“The world has not learned from history.” –Israel`s Justice Minister Yossi BerlinRight wing extremists are once again gaining popularity across the globe.These groups may not appear to be so powerful in reference to the rest of the political groups in the world, but isn’t that what we all thought after WWI as well?In Switzerland, the “right wing conservative People`s Party (SVP) has won more votes than any other party.” The leader of this party, Christoph Blocher applauded a book, “On the Decline of Swiss Freedom,” which argues that the holocaust never occurred. When Blocher was confronted with the evidence, a letter he composed two years ago, he claimed it was only the title he was commending, not the contents inside.In Austria the extreme right wing party, the Freedom Party (FPO) has become the second largest party in Austria, giving them enough force to build powerful coalitions and hold influence over government. The leader of the FPO, Jorg Hader, is notably known for his praising of Adolf Hilter`s employment policies and calls Nazi veterans of the Nazi Waffen SS, “Men of character.” Not only is FPO supportive of Nazi policy but its campaign has also demanded a national cessation to incoming foreigners. See if this sounds familiar, the FPO finds foreigners to blame for the country`s crime and unemployment.The same hatred for foreigners is being duplicated in Germany.”There are signs of growing support for extreme right-wing parties in eastern Germany, as are neo-Nazi attacks against foreigners mounts.” In Berlin the Christian Democrats (CDU), Germany`s extreme right wing policy, persuaded 40.8 percent of the vote in the last poll. The CDU has the greatest support in western Berlin, but in eastern Berlin the socialists still contain the majority vote. In Berlin the CDU and the mayor have launched an “anti-foreigner hate” campaign. A leader of the CDU even called the campaign “tasteless.” Currently the campaign is being targeted at Turkish Berliners, many of which have been born in Germany yet have been denied citizenship because of Germany`s strict anti-foreigner laws.This growing hate has once again directly attached itself onto German Jews. In Berlin-Weisensee, prominent scene for right wing activism, a Jewish memorial/cemetery was attacked. Police reports stated, “More than a hundred graves were kicked over and desecrated, some of them smeared with swastikas.On Monday, other swastikas were found daubed upon the Putlitz Bridge in Tiergarten (http://germanyalert.com/). So far no leads have been identified as to the offenders, which isn`t highly uncommon for Berlin. A dynamite blast launched upon a Jewish memorial in December of 1998 in Berlin still goes without suspects, as do many anti-Semetic offences dating back to 1994.Passivity is what feeds these crimes to continue. The famous German novelist, Gunter Grass, who has been awarded the Noble Prize for Literature states, “we have all become passive witnesses, once again, to barbarism….this time barbarism backed by democracy.” While the rest of the world announces that everything is okay, extreme right wing groups are synthesizing foreigner hate into government policy. It`s this fusion into government that makes them so dangerous. Passivity is something we can`t afford to repeat.It didn`t work last time in history so what makes us think it will work now?
Lisa Bhungalia is a senior English major from Springboro, Ohio