As Viktor Gruzinov, who first aleterted me to this event with his post on Google+ points out, this sort of stuff never used to happen during the Cold War.
But then, during the Cold War, Europe still used to present itself as an heir to its own humanist tradition and would never have abstained when it came to making judgments about whether it’s okay to glorify Nazism or not – as it began doing over the last few years.
Most recently, on November 21, 2014, the UN General Assembly discussed and adopted a resolution – proposed by Russia – on combating “the glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.” Following the preliminary debate, only 3 countries voted against the resolution: Ukraine, Canada, and the USA. Fifty-five countries abstained, among them all of the EU members, joined by Swizerland and Norway. Here‘s the UN General Assembly record of who voted how on that occasion.
The resolution the UN General Assembly adopted on November 21, 2014, expresses “deep concern about the glorification, in any form, of the Nazi movement, neo-Nazism and former members of the Waffen SS organization, 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.”
The reason why Ukraine, Canada and the USA opposed the resolution is obvious: it would apply also to the glorification of the SS Galicia Division of Ukrainian volunteers and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), both of which collaborated with the Nazis. As the author of this Ukraine Anti-Fascist Solidarity article points out: “Remember that the open commemoration of the SS Galicia and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army is commonplace in Ukraine, including the declaration of October 14, the day of the founding of the UPA, as the “Day of the Defender of the Nation” by president Poroshenko this year .”
For years, the EU has been turning a blind eye to the resurgence of neo-Nazism in the Baltics and in Ukraine. Back in May 2013, writing for The Allgemeiner, a Jewish-American publication, Rachel Ehrenfeld criticized the State Depratment for its tolerance of Svoboda and related neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic parties in Ukraine, explicitly naming Batkivshchina (“Fatherland”), then run by Arseniy Yatsenyuk, whom Victoria Nuland subsequently picked for the position Ukraine’s post-coup Prime Minister, and UDAR, ran by Vitaly Klitschko, now the mayor of Kiev, as among them.
Ehrenfeld’s article warrants careful re-reading now, almost two years later, when its warnings and its pre-Maidan analysis of the political parties in Ukraine show unmistakably the degree to which the State Department (and Europe, to a lesser extent) were complicit in encouraging xenophobic, ultra-nationalist, and neo-Nazi elements there.
As Gruzinov observes, attacks such as the one described in the article below, never used to happen even during the Cold War, when Russophobia hid itself under the cloak of anti-communism. It’s only now — in an EU dominated by the US-led NATO, a military alliance and a country that’s just sent in 300 US commandos from an American base in Italy to Lvov,to train the Ukrainian National Guard made up of self-declared neo-Nazis; an EU dominated by an economically arrogant and self-righteous neoliberal Germany — that the European political elite have allowed themselves the moral depravity of refusing to condemn the glorification of Nazism and neo-Nazism: in an act that speaks of EU’s total abnegation of humanism.
No wonder, then, that Germany’s own neo-Nazis now feel sufficiently emboldened for the first time since 1945 to engage in acts of violence against ethnic Russians.
Here’s our translation of the article reporting the recent neo-Nazi bomb attack on a Russian Orthodox church in Berlin.
The Orthdox parish of Saint Vladimir in Marzahn-Hellensdorf, located in the eastern part of Berlin, has recently come under terrorist threats, reports the Russian Church Herald.
Most recently, on the very eve of Orthodox Easter, unknown parties detonated a bomb thrown into the church mailbox.
For two months prior to that, the church grounds had been littered with threatening and insulting leaflets by a group which calls itself “The Legion of Koenigsberg.” The leaflets included texts such as “Russians, get out! We’re no longer going to tolerate you in Marzahn-Hellensdorfe. Get out, or expect no mercy!” — along with explicit threats to burn the church down. The small, temporary wooden church in honor of St. Vladimir in Marzahn-Hellensdorf was built and consecrated in 2014. It can hold about 250 people on its 225 square meter premises.
The German police say they have no knowledge as to who exactly is hiding behind the name “The Legion of Konigsberg.” What is clear is that the bombing was the work of one of Germany’s neo-Nazi groups. “The police are now in full control of the situation. The incident has been noted and has attracted the attention of the Bundestag. In particular, Petra Pau, the Vice President of the Bundestag, has appealed to the mayor of Berlin to ensure a thorough police investigation of the case,” said Fr. Peter Pakholkov, the rector of St. Vladimir.
According to Fr. Peter Pakholkov, this is the first ever attack by neo-Nazis on the Russian Orthodox parish. Prior to this, the objects of their attacks were mainly representatives of the Muslim community.
In a telephone conversation with the editor of the Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate, Ms. Petra Pau commented on the incident: “This extremist attack inspires serious concern. Last week, not only the church of Prince Vladimir, but also the German-Russian School in Marzahn were victims of aggression by radical groups. Without doubt, this is the work of neo-Nazis, who, in recent months, have been causing panic among foreigners residing in the borough of Marzahn-Hellensdorf, including those whose status in Berlin is that of refugees, and have been threatening them with physical violence. I very much hope the Berlin police will treat this incident seriously. Personally, I am extremely concerned about what has happened since this is one of the very few times that neo-Nazi activity [in Germany] has manifested itself in open violence.”