Wednesday, May 25, 2016

When the EU Finances Far-Right Holocaust Revisionism

Dovid Katz (h/t Watch: Antisemitism in Europe):
In recent days, a skillful unit, the “Prague Platform,” financed by European Union governments and various EU funds and budgets, has launched a new initiative designed to undermine the narrative of the Holocaust (and what Fascism brought to Europe) and replace it with the far-right’s “Double Genocide” model of history, whereby Communism and Nazism are in principle totally equal, and their victims must be remembered in a unitary jumble. For this movement, entrapping naive Western (often Jewish) fellow travelers to grant the cover of presumed legitimacy is a strategic imperative on the road to universal acceptance. The Platform, whose full name is Eurospeak’s “Platform of European Memory and Conscience,” has on its website the foundational constitution of the new revisionism, the 2008 “Prague Declaration,” which boasts the word “same” five times, in reference to Nazism and Communism, and (this one is quite Orwellian) demands that “all European minds” accept the proposed equivalence. There is by now a long and principled trail of opposition. We of the team based in Vilnius were exceptionally proud, back in 2012, to co-draft the European parliamentary rejoinder, the Seventy Years Declaration, in partnership with Professor Danny Ben-Moshe, who the same year completed a documentary on these matters.

This week, in keeping with its red-brown, mix-and-match hodgepodgization, the Platform trumpets a brand-new exciting European Union competition for designs for a new memorial in Brussels that must in and of itself include “victims of National Socialism, Fascism, and Communism.” And who are the Platform’s two partners in flaunting the new memorial to be built in Brussels (not, Prague, Riga or Kiev, mind you…)? The Slovak presidency of the Council of the European Union, quite expectedly, and then the shocker: The European Shoah Legacy Institute. Peradventure, its current leaders, were caught unawares, and will hasten to withdraw from a project that is intended to diminish the Holocaust in the context of a major political movement that has some corollaries.

For the uninitiated in East European politics, it can sound rather innocuous, but the empirical evidence collected over the years makes clear what those corollaries include: Mandatory equalization of those who committed genocide at Auschwitz with those who liberated it. Plans to effectively replace Holocaust Commemoration Day with a mix-and-match day for Soviet and Nazi crimes together (knowing that Europe won’t need two memorial days for these things). Inflation of the term “genocide” to include an array of (genuinely horrific) Soviet crimes as deportation and imprisonment; propagation of the notion that many of the victims were at other times criminals themselves (recently pronounced by the head of the Platform’s Vilnius-based partner whose name is even more Orwellian: “International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupational Regimes in Lithuania”).

Now headed for Brussels (under cover of a "Jewish" institution recruited for legitimization)? Eastern Europe's red-equals-brown iconography samples include (clockwise from top): Estonian and German presidents celebrating Tallinn museum's keynote sculpture in 2013; entrance to Budapest's "House of Terror" museum; collectible Lithuanian postal service envelope. (Photo montage by Defending History.)

Then there is the most distasteful of all: the state-sponsored (or encouraged) glorification of Holocaust perpetrators on the grounds that they were anti-Soviet (which in Eastern Europe they were indeed; the Soviet Union, for all its many crimes and outrages, was the only serious force in Eastern Europe combatting Hitler’s rule from the onset of genocide in late June 1941 to war’s end). The “pro-Western” parts of Europe, including Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukraine are littered with memorials for Holocaust perpetrators. It’s hard to think of what could be more “far right” than that, bearing in mind the far right’s sophisticated, educated wing of elites in politics, academia and public institutions who know how to show naive Westerners a darned good time, and who have little in common with skinhead thugs who come to Western minds in association with the concept of the “far right.”

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