Hate Breeds Hate by HajiMike

‘Never Again’ as cliché as it sounds, the words today are more relevant than ever. One reason why I am such an anti-Nazi dates back to the late 1970’s and a lecture a survivor of the concentration camps gave to us about the abhorrent, inhumane system created by Hitler.  Of late Nazism has acquired a new kind of appeal with new generations who know as much about Hitler as they do a James Dean movie. Nazism, like James Dean has a mythic status, although James does not harm ones health and peace of mind. It’s simple really; from Ukraine to Cyprus fascism is rising. Their scapegoats today are so-called illegal migrants. They advocate the purity of the race with such fanaticism. Lacking depth and knowledge of what notions of racially fuelled societies have done to the world from Hitler and Mussolini to Apartheid in South Africa they are such a sorry bunch of people. In Cyprus, an organisation attempting to ‘rally the Hellenes’  under the name ELAM has an office in Makarios Avenue, the main shopping street where most people hang out in pretentious cafes. It’s puzzling how they can afford the rent, particularly considering their relative newness on the Cypriot political landscape. Their main slogan is ‘’Each foreign worker = an unemployed Cypriot‘ . Their web site also includes open admiration for EOKA ‘B’ the fascists responsible for destroying democracy in  Cyprus in 1974 – after all they provoked the Turkish invasion following an illegal coup. This current slogan however is more mythical than anything heard to date in Cyprus politics and it is something this scribe has warned many people about in recent years – namely the sinister rise of the extreme right.

This Sunday, two days after Christmas,  this group of fanaticized youths, about 80 in total tried to spew their vitriolic thoughts on a society that has paid way too much at the hands of extremists in the last 50 years. Several hundred anti-racist demonstrators turned out to oppose their presence, making it clear that some people at least would not let Nazis walk the streets of Nicosia without resistance.

It’s no coincidence, at the other northern end of Europe, in the Ukraine, a similar event occurred utilizing the same anti-immigration discourse. Contemporary Ukrainian nouveau goose steppers go one step further than their Cyprus hybrids. They are openly eulogizing Ukrainian nationalists who collaborated with Hitler during the Second World War.

Much of this is a re-mythologized version of history which also echoes various eager conservative politicians who have tried, rather inaccurately to underestimate the role played by the then Soviet Union in the eastern front against the Nazis. These vain efforts – who could ever underestimate the human sacrifice of the battle of Stalingrad – have in some ways provided a comfort zone for contemporary nationalists and Nazi followers to exploit potential followers, fooling them on the past and with anti-immigration misinformation on the present.

Which takes me back to what’s happening in Cyprus and the slogan of a loony fringe group that links people from many countries that have come to work or live in Cyprus with rising unemployment. The equation recalls the anti-Semitism of Nazi ideology; itself the biggest lie ever told.

People in Cyprus,as non EU 3rd country nationals are the most exploited, oppressed group of sufferers – the kind of communities sociologists could write countless surveys on poor living conditions, super-exploitation, overcrowded housing, state discrimination and everyday persecution.  How these people are targetted as the cause of unemployment is also mind-boggling as the majority of the jobs undertaken by immigrants in Cyprus are jobs at wages that Cypriots would not work. For example, the set wage for domestic workers is 308 Euros per month – several hundred below the average wage.

Finally, the person who speaks for the racist fringe group dabbling in Nazi semiotics, swastikas included, is from Greece. It has always baffled me how any Greek person, including all the ‘Golden Yawners’ on planet earth, can in their sane right mind be Nazis. 300,000 Greeks died of starvation under Nazi occupation. In total 700,500 civilians died in Greece during the war plus 35,100 military deaths. 21,000 people were executed in cold blood, their only ‘sin’ being resisting the occupations. A further 71,300 Jewish people died in the  Holocaust. The  total losses in Greece reached 806,900 equal to 11.17% of the population. How any one can claim  to be Greek and proud and  Nazi is so oxymoronic that it is  beyond any reasonable level of human decency.

Nazism is just as unwanted in Cyprus as it is the world over. It contradicts our past, present and future and Cypriots, like all human beings the world over, should never allow it to rise again.