Wednesday, July 11, 2012

In Greece the Beginning of a Replay of Germany in the 1930’s –

The Laws of History are Both Unforgiving and Unyielding

Let’s see if anyone can recognize this familiar scene. 

A country is suffering economic political turmoil.  A group of vicious right wing thugs blame a minority group in the population,  Raging gangs of these thugs attack the minority group, issue threats of physical harm and destruction and rampage through their neighborhoods.  Government is largely unwilling or unable to help.

Gosh, where has the world seen that before and what did it lead to?  Anybody?

The scene described above is happening in Greece in 2012. 

A week after an extremist right-wing party gained an electoral foothold in Greece’s Parliament earlier this summer, 50 of its members riding motorbikes and armed with heavy wooden poles roared through Nikaia, a gritty suburb west of here, to telegraph their new power.

As townspeople watched, several of them said in interviews, the men careened around the main square, some brandishing shields emblazoned with swastikalike symbols, and delivered an ultimatum to immigrants whose businesses have catered to Nikaia’s Greeks for nearly a decade.

This is not unexpected, throughout history when a people have seen their social and economic fabric severely disrupted they have turned on minorities to attack and blame.  It is not a new phenomena, nor is it one that can be wished away.  And the rise of right wing extremism is not limited to Greece.

As the downturn deepens across Europe, the political right has risen in several countries, including France, the Netherlands and Hungary.

As of now the threat is small and not likely to be a serious problem in the near term.  But the country that is largely the cause of making Europe’s problems more rather than less severe is Germany.  And once upon a time in German history their problem with violent right wing extremists attacking a minority was small and not a serious problem in the near term.

How did that turn out?

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