on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
However, this does not prevent the official Brussels to consistently support the common EU policy of connivance at the authorities of the Baltic countries openly praising those who had collaborated with Nazi war criminals at the time of the Second World War.
In Bulgaria, several nationalist structures are active, which stand for the purity of the Bulgarian race and its superiority over others. Such openly neoNazi movements as the Bulgarian National Union and the Tangar Warriors do not hide their beliefs and also promote their ideas in every way on their own web sites and in social networks. There are clear signs of neo-Nazism and racism in their propaganda materials, they are opposed to immigrants and refugees from the Middle East and express their dislike for Turks and Roma.
Among the main generators of xenophobic rhetoric and appeals remain the Bulgarian National Movement and the Bulgarian National Union organization (emerged in 2001 and positions itself as the successor to the Union of Bulgarian National Legions — fascist organization operating in Bulgaria in 1932–1944). On 9 November 2013, the Bulgarian Nationalist Party, which openly advocates racial hatred, was created.
In the 2000s, a number of ultra-right bands existed in Bulgaria, but all of them have broken up by now. However, the ultranationalist literature is popular in the country. It is possible to freely buy “Mein Kampf” by Adolf Hitler, the works of Paul Joseph Goebbels, as well as of foreign and Bulgarian nationalists and Holocaust deniers, such as Richard Harwood, A. Panayotov, B. Stankov and others. There are special publishers of such literature, in particular, the most famous one is called Zhar Ptitsa.
Xenophobic vandalism in cemeteries and attacks on religious buildings happen regularly. According to the Bulgarian media, around 200 mosques were desecrated over the past two decades in Bulgaria.
The appearance of Nazi symbols (flags and swastikas) is regularly noted at Bulgarian stadiums. Aggressive groups of teenagers and young people openly show their affiliations to neo-Nazi movements. According to local human rights activists, the management of football clubs does not pay enough attention to the behaviour of supporters and fans, in fact conniving at such excesses.
There are no official statistics for hate crimes. Every year for the past twelve years, the Bulgarian Nationalist Union holds a neo-Nazi torchlight procession in Sofia, the Lukov March, in memory of General H. Lukov (1888–1943, a prominent figure of Bulgarian Nazism, supporter of the alliance with the Third Reich during the Second World War and the leader of the Union of Bulgarian National Legions). The participants of the event (including those from Germany, Belgium, Romania, Croatia, Spain, Italy and Austria) use Nazi uniforms and symbols and chant Nazi slogans. A special propaganda site is devoted to this rally.
Only once, in 2014, did the Sofia authorities decide to ban the holding of the event “as a threat to public order in the capital”, following repeated requests from the Russian diplomatic mission, Bulgarian and foreign human rights activists, as well as from local political and religious organizations. However, due to the approval of demonstrations having a form of notification in the country, the Lukov March took place, although in a reduced format and under the tightened control of law enforcement.
The Bulgarian neo-Nazis held the Lukov March for the twelfth time on 14 February, 2015. Around 700 people took part in the event and marched in an organized column through the centre of the city.
A few hours before the beginning of the Lukov March, its opponents held their own demonstration, which was attended by several dozens of people. They were holding banners saying “No Lukov March”, chanting “Fascism is not an opinion but a crime” and “Fascists, Nazis and neo-Nazis are stooges in the hands of populists”.
Repeated attempts to glorify German National Socialism and its supporters are recorded in the media, pseudo-historical articles are published in order to revise the history of the Second World War and to distort the role of the Red Army in the liberation of Bulgaria and materials denying the Holocaust are spread. Monuments and memorials to the soldiers of anti-Hitler coalition (most often — the Monument to the Soviet Army in Sofia and the mass grave of Soviet soldiers in the Lozenets quarter of the capital where around 180 people are buried) and to those who saved Jews from deportation to Nazi death camps are regularly desecrated.
Though Canada’s interpretation of freedom of speech is very well-known, various odious associations and organizations — who support far-right ideology covering up the theory and practice of superiority — operate openly in the country.
They include, inter alia: The Nationalist Party of Canada. It has been operating since 1977, is not
officially registered, and is headquartered in Toronto. Its leader is Don Andrews. Its stated goal is “to promote and maintain European values and culture in Canada.”
The National Socialist Party of Canada. It has been operating since 2006, and is not officially registered.
Aryan Guard is a neo-Nazi movement based in Calgary. It was founded around 2007, and was active until 2009 when — according to an open source — “became an underground movement.” It organized nationalist parades, clashes with pacifists, etc.
The Ku Klux Klan operated in Canada in the 1920–30s (most actively — in the provinces of Saskatchewan and Ontario). Unlike the American “parent” organization, its supporters caused the most damage to property, “opposed” the Catholic Church and promoted the “ideals of the Protestant Anglo-Saxon culture.” According to an open source, it continues to operate in Canada as an underground organization.
Organizations of Paul Fromm, the well-known Canadian advocate of rightwing ideas, including the Canadian Association for Free Expression, Citizens for Foreign Aid Reform and Canada First Immigration Reform Committee — were established since 1976. Largely, due to the names of Fromm-led organizations, he occasionally managed to get access to mass media outlets (including major ones, such as Fox News) as a “fighter for freedom of speech.”
Ukrainian nationalism has gathered momentum in Canada. It is due to a fairly large number of immigrants from the territory of modern Ukraine who hold right-wing and extreme right-wing views; who supported Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union; who want “no more Russian influence”; and who promote the “identity” of Ukrainian culture and history.
For instance, up to 2,000 “veterans” from Ukrainian SS battalions are known to have arrived in the 1940–50s (including Vladimir Katriuk who still lives in Quebec and has been accused of war crimes, inter alia, direct involvement in the execution of civilians in the village of Khatyn).
The above organizations are actively involved in the attempts to falsify the history of World War II. They encouraged Canada to officially recognize “Holodomor”. The local administration reportedly attended ceremonies when a number of monuments to OUN-UPA soldiers were unveiled in various regions of the country. The most controversial organizations operating in Canada — mainly under the auspices of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress — include the UPA Veterans Society, League of Ukrainian Canadians, and the Brotherhood of SS Division Veterans “Galicia”.
Ukrainian nationalist associations, and the Canadian Ukrainian Congress in particular, work hard to promote the themes of “crimes of communism” (a monument to its victims, including Stepan Bandera’s followers, is to be erected in Ottawa) and “Russian aggression” against Ukraine.
The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC), an international non-governmental organization, also plays a prominent part in this effort. The organization is characterized by rabid Russophobia and hard-line nationalist rhetoric. Having offices in 34 countries, the UWC seeks recognition of “Holodomor” as genocide against the Ukrainian people, promotes the idea that the Nazi regime in Germany and the Soviet Union bear equal responsibility, and takes part in the campaign to glorify Nazism and some of its supporters.
In Croatia there are cases of ethnic discrimination despite significant progress made in the state policy of discrimination prevention, as well as penal actions on racism from 2006.
The fueler of neo-Nazism in Croatia is the ultra-nationalist sentiment in some regions (Slavonia, Northern Dalmatia, Western Syrmia) and conservative parts of the society. Aggressive nationalism, ethnic and religious intolerance are directed mainly against Serbs, the largest minority group (4,36 per cent of the country’s overall population), which population fell by two thirds from 1991. The Serbs are facing serious administrative and other obstacles while finding jobs and repossessing their property rights. According to human rights activists data, around 30,000 orthodox Serbs in Croatia accepted Catholicism over the last 19 years. The experts say that the main reason for that is the desire of parents to prevent their children to be bullied at school by their ethnic or religious descent.
The Roma of Croatia are also facing serious difficulties while getting access to the basic public services, such as healthcare, social services and education.
Among radical and extremist organizations in Croatia there are Association of Croatian Nationalists that split from the Croatian Pure Party of Rights, Croatian National Front and Croatian Association of Fighters of the World War II and the National Resistance (Ustase), which demands the government to ban the red star as a symbol of red partisans of Tito era.
There are cases of xenophobic vandalism, including towards Serbian cemeteries, unauthorized takedown of plates in Serbian language from the government buildings by the radicals, protests against use of Serbian Cyrillic alphabet in the form of violation of sacred places by abusive inscriptions, assaults on Islamic centers.
In July, 2013 the commemorative plaque in the memory of victims of the World War II concentration camps who died on the island of Pag (Croatia) was vandalized. In the middle of April, 2014 unknown vandals violated an ancient Jewish cemetery of the XVI century in Split by destroying around 10 tombstones and opening several graves.
According to the official data of the Ministry of the Interior and the Office of the Prosecutor General, 57 cases of hate crimes were registered in 2013 (48 crimes were committed due to racial, ethnic or national hatred).
Given the fact that in Croatia there are no laws against historical revisionism and denial of war crimes, many “local” popularizers of the ustase are gaining ground. Marko Perkovic aka “Thompson”, a rock musician, is propagating ustase activities by singing their songs. In one of the songs — “Jasenovac I Gradiska Stara” — he praised the actions of ustase in Jasenovac concentration camp during the World War II, where Serbs, Jews and other “subhumans” were exterminated.
It went public that not less than 20 Croatian nationals fought in the Azov punitive battalion that participated in massive human rights violations, including atrocious tortures, and war crimes in the Donbass region.
In this context, it is necessary to mention the active position of anti-fascist movement in Croatia. On the 21st March 2015 the founding congress of the civil society organization “Anti-fascist League of Croatia” took place. Ivo Josipovic, the former Croatian president, expressed the will to participate in the activities of the organization. According to him, there are disturbing trends of neo-fascism and neo-nazism in Croatia at the moment, which “shouldn’t be turned a blind eye to”.
The leaders of newly created anti-fascist organization have declared that the ideas of anti-fascism are in demand in modern Croatia as never before due to the threat from local far-right movements with clear signs of Nazism.
According to the report of Security Information Service of the Czech Republic (BIS) for 2013, “extremism poses no real threat for the Czech democracy”. Far-right groups remain fragmented and the attempts to unify them don’t have any effect. Despite the efforts of Czech radicals to strengthen their ties with the “colleagues” from Germany, Poland and Slovakia, their actions are not systemic and violent.
BIS sees some risk for the Czech Republic democratic system in rising tension in several regions of the country because of the aggravating problems between Czechs and Roma. Far-right groups are trying to take the lead of spontaneous anti-Roma actions, make them political and instigate racist sentiments, to use that “platform” for the propaganda of their ideas and to provoke a mistrust of citizens towards the democratic principles of the republic.
According to London Centre of International Relations, the level of inter-ethnic tension between Czech extremists and Roma has increased significantly at the background of social division and unemployment. That has led to multiple anti-Roma protests with the use of Nazi mottos.
Besides, in the Czech Republic there is a number of neo-Nazi organizations making propaganda of violence and utterly national-socialist ideas. Among them are “National Resistance”, “Free Resistance” and “Autonomous Nationalists”.
Among them are local followers of neo-Nazi organization “Blood and Honour Division Bohemia” (section of one of the most radical paramilitary neo-Nazi structures “Blood and Honour” that appeared in the Great Britain in the 80-s) and its paramilitary wing “Combat 18” (a terrorist unit founded in the Great Britain in the 90-s). In the February of 2012 Czech law enforcement agencies made operational procedures towards them due to the arson of Roma living community in the town of As (Karlovy Vary region). According to the Office of the Prosecutor General indictment, it was an attempted homicide by race. According to several experts, the leaders of the group are awaiting the exceptional measure of punishment (life imprisonment).
One of the most notorious cases was the longstanding trial due to the publication in the Czech Republic in 2000 of the translation of Adolf Hitler book “Mein Kampf”. The case ended with suspended sentence, which was subsequently canceled by the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic. It’s noteworthy that the elimination of an edition of a hundred thousand copies was carried out at the suit to the Czech publishers by Bavarian government which was holding the copyright until 2015 and blocking the publications of Fuhrer’s “writings”.
Equally symptomatic was the trial of publication in 2013 of the book “Speeches of Adolf Hitler” which stated that Fuhrer was “a peaceful man who sought the peace between nations and respected the Czech nation”. Czech Republic Office of the Prosecutor General founded the advocacy of Nazi ideas and indicted the publisher P. Kamas and the authors S. Beer and L. Novak of having ties with extremist and neo-Nazi organizations and the denial of the Holocaust. But in January 2015 the Court of cassation of the city of Brno rejected the indictment by stating that the publication of the book was not a criminal offence. P. Kamas was quick to say: “After all, in the Czech Republic we have the freedom of expression. Such a decision is a signal for the society that you can publish and read whatever you want”. He also added that he would continue to publish that kind of materials because “Hitler’s books are sold better than coca-cola”.
One of the radical Czech parties is Workers’ Party of Social Justice (WPSJ) — a political branch of Czech neo-Nazi groups, its political importance is insignificant. WPSJ tried to use the “success” of Ukrainian “national revolution” and the struggle of Kiev against “foreign intruders” for an extensive propaganda of their ideas. At the beginning of 2014 party’s president T. Vandas invited D. Yarosh, leader of “Right Sector”, to visit the Czech Republic to “interchange opinions on the future of national revolutions export to other countries”. That said, WPSJ denied the “Right Sector” to have the fascist ideology, referring to the fact that the EU and the USA supported the incorporation of D. Yarosh backers into the institutions of Ukraine’s executive power. That’s why, according to the WPSJ, the party has a right to discuss with the Ukrainian “colleagues” the prospects of forming a kind of “far-right international” and adapting the experience of rallying to Europe. The initiative steadily has come to nothing.
Czech authorities are changing the approach towards showing the Nazi symbols. Recently the uniforms, cold weapons, military decorations with the Nazi symbols of the World War II era, which used to be sold publicly at “flea markets”, have begun to have its Nazi signs and “runes” painted over. This “regulation” may be explained by more strict approach of the Czech authorities towards neo-Nazi issue on the basis of art. 403 and 404 of the Criminal Code of the Czech Republic (Law №40/2009) which provides from 1 to 10 years in prison depending on the nature of actions of support or propaganda of extremism.
Neo-Nazi movement in Denmark is historically linked to the national socialist associations of the 1930–1940’s which were formed under the influence and on the model of the German Nazi and Italian Fascist parties. From the early 2000’s the nationalist sentiment in Denmark has been strengthening dramatically.
The Danish neo-Nazis are represented by a number of extreme right wing groups. They differ in declared goals (the preservation of the Danish national heritage, the raise of awareness among the young people regarding the impact of migration, the deportation of Muslims from Denmark etc.), in means of achieving the goals (ranging from recruitment on the Internet, distribution of leaflets on the streets and organization of anti-Islamic demonstrations, to acts of violence in the districts of high concentration of Muslims), as well as in their attitude to government initiatives in the sphere of immigration policy.
The following associations in Denmark can be qualified as extreme right wing organizations: The National Socialist Movement of Denmark (DNSB), which developed from the movement called “National Socialist Youth of Denmark” founded in 1970; “Blood & Honour of Denmark” (founded in 1997); “White Pride” (founded in 1994 by fans of the Danish football club “AGF”) and “Stop Islamisation of Denmark” (founded in 2005 as a part of the umbrella association called “Stop Islamisation of Europe”). Besides, there is “The Danes’ Party” which is the youngest nationalist party in Denmark, established in 2011 by former members of DNSB.
Founded in 1984, The National Socialist Movement of Denmark positions itself as a successor of the National Socialist Workers’ Party of Denmark, sets as its goal “to preserve the health of the Danish nation and to prevent biological or other kind of contamination of the country”. Its ideological platform is based on the German racial ideology of the 1930’s. The movement has its own print newspaper “The fatherland” and also owns a radio station “Radio Oasen”. Since 2000 the activity of the DNSB consists mainly in holding closed events and participating in the international nationalist marches in Sweden, Germany and other European countries.
The group of extreme right wing organizations also includes “The Danish National Front” (DNF) founded in 2007, whose activists believe that Denmark needs a “new proactive right wing nationalist initiative”. Some of the DNF members are convicted for illegal possession of weapons and for committing of acts of violence against persons of other ethnicity.
Favorable environment for the activity of neo-Nazi groups is created in Denmark by the local legislation, which allows citizens to establish various public associations without a preliminary consent of the Danish authorities, as well as by the fact that until recently the government of Denmark did not pay serious attention to the spread of the neo-Nazi ideas in the country.
The Criminal Code of Denmark does not contain articles providing for a punishment for organizing Nazi marches and for wearing Nazi symbols. Pursuant to Article 26 of the Criminal Code of Denmark, a person may be liable for a fine or imprisonment for any term not exceeding two years only if he or she makes a public statement “as a result of which a person or a group of persons may become subject to threats, insult or humiliation on the basis of their race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion or sexual orientation”. In practice, however, despite the fact that the Nazi organizations regularly publish articles of relevant content in the Danish media and on the Internet, the law enforcement agencies do not detain the violators, referring to the right of citizens to freedom of speech, enshrined in Article 77 of the Constitution of Denmark.
Having realized the need to prevent further spread of nationalist ideas in the society, the government adopted a comprehensive five-year program, developed by the Ministry of Children, Gender Equality, Integration and Social Affairs of Denmark in 2012, which aims at tackling manifestations of nationalism and extremism via raising awareness among teenagers and young people, as well as by providing financial and legal assistance to NGOs whose activities are concerned with fighting neo-Nazism.
In January 2015 Advisory Committee of the Council of Europe on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities stated in its report on Denmark that Roma and some other ethnic groups were still facing discrimination and intolerance.
Experts of the Council of Europe have warned the Danish authorities that the negotiated amendments to the Criminal Code to decriminalize offensive speech and to criminalize only those statements which violate public order will inevitably lead to negative consequences and abuses.
In spite of voices raised in protest by the international community, there are still clear manifestations of neo-Nazism and attempts to falsify history and revise the outcomes of World War II in Estonia.
A number of officially registered radical nationalist non-governmental organizations are openly in operation. Moreover, they get support, including resources, from government and local authorities. Among most active of these NGOs are the following.
The Estonian Freedom Fighter Union (EFFU) The organization consolidates WWII veterans who fought on the side of Hit-
ler’s Germany, including the 20th Waffen-SS (1st Estonian) Division, and their modern supporters — the neo-Nazi. It holds regular events aimed at glorifying the activities of Estonian Waffen-SS legionnaires, facilitates meetings of union veterans with the personnel of operating units and students of educational institutions of the Estonian armed forces, as well as those Estonians who participated in foreign missions, including NATO formations in Afghanistan.
In February 2012, the union signed a cooperation agreement with the ruling Reform Party which provides the organization with financial support. EFFU members were commended for their work “for the sake of the Motherland and the preservation of historical memory” both by former Estonian Prime Minister A. Ansip and current Premier T. Roivas (the latest meeting took place on Feburary 19, 2015). The organization also receives sponsor support from the Estonian Defense Ministry.
The Estonian Freedom Fighter Union regularly issues books and booklets that glorify “SS heroes” and bear a clear anti-Russian attitude. The focus is on the “patriotic education” of Estonian youth, the “remembrance of the horrors of the Soviet occupation” through the prism of the current moment, when “the aggression of the Eastern neighbor against Ukraine reminds us of the events that preceded World War II.”
The www.eestilegion.com web portal that relates the “battle merits” of the 20th Waffen-SS Division works in cooperation with EFFU. The site also contains a page of the “Club of friends of the Estonian Legion.”
The Erna Society The organization is specialized in arranging military sports events. Since
1991, the association has organized the so-called military sports contest “the Erna Raid” which commemorates the war route of the same-name Abwehr reconnaissance and sabotage group that operated in the rear of the Red Army in August 1941 (the latest competition was held on August 11, 2014).
The Estonian Ministry of Defense, the Estonian Defense Forces (including Estonia’s Air Force and the Navy), the Estonian Defense League (Kaitseliit), the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board, the Estonian Emergency Response Service, as well as EMT, one of the major mobile services providers, and others are official sponsors of the above-mentioned NGO are.
The New Europe NPO In the 2000’s the organization published a number of neo-Nazi-oriented
booklets, among them the notorious ones, “Adolf Hitler, the Liberator” and “Adolf Hitler and Children.” The NPO’s activity today is more discreet than in the previous years.
Estonian authorities do nothing to suppress the activities of government, veterans and publishing structures aimed at glorifying Nazism and disseminating the Nazi ideology. Representatives of Estonian authorities regard such cases as “private commemorative events” or manifestations “of freedom of speech and expression.” One can recall a number of such examples in the past years.
In March 2013, a biography of Waffen-SS general J. Soodle was published; he was head of Estonian Police and volunteer formation “Omakaitse” which directly participated in punitive operations in the Leningrad Oblast and the extermination of the Jewish population of Estonia.
On March 30, 2013, the then Defense Minister of Estonia, U. Reinsalu sent his welcome address to the participants of the EFFU-organized conference that was held in Tallinn to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Cavalier of the Knight’s Iron Cross, Waffen-SS obersturmbannfuhrer P. Meitl. In his address U. Reinsalu thanked “everybody who came to honor the memory of this remarkable man.”
On January 10, 2014, former Waffen-SS legionnaire H. Hugisex was buried with full military honors. During the ceremony, Nazi decorations of the former Waffen-SS soldier were put on display.
On July 19, 2014, the 22nd gathering of the Estonian Freedom Fighter Union took place. More than 400 people, including deputies of the national parliament, took part in the event.
On July 26, 2014, the settlement of Sinimae hosted the annual meeting of former Estonian Waffen-SS legionnaires.
In January 2015, the Estonian state enterprise “Omniva” issued a postage stamp from the series, “Heads of State of the Republic of Estonia” to commemorate the 125th birthday of Estonial collaborationist J. Uluots (Estonian Prime Minister in October 1939 — June 1940) who closely cooperated with the authorities of the Nazi Germany during World War II.
In February 2015 the Tartu Arts Museum hosted a notorious exhibition of Polish artists, “My Poland. Remembering and Forgetting” to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of concentration camps. At a certain moment of the event a blasphemous video was demonstrated, showing naked prisoners playing the game of tags before their execution in a gas chamber. According to the organizers, this kind of “art” helps people “overcome their emotional trauma with irony and good humour.”
On February 24, 2015, the Independence Day of Estonia, the centre of Tallinn saw a torch-light procession of local nationalists bearing a slogan “For Estonia”; it was organized by the radical nationalist Conservative People’s Party of Estonia (CPP).
Later on, the party was elected to parliament at the election of March 1, 2015; J. Madison, leader of the youth wing of the CPP, who had earlier expressed his appreciation of “advantages” of the economic model of the Nazi Germany in social media, became deputy of the riigikogu.
Finland has been carrying out its third national programme on strengthening national security since 2012, which includes state monitoring of radical movements operating in the country. Its aim is to assess the degree of a threat
they pose. According to the police, this threat to Finland’s security is insignificant at the moment.
Neo-Nazi organizations in the country are few and marginal. The most noticeable among them is the Finnish Resistance Movement (Suomen Vastarintaliike SVL) headed by Juuso Tahvanainen (since 2012). Structurally the SVL is a part of the Nordic Resistance Movement, which operates in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway (the leader is Klas Lund). Another name of the organization is the National Socialistic Finnish Resistance Movement.
The SVL was established in 2008. National Resistance newspaper has been issued since 2011. Henrik Holappa is the founder and the first leader (2008– 2012) of the organization. The SVL members and proponents amount to several dozen throughout the country; most of them are men born in the 1980s–1990s, who are originally from the capital or the city of Oulu (northwest Finland). The SVL also has its local groups in Jyvaskyla, Tampere, Turku, Pori and Mikkeli.
The SVL advocates white supremacy, national socialism and creation of a single state in North Europe.
According to the Finland’s Ministry of the Interior, the SVL is a “potentially dangerous” organization. The Movement strongly rejects the current social structure and therefore opposes all political parties.
Members of the SVL tend to use violence. In July 2010, a group of youngsters related to the Movement sprayed teargas at the sexual minorities parade in Helsinki. In 2011, a secretary of the local conservative National Coalition Party in Oulu suffered an assault. In late January 2013, in Jyvaskyla the members of the SVL assaulted with cold weapons a group of people attending the presentation of a book about ultra-right movements in Finland. In January 2014, in Vantaa the SVL members beat up a passerby who made critical remarks about their distributing Nazi literature. On May 1, 2014 during the celebrations in Pori a group of the SVL members assaulted a holiday rally organized by the Left Union. Such a riotous behavior of the ultra-right groups provokes indignation and strong disapproval in Finnish society.
Other groups advocating Nazi or related views are close to the skinhead movement. Usually they are small; many of them even have names. The group named “Black Heart” stands out among them. It has been active in Helsinki since 2012. It also cooperates with the SVL and similar organizations in Scandinavia, Germany and some other European countries.
The organization named “Blood and Honor” has been operating in Finland since 2003. It is engaged in propaganda and promotion of music containing neo-Nazi ideas.
Revanchist organizations such as “ProKarelia”, “Great Finland”, “Tartu Peace Treaty” and “Return of Territories” are not categorized as neo-Nazi, but they create fertile soil for neo-Nazi organizations. They are engaged in propaganda demanding to put forward at the national level the issue of returning territories “lost” as a result of the wars with the USSR and include it in the agenda of the Russian-Finnish negotiations. These NGOs are marginal. Their activities do not affect Finland’s official foreign policy of not having any territorial claims towards Russia; the border between Russia and Finland is confirmed by international treaties including the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947.
The government of Finland offered official apology to the Jewish community for extraditing Jews to Germany during the War.
According to the security services there are only a few dozen of neo-Nazi in Finland.
In the post-war years Charles de Gaulle formulated France’s official line regarding the issue of mass collaboration (only about 2 per cent of the country’s adult population participated in the Resistance movement). The line was as follows: “Everybody in France resisted” and “France needs to forget to move on”. An overwhelming majority of those, who had actively collaborated with the Nazi in past, were reintegrated into the society. Almost everybody in the Vichy Administration escaped responsibility.
Alsace and Lorraine were handed over back to France and those of their inhabitants who served in the Wehrmacht and SS are considered to have been enlisted by force (special term: “Les malgre-nous”). They are officially proclaimed “victims of Nazism”. Soldiers and officers of the SS Das Reich division involved in carrying out mass executions in the country, including the slaughter of the population in the village of Oradour-sur-Glane in June of 1944, were granted an amnesty.
France refuses to denounce publicly Nazi marches in the Baltic countries and Ukraine, installation of monuments to their glory, desecration of memorials to the Soviet soldiers. The representative Council of the Jewish Institutions of France adheres to largely the same laissez-faire policy.
The WWII history curriculum at schools focuses on the Normandy landings along with the Resistance movement. According to the surveys, 57 per cent of the French population believe it was the USA who made a decisive contribution to the victory over Nazism and the liberation of Europe.
Nevertheless, the officials, regardless of their party affiliation, tend to avoid misreading history. On June 6, 2014 during the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Allied forces landings in Normandy President F. Hollande highlighted the decisive contribution made the USSR and the Soviet people in the victory over Nazism.
French legislation provides for the measures aimed at fighting attempts to glorify Nazism. The Criminal Code (Article R645-1) bans using Nazi uniforms and symbols for being “able to provoke racial hatred” and “being apologetics of the criminal organization”. Similar provisions are contained in Article L332-7 of the Sports Code “with regard to the situation at stadiums” (it also provides for criminal prosecution). Since 1990, Holocaust denial has been considered as a criminal offence in France.
In 1972, Law № 72-546 introduced criminal responsibility for racism and instigation to racial, ethnic, national and religious strife (considering occupation of public office as an aggravation). The provisions on responsibility for different forms of discrimination were included in the Administrative, Criminal and Labor Codes.
At the same time the legislation does not prohibit the Nazi salute (extending the right arm in the air), that gives all sorts of provocateurs a space for activities. In particular, a famous comedian D. M’bala M’bala coined his own form of this gesture, which is now used by his fans at anti-government demonstrations.
In accordance with the legislation regulating NGOs’ activities, the authorities have repeatedly banned neo-Nazi and related movements such as “Federation of National and European Action”, “French and European Nationalist Party”, “Alsatian Corps”, “Radical Unit” (which tried to murder President J. Chirac), “Revolutionary Nationalist Youth”, “Nationalist Youth”, “Third Path” and “French Mission”. The attempt of law enforcement services to eradicate the association “Desire to Dream”, related to the foregoing groups, was turned down by the Council of the Republic in July of 2014.
There are small skinhead groups of different stripes including neo-Nazi who keep in touch with those of the same ideas in Europe and the U.S. They are not registered officially; there is some information about two strong groups — “Right Socialists” and “French Solidarity Party” — which were put under surveillance by French special services.
In his report of February 17, 2015 on human rights situation in France N. Muiznieks, the Commissioner of the Council of Europe, expressed his deepest concern about growing intolerance, acts of racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, anti-Roma and anti-Muslim sentiments.
He said, “Despite advances in legislation and measures to combat intolerance and racism, discrimination and hate speech not only persist in France, but are on the rise. There is an urgent need to combat this in a sustained and systematic manner.
1In the first half of 2014 alone, the number of antisemitic acts virtually doubled, while the number of Jews leaving France for Israel tripled compared with 2012, which is a telling indication of their feeling of insecurity. The rising number of anti-Muslim acts, 80 per cent of which are carried out against women, and homophobic acts, which occur once every two days, is also cause for great concern. It is essential to put an end to such acts, including on the Internet, and to punish those responsible.”
It should be taken into account that the Jewish community in France, numbering 550–600 thousand (with equal proportions of Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jews), is the largest in Europe and the third largest in the world after Israel and the U.S. It emerged as a result of several waves of migration (the major ones were from Poland and Germany in the 1930s and from Algeria and broader Maghreb region in the 1960s) and local acts of proselytism in the Middle Ages.
The period from 1940 to 1944 under the Vichy regime was the peak of anti-Semitism in the 20th century in France, when French Jews were deprived of their civil rights and over 76 thousand of them were deported to the Nazi’s death camps. Less than 2.5 thousand survived; slightly more than 200 of them are presently alive.
The years of 2014 and 2015 were marked by a great surge of anti-Semitism. Thus, according to official statistics, as of year-end 2014 the number of anti-Semitic crimes increased 101 per cent that is 851 cases compared to 423 in 2013, with 130 per cent increase in cases of physical violence. At the same time, according to the surveys over 15 per cent of French population do not consider Jews as their compatriots. Back in 2009, this rate was 7 per cent.
In 2014, approximately 7 thousand French Jews left for Israel undertaking the act of Aliyah, which is twice as much as in 2013. The number of those who seek permanent residence or citizenship is expected to reach 10 thousand in 2015.
The main reason for mass exodus of the Jewish population is a factor of insecurity. Experts attribute the rise of anti-Semitism to the growth of Muslim community in France accompanied by the spread of radical Islam ideology within it.
1 Report by Nils Muiznieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, following his visit to France, 17 February 2015 www.coe.int
It is characteristic that recent years the frequency of anti-Semitic incidents was the highest during the escalations of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and in the context of Islamists’ terrorist attacks.
In March 2012, jihadist M. Mera shot down the students of a Jewish school in Toulouse.
On December 1, 2014 a Jewish family suffered an assault in Creteil, a town in the suburbs of Paris. The perpetrators intruded into the house of the married couple, committed rape and stole valuables.
On December 9, 2014 an eight-year school-girl living in the surroundings of Lyons suffered insults and physical attacks from two same age boys of North Africa origin.
On January 9, 2015 two days after the attack against the editorial office of “Charlie Hebdo”, the satirical weekly magazine, terrorists attacked a kosher grocery shop in the Porte de Vincennes neighborhood in Paris. Four people were killed during the assault.
Sociologists say that terrorist attacks of January 7–9, 2015 have become a powerful catalyst for Jews to leave France — a kind of psychological line; when it is crossed personal safety becomes more important than social welfare. Jews no longer feel safe and decide to start their lives over again in an alien country.
On February 16, 2015 about 300 tombs were desecrated at a Jewish cemetery in Sarre-Union, a town near the border with Germany. Many headstones were either brought down or destroyed or spray-painted with swastika.
At the celebration of the 70th anniversary the French President called Holocaust “the biggest crime ever known and ever committed” (under the French legislation Holocaust denial is a criminal offence).
Mr.Hollande admitted the increase in anti-Semitic incidents and promised to prepare a “Comprehensive national plan to combat racism and anti-Semitism”, that particularly provides for transferring this kind of crimes from the Civil Code to the Criminal one as well as tightening control over the Internet.
In Germany rightwing radicalism and aggressive nationalism are classified, inter alia, on the legislative level, as one of the main threats to democratic state structure and free society. The corresponding violations of law may be subject to criminal penalty. In particular, it is prohibited to use Nazi symbols, keep and disseminate the literature propagating racial hatred, directly appeal to violence and publicly deny Holocaust.
There have been no facts of connivance or open support of neo-Nazi groups and ideology by German governmental structures.
At the same time German authorities remain committed to countering rightwing extremism basically by democratic means and delegate the key role in this area to the civil population refraining if possible from applying tough restrictive measures. Not least because of this radical parties propagate their ideas in a relatively free way and partially at public expense because the legal system of the Federal Republic of Germany envisages the possibility of public cofounding of the activities of all political organizations.
Such policy provokes real dissemination of such right-wing radical ideas in modern German society that shows, inter alia, signs of more tolerant perception of far-right and nationalist extremist ideologies. This process manifests itself in so-called individual racism, xenophobia, russophobia, islamophobia, secondary anti-Semitism etc.
According to the research “Right-wing radical views in Germany of 2014” conducted by the Leipzig University, 36,6 per cent of Germans agree with the statement that “inflow of Muslims to Germany must be banned”, 55,4 per cent “have problems if Romas stay in their neighborhood”, and 76,0 per cent think that the State “should not be generous” while studying asylum applications. 7,8 per cent of the respondents are convinced that “if A. Hitler had not killed Jewish people he would be considered today to be an eminent public official”. 14,2 per cent also share the same opinion. 9,3 per cent of the respondents agreed with the statement that “national socialism also had some positive aspects”, 20,5 per cent partially agree with it. 32,7 per cent of German citizens entirely or partially share the point of view that “today Jewish influence is also too big”, and 29,1 per cent consider that “the Jewish use more often than other people dishonest tricks to reach their goals”.
According to the data of German law enforcement agencies, there are 21,700 right-wing radicals (inter alia, 9,600 of them are ready to commit violent acts), 5,800 of which are considered to be neo-Nazis. 7,000 people are members of far-right parties conducting legal political activities (the National Democratic Party of Germany — NPD — 5,500 people, the Right Party — 5,000 people, the Civil Movement for North Rhine-Westphalia — 1,000 people). According to the NGO “The Amadeu Antonio Foundation” providing monitoring and countering right-wing extremism, besides the above-mentioned parties there are also 225 diverse rightwing radical organizations in Germany. 153 neoNazi groups (so-called comradeships — Kameradschaften) prevail there.
As the experts said the NPD is one of the most organized far-right groups; some analysts consider it to be successor of the Hitler’s NSDAP. The party denies Holocaust and appeals to the corresponding historical revisionism, demands to reconsider the after-war German frontiers for the benefit of Berlin, closely cooperates with the ideologically similar groups which activities are banned in the Federal Republic of Germany. The German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution classifies this party as a right-wing extremist party. Stressing the importance of “preservation and restoration of national identity” the NDP encourages violence-prone right-wing extremists to intensify their efforts.
According to some unofficial data, in 2014 16,660 various neo-Nazi crimes were committed in the Federal Republic of Germany. Despite the fact that in comparison with 2013 this number decreased a little bit (17,134 crimes in 2013) it is still rather high.
On January 18, 2014, there was a neo-Nazi demonstration in Magdeburg (the capital city of the state of Saxony-Anhalt) to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the city bombing by the allied forces during the World War II. 700 people participated in it.
On February 13, 2014, there was a big annual neo-Nazi demonstration in Dresden (the capital city of the state of Saxony) to commemorate the anniversary of the city bombing during the World War II. According to the local law enforcement bodies about 350 extremists participated in it. A little bit more than initially announced (1000) neo-Nazis (1450) came in Dresden to a regular annual meeting called “The Day of the Future of German People” on June 7, 2014.
On August 2, 2014, a demonstration with the participation of 190 neo-Nazis was organized in Bad Nenndorf (Lower Saxony); local citizens responded by a protest march.
Musical festivals and concerts are becoming more and more popular with right-wing radicals; according to different estimates, about 180 German and foreign musical groups take part in these festivals and concerts and use in their works “brown” symbols and right-wing extremist texts. The beginning of summer 2014 was marked by a number of open air concerts and festivals called “Right-Wing Rock Summer”.
The German authorities have recently tightened control over right-wing radical groups, primarily in the sphere of monitoring their possible involvement in terrorism. In particular, a consolidated pool of data about the right-wing extremists demonstrating their readiness to violence was created in Germany. The adoption of this decision was promoted by scandals concerning disclosures related to the trial, which began in 2013 and is still ongoing, of a member of a neo-Nazi group “National Socialist Clandestine Movement” — B. Chepe who together with U. Mundlos and U. Benhardt who had earlier committed suicide acted unpunished in Germany for about 10 years. According to the investigators, the neo-Nazis have intentionally killed at least nine citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany — former migrants — and a policewoman on grounds of racial hatred as well as committed a number of other crimes financing their activities by robbing banks.
Major politically motivated crimes registered by the German police are committed by right-wing radicals.
In 2013 17,000 out of the total number of 31,500 crimes were committed by right-wing radicals, besides practically all of them — 16,500 were related to extremism. There were 837 cases of violence, 730 people sustained bodily injuries of varying serenity.
In 2014 there were 150 attacks on refugees’ sites; this number increased by 300 per cent (58 in 2013, 24 in 2012).
The most popular right-wing radical crimes are so-called propaganda campaigns, primarily concerning dissemination of materials or demonstration of symbols of the prohibited organizations. “The Amadeu Antonio Foundation” counts itself the number of victims of right-wing radical and racist violence in Germany. According to this NGO, since 1990 184 people were killed by right-wing radicals (according to the German Federal Ministry of Interior — 63 people).
1In 2014 the number of the registered anti-Semitic crimes in the Federal Republic of Germany increased by 10 per cent (864 cases in total) in comparison with the previous year. The last time that the criminal statistics was so high was in 2008. Apart from the facts of physical abuse police includes in this statistics painting swastikas on synagogues, Jewish cultural centers etc, violation of memorial places and cemeteries, insults in daily life, trolling and cyber attacks in Internet. Moreover major crimes (90 per cent) are not committed by Muslims but by right-wing radicals.
In Great Britain, there are several far-right political parties, as well as extremist organizations and movements that stick to the ideas of neo-Nazism, of racial and national exclusiveness. The following movements can be singled out from the most famous ones.
1 O? cial data of the government of the Federal Republic of Germany repeated by the NGO «The Amadeu Antonio Foundation»
The “British National Front” (BNF) is a radical nationalist political party (it was founded in 1967, its leader is Ian Edward).
The “British National Party” (BNP) founded in 1982 has become a successor to the traditions of the BNF as a nationwide far-right organization. It follows far-right ideology, opposes mass migration into the country and criticizes “creation of a federal European superpower” (European Union). Such points as preserving the values of a “white” British family, closing the borders to foreign immigrants and repatriation of those who has already come into the country have been represented in the slogans of the BNP for a long time. They often offer anti-Semitic topics calling the Holocaust a “historical mystification”. The organization also has a goal to unite international and, first of all, European farright forces.
The “English Defence League” (EDL) is an English independent far-right organization founded in 2009 by football fans in the city of Luton. Its aim is to fight against the spread of Islamism, Sharia and Islamic extremism in England. The League members were seen singing “We hate Muslims” at the demonstration supporting Palestine that took place in London on September 13, 2009. Analysts estimate that the organization currently has from 300 to 500 active supporters that can be mobilized at any time. According to police data, the demonstration of the EDL that took place in May, 2010 in Newcastle comprised from 1.5 to 2 thousand people. There are also offshoot divisions such as the Scottish Defence League (organizes demonstrations in Glasgow) and the Welsh Defence League (operates in Cardiff, Newport and Swansea). A BBC documentary entitled “Young, British and Angry” shot in 2010 was about the EDL.
The EDL serves as an example in a lot of countries. There are the Czech Defence League and the German Defence League. Human rights defenders assume that Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik who killed 77 people in Oslo in June, 2011 was keeping in touch with the League that does not admit it but often uses his name in its statements (as well as the BNP).
In 2011, former members of the BNP founded a party “Britain First” that is against “islamization of Great Britain” and is committed to “protection of traditional British lifestyle, ethnic and cultural heritage and Christian faith”. The organization advocates for Great Britain leaving the EU as soon as possible “to save our people from politically correct, multicultural insanity ruling in the EU”.
The organization attracted attention in 2014 with a number of provocative anti-Muslim activities in London, Glasgow and Luton (attacks on mosques, forceful distribution of propaganda brochures under the threat of physical violence, picketing of the houses of Muslim communities’ leaders). The BNP members organized the so-called “Christian patrols” of up to 12 activists aiming at “fighting against Islamic extremism” (several London mosques were violated). These actions were condemned by Muslim religious figures, as well as by representatives of the Anglican Church.
The “Casuals United” is a far-right hooligan group organized by the fans of several football teams. It cooperates closely with the “English Defence League”. The group describes itself as “Uniting the UK’s Football Tribes against the Jihadists” and as “an alliance of British Football Casuals of various colours/races who have come together in order to create a massive, but peaceful protest group to force our Government to get their act in gear.”. The organization uses social media (in particular, Facebook) to coordinate protests in London, Luton, Birmingham, as well as in Edinburgh to support the Scottish Defence League.
The “International Third Position” (ITP) is a neo-fascist organization formed by the breakaway fraction of the BNF and Italian neo-fascists led by Roberto Fiore. The ITP ideology is a mix of left wing and right wing ideas. It is proved by their views on environmental protection and wealth redistribution based on racism, as well as by identifying the Jewish and immigrants as the chief enemies of the state and people. Anti-Semitism remains one of the main courses of the ITP.
The “National Action” (NA) is a British neo-Nazi extremist group created in 2013. The NA activity is of a secretive nature. Its ideology is similar to the ideology of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, there are a lot of citations of Adolf Hitler in their rules.
The main goals of the NA are “demarginalization” of Nazism and creation of informal culture on the territory of Great Britain based on racial superiority.
The National Action has spread propaganda on 12 university campuses. Group members were repeatedly apprehended by police for organizing protests and demonstrations in different cities and for racist remarks addressed to some British MPs.
In 2014, the NA members took part in an anti-globalist demonstration in Liverpool and held a protest at the statue of Nelson Mandela in London. Scotland Yard included the NA into a list of organizations that pose threat to national security.
According to the report of the Jewish charity fund (ensures security of Jewish organizations and monitors anti-Semitic incidents starting from 1984) that was made public at the beginning of 2015, the number of incidents related to anti-Semitism in Great Britain in 2014 amounted to 1,168 (in 2013 — 535) and anti-Semitic moods in the country reached a “historic maximum”.
The report also notes the rise in attacks on Jewish schools, on students and teachers: in 2014 there were 64 attacks in comparison with 32 attacks a year before. Home Secretary Theresa May stated that the figures published raise deep concern, however in the majority of cases British authorities do not pay proper attention to racist and misanthropic actions because they are not registered by police.
In August, 2013, a well-known historian, a Holocaust denier David Irving made a tour around Great Britain to present his new book about the SS leader Heinrich Himmler (the tour was close to secret because of the protests). In autumn of the same year, an issue of “Daily Mail” newspaper was released with a photograph of two British soldiers standing in front of the British flag performing Nazi salute. The Minister of Defence promised to apply administrative measures against them.
Greek far-right Golden Dawn party registered in 1993 is classified as an organization propagating neo-Nazi ideas, racial and national exclusiveness (in May 2014 it received 9,5 per cent of votes at the local elections and 3 seats in Strasbourg, it occupied the third place at the early parliamentary elections in January 2015 and received 6,28 per cent of votes and 17 deputy’s seats). It promulgates xenophobia, criticizes the politics of Greek governments accusing them of promoting fast growth of the number of illegal immigrants in the country.
The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks classifies the Golden Dawn as a neo-Nazi party and considers that Greece on the basis of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and other international and legal documents must ban the Golden Dawn. Current Prime Minister of Greece A. Tsipras and his predecessor A. Samaras in their public statements characterized this party as a neo-Nazi one.
On February 4, 2015, the Presidium of the Court of Appeals of Athens adopted a regulation on submission of the criminal case regarding the Golden Dawn leaders and members to the court.
70 persons, including 18 members of the former parliamentary fraction of this party led by its chairman N. Michaloliakos are subject to this case. They were earlier deprived of their deputy immunity and put into provisional detention in the maximum security prison.
The leaders of the Golden Dawn were mainly accused of creating an organized criminal group and governing this structure. During one and a half years of preliminary investigation proof was received of their involvement in other criminal activities such as illegal possession and use of arms, assassination attempts, regular assaults on immigrants, infliction of bodily injuries of varying severity, racketing, and legalization of illegally gained income. Finally, they were accused of the murder of an anti-fascist musician P. Fyssas committed in 2013 by the Golden Dawn activist G. Rupakias.
Having specified in the regulation that the Golden Dawn was mainly “a criminal organization under the mask of a political party” the judges stressed that the party acted like a Nazi one, distinguished itself by blind obedience to the leader, strict hierarchy and had assault teams. It was highlighted that as soon as the party got a parliamentary status its members started committing unlawful acts.
According to the surveys, Greek society has some immunity to the far-rightwing ideology, and political practice — over 65 per cent of population demand to restrict neo-Nazi activities in the country.
1The Report on Greece published by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance in 2015 stresses a number of problems, including an alarming level of xenophobia and violence against refugees. At the same time the Report welcomes creation in the country at the end of 2012 new special units within the police to tackle racist violence, appointment in October 2013 of prosecutors to investigate the acts of racist violence, and adoption in 2014 of a new anti-racism law.
Right wing extremist organizations are forbidden by law in Hungary. At the same time, there is a steady part of supporters of far-right ideas. The leader of the Hungarian Socialist party A. Mesterhazy thinks that racism is widespread across the country, it is present in universities, theatres, right wing media and even in the parliament.
Hungarian leaders have repeatedly declared “zero tolerance” of the country’s authorities in respect of racist political views. According to Tamas Fellegi, Hungary’s former Minister of National Development, there is a clear dividing line between the main Hungarian political forces and a radical nationalist party “Jobbik” (it is notorious for its offensive slogans and appeals regarding the Jewish and Romas).
Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary Laszlo Kover stated that organizations that can harm Hungary’s interests, for example “anti-Zionist fraction”, were not and will be not formed in the parliament.
1 ECRI Report on Greece, 2015, site of the Council of Europe www.coe.int
The most radical associations, such as the “Blood and Honour”, “Army of Bandits”, “National Guards — Carpathians and Fatherland”, “National Selfdefence”, “Hungarian National Guards”, “Sixty-Four Counties Youth Movement” (to avoid judicial prohibition it was transformed into the “Sports and Patriotic Movement for Preserving Traditions”), do not have large social support.
The oldest Hungarian far-right party is the Hungarian Justice and Life Party that was formed in the 1990s and promoted its ideas in the parliament up till 2002. The founder of the party is Istvan Csurka (died in 2012), a famous Hungarian playwright and poet with anti-Semitic views. At the present time, the party promotes their views through the Internet.
The “Hungarian Phoenix Movement” is one more radical nationalist party founded in 2010 by former members of the “Jobbik” party dissatisfied that “the Jobbik had not effectively stood up for the national ideas”.
In Hungary, there is a tendency to glorify the regime of Hitler’s follower Miklos Horthy who is responsible for the Holocaust and killing civilians in Serbia and other countries. Local historians present him as an advocate of “monarchist conservatism” (according to former Minister of Foreign Affairs Janos Martonyi, the government does not intend to exonerate Miklos Horthy “until corresponding historical research is held”). In 2013, a bronze bust to Miklos Horthy was erected on the Liberty Square in Budapest near the Presbyterian Church of Resurrection.
Glorification of “heroic deeds” of Hungarian Nazi supporters is cultivated, materials dedicated to certain people (for example, those dedicated to an exonerated war criminal, the commander of the Hungarian Second Army Gusztav Jany) and to the divisions of the Waffen-SS “Hunyadi”, “Maria Theresia”, “St Laszlo” formed in Hungary are published. On April 24, 2013, neo-Nazi from the movement “Sixty-Four Counties Youth Movement” held a demonstration on the Liberty Square demanding to erect a monument to German soldiers of World War II.
The Constitution of the country identifies the communist regime with the Nazi regime. Political experts note that the preamble of the country’s main law says that Hungary lost its national sovereignty on March 19, 1944 (introduction of Hitler’s forces on the territory of Hungarian ally) and regained it only on May 2, 1990. Therefore, Hungary’s responsibility for participating in World War II on the side of Hitler’s Germany is hushed up, instead Nazi occupation is equated with the political regime that came after the Nazi. The message concerning two occupations is widely spread in the intellectual circles and is used in teaching. In February, 2013, the Constitutional Court of Hungary ordered to lift the prohibition of using Nazi and communist symbols. According to judges, the law that was in force “excessively limited freedom of expression” and the swastika became one of legally allowed symbols.
Government bodies do not monitor systematic cases of violence based on hatred. According to human rights defenders, one of the main problems in the country is that Hungarian policemen cannot identify hate crimes, there are no norms describing procedures and criteria of identifying such crimes as well as order of their investigation. In this context, in January, 2012, the MIA began to work on a corresponding protocol to be used by police.
In May, 2012, the parliament introduced amendments to the Penal Code that outlawed explicitly offensive behaviour, real or perceived threats in respect of members of racial, ethnic or other groups. The amendments also provided for criminal liability for unauthorized operations to maintain public order or public security which evoked fear from people. This was the answer of the authorities to “patrolling” of Roma blocks that has become popular among the neo-Nazi. Besides, a liability for denying the Holocaust was introduced in Hungary: in January, 2013, for the first time in post-Soviet history, a programmer G. Nagy was imposed a suspended sentence of 18 months of imprisonment for public denial of the Holocaust. The court prohibited him to participate in demonstrations and other political events and made him visit memorial locations of the Holocaust. In June, 2013, Hungarian court began a criminal action against Laszlo Csatary charged with deliberate assistance to the Nazi in execution of 15.7 thousand Jews during World War II.
At the beginning of 2012, a big judicial trial was launched against four neoNazi charged with murder of six Romas because of racial hatred which they had committed in the period from March, 2008 to August, 2009. Three offenders were sentenced to life imprisonment in 2013, one offender got 13 years of imprisonment (the court found them guilty in nine attacks on Romas).
In May, 2013, three men were charged in Budapest for crying out ant-Semitic slogans and making Nazi salutes addressed to the Jewish. Two of them got suspended sentences and the one left was sentenced to three years of imprisonment.
Social networks are considered to be the main platform of communication and keeping contact between neo-Nazi movements in Italy. The joint group of “Italian Fascist youth” and “Fascists for rebirth of Italy” on Facebook has around 134 thousand members. There are about a hundred sites registered in Italy which can be qualified as disseminating neo-Nazi ideas.
Pages of the sites contain biased information about the history of Fascism and National Socialism, about the role of Benito Mussolini, as well as propaganda of anti-Semitism and of racial and national exceptionalism of the Italians.
The most popular sites are “We are loyal to Italy and Duce”, “The Black Falange”, “Movement of Fascism and Liberty”, “Italian supporters”, “The Black Flame” and “Fascist Pride”.
When the “Italian Social Movement”, the “successor” of Mussolini’s ideology, split and dissolved in 1995, its remains transformed into a whole number of extra-parliamentarian political movements of neo-Nazi and neo-Fascist orientation.
The main force in the Italian legal field which implicitly shares the far-right ideas of Italian neo-Fascists is the nationwide movement “New Force”, headed by former European Parliament deputy R. Fiore, who previously was among the people charged with the organization of terrorist attacks at the railway station in Bologna in 1980 and had to spend almost 20 years in Great Britain in exile.
The movement has a branch network with numerous supporters all over the country; it regularly holds congresses of the party members, participates in demonstrations dedicated to different events in the history of Italian National Socialism and in “international gatherings” of European far-right and neo-Fascist organizations. Those who sympathise can use the web-site of the movement to provide direct sponsor support as well as to purchase literature of the subject or goods with neo-Fascist symbols.
Unlike the “New Force”, the “Fascism and Freedom Movement — National Socialist Party” (“MFL-PSN”) does not hide its neo-Fascist orientation; its official membership amounts to 2.5 thousand people and it owns a newspaper called “Il Lavoro Fascista”. The leader of a kindred party “Tricolour Flame” Luca Romagnoli was elected to the European Parliament in 2004. Among other Italian parties there is the “Social Idea Movement”, “Tricolor alternative” etc.; such radical youth movements as “The House of Pound” (“CasaPound”) and “The Students’ Block” (“Blocco Studentesco”), which are popular among university and school students, are gaining strength and growing in number supporters.
Besides, in the Apennine peninsula there are subsidiaries of European neoNazi organizations and groups as well as associations of skinheads, racists etc.
A great contribution to preventing the spread of neo-Fascism in Italy is made by the National Association of Italian Partisans (“ANPI”), whose membership numbers over 100 thousand active participants, and also by numerous Euro-Italian associations, for example, by “Friends of Israel”, which receive money from the state and regularly publish, inter alia in the national media, materials exposing neo-Nazi.
Experts estimate that extra-parliamentary political structures of far-right and neo-Fascist orientation are “usual” part of the Italian political landscape, but they rarely get more than 5 per cent of the vote in elections on any level.
However, the consequences of the economic crisis, particularly the high rate of youth unemployment, which in Italy reaches up to 45 per cent in the 15–24 age category, might, with the connivance of the state, create a favorable environment for neo-Nazi and neo-Fascist movements to recruit a considerable number of new members.
The falsification of history became Latvia’s deliberate policy long ago. Latvia seeks to project an image of a “truly European democratic State”, whose history has been “marred” only by the “aggressive” policy of the Soviet Union and Germany in the 1930–1940s.
In this context, special attention is paid to the glorification of Latvian Waffen-SS legionnaires and other collaborators. The attempt to present Hitler’s accomplices as “freedom fighters” is a key element of the evidential basis behind the ideas of “Soviet occupation” and “patriotic upbringing” of the young.
Latvian law does not provide for any social benefits for veterans of the Great Patriotic War and former prisoners of Nazi camps; however, former Waffen-SS legionnaires and “national partisans” are guaranteed with the above mentioned benefits in accordance with the Law on the Determination of the Status of Politically Repressed Persons who Suffered during the Communist and Nazi Regimes of 12 April, 1995, and the Law on the Status of Participants in the National Resistance Movement of April 25, 1996.
In October 1998, as part of policy of glorification of former Latvian Waffen-SS legionnaires, the Parliament of the Republic of Latvia (Saeima) adopted amendments to the Law on Holidays and Memorial Days, according to which March 16 was designated as the Day of Commemoration of Latvian Troops (March 16, 1944 is the day when the 15th and 19th Latvian Waffen SS divisions launched a joint operation against Soviet forces).
In 2000, the country’s leaders were forced to remove the “memorial day” status from March 16, as a result of international pressure on Latvia. However, they continue to pursue the policy of justification and glorification of former SS men and their accomplices. Each year on March 16, certain members of the Saeima, mainly from the National Bloc, the right-wing party within the government coalition (the NB was formed out of a number of far-right organizations), take part in the march of former Waffen-SS legionnaires in Riga and visit the cemetery in Lestene, where SS men are buried. In 2014, the former Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, Einars Cilinskis, who is representing the party, also joined the above mentioned bunch to lose his post afterwards.
The NB party — which has 17 seats out of 100 in the Saeima — clearly panders to neo-Nazism and incites xenophobia.
On September 14, 2012, a monument to members of SS punitive forces, guilty of numerous atrocities against Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian civilians, was erected in the town of Bauska, with the assistance of local authorities.
In October 11 and 16, 2014, Liepaja and Riga saw the production of the controversial musical “Cukurs. Herberts Cukurs” praising the member of the Arajs Kommando, who had risen to prominence due to a particularly brutal massacre of Jews, including children, during the Great Patriotic War.
Just before the traditional ceremonies to honour Waffen-SS legionnaires on March 16, 2015, the Fund for the Support of the Small Library of Latvian History issued and distributed a memo in several languages, including Russian, reflecting the official position of Riga on former SS men. The memo “explains”, for instance, that the vast majority of Latvians (80–85per cent) were allegedly forced to join the Legion, under penalty of death; that the “pick of the Latvian nation was cynically wasted in the conflict between the superpowers.”
Persecution of local anti-Nazi activists can also be seen as an element of the policy of glorification of Waffen-SS legionnaires. According to local security services, the Latvian AntiFascist Committee, as well as the international human rights movement World without Nazism pose threat to the national security. Anti-Nazi activists regularly face all kinds of obstacles when they organize their own counterpropaganda activities, especially in connection with the march of legionnaires on March 16.
On June 20, 2013, the Saeima adopted amendments to the Law on Safety during Public Entertainment and Festive Events which prohibit using Soviet or Nazi symbols. The already existing ban on using flags, emblems or anthems, including stylized ones, of the former Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, specified in the law on assemblies, marches and picketing, now also apply to public entertainment and festive events.
On May 15, 2014, the Saeima adopted amendments to the Criminal Law of Latvia which criminalize “denial and justification of genocide and crimes against humanity committed by the Soviet or Nazi regime”. Those who break the law will be liable to a jail term of up to five years.
On June 19, 2014, the Saeima adopted the preamble to the Constitution which actually equates the Communist and Nazi regimes.
In January 2015, Latvia, taking advantage of its European Council presidency, blocked the exhibition “Hijacked childhood. Victims of Holocaust as seen by the child prisoners of Nazi concentration camp Salaspils” which was to be open in the Central Hall of UNESCO headquarters in Paris.
Concealing and downplaying crimes committed by the Nazis in the Salaspils concentration camp should be considered yet another important part of the policy of rewriting history. The book “Salaspils concentration camp, 1941–1944” written by “historians” Karlis Kangers, Uldis Neiburgs and Rudite Viksna says that Salaspils was a “labour camp”, and only 2,000 victims, mostly children, can be considered “documented” (500 of which allegedly got in the camp in a “very poor condition”). In Latvia, Soviet and Russian historical records (from 53,000 to 100,000 victims) are called the “Kremlin’s propaganda.”
Uldis Neiburgs has recently claimed that “red” partisans engaged in terrorist activity in Kurzeme in 1944–1945. It is absurd that the annihilation of the Nazi invaders and Latvian collaborators was a “crime” and “act of terrorism”, rather than a part of the operation to liberate Latvia.
Pursuant to the Latvian Parliament’s Declaration on Condemnation of the Totalitarian Communist Occupation Regime Implemented in Latvia by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics of May 12, 2005, in August 2005, the Government established the Commission to Determine the Number of Victims, Locate Mass Graves, Compile Information about Repressions and Mass Deportations and Calculate the Loss and Damage Inflicted on Latvia and its Population by the Totalitarian Communist Occupation Regime of the USSR which was charged with continuing to make compensation claims to the Russian Federation for damage inflicted on Latvia and its population as a result of the occupation.
The Commission’s responsibilities included compilation of information about deportations, creation of a common database of politically repressed persons, assessment of “damage” caused to Latvian economy, community, environment, culture, and science. According to its preliminary report released in April 2009, the “damage” exceeded 100 billion lats (some $200 billion; the final opinion is to be issued by 2010). However, the activities of the Commission were suspended in August 2009 due to the shortage of funds.
In November 2013, the Government of Latvia had approved the allocation of funds for resuming the activities of the Commission which started its work in September 2014.
In recent years, neo-Nazism and xenophibia have been on the rise in Lithuania. This situation is triggered by the policy of Vilnius which is aimed at falsifying the history of World War II and of the postwar period in order to adapt to the existing political environment, at equating the crimes of the Nazis to those of Stalin’s regime, at heroizing the so called “Forest Brothers”, the Lithuanian guerillas who tarnished their name by collaborating with the Nazis, and at actively concealing the unsavory role played by Lithuanians in the extermination of the Jewish population of Lithuania during the German occupation.
A similar biased approach is pursued by Vilnius towards the events of the recent past. The most high-profile case is the conviction of Algirdas Paleckis, leader of Lithuanian Socialist People’s Front, (2012) because of his public statements which run counter to the official interpretation of the well-known events near the Vilnius TV Tower of January 13, 1991.
In order to consolidate its new historical approaches, Lithuania has accordingly rewritten textbooks for the secondary and high school, changed items on display at the existing museums and created new thematic ones, the most notorious of which is the Museum of Genocide and the Resistance of the Lithuanian Population to Occupation Regimes, housed by the authorities in a building of the former Ministry of State Security of the Lithuanian SSR in Vilnius.
There has been an increase in the number of vandal attacks: they have repeatedly targeted Soviet sculptures on the Green Bridge in Vilnius and graves of Soviet soldiers. The fact that these attacks are carried out regularly is noteworthy. Nevertheless, as a rule, such investigations are not completed, and the perpetrators remain unpunished.
The idea that the Soviet authorities were criminals, who carried out a deliberate policy of genocide and ethnic cleansing against Lithuanians and in this case acted in the same way as Nazi Germany did, was implanted in people’s minds. The crimes of local collaborators who took part in the extermination of the Jewish population (in 1941–1944, the number of Jews in Lithuania declined by more than 95 per cent. The majority of them were killed in ghettos and concentration camps) and of the so called “Forest Brothers” (“guerillas”, according to Lithuanians), who killed tens of thousands of civilians, are a taboo topic in the Lithuanian mass media. Monuments are built in honor of these people, they are granted high military ranks and awards, streets and schools are named after them.
An outrageous fact, which provoked protests not only in Lithuania, but also abroad, was a solemn ceremony which was held in Kaunas on May 20, 2012 and marked the reburial of Juozas Ambrazevicius- Brazaitis, head of the so called Provisional Government of Lithuania supporting the Nazis. In accordance with his decision of June 30, 1941, the first concentration camp was created in the USSR territories occupied by the Nazi invaders.
In fact, the State encourages neo-Nazi manifestations creating a fertile soil for the display of Nazi symbols in the country. According to the decision of the Klaipeda District Court of 2010, the swastika is not a symbol of Nazi Germany, but “a historical heritage of the Balts”.
Every year, two marches are held in Lithuania (in Kaunas on February 16 and in Vilnius on March 11). Their participants carry flags with swastikas and shout a slogan “Lithuania for Lithuanians”.
In February 2015, politicized activities to mark the restoration of the Lithuanian State, attended by the country’s senior leadership, were organized in Vilnius and in other cities and towns. The Lithuanian Nationalist Youth Union headed by Julius Panka organized a large march in Kaunas, in the course of which people carrying Ukrainian flags shouted a pro-Kiev slogan: “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!” With the connivance of the authorities and a complete absence of any reaction on the part of the local public, the participants of the march displayed swastikas and held posters of Juozas Ambrazevicius-Brazaitis in their hands.
Demonstrations, which are attended by various nationalist organizations, are held during annual celebrations of Independence Day of the Republic of Lithuania on March 11. Such demonstrations are welcomed by the president of the country, who characterizes the young participants of these events as patriots. It is worth mentioning that this year, representatives of the Right Sector, a Ukrainian neo-Nazi organization, also took part in the nationalist march.
The Lithuanian authorities initiate criminal proceedings against the journalists who intend to expose these ugly facts of the national history. For instance, we speak about Giedrius Grabauskas and Aleksandras Bosas (now deceased), members of the Lithuania Without Nazism organization. In their articles, they refer to the Lithuanians who served as Nazi henchmen. The founders of the Defendinghistory.com Internet portal, which is dedicated to the fight against the falsification of history and glorification of the Nazis, report on the police interrogations of their correspondents.
The Lithuanian authorities also intend to impose such approaches outside the country and try to gain international recognition and support. In 1996, by the Decree of the President, the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes was established in Lithuania. Over 20 experts from Lithuania, the USA, Great Britain, Israel, Hungary, Germany, France and Russia are members of this organization, the composition of which was renewed in 2012.
On a regular basis, the Seimas hosts international forums devoted to the crimes committed by the Soviet regime and invites reporters from European countries, the USA, Georgia, Russia and — most recently — Ukraine, which is willing to adopt the practice of its Lithuanian colleagues. At the same time, Lithuania actively promotes the idea that in 1944, when the Red Army returned to the country, the Nazi occupation was replaced by the Soviet one (“double genocide” approach).
The Lithuanian authorities try to hold discussions on the subject of the Holocaust in the same vein. Such discussions take place in the framework of the World Congresses of Litvaks, which are periodically held in Vilnius, and implant the idea that the Soviet repressions targeted Lithuanian Jews due to their ethnic origin. In this context, the results of the study undertaken in 2014 by the AntiDefamation League, one of the leading Jewish organizations of the USA, seem logical: they show that 36 per cent of the Lithuanian adult population hold antiSemitic views.
The Opinion on the Third Monitoring Cycle of the Situation in Lithuania (2009–2013), issued by the Advisory Committee on the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities in October 2014, states the increased number of “open manifestations” of ethnic hatred and hate crimes and expresses concern over the manifestations of anti-Semitism and aggressive nationalism which do not receive any adequate response of the authorities. It indicates that only a small proportion of cases are taken to court, because these offences are often classified as “minor”.
The Advisory Committee noted that the neo-Nazi sentiment in Lithuania worsened the situation.
In the Netherlands, manifestations of neo-Nazism and anti-Semitism are sporadic.
The Dutch law does not regard the display of Nazi symbols (including badges, elements of the uniform, greetings, etc.) as a separate offence, but allows to carry out criminal prosecutions on the basis of anti-discrimination provisions of the Criminal Code.
The criterion for establishing liability under Articles 137c and 137e of the Criminal Code is a mandatory assessment of the context in which a certain statement was made or an action was taken. The Nazi salute as a gesture in itself is not punishable under the criminal law, except in cases when it is deliberately made in public or during memorial services or when it is accompanied by Nazi slogans, etc.
1One of the examples of applying the anti-discrimination articles of the Criminal Code is a case of import of about 100 daggers with a swastika, symbols of Waffen-SS units and slogans of the Third Reich, which was taken to the Supreme Court of the Netherlands in 2012. The daggers were to be sold by a Dutch man who, after a series of trials, was declared guilty under Article 137e of the Criminal Code. One of the most recent high-profile manifestations of anti-Semitism is the naming of the largest catamaran in the world after Pieter Schelte Hereema, a famous Dutch Nazi officer, who served in the Waffen-SS during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Due to a negative attitude shown by the public and the mass media, the Allseas company management announced the renaming of the ship from “Pieter Schelte” to “Pioneering Spirit”, thus retaining the initial acronym.
In the Netherlands, there is a political party which can be described as a neo-Nazi one. It is the Dutch People’s Union (NVU) founded in 1971. The NVU cooperates with the National Democratic Party of Germany, participates in the events organized by the latter in Germany on the special occasions celebrated by the Nazis (on the days when tribute is paid to Hitler, Hess, etc.). Once in a while, the NVU arranges special events in the Netherlands (for amending Article 1 of the Constitution and introducing therein a provision regarding the predominance of the German Christian ethnic group in the Dutch society, against the use of foreign labor, the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, against the construction of new synagogues and mosques in the Netherlands, etc.). Typically, several dozens or even hundreds of people take part in them. 40–50 people are party activists; the highest achievement of the NVU in the elections was their result in the provincial elections in March 2003 when the NVU gained 1,500 votes in the province of Gelderland, equivalent to 0.2 per cent of the total sum, which was less than a quarter of the votes needed to get the required number of deputies’ seats.
Various studies indicate that, overall, the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the Netherlands remains at the same level. According to the latest data, the Information and Documentation Center of Israel recorded 147 anti-Semitic incidents in 2013 (114 in 2012, 113 in 2011, and 124 in 2010).
1 See the Decision of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands of May 29, 2012 (LJN: BP0478) to remand the case relating to the import of items bearing Nazi symbols for a new trial
According to the Verwey-Jonker Institute, which annually presents a comprehensive analytical report on crimes of discrimination (the so called POLDIS), the Dutch police recorded 2,188 incidents with various “anti-Semitic aspects” in 2013 (2,354 in 2012, 2,668 in 2011, and 2,757 in 2010).
In Norway there is a number of extreme right-wing groups advocating the ideas of national and racial exclusiveness, and their distinctive feature is their pronounced anti-Muslim orientation.
Lately, the government institutions of Norway pay more and more attention to countering extremism and radicalism.
On June 10, 2014, the Norwegian Government adopted an Action Plan to Combat Radicalization and Violent Extremism (replaced the previous government strategy, effective from December 2010) which envisages the implementation of 30 long-term projects divided into five subgroups and aimed at strengthening the interaction of ministries and departments, the police, intelligence services, leading research and political science centers, non-governmental organizations and religious communities as well as at preventing and combating radicalization and violent extremism, both nationally and internationally.
1In Norway, there are also extreme right-wing groups which are not regarded as a serious threat by the authorities. Such groups are not banned from disseminating propaganda in the country or taking part in parliamentary elections. They have few members. They are poorly organized and carry out their main activities in the Internet space. The most active extreme right-wing groups are the following.
Vigrid is one of the four main far-right organizations in Norway, which failed in the country’s parliamentary elections and local elections and suspended its activities in November 2009. Another organization is the Norwegian Patriots, a party, whose only aim was to stop immigration to Norway. It announced the suspension of its activities after its representatives lost the elections to the Storting in September 2009.
1 Thorbjorn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, was surprised by the fact that the extreme right-wing blogger Fjordman was often quoted by the Norwegian mass media. According to Jagland, this has created a misperception among the population that the extreme right-wing rhetoric is acceptable in the public debate.
A new extreme right-wing group called the Norwegian Defense League (Norsk forsvars alliance) was created in Norway in 2011, and the English Defense League (one of the members of which was the terrorist Anders Breivik) served as a model for this group. Stop Islamization of Norway, an organization, which forms part of the Stop Islamization of Europe group, promotes Islamophobic views.
It should be noted that the European Commission against Racism in 2009 and Intolerance and the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in 2011 drew attention of the Norwegian authorities to the growth of Islamophobia and persistence of discrimination in the country and urged them to carefully monitor the activities of the extreme right-wing groups in the Internet.
Taking note of racist views and statements of some political parties and extremist groups members, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination recommended that the Government of Norway develop a strategy to effectively combat public manifestations of racial intolerance.
1The Report on Norway of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance published in 2015, stated positive changes — in particular, the introduction of the right to equality to the country’s Constitution. The fact that after the hate-motivated terrorist attacks, perpetrated by A. Breivik on July 22, 2011, Norwegian politicians and journalists stopped using the provocative anti-immigration rhetoric received a positive assessment. A provision that hate speech on the Internet must be punishable was introduced into the Criminal Code, and a special unit dealing with hate crimes was established in the Oslo Police. Norway is getting more actively engaged in the international cooperation in combating extremism and radicalism: the country joined the Nordic Network to Prevent Extremism established in Copenhagen in January 2014 and participates in the European Radicalization Awareness Network since September 2011.
Poland is one of the centers of the European neo-Fascist movement. Branches of large organizations such as Blood and Honor, Combat 18, International Third Position operate in the country. Polish branch of the latter is represented by the National Revival of Poland organization, which, along with the Creative church organization is the backbone of the local neo-fascist wing.
1 The ECRI Report on Norway; the Council of Europe website www.coe.int
The abovementioned organizations use skinheads and the so-called “kibols”, an aggressive and easily influenced group of football fans, as the strike force. Their groups are active throughout the country, but their presence is particularly noticeable in Bialystok and Wroclaw.
A network of special training camps where neo-Fascists from Germany, Great Britain, Romania, Spain and Italy enhance their combat skills was set up in Poland.
The country is now known as the “printing house” of the European neo-Nazis.
At the initiative of the branch of Blood and Honor organization, Poland sees neo-Nazi music festivals at least once a year. Since 2010, six of such events were held, some of which had “musicians” from Poland, Hungary, Estonia and Germany participating in them. Since 2014, these gatherings have been widely advertised and the tickets are available online.
A landmark event was the restoration of the Redwatch website, where neo-fascists publish lists of the so-called “race traitors” (politicians, public figures, representatives of leftist subcultural movements) — with their pictures, addresses and phone numbers. At the same time, activists promise to “punish the criminals”, they intimidate them and threaten them with physical violence. Polish prosecutors office prefers not to respond to this, referring to the fact that law enforcement officers allegedly have their “hands tied” because the US, which hosting the site server, refuses to provide legal assistance, basing the refusal on the First Amendment to the US Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech.
According to the Polish Prosecutor General’s Office, during the first six months of 2014, the number of crimes committed by neo-Nazis in Poland has doubled compared to the same period in 2013 (427 cases were initiated). Law enforcement agencies note an increase in racial, ethnic and religious crimes involving physical violence. In 2014, Muslims have suffered the most (142 cases), followed by Jews (103 cases), then black people (81 cases), Roma (48 cases), Chechens (43 cases), Ukrainians and Russians (14 incidents each).
Meanwhile, according to sources of the Never again organization, which is combating neo-Fascism in Poland, the statistics do not reflect the full scope of criminal offences committed by neo-Nazis. According to human rights activists, many cases are simply not considered allegedly due to a lack of evidence or flagrant refusal of the law enforcement agencies to investigate. On one hand, the reason to this is insufficient training of police and prosecution officers when it comes to dealing with hate crimes. On the other hand, it is noted that representatives of law enforcement agencies often feel sympathetic to offenders.
Due to the specificities of the historical past of Poland, which had suffered greatly from the Nazis during the World War II, the Polish government circles formally do not encourage neo-Fascism. However, the authorities in Warsaw have been systematically trying to falsify history of the twentieth century, engaging the necessary academic, information, personnel and financial resources. The aim of these large-scale efforts, inter alia, is to distort and devaluate the role of the Red Army in the liberation of Europe from Nazi invaders and to equate the Soviet Union to the Third Reich. In this regard, the January 2015 statement made by Mr. Schetyna, Polish Foreign Minister, that Auschwitz was freed by Ukrainians, is very indicative.
It is symptomatic that in the interests of political expediency, over the recent years, an uncomfortable topic of the so-called “Volyn massacre” — mass crimes of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army against the civilian population in Poland during World War II — was almost totally silenced down.
Romania pays special attention to the extremist and neo-Nazi manifestations in the state. Local human rights activists are also participating in combating this phenomenon, the most notable of which are the following: NGO Center for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism in Romania and the Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust.
There is a number of ultra-right organizations in Romania, whose activities are nationalistic and is closely supervised by human rights NGOs and local security forces.
One on these NGOs is called «All for the country» and it adheres to a typically fascist doctrine (they tried to ban the party for its xenophobic and racist activities, but the Bucharest Court found no grounds for this). The New Right movement, Legion of the Archangel Michael and National Legionnaires' Party may also be added to this list.
Civic Platform Action 2012 which includes more than 30 NGOs is more numerous and active. The organization advocates unitarianism and stands for «return» of Moldova to the «bosom of the motherland» of Romania. Nationalist and Russophobe rhetoric is often a part of its campaigns.
Bucharest pays particular attention to the issue of extremism and nationalism spreading to Hungarian speaking regions of Transylvania. Particular associations and NGOs of the region are in close contact with the far-right parties and organizations of Hungary (Jobbik, Hungarian Guard, etc.) and promote extremist and separatist ideas under their influence, including ideas concerning the «inequitable consequences» of the Trianon peace treaty. Hungarian nationalist 64 Counties Youth Movement has its branches in Romanian Transylvania.
In 2013, some extremist organizations held a series of unsanctioned activities, including marches, round tables, memorial services honoring the leaders of the Nazi legionaries of the World War II (H. Sima and K. Kodryanu) at a number of localities (Tiganesti, a village in Ilfov county, Phetya, a village in Mures county, Bucharest and Ploiesti).
During 2014, human rights activists also recorded cases of glorification of members of legionary movement and pro-fascist activists on the radio and via Internet resources. For example, during one of public broadcasts on Radio “Romania Cultural” (Cultural Romania) the “Iron Guard” was honored, while I. Antonesku, a dictator, was presented as a historical figure that had nothing to do with crimes against the Jews.
In December 2013, TV-3, the state channel of the city of Cluj, aired Christmas carol with clear anti-Semitic connotations sung by the Dor Transilvan folk ensemble. The TV channel was later fined.
In February 2014, during the presentation of the Encyclopedia of the communist regime that took place in the Academy of Sciences of Romania, V. Iliesku, a historian, made statements, denying the Holocaust in Romania (which is a criminal offense), saying that this phenomenon took place only in Germany and Hungary. President of the Academy made a public apology after human rights activists intervened.
Lately Spain has seen not only occasional manifestations of racial intolerance in everyday life but an increasing number of organized groups which declare openly their commitment to neo-Nazism. It is significant that their activity expands beyond the usual pattern of football fans associations. Far-right extremists more and more often make themselves heard in the informal political field, organizing protest demonstrations to provoke skirmishes with law enforcement agencies.
After the mass riot during the student manifestations in March 2014, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Spain announced the negotiation of a new protocol, which would regulate the cooperation between the security services to prevent similar incidents in the future, and the deployment of additional 200 riot police troops.
According to the human rights NGO “Movement Against Intolerance”, there are more than 200 neo-Nazi gangs with more than 10 thousand members and around a thousand of relevant Internet-sites registered locally. Law enforcement agencies efficiently impede the activity of the far-right extremist groups. According to police reports, about 700 members of such youth associations have been detained over the last two years in Madrid and its adjacent areas alone. Meanwhile the Spanish police point out that such organizations tend to develop a strategy to radicalize peaceful protests so as to use them for organizing mass riot. It was illustrated by the student protests in March 2014 in a number of Spanish cities, when the number of students amounted only to 20 per cent of participants.
Jewish associations and public organizations of Spain note that anti-Semitic messages and slogans regularly appear in social networks — only in April 2014 the Civil Guard detained 21 people suspected of disseminating ideas of xenophobia and racism.
The Neo-Nazis keep organizing demonstrations and acts of violence at Spanish universities. The most outrageous cases took place in November 20 and December 17, 2013 with the participation of about 150 neo-Nazi “ultras” in the Law Faculty building of the Complutense University of Madrid.
28 September 2013 a school in Quijorna with the support of the Mayor’s Office hosted a “market” selling Nazi memorabilia.
10 July 2014 the Spanish police detained 12 members of the far-right “Youth League” on the charge of organizing five neo-Nazi demonstrations at universities in Madrid.
In August-September 2014 there were multiple cases of clashes between neo-Nazi and anti-Fascist activists in Tetuan, a district of Madrid, where some people, including immigrants, were injured.
9 January 2015 a trial started against 18 anti-Fascist activists who tried to impede the neo-Nazi rally in Vallecas, Madrid in March 2009. Four more anti-Fascists are being investigated for a similar incident in the city of Badajoz in November 2014.
There is an ongoing trial in Valencia against 18 members of the neo-Nazi “Front against the system” (FAS), which is listed by the Spanish police as “close to terrorist groups”. Noteworthy is that Lofer, the leader of the organization, despite of being under investigation since 2005, have worked for the last six years in the centre of social adaptation of difficult teenagers and its management was turning a blind eye on his past.
In 2009 the “Observatory on Anti-Semitism” was founded in Spain. Its statutory goals include centralizing, cataloguing and analyzing incidents of anti-Semitic character happening in the country; identifying centers which promote anti-Semitic activity; organizing debates and issuing publications on the theme of anti-Semitism; assisting the realization of the government policy on fighting anti-Semitism; formulating additional recommendations to the state authorities, NPOs, media and to the general public.
A rise of manifestations of right-wing extremism, an increase in activity of nationalist and neo-Nazi organizations, and a rise of their popularity on the Internet, including various social networks, can be observed in Sweden.
There are serious integration problems: major Swedish cities have the highest level of segregation in northern Europe, and in suburbs there are immigration communities characterized by isolation from indigenous people, social freeloading and sporadic outbreaks of violence. Such environment naturally contributes to the spread of xenophobic moods in the society.
The spread of right-wing radicalism in Sweden is facilitated by the condescension of authorities who consider this phenomenon a “marginal social problem of youth”. Also the constitutional acts, such as the Freedom of the Press Act and the Freedom of Speech Act, are given “absolute meaning” here. Racist associations are not prohibited in the country (only “racist actions” are subject to prosecution, but not the organizations that disseminate the ideology), radical press can rely upon public treasury for financial support and law enforcing agencies regularly provide nationalists permissions to hold rallies and demonstrations.
In this context the persistent appeals of experts to increase funding for fight against right-wing radicalism, to implement more actively or even toughen the laws against xenophobic and hate crimes, to revise the police practice of granting permissions to hold demonstrations etc. remain unheard.
While recognizing the decisive contribution of the USSR to the victory in the World War II, Sweden tends to equate (on the state level as well) “two totalitarian regimes: Nazism and communism-Stalinism”, to lay responsibility on the USSR for unleashing the war (the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact is offered as an argument here) and to interpret the liberation of Europe in 1945 by the Red Army as a “new occupation” of Baltic nations and Central and Eastern Europe. According to speculations, the Soviet methods of warfare on “occupied” territories were “no less brutal than Hitler’s”.
The Rise of popularity of right-wing extremist associations is a pressing issue of the current Sweden domestic policy. Local anti-fascist NGO Expo notes “the largest mobilization of nationalist movement in Sweden in the post-war period”.
According to the Swedish Security Service (Sapo), the far-right groups consisted of more than 3 thousand active (mainly young) members in 2014 (24 per cent more than in 2013). According to the intelligence service, about 100 of them posed a serious threat to the society.
The Swedish far-right groups, divided into nationalists and neo-Nazis, are known for their propaganda of national excepcionalism amid disparagement of other ethnoses and Holocaust denial, wide access to arms (both small arms and explosions), good military training, criminal record (primarily convictions for violent acts, threats, discrimination etc), difficulties in socialization and mental instability.
One of the most popular far-right groups is the neo-Nazi “Party of the Swedes” (PS, current name introduced in 2009, founded in 1994 and includes members of the People’s Front headed by S. Jacobsson). The organization declares its intention to come “to power in a democratic way”. PS stands for ethnic purity of Swedish people, against “multiculturalism” and immigration of “representatives of non-German nations” including those from the EU member states.
The Swedish Resistance Movement (the SMR, founded in 1997 out of the radical organization “White Aryan Resistance” and “National Youth” and headed by K. Lund, includes 200 members) calls itself a “radical alternative” to PS. The SMR supports military hierarchy and discipline. The movement promotes Nazi, anti-Semitic and anti-immigration slogans and calls for the “white revolution with arms in hand” in order to overthrow the democratic regime and to establish the National Socialist rule.
It is worth mentioning that over the last seven years the number of far-right groups has decreased due to their consolidation. In 2008 there were 40 such organizations, but today there are only 15 of them. The most noticeable of them are the Heryedal Party (stands against Sami, the Swedish indigenous people), Union of National Youth (platform for upbringing of “young ethnic Swedes”), the National Democrats, the Progress Party, the Swedish National Democratic Party, the Northern Youth, the Northern National-Socialists, the Right-Wing Resistance etc.
The Internet and social networks, where extremists have become significantly more active lately, are an important channel of communication for Swedish far-right groups. During 2009–2014 the number of radical websites and webpages doubled and exceeded 16 thousand. According to the State Council on Media Activities of Sweden, 145 thousand visitors at average use these websites on a daily basis. The most popular of them are Nordfront, Avpixlat, Motgift. Realisten, Motpol and Flashback. The popularity of these forums reached a certain scale (not only participants of radical movements, but also representatives of universally recognized parties and even state departments express their racist views and voice threats all the way to the actions inspired by A. Breivik). In order to avoid criminal responsibility in Sweden (for fomenting national enmity and discord) their founders have to constantly change legal addresses of registration, including foreign ones.
Lately the general increase in the activity of nationalist associations and movements can be observed in Sweden. Traditional manifestations include annual rallies of Nazis under the auspices of the SMR in Stockholm (in Salem until 2010), sanctioned by the police, to celebrate the anniversary of the so called “Сrystal night» (the events of 1938 in Austria and Germany), the PS rallies in Jonkoping in May 2014 to mark the 1st of May, and rallies in the frame of the largest political event, Almedal Week in Visby.
Local neo-Nazis practice attacks on their political opponents and antidemonstrators, persecution and hate crimes against the Jews, Roma, Sami people, Afroswedes, Muslims, sexual minorities and their cultural and religious facilities etc. The majority of these actions are accompanied by violence, use of small arms and cold weapon, acts of vandalism (bashing) and dissemination of Nazi propaganda (placement of Nazi symbols and banners on synagogues, mosques, government institutions, cultural and educational facilities, the use of the Nazi salute, distribution of leaflets etc.). A massive public outcry was caused in particular by the crackdown of a peaceful anti-Nazi demonstration in Cherrtorp, Stockholm suburbs, by the SMR, the attack of the PS activists on far-left groups in March 2014 in Malmo etc.
The Swedish nationalists maintain intensive communication with some European radical parties. In particular, they work on founding a resistance movement in order to create a “Nordic National Socialist Republic”. They openly support the work of the Greek far-wing neo-Nazi party “Golden Dawn”. In 2014 Ukraine became the new attractive hotspot where Swedish extremists directly cooperate with Svoboda party and the Right Sector. In 2014 the “Ukrainian volunteers” movement that recruited several dozens of local far-right nationalists, was popularized through the Internet.
Despite the constantly rising activity of the far-right groups in Sweden and their ability to draw public attention, the most radical and neo-Nazi organizations haven’t yet managed to gain support of a considerable part of Swedish population which is confirmed by the results of the latest national and local elections in September 2014 where they didn’t get any mandate.
More moderate associations are in a different position, including the former Nazi party “Sweden Democrats” (founded in 1988 and based on the “Let’s keep Sweden Swedish!” movement). The policy of its leaders oriented on the intolerance of racism helped to partly clear the image of extremists and contributed to the legalization of the party, allowing to not only get into the parliament, but also to become the third political force (12.9 per cent in the elections of September 2014) supported by the adversaries of the “open” national immigration policy.
Lately, the general rise in activity of the right-wing parties has become evident. However, first and foremost the law enforcement agencies warn about the threat of far-left and Islamic groups, claiming that the far-right groups are “the least dangerous of all groups of political extremists”. At the same time over the last 15 years neo-Nazis have committed 14 murders, while no cases involving other radical movements have been registered. It is indicative that as a result of a landmark Cherrtorp attacks case neo-Nazis got nothing but a 1 year in jail for use of violence and fomentation of riots, while one of the left-wing anti-fascists got six and a half years for the “attempt of manslaughter”.
In Switzerland, several officially registered nationalist parties and organizations operate, including the Party of National Oriented Swiss (PNOS) (maintains ties with the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) and other European far-right and anti-Semite groups) and the Swiss Direct Democracy Party (SDDP) founded in 2012.
Small regional organizations also show some activity, for example, the Swiss Youth and Nonconformist Geneva, and also some informal groups of skinheads and neo-Nazis that operate in the German-speaking part of Switzerland and exist in the form of “associations”: the Union of Forest Cantons, Association of the Internal Switzerland, the Peoples’ Union of Wasserschloss, the Helvetic Youth etc. Two leading international right-wing extremist networks “Blood & Honour” and “Hammerskins” are represented in the country as well. The total number of the right-wing extremists prone to violent actions is estimated by law enforcement agencies to be 900–1000 people.
The annual reports of the Federal Office of Police and Federal Intelligence Service describe the activity of local nationalists and the threat they pose as mainly marginal and note that the number of celebrated cases of violence of
right-wing extremists is declining (35 cases in 2013 compared with 207 extremist manifestations of left-wing extremists and anarchists in the same period). The same data are presented by human rights anti-racist organizations: according to their information, rare meetings of nationalists are not popular and have gathered no more than 200–300 participants in recent years. In fact, the majority of groups are active only on the Internet and the activity of nationalists in the German-speaking part of Switzerland boils down to annual participations in traditional gatherings to celebrate the national holiday — the Day of Foundation of the Confederation (August 1).
Among the noteworthy incidents of neo-Nazi manifestations we can point out the following.
On May 21, 2014 the Federal Tribunal by its decision (6B_697/2013 of April 28, 2015) acquitted the member of the far-right PNOS early sentenced to fine of 500 Swiss francs by the court of the canton of Uri, who during the party meeting on the historical Rutli meadow (where, according to legend, the Swiss statehood was born) on August 10, 2010 raised his right arm and demonstrated the so called Hitler’s salute for 20 seconds. Following the investigation results the Tribunal considered that in this case the defendant was “expressing personal beliefs” which did not fall within the remit of the relevant article (261) of the national Criminal Code that criminalizes the public dissemination of ideologies that have as their object the systematic denigration or defamation of the members of a race, ethnic group or religion.
According to the Tribunal, “expressing personal beliefs” is not equal to disseminating them among third persons, although apart from 150 members of the neo-Nazi meeting there were also several casual people on the Rutli meadow. According to the definition of the Tribunal, “disseminating” implies promotion and propaganda of beliefs in order to cultivate a positive attitude in third persons towards the ideology. The Tribunal also referred to the fact that in June 2010 the Federal Council (Government) used the same argument to reject a parliamentary request to prohibit the use of symbols of racism in public places.
1The Swiss neo-Nazis provide material and financial support to their right-wing associates who participate in combat operations in the South-East of Ukraine.
According to the media, in September 2014 the right-wing extremists from the cantons of Geneva, Vaud, Valais and St. Gallen, who are part of the international network “Hammerskins”, founded a Swiss section of the Ukrainian organization ‘Misanthropic Division” which is allegedly part of the Azov Battalion and is famous for its extreme atrocity and adherence to Nazism.
1 SonntagsZeitung of February 8, 2015, online version of «Basler Zeitung» http:// bazonline.ch/ausland/europa/Schweizer-Neonazis-liefern-Geld-in-die-Ostukraine/ storv/13160853 )
The information about the support (800 Swiss francs were transferred to Azov Battalion and collection of food and winter clothes was announced) was gathered by media from the social network accounts.
At present, in the USA there are 939 extremist groups1, including neo-Nazi groups (the National Socialist Movement, the National Alliance, the Aryan Nations, the White Aryan Resistance, the Creativity Movement), racist groups (the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, The United Klans of America, The Aryan Terror Brigade, the American Front, Crew 38), separatist groups (the Nation of Islam, The New Black Panther Party), etc.
The Brotherhood of Veterans of the 1st-Division of the Ukrainian National Army operates as well in the United States; it is engaged in justification of Nazis’ accomplices from the Galician Division.
The National Socialist Movement (NSM) is currently the largest neo-Nazi organization in the United States. It has over 60 chapters in 35 states. It was founded in 1974 by Robert Brannen and Cliff Herrington under the name the National Socialist American Workers Freedom Movement. In 1994, Jeff Schoep became the head of the renamed movement. The headquarters is in Detroit, Michigan. The movement’s programme includes a ban on immigration to the USA and deportation of all representatives of racial and sexual minorities. A special unit of the movement the Viking Youth Corps recruits teenagers. It promotes the ideas of the “white nation” superiority via its website and social network New Saxon, issues a magazine, and records hate music under its own label, NSM88 Records.
Human rights defenders link the spread of extremist sentiment to economic difficulties, the inflow of immigrants, and a steady decline in the white population in the United States.
In April 2009, the confidential report on the threats of spread of right-wing extremism in the country prepared by the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis became public. Its authors note that beside social and economic factors, the prospect of new restrictions on bearing firearms and of return from war of veterans who experience difficulties in integrating in the society can also trigger the increase of radicalism and, as a consequence, of a terrorist threat.
1 Data of Southern Poverty Law Center - SPLC
At the beginning of 2009, the FBI undertook a study (codenamed “Operation Vigilant Eagle”) the results of which indicate that right-wing extremist groups in the country activated their efforts to recruit supporters, spread threats, and purchase weapon. As an earlier FBI report showed (prepared at the time of George W. Bush’s administration), from October 2001 to May 2008, around 200 of 23,000 war veterans who returned from “hot spots” joined such organizations as the Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, National Socialist Movement, etc.
In summer 2014 when the record number of under age refugees from Central American countries crowded at the US-Mexico border, the members of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan threatened to “leave the corpses laying on the border” to show their resolve to combat illegal immigration.
According to the American-Jewish Anti-Defamation League, around 9 per cent of Americans (about 21 mln people) have anti-Semite views, 18 per cent think that Jews exert too much influence on the American business, 11 per cent believe that they have too much power in the United States, and 31 per cent consider that they are more loyal to Israel than to America.
Extremist groups take advantage of the current legislation and law enforcement practice according to which constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and assembly cover neo-Fascist and neo-Nazi organizations. It is also permitted to express racist, anti-Semite and other radical views.
The decision of the United States Supreme Court of June 14, 1977 on the case “National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie” was unprecedented, as it allowed holding prohibited originally by local authorities neo-Nazi manifestations in the Village of Skokie near Chicago, Illinois, where a large Jewish community lives. The Court ruled that the First Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of speech and assembly, on the basis of which any ideological views can be expressed. The attorneys of the Skokie citizens failed to win even a ban on the display of swastika by participants in the march as the Illinois Supreme Court (further to the US Supreme Court’s ruling) decided that this Nazi emblem is “a symbolic representation of freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution”.
The National Socialist Movement regularly holds provocative events, including marching in the Nazi uniforms with swastika in districts with a large concentration of racial minorities. In November 2013, this organization together with the members of the Aryan Nations and the Sadistic Souls motorcycle club held a rally in Kansas City, Missouri, devoted to the 75th anniversary of the pogrom against Jews during the Crystal Nigh (Kristallnacht); in April 2014, they carried out a two-day action to celebrate their 40th anniversary in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Neo-Nazis’ public actions take place in the United States under the protection of the law-enforcement bodies which regard their main task in preventing disorders caused by conflicts between extremists and their opponents. It is notable that famous human rights institutions, in particular the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), help radicals assert their right to freedom of speech and assembly.
Though extremist views are not widely supported by the US electorate, their partisans occasionally manage to get into the public politics. John Taylor Bowles, candidate of the National Socialist Order of America, took part in the 2008 presidential race. In 1988 and 1992, an ultra-right politician, member of the Ku Klux Klan and anti-Semite David Duke ran for president.
According to recent exposure in mass media, the current Congressman from Lousiana, Republican Steve Scalise (he is a House Majority Whip) made a speech in 2002 at the meeting of the European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO) which unites the supporters of the idea of the white supremacy.
In the United States, there are no laws banning the Holocaust denial. In 1978, David McCalden and Willis Carto founded the Institute for Historical Review which openly aims to refute the common view of the mass extermination of Jews by fascists and their accomplices. Mark Weber has been the Institute’s director since 2000. In 2009, in his essay How Relevant is Holocaust Revisionism? he called his followers to focus on the combat against “Jewish-Zionist power”. The Institute published The Journal of Historical Review until 2002, and currently, due to lack of financing it distributes its materials via website and e-mail.
According to the FBI, out of 5,900 hate crimes committed in 2013, 49.3 per cent were motivated by racial animosity (more than 3,400 crimes), 16.9 per cent — by religious and 11.4 per cent — by national enmity, 20.2 per cent were sexual orientation hate crimes. Among racial hate crimes, in 66.5 per cent of cases the victims were Afro-Americans. In 2013, the Anti Defamation League fixed in the USA 751 anti-Semite incidents (203 — in the State of New-York, 143 — in California), including 31 cases of physical assaults on Jews, 405 cases of threats, insults and other acts of aggression, 315 events of vandalism.
According to the SPLC, after the terrorist attack in 1995 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, (when ultra-right extremists Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols exploded a bomb at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, as a result of which 168 people were killed, including 19 children, and 680 were injured) ultra-right radicals planned or carried out at least 110 terrorist acts.
On June 10, 2009, an 88-year-old white supremacist, former military James Wenneker von Brunn entered the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and shot a security guard Stephen Tyrone Johns who opened the door for him.
On April 13, 2014, a 74-year-old extremist Frazier Glenn Miller (the founder of the White Patriot Party and a member of the Ku Klux Klan) made shooting outside the Jewish Community Center and a retirement home, Village Shalom, both located in Overland Park, Kansas, which caused the death of three people.
In January 2015, an improvised explosive device was placed next to the Colorado Springs branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Nobody was injured as a result of this failed terrorist act, however, this incident reminded of the tragedy of 1951, when an explosive device placed by the Ku Klux Klan members killed the founder of the first branch of the NAACP in Brevard County, Florida, Harry T. Moore and his wife.
The last recorded lynching of a black American (Michael Donald) is considered to be done in 1981 in Mobile, Alabama. However, the FBI is currently investigating the incident happened in August 2014 in Bladenboro, North Carolina. A 17-year-old African American Lennon Lacy was found dead, hanging from a swing set in the district where mostly white Americans live. Local law-enforcement bodies concluded that it was a suicide. But the teenager’s relatives and friends do not exclude that he was lynched for an affair with a white woman.
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, incidents of Islamophobia became frequent. Muslims make only 1 per cent of the US population; however, 13.7 per cent of all religious hate crimes are committed against them. From 2001 to 2011, the United States Department of Justice investigated more than 800 cases of violence, vandalism and arsons against Muslims, Arabs, and natives of South Asia.
On August 5, 2012, a 40-year-old Wade Michael Page, earlier he served in the U.S. Army as a psychological operations specialist, opened fire on worshippers at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. As a result, 6 people died and 4 were injured. The shooter was wounded by the police and shot himself. According to investigators, W. Page, a vocalist of a white supremacist rock-band End Apathy, attacked Sikhs taking them for Muslims.
In February 2015, at a hostel of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School, a 46-year-old extremist Craig Stephen Hicks shot three Muslim students because of a dispute over parking.
1After the end of the Cold War, the American mass media started getting more information on the practice of recruiting former Nazis by US special services (especially those who fought on the Eastern Front during the WWII) as informers on the situation in the Soviet Union, Red Army, its structure, equipment and combat tactic. In particular, it became known that among agents of the U.S. Army CIC was Klaus Barbie, known as the “Butcher of Lyon”, he was convicted for crimes against humanity in France. American special serviced helped him escape from Europe to South America where he was hiding from justice for 30 years. In June 1988, the Office of Special Investigations of the United States Department of Justice issued a report according to which in Austria the counterintelligence corps collaborated with 14 people suspected in war crimes.
At that time, there were publications about post-war programmes of the CIA, Pentagon and other federal bodies involved in recruiting “useful” foreigners to work in the USA, despite their dubious past.
By the Central Intelligence Agency Act, Pub. L. 81–110, The Congress authorized the Director of the Agency to issue up to 100 entry permits a year to persons who can be in the “interest of national security”, without regard to their inadmissibility under the immigration or any other laws and regulations. At least in one case this law was applied to transport a former Nazi accomplice to the United States.
In September 1946, President Harry S. Truman sanctioned granting U.S citizenship to German and Austrian scientists and engineers whom Pentagon was interested in. As a result, since 1945–1955 around 765 people moved to the USA, 80 per cent of who were earlier members of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP), and at least one of them was an SS officer (the leading Nazi rocket developer and later the “father” of the American space programme Wernher von Braun).
2In the course of the Operation Paperclip after the end of the World War II, the U.S. Office of Strategic Services recruited more than 1,600 scientists, engineers, and technical specialists of the Third Reich, many of who were involved in development of biological and chemical weapons for the Nazi, and in medical experiments on concentration camp prisoners.
1 Detailed information is in the interim report of the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group (IWG) issued to the Congress in October 1999.
2 Lower W. Sunday Book Review. Willkommen «Operation Paperclip» by A. Jacobson // New York Times. 28 February 2014.
According to the New York Times1, after the end of the WWII the US intelligence services (mostly FBI and CIA) used no less than 1,000 Nazis as spies and informers, even those who were known to commit war crimes. For example, among CIA European agents was a former SS officer Otto von Bolschwing, adjutant of Adolf Eichmann, ideologist of the Final Solution. In 1954, the Agency helped him move w nith his family to New-York. The CIA tried to impede the criminal prosecution against its another Eastern European spy Aleksandras Lileikis who cooperated with the Gestapo and was involved in shooting of 60,000 Jews in Lithuania.
In 1998, the USA passed the law on the disclosure of information about Nazi war criminals. According to it, by President Clinton’s Executive Order 13110 of January 11, 1999 the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group was established. The functions of the Group are to locate, inventory, recommend for declassification, and make available to the public at the National Archives and Records Administration all classified Nazi war criminal records of the United States, and to coordinate with agencies and take such actions as necessary to expedite the release of such records to the public.
2Under the public pressure, lots of former Nazis, who earlier received asylum in the United States, were deprived of the US citizenship and expelled from the country. For these purposes, the Office of Special Investigations was created within the United States Department of Justice. However, according to recent publications of the Associated Press, dozens of them still get American Social Security payments as a “compensation” for a voluntary leaving the country (in order to avoid litigation and publicity). The number of people who benefited from this programme has not been disclosed yet. According to journalist’ data, since 1979 no less than 38 “fugitives” have received pensions. At least four former war criminals, including the German concentration camp guards at Sachsenhausen (Мartin Hartmann) and Auschwitz (Jakob Denzinger) were still receiving monthly Social Security payments last year. Only after media stir in December 2014, Barack Obama signed the law that bars Nazi war criminals from receiving US Social Security benefits.
1 Lichtblau E. In Cold War, U.S. Spy Agencies Used 1,000 Nazis // New York Times. 26 October 2014.
2 Rising D. Expelled Nazis paid millions in Social Security// Associated Press. 19 October 2014.
The rise of neo-Nazism and radical nationalism in Ukraine has recently, in particular after the unconstitutional coup d’etat of February 2014, reached an unprecedented level. The whole range of manifestations and signs of neo Nazism has been registered in the country, including consistent, state-level rehabilitation and glorification of Nazi accomplices of the World War II, policy of falsification of its history, swift legitimization of radical nationalists and their entry to state power structures, purges and punitive military operations concerning the people labeled as conducting “anti-Ukrainian activities”
A whole set of neo-Nazi, extremist, far radical organizations and parties are freely operating in the territory of Ukraine. Among them are the Ukrainian National Assembly — the Ukrainian People’s Self-Defence (UNA-UNSO), the Right Cause party, the Stepan Bandera All-Ukrainian Organization Tryzub, the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, the Brotherhood party (bratstvo), the White Bridge party, the especially cruel and aggressive organization the Patriot of Ukraine.
One of the largest neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine is the All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda (Freedom) (received 10.44 per cent of votes in 2012 elections to the Verkhovna Rada). As classified by the international human rights organization Simon Wiesenthal Center, the All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda and its leaders — O. Tyahnybok and I. Miroshnychenko — rate fifth among the most dangerous anti-Semitic leaders worldwide.
The ideological foundation of these organizations rests on the principles of neo-Nazism and aggressive xenophobia. Some, in particular the All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda, directly follow the example of Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP). One of Svoboda’s ideologists Y. Mikhalchishin even defended a thesis on “The Transformation of a Political Movement to a Mass Political Party of a New Type as Exemplified by the NSDAP and the National Fascist Party”. A. Biletsky, leader of the Patriot of Ukraine movement openly declares his adherence to the ideology of “social nationalism” and racial principles.
Ukrainian radical nationalists aim at establishing a nationalist state in the whole Ukrainian territory with exclusive status and rights for ethnic Ukrainians and the Ukrainian language, the return of Ukraine’s nuclear status and the development of tactical nuclear weapons. Some of them express their claims on some regions of the Russian Federation (D. Yarosh — the Kursk region and the Voronezh region).
It is characteristic of Ukrainian neo-Nazis to conform with if not copy (as is the case of the All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda) the methodology that the German Nazism typically used for reaching their goals including the conviction of having a moral right to intercept “by all necessary means” any “anti-Ukrainian activities” in the territory of their country.
Ultimately, together with the basic concept of ethnic purity (“the fight against Muscovites and Jews” etc.) that Ukrainian nationalists have about the “Great Ukraine” they are creating, this will in practice mean a discriminated against, subordinate status of a huge non-Ukrainian population of the country, the desire to assimilate or destroy it or to oust strangers and dissidents.
The adherence of today’s Ukrainian “patriots” to aggressive methods of proving Ukrainian exclusiveness, particular spiritual purity and the need to clear Ukraine of people “of less racial importance” (in the first place, Russians, Jews and Poles) is rooted in history and is mainly connected to the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) established in 1929 and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) operating from 1942 to 1954. The ideological foundations of these organizations correlated greatly with the NSDAP ideas and, in particular, with the ideas of one of the main “ethnologist” of the German Nazism — H. Gunther. The undisguised Nazi essence of Ukrainian nationalism is admitted even by such moderate Ukrainophiles as the academician M. Popovych (director of the Institute of Philosophy of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine): “It is no secret that OUN members openly called themselves Nazis”. It is not a coincidence that today supporters of Ukrainian nationalism still openly advocate and glorify Nazi actions.
International experts and researchers of the materials of Nuremberg trials (i.e. P. Steiniger) complete the picture by specific facts of active collaboration of Ukrainian nationalists with Hitler’s Germany.
In the World War II, this collaborationism received a practical expression in the form of Ukrainian battalions Nachtigall and Roland that were formed mainly from OUN members within the special reconnaissance and sabotage formation Brandenburg 800 and received German special training. Later, the Schutzmannschaft Battalion 201 was formed (to fight against partisans in Belarus), and the SS-Volunteer Division “Galician”, militants of which fought not only against the Red Army, but also against Yugoslavian partisans and participated in the suppression of the Slovak National Uprising in autumn 1944. It is known for sure that the “Galician” special groups destroyed thousands of civilians, shot captive Red Army soldiers, laid whole villages to waste, and assisted in abducting Soviet citizens to Nazi Germany for hard labor.
According to the accounts of the contemporaries, Ukrainian subdivisions were among the most disciplined and aggressive of Hitler’s collaborators.
Let us make an additional illustration by the text of the SS Division “Galician” oath of allegiance:
“I, a Ukrainian volunteer, by this oath voluntarily put myself at the disposal of the German Army.
I swear to the German Leader and Supreme Commander of the German Army Adolf Hitler in unfailing loyalty and obedience.
I solemnly declare to perform all orders and instructions of the commanders and strictly keep all military, state and official matters in secret and thus loyally and faithfully serve the German Army and, at the same time, my Fatherland.
I understand that after the oath I am subject to all German military disciplinary measures. The end of my service as a Ukrainian volunteer shall be determined by the German Army”.
It is appropriate to mention here that historical evidence referring to internal instructions of the German High Command shows that Berlin a priori excluded any possibility to create an independent Ukrainian state after the war. An indirect proof of this is that the German leadership of the SS Division “Galician” strictly prohibited the soldiers to call themselves Ukrainian — it was only acceptable to say Galician.
Currently, similar “volunteer” armed formations are actively operating in Ukraine, including as one of the major forces of Kiev’s “anti-terror operation” against the residents of the South-East. The most odious of them are Azov and Aidar which, as observed by international human rights advocates, are especially cruel. Extremists and mercenary terrorists from different parts of the world, including some West European states, are fighting on the volunteers’ side.
It is notable that the symbols of Azov, created by the leader of the sociopolitical movement Patriot of Ukraine A. Biletsky, are the Nazi wolfsangel (“wolf’s hook”, a mirror image of the emblem of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, the SS tank division “Das Reich”, the 4th SS police grenadier division, the 34th SS volunteer grenadier division “Landstorm Nederland”) and the corresponding banners.
Radical nationalists in Ukraine massively and freely disseminate propaganda, in particular among young people and even children. In September 2014, courses for “young Stepan Bandera’s followers” took place in Kiev and a number of other Ukrainian cities, there have been reports about the establishment of a children’s nationalist battalion “Sokil” in the region of Ivano-Frankivsk. A video shows children sing the hymn of Ukraine and recite nationalist chants: “Glory to Ukraine, glory to heroes, death to Muscovites! Glory to the nation — death to the enemies! Ukraine above all!”
Among the key elements of Ukrainian nationalists’ activities are the rehabilitation of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, as well as their leaders S. Bandera and R. Shukhevych (in 1941–1942 he was deputy commander of the Nachtigall special group, since November 1941 — deputy commander of the Schutzmannschaft Battalion 201 with the title of Wehrmacht captain) who are guilty of mass murders of Jews, thousands of Soviet civilians and partisans in the II World War. The same deliberate policy is pursued in respect to crimes of the SS–Volunteer Division “Galician”.
On January 24, 2014, V. Yavorivsky, Deputy of the Batkivshchyna parliamentary group, introduced a bill “On Amendments to the Criminal Code of Ukraine concerning the Abolishment of the Regulation on the Responsibility for Expressing Opinions Regarding the Denial or Justification of Nazi Crimes” to the Verkhovna Rada.
In today’s Ukraine neo-Nazi propaganda is mass and legitimized. OUN’s greeting “Glory to Ukraine — glory to the heroes” is actively used in everyday speech. Many Verkhovna Rada deputies, the Prime Minister and the President of the country begin and finish their statements this way, and the “Ukraine above all!” slogan always accompanies the video on many of the leading Ukrainian TV channels. “Russians to the gallows” and “Glory to Ukraine/the nation — death to the enemies” slogans are actively promoted in Ukrainian popular mentality, especially among the young generation. In Kiev one can easily buy Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” and other extremist nationalist literature.
Public discussions questioning the activities of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army are methodically blocked and prohibited by the authorities. The matter was finished by P. Poroshenko who signed a presidential decree on moving the Day of the Defender of Ukraine from February 23 to October 14 — the day the Ukrainian Insurgent Army was formed.
Recent years have been marked by systematic measures conducted by the Ukrainian authorities to erase the memorable date of May 9 — the day of the USSR’s victory over the German Nazism — from the history of the Ukrainian people.
In 2012, regional authorities of the Western regions of Ukraine prohibited the celebration of May 9 in their territory. On April 25, 2013, the Lviv and the Ivano-Frankivsk municipal councils declared May 8 and 9 the days of mourning for those who died in the World War II and the victims of totalitarian regimes. On these days, it is prohibited to use “the USSR occupational symbols, Communist and Nazi symbols” (on May 7, this decision was suspended in Lviv by court ruling).
Politically committed Ukrainian pseudo-historians call May 9 a “formal day of remembrance in the USSR”, falsely claiming that “there is absolutely no connection” between the historical events of the World War II and the date.
On March 23, 2015, a group of Verkhovna Rada deputies registered a bill noting that there are no historical grounds to celebrate May 9 in Ukraine.
On March 24, 2015, President P. Poroshenko of Ukraine signed a decree “On Celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Victory over Nazism in Europe and the 70th Anniversary of Completion of the World War II” — that stipulates celebrating May 8 as the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation and May 9 as the Day of Victory.
In April 2015, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted yet another package of laws, aimed at rewriting the history of their own State. The case in question is the Law on the Legal Status and Honouring the Memory of Fighters for Ukraine’s Independence in the Twentieth Century, and the Law Condemning the Communist and National-Socialist (Nazi) Totalitarian Regimes in Ukraine and Banning the Propaganda of Their Symbols. Ukrainian authorities seek to erase from the memory of the millions of Ukrainians the real history of their country. Nazi aggressors and fighters for the liberation of the country from Nazism are put on the same plane in modern Ukraine. Nazi henchmen, represented by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), are equalized with the veterans of the Great Patriotic War.
An interview by the Ukrainian Prime Minister A. Yatsenyuk to the German broadcaster ARD as of January 7, 2015 in which he blamed the Soviet Union for “invading Ukraine and then Germany in the World War II” is a shocking example of falsification and perversion of history of the World War II. However German politicians and journalists expressed no reaction to this statement. It was only after Moscow’s formal request that Berlin explained that the Nazi Germany waged a destructive war against the USSR and no other opinions are possible.
Calls for purges and reprisals against dissidents, Muscovites, Jews and other anti-Ukrainian elements were normal at the Euromaidan, and after the victory of the “democratic revolution” in Kiev they acquired an almost legitimate character.
Beatings, arrests, tortures of “anti-Ukrainian” (having different opinions, of a different ethnic, political or language group) politicians, media figures, members of the scientific and expert community have become commonplace and encouraged.
On September 16, 2014, the law “On Lustration”, prepared under the initiative and with direct participation of nationalists from the All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda and the so-called Informal Public Lustration Committee, was passed in Ukraine. According to the words of Prime Minister A. Yatsenyuk of Ukraine, a large number of officials, civil servants, employees of law-enforcement authorities — about 1 million people — fall under this law. After the adoption of the law, a wave of purges and the so-called “trash bucket challenges” that resembled the behavior of anarchic gunmen swept across the country.
Against this background, the accelerating tendency to legitimize leaders and militants of the Euromaidan nationalist groups and their entry into Ukraine’s governmental bodies looks paradoxical.
Following the Parliamentary elections of October 26, 2014, A. Parubii, one of the founders of the Ukrainian Social-National Party, became First Deputy Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada, and D. Yarosh, leader of the Right Sector organization, became deputy head of the National Security and Defense Council. Many commanders of “volunteer” battalions advocating neo-Nazi views became deputies. Parties that opposed them, such as the Party of Regions and the Communist Party of Ukraine were forced out of Parliament.
As a BBC correspondent in Kiev David Stern notes in his article, “neo-Nazis are indeed a fixture in Ukraine’s new political landscape”, and they not only are not willing to surrender their seats in the Verkhovna Rada and security agencies, but also seek to broaden their positions in the Ukrainian establishment.
The most blasphemous manifestation of this vicious xenophobic logic was Kiev’s large-scale punitive operation against the “separatists” from the SouthEast of Ukraine (in I. Farion’s definition — an ethnic war between Ukraine and Russia). It reached the point when on March 22, 2015, head of the self-proclaimed Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate Filaret allowed the faithful Ukrainians to destroy residents of the South-East who are against the “revolutionary” changes in Kiev and the nationalist course of the new authorities. In his interpretation, such murders are neither murders nor a breach of Christian commandments but a deed for the protection of the Fatherland.
Dozens of mass neo-Nazi rallies and hundreds of acts of vandalism of racist, anti-Semitic character have recently been recorded in Ukraine. In 2013 alone, there were at least 60 mass neo-Nazi rallies, including the traditional torchlight procession to mark S. Bandera’s birthday, anti-Hungarian demonstrations (with slogans “Hungarians are dogs”, “Death to Magyars!” etc.) marches under the banner of the SS division “Galician” (slogans — “Communists to the gallows!” “Knife the Muscovites!” etc.), a rally commemorating UPA’s anniversary (slogans — “Bandera is our hero”, “Communists to the gallows!”).
Most neo-Nazi rallies are attended by deputies of the Verkhovna Rada, of regional legislative assemblies and members of the political establishment.
On October 14, 2014, deputy of the Svoboda party I. Farion in her address to national-radicals in Kiev urged her listeners to “shoot Moscals”, “destroy Moscow — the black hole of European security”, quoted A. Hitler, incited the audience to use military force against the “Eastern aggressor”.
On January 1, 2015, the Right Sector and the nationalist Svoboda party organized a torchlight procession marking the birthday of the OUN leader S. Bandera. President M. Zeman of the Czech Republic compared it to “Nazi torchlight parades” and added that “the European Union practically overlooked this action and expressed no protest to the official Kiev”.
Synagogues, monuments to Holocaust victims (Nykolaiv, Nikopol, Babi Yar in Kiev, Izmail), Jewish cemeteries (Kremenchuk, the village of Dzhuryn of the Sharhorod district of the Vinnytsya region, Pryluky), memorial signs are methodically attacked by vandals. Inscriptions “Death to Jews” and “Burn in Hell, beasts!” appeared on monuments and in cemeteries, on March 19, 2013, leaflets with the image of T. Shevchenko and quotes from his anti-Semitic poems were found in some places in Kiev, and on May 17, it became known that several famous Ukrainian citizens of Jewish origin received letters of xenophobic nature with the symbols of the Svoboda party. At the beginning of May, members of the Svoboda party celebrated the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the SS division “Galician” in Babi Yar — the site of mass shootings of Jews in Kiev in 1941 — and laid out a swastika with burning candles.
Mosques and orthodox churches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate were also vandalized and insulted.
The language policy of the Ukrainian nationalists is unequivocally discriminative.
In 2012, the law “On the Principles of the State Language Policy” was passed granting Ukrainian regions the right to give languages the status of regional, used on equal terms with the state Ukrainian language (if the census shows that it is used by more than 10 per cent of the local population).
In 2013, deputies of the Batkivshchyna and UDAR parties and the All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda introduced a discriminative bill “On the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as State Language and the Use of Other Languages in Ukraine” to the Verkhovna Rada, according to which “any other language that is used in Ukraine, apart for the Ukrainian language as the language of the title nation and languages of other indigenous peoples of Ukraine, is a foreign language for the aims of this law”.
On February 23, 2014, the day after the coup d’etat, the Verkhovna Rada in Kiev voted to cancel the law “On the Principles of the State Language Policy”. Only after the massive wave of indignation, on March 4, 2014, “Acting President” of Ukraine O. Turchinov refused to affirm this decision of Parliament to cancel the law on language policy until the Verkhovna Rada adopts the new law (current status of the document is “preparing for signature”).
Since March 1, 2014, the temporary special commission on the preparation of the bill “On the Development and Use of Languages in Ukraine” has been working in Kiev. R. Koshulinskiy, Vice-Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda), became the head of the commission. Among the main members are V. Yavorivsky (All-Ukrainian Union Batkivshchyna), M. Matios (the UDAR party) and Iryna Farion (All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda) who quickly introduced a bill stipulating criminal responsibility (7 years) for speaking Russian in Ukraine’s government agencies and public places. Deputies of other, not radical parties were removed from participating in the commission’s activities.
In March 2014, the special commission created by the Verkhovna Rada, included this discriminative bill in the documents based on which Ukraine’s draft law on the Development and Use of Languages in Ukraine will be created.
The same month, ethnic Czechs residing in the Volyn and Zhitomir regions requested Czech authorities for repatriation.
In some regions of the country there have already been regular attempts to pass local legislative acts leading to discrimination of non-Ukrainian peoples and the impairment of their linguistic rights. On September 26, 2014, deputies of Ternopil’s municipal council (the majority supports the neo-Nazi All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda) amended the rules of the city’s decoration according to which the external design of shops, cafes and other institutions shall only have inscriptions in Ukrainian. On December 26, 2014, the decree by Odessa Administrative Court of Appeal on deligitamizing the decision of the City Council as of June 8, 2011 that described the Russian language — on an equal basis with the Ukrainian language — as “the language of education and upbringing” entered into force.
Situation in Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, in Cyprus and Malta
A survey on a number of EU member states, namely Ireland, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia, shows the absence of extreme and open manifestations of neo-Nazism in their territories.
However, we cannot overlook the activities of certain radical and extremist organizations and movements that promote ideas of neo-Nazism, racial and national exclusiveness in their countries and can therefore pose a threat in the future.
In Ireland, a number of extremist movements and associations are currently operating; these include the Nationalist Movement, the Anti-Islam Ireland, the Irish Voice, and others; they seek to counter the spread of Islam, Sharia norms and manifestations of extremism on the part of the Muslim community in Ireland.
Extremist organizations that promulgate the ideas of national exclusiveness in Cyprus include the National People’s Front (ELAM), a paramilitary organization of fascist character founded in 2008, which coordinates its activities with the Greek Golden Dawn party.
In 2014, on the basis of the proof that ELAM holded military exercises disguised as sports campuses involving Golden Dawn members, the Attorney General of the Republic of Cyprus issued a warning to ELAM stating the inadmissibility of such actions.
In Luxembourg, we should note the activity of the “Alternative Democratic Reform Party” which, according to mass media, is strongly against the increasing number of “economic refugees” and external cultural influence that is alien to Luxembourg.
In Malta, the Empire of Europe Party can be regarded as a radical organization, since its members support right nationalist attitudes and stand for building “a United Europe for the white race.” Its main focus is on the burning problem of Malta — that of illegal immigration, which makes the party quite popular with the population.
Though the promotion of ideas of xenophobia, racism and discrimination for religious, national and other reasons in Portugal is constitutionally forbidden, there are a few, though very small, ultra-right organizations that support the idea of the national exclusiveness of the Portuguese and strict limitations for the immigration process in the country. The National Renovator Party (NRP) founded in 2000 which numbers, according to various assessments, several hundreds of members, is one of the most remarkable ones. The main goal of the NRP is declared as fight for the purity of the Portuguese nation and against the growing number of immigrants, primarily from African countries.
In the territory of the Slovak Republic, a number of ultra-nationalist associations are openly operating, among them: the Slovak National Uprising, the Slovak Unity, the New Free Slovakia, the Slovak Revival Movement, and
the People’s Party — Our Slovakia. They mainly focus on organizing actions against the Roma population of the country, glorifying the cleric-fascist Slovak state of 1939–1945. There also exist various quasi-legal groups of boneheads; some of these are “regional branches” of the relevant organizations from other countries.
Among right radical organizations in Slovenia one can mention the Slovenian National Party, which is however not very popular in the country.
The Russian Foreign Ministry report aims to draw the attention of the international community to the trend towards neo-Nazification and oblivion of the terrible lessons of World War II which is now gaining momentum in a number of countries across the world.
The destructive capacity of the ideas of racial, national, religious intolerance is extremely high. The detonation risk is not hypothetical, nor has it been buried in the past together with WWII criminals (though some of them as the report shows live out their lives unpunished and unscathed in civilized countries of the West). The neo-Nazism pattern poses a threat even today — it generates unprecedented hatred and xenophobia, ugly misanthropic slogans and worst of all leads to murder of people.
We expect that this survey, which does not claim to be an exhaustive analysis of the neo-Nazism problem worldwide, will urge the international community, human rights activists to stop overlooking the problem and address it.
We believe that formal condemnation is not enough: we need targeted, resolute measures, including non-biased and effective monitoring of manifestations of neo-Nazism, consistent steps towards its criminalization at the national level. Actions that lead to the revival of the darkest pages in recent history should not remain unpunished.
We are convinced that success in this relevant and serious task may only be achieved through concerted efforts of the whole international community, government authorities and civil society organizations.
The Russian Federation will further firmly counteract the spread of neo-Nazism and its manifestations across the world, through close and constructive partnership with all the countries and peoples concerned.
General Assembly Distr.: General5 February 2015
Sixty-ninth session Agenda item 66 (a)
Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 18 December 2014
[on the report of the Third Committee (A/69/486)]
69/160. Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance
The General Assembly, Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of
3 the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,2
Human Rights,1 and other relevant human rights instruments, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
Resolution 217 A (III).
See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 660, No. 9464.
1 and 2005/5 of 14 April 2005Recalling the provisions of Commission on Human Rights resolutions 2004/16 of 16 April 20043 18/15 of 29 September 201142 and 21/33 of 28 September 2012,5 and relevant Human Rights Council resolutions, in particular resolutions 7/34 of 28 March 2008, as well as General Assembly resolutions 60/143 of 16 December 2005, 61/147 of 19 December 2006, 62/142 of 18 December 2007, 63/162 of 18 December 2008, 64/147 of 18 December 2009, 65/199 of 21 December 2010, 66/143 of 19 December 2011, 67/154 of 20 December 2012 and 68/150 of 18 December 2013 on this issue and its resolutions 61/149 of 19 December 2006, 62/220 of 22 December 2007, 63/242 of 24 December 2008, 64/148 of 18 December 2009, 65/240 of 24 December 2010, 66/144 of 19 December 2011, 67/155 of 20 December 2012 and 68/151 of 18 December 2013, entitled “Global efforts for the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action”,
Acknowledging other important initiatives of the General Assembly aimed at raising awareness about the suffering of victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, including in the historical perspective, in particular regarding commemoration of the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade,
Recalling the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and the Judgement of the Tribunal, which recognized as criminal, inter alia, the SS organization and all its integral parts, including the Waffen-SS, through its officially accepted members implicated in or with knowledge of the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity connected with the Second World War, as well as other relevant provisions of the Charter and the Judgement,
1 See Of? cial Records of the Economic and Social Council, 2004, Supplement No. 3 (E/2004/23), chap. II, sect. A.
2 Ibid., 2005, Supplement No. 3 and corrigenda (E/2005/23 and Corr.1 and 2), chap. II, sect. A.
3 See Of? cial Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-third Session, Supplement No. 53 (A/63/53), chap. II.
4 Ibid., Sixty-sixth Session, Supplement No. 53A and corrigendum (A/66/53/Add.1 and Corr.1), chap. II.
5 Ibid., Sixty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 53A (A/67/53/Add.1), chap. II.
Recalling also the relevant provisions of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance on 8 September 2001,21 in particular paragraph 2 of the Declaration and paragraph 86 of the Programme of Action, as well as the relevant provisions of the outcome document of the Durban Review Conference of 24 April 2009, in particular paragraphs 11 and 54, Alarmed, in this regard, at the spread in many parts of the world of various
extremist political parties, movements and groups, including neo-Nazis and skinhead groups, as well as racist extremist movements and ideologies,
Deeply concerned by all recent manifestations of violence and terrorism incited by violent nationalism, racism, xenophobia and related intolerance,
Recalling that in 2015 the international community will celebrate the seventieth anniversary of victory over Nazism in the Second World War, and looking forward in this regard to the initiative to hold a special solemn meeting at the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly,
1. Reaffirms the relevant provisions of the Durban Declaration and of the outcome document of the Durban Review Conference, in which States condemned the persistence and resurgence of neo-Nazism, neo-Fascism and violent nationalist ideologies based on racial and national prejudice and stated that those phenomena could never be justified in any instance or in any circumstances;
32. Takes note with appreciation of the report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, prepared in accordance with the request contained in General Assembly resolution 68/150;
3. Expresses its appreciation to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and his Office for their efforts to fight racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, including the maintenance by the Office of the database on practical means to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;
4. Expresses deep concern about the glorification, in any form, of the Nazi movement, neo-Nazism and former members of the Waffen-SS organization,
1 See A/CONF.189/12 and Corr.1, chap. I.
2 See A/CONF.211/8, chap. I.
including by erecting monuments and memorials and holding public demonstrations in the name of the glorification of the Nazi past, the Nazi movement and neo-Nazism, as well as by declaring or attempting to declare such members and those who fought against the anti-Hitler coalition and collaborated with the Nazi movement participants in national liberation movements;
5. Calls for the universal ratification and effective implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,and encourages those States parties that have not yet done so to consider making the declaration under its article 14, thus providing the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination with the competence to receive and consider communications from individuals or groups of individuals within their jurisdiction claiming to be victims of a violation by a State party of any of the rights set forth in the Convention;
16. Emphasizes the recommendation of the Special Rapporteur that “any commemorative celebration of the Nazi regime, its allies and related organizations, whether official or unofficial, should be prohibited by States”, and stresses in this regard that it is important that States take measures, in accordance with international human rights law, to counteract any celebration of the Nazi SS organization and all its integral parts, including the Waffen-SS;
27. Expresses concern about recurring attempts to desecrate or demolish monuments erected in remembrance of those who fought against Nazism during the Second World War, as well as to unlawfully exhume or remove the remains of such persons, and in this regard urges States to fully comply with their relevant obligations, inter alia, under article 34 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949;
8. Notes with concern the increase in the number of racist incidents worldwide, including the rise of skinhead groups, which have been responsible for many of these incidents, as well as the resurgence of racist and xenophobic violence targeting, inter alia, persons belonging to national, ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities;
9. Reaffirms that such acts may be qualified to fall within the scope of the Convention, that they may not be justified when they fall outside the scope of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association as well as the rights
1 Ibid., para. 75.
2 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1125, No. 17512.
to freedom of expression and that they may fall within the scope of article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and may be subject to certain restrictions, as set out in articles 19, 21 and 22 of the Covenant;
10. Condemns without reservation any denial or attempt to deny the Holocaust;
11. Welcomes the call of the Special Rapporteur for the active preservation of those Holocaust sites that served as Nazi death camps, concentration and forced labour camps and prisons, as well as his encouragement of States to take measures, including legislative, law enforcement and educational measures, to put an end to all forms of Holocaust denial;
12. Calls upon States to continue to take adequate steps, including through national legislation, in accordance with international human rights law, aimed at the prevention of hate speech and incitement to violence against persons belonging to vulnerable groups;
13. Expresses deep concern about attempts at commercial advertising aimed at exploiting the sufferings of the victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the Second World War by the Nazi regime;
14. Stresses that the practices described above do injustice to the memory of the countless victims of crimes against humanity committed in the Second World War, in particular those committed by the SS organization and by those who fought against the anti-Hitler coalition and collaborated with the Nazi movement, and may negatively influence children and young people, and that failure by States to effectively address such practices is incompatible with the obligations of States Members of the United Nations under its Charter, including those related to the purposes and principles of the Organization;
15. Also stresses that such practices fuel contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and contribute to the spread and multiplication of various extremist political parties, movements and groups, including neo-Nazis and skinhead groups, and in this regard calls for increased vigilance;
16. Expresses concern that the human rights and democratic challenges posed by extremist political parties, movements and groups are universal and no country is immune to them;
17. Emphasizes the need to take the measures necessary to put an end to the practices described above, and calls upon States to take more effective
measures in accordance with international human rights law to combat those phenomena and extremist movements, which pose a real threat to democratic values;
18. Encourages States to adopt further measures to provide training for the police and other law enforcement bodies on the ideologies of extremist political parties, movements and groups whose advocacy constitutes incitement to racist and xenophobic violence, to strengthen their capacity to address racist and xenophobic crimes, to fulfil their responsibility of bringing to justice the perpetrators of such crimes and to combat impunity;
19. Notes the recommendation of the Special Rapporteur regarding the responsibility of political leaders and parties in relation to messages that incite racial discrimination or xenophobia;
20. Expresses concern that ethnic profiling and police violence against vulnerable groups discourage victims from seeking redress owing to distrust of the legal system, and in this regard encourages States to improve diversity within law enforcement agencies and impose appropriate sanctions against those within the public service found guilty of racially motivated violence or of using hate speech;
21. Recalls the recommendation of the Special Rapporteur to introduce into national criminal law a provision according to which committing an offence with racist or xenophobic motivations or aims constitutes an aggravating circumstance, allowing for enhanced penalties, and encourages those States whose legislation does not contain such provisions to consider that recommendation;
22. Underlines that the roots of extremism are multifaceted and must be addressed through adequate measures such as education, awarenessraising and the promotion of dialogue, and in this regard recommends the increase of measures to raise awareness among young people of the dangers of the ideologies and activities of extremist political parties, movements and groups;
23. Reaffirms, in this regard, the particular importance of all forms of education, including human rights education, as a complement to legislative measures, as outlined by the Special Rapporteur;
24. Emphasizes the recommendation of the Special Rapporteur presented at the sixty-fourth session of the General Assembly, in which he emphasized the importance of history classes in teaching the dramatic events and human
1suffering which arose out of the adoption of ideologies such as Nazism and Fascism;
25. Stresses the importance of other positive measures and initiatives aimed at bringing communities together and providing them with space for genuine dialogue, such as round tables, working groups and seminars, including training seminars for State agents and media professionals, as well as awareness-raising activities, especially those initiated by civil society representatives, which require continued State support;
26. Calls upon States to continue to invest in education, in both conventional and non-conventional curricula, inter alia, in order to transform attitudes and correct ideas of racial hierarchies and superiority promoted by extremist political parties, movements and groups and counter their negative influence;
27. Underlines the positive role that relevant United Nations entities and programmes, in particular the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, can play in the aforementioned areas;
28. Reaffirms article 4 of the Convention, according to which States parties to that instrument condemn all propaganda and all organizations that are based on ideas or theories of superiority of one race or group of persons of one colour or ethnic origin, or that attempt to justify or promote racial hatred and discrimination in any form, and undertake to adopt immediate and positive measures designed to eradicate all incitement to, or acts of, such discrimination and, to that end, with due regard to the principles embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the rights expressly set forth in article 5 of the Convention, inter alia:
(a) Shall declare an offence punishable by law all dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred, and incitement to racial discrimination, as well as all acts of violence or incitement to such acts against any race or group of persons of another colour or ethnic origin, and also the provision of any assistance to racist activities, including the financing thereof;
(b) Shall declare illegal and prohibit organizations, and organized and all other propaganda activities, that promote and incite racial discrimination, and shall recognize participation in such organizations or activities as an offence punishable by law;
1 A/64/295, para. 104.
(c) Shall not permit public authorities or public institutions, national or local, to promote or incite racial discrimination;
29. Also reaffirms that, as underlined in paragraph 13 of the outcome document of the Durban Review Conference, any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence should be prohibited by law, that all dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred, or incitement to racial discrimination, as well as all acts of violence or incitement to such acts, shall be declared offences punishable by law, in accordance with the international obligations of States, and that these prohibitions are consistent with freedom of opinion and expression;
30. Recognizes the positive role that the exercise of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, as well as full respect for the freedom to seek, receive and impart information, including through the Internet, can play in combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;
31. Expresses concern about the use of the Internet to propagate racism, racial hatred, xenophobia, racial discrimination and related intolerance, and in this regard calls upon States parties to the Covenant to implement fully articles 19 and 20 thereof, which guarantee the right to freedom of expression and outline the grounds on which the exercise of this right can be legitimately restricted;
32. Recognizes the need to promote the use of new information and communications technologies, including the Internet, to contribute to the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;
33. Also recognizes the positive role that the media can play in combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, promoting a culture of tolerance and representing the diversity of a multicultural society;
34. Encourages States, civil society and other relevant stakeholders to use all opportunities, including those provided by the Internet and social media, to counter, in accordance with international human rights law, the dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred and to promote the values of equality, non-discrimination, diversity and democracy;
35. Encourages those States that have made reservations to article 4 of the Convention to give serious consideration to withdrawing such reservations as a matter of priority, as stressed by the Special Rapporteur;
36. Notes the importance of strengthening cooperation at the regional and international levels with the aim of countering all manifestations of racism, racial
discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, in particular regarding issues raised in the present resolution;
37. Stresses the importance of cooperating closely with civil society and international and regional human rights mechanisms in order to counter effectively all manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, as well as extremist political parties, movements and groups, including neo-Nazis and skinhead groups, and other similar extremist ideological movements that incite racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;
38. Encourages States parties to the Convention to ensure that their legislation incorporates the provisions of the Convention, including those of article 4;
39. Encourages States to adopt the legislation necessary to combat racism while ensuring that the definition of racial discrimination set out therein complies with article 1 of the Convention;
40. Recalls that any legislative or constitutional measures adopted with a view to countering extremist political parties, movements and groups, including neo-Nazis and skinhead groups, and similar extremist ideological movements should be in conformity with the relevant international human rights norms, in particular articles 4 and 5 of the Convention and articles 19 to 22 of the Covenant;
41. Also recalls the request of the Commission on Human Rights, in its resolution 2005/5, that the Special Rapporteur continue to reflect on this issue, make relevant recommendations in his future reports and seek and take into account in this regard the views of Governments and non-governmental organizations;
42. Encourages States to consider including in their reports for the universal periodic review and to relevant treaty bodies information on the steps taken to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, including with the aim of implementing the provisions of the present resolution;
43. Requests the Special Rapporteur to prepare, for submission to the General Assembly at its seventieth session and to the Human Rights Council at its twenty-ninth session, reports on the implementation of the present resolution, in particular regarding paragraphs 4, 6, 7, 9, 13, 14, 24 and 25 above, based on the views collected in accordance with the request of the Commission, as recalled in paragraph 41 above;
44. Expresses its appreciation to those Governments that have provided information to the Special Rapporteur in the course of the preparation of his reports to the General Assembly;
45. Stresses that such information is important for the sharing of experiences and best practices in the fight against extremist political parties, movements and groups, including neo-Nazis and skinhead groups, and other extremist ideological movements that incite racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;
46. Encourages Governments and non-governmental organizations to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur in the exercise of the tasks outlined in paragraph 43 above;
47. Encourages Governments, non-governmental organizations and relevant actors to disseminate, as widely as possible, information regarding the contents of and the principles outlined in the present resolution, including through the media, but not limited to it;
48. Decides to remain seized of the issue.
73rd plenary meeting 18 December 2014
March to commemorate the anniversary of Galicia SS Division in Lvov
Azov Battalion fighters take an oath of allegiance to Ukraine in Kiev’s Sophia Square before being dispatched to the Donbass region
Ukraine. Kiev. January 30, 2015. Torchlight march organized by Ukrainian nationalists to commemorate the heroes of the battle of Kruty
Ukraine. Kiev. January 2, 2015. March to mark the 106th birth anniversary of Stepan Bandera
Torchlight march to mark the 60th anniversary of the death of Ukrainian Insurgent Army’s commander, Roman Shukhevich, at Maidan Nezalezhnosti
Ukraine. Kiev. Shop selling souvenirs with Nazi and fascist symbols
Estonia. Tallinn. Anti-Russian rally in front of the Russian Embassy
Nazi symbol in the square near the National Palace of Culture in Sofia
Reconstructors stage a reburial ceremony of the remains of Galicia SS Division and Red Army soldiers near the village of Chervone, Lvov region, Ukraine
Reburial ceremony of the remains of Galicia SS Division soldiers, found by the Pamiat society, held at a military cemetery near Krasnoe village,
Zolochevskiy district, Lvov region
After the dismantling of billboards with posters dedicated to the 66th anniversary of the Galicia SS Division, the streets of Lvov saw stenciled graffiti that read
“Galicia Division. Heroes of Ukraine” on house walls
An ex-soldier of Galicia SS Division at the reburial of the remains of Galicia SS Division soldiers, found by the Pamiat society,
held at a military cemetery near Krasnoe village, Zolochevskiy district, Lvov region
Situation in the streets of Kiev. January 30, 2014. City Hall
Latvia. Riga. March 16, 2009. Procession of Waffen-SS legionnaires
Latvia. Riga. March 16, 2015. Supporters of Waffen-SS legionnaires in city centre
Latvia. Riga. March 16, 2015. Veterans of Waffen-SS legion in city centre