‘Polish race hate groups spark concern’ according to Dr Krystyna Bleszynska of Warsaw University, addressing a race relations conference in the UK, as Polish neo-Nazis and assorted other fascist scum reportedly ‘forge links’ with their comrades in the UK.
The BBC news report (November 29) refers to the alleged closure of a neo-Nazi website — Redwatch Poland — and the arrest of one man in connection to its operation. In reality, the site was closed twice: first by ISP DreamHost, then another; first in July, then again in August. Needless to say — well, unless you’re a well-paid ‘expert’ on ‘race relations’, of course — it’s back up, on another server. Further, like Redwatch Poland, Redwatch UK continues on its merry way, as does Redwatch New Zealand. Both authorities in the UK (2004; June 2006) and New Zealand / Aotearoa (August 2006) have declared their intention to ‘investigate’ the websites in question.
Not unexpectedly, both have been found to be full of piss-and-wind; just like the neo-Nazis, really… and notwithstanding the fact that, for example, on Redwatch New Zealand, bonehead Nic Miller even stooped so low as to post the address and photo of the home of a Holocaust survivor (among many others, especially Jews and/or antifa); with the full and knowing co-operation of Google, natch.
According to the BBC report:
[Redwatch Poland] published details [photographs, names, addresses, descriptions, occupations] of people on its hate list — such as left-wing activists, homosexuals and members of ethnic minorities… [and] was [sic] operated by the Polish wing of Blood and Honour, an international group which originated in the UK. The site used a US-based server.
In Australia, convicted neo-Nazi criminal Ben Weerheym — whose most recent foray into the exciting world of fascist activism has been ‘The Great Australian Bikini March’ — was threatened with prosecution under useless ‘Racial Vilification’ legislation by WA authorities in March, 2006. But no: instead, WA authorities decided to test the untried law — introduced following, and in explicit reference to, the racist campaign by Weerheym’s former leader Jack van Tongeren and his neo-Nazi Australian Nationalists Movement — by prosecuting an Aboriginal teenager… unsuccessfully.
Also in Australia, Blood & Honour Australia, in conjunction with another bonehead gang, the Southern Cross Hammerskins, held a gig in September at The Birmingham Hotel in Fitzroy (Cnr. Johnston & Smith Streets | (03) 9417 2706 — ask for Gary) in order to commemorate the death of B&H founder Ian Stuart Donaldson. On the night of the gig, a local woman was accosted by seven boneheads, who insisted on her calling herself a ‘black cunt’ before allowing her to leave their charming — and incredibly brave — company. In the meantime, scabs continue to drink and play at the fascist venue (although it should be noted that some have complained of harassment — sadly, Fitzroy can be a hazardous area at times, especially if one frequents The Birmy).
As for Poland, the authorities were only compelled to act following the stabbing by boneheads of a Jewish anarchist profiled on the site, and, further — and crucially — an assault upon Poland’s Chief Rabbi, Michael Schudrich. Of course, in Russia, boneheads and other scum are able to operate with impunity, and with the full blessing of Vladimir Putin‘s corrupt regime. Thus, a report by a human rights group in September stated that:
So far this year, [at least] 33 people have died and about 300 have been injured as a result of racially motivated attacks, as opposed to last year’s total of 35 people killed and 393 injured… This year’s racially motivated attacks, mostly carried out by [boneheads], have been reported in 32 out [of] Russia’s 89 regions.
The antifa opposition in Russia — as elsewhere, spearheaded by anarchists — are also subjected to violent assault and murder. Meanwhile, in the corporate/state media, anarchists are routinely referred to as ‘terrorists’, and boneheads referred to as ‘skinheads’.
As Spinal Tap sang: The more it stays the same, the less it changes.
Australian state/corporate media coverage of the above issues is available via the links below:
Having just completed two research trips into the Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania (once invaded by Poland — but no one else cared), I may be able to open your skull even further than a lotchbucket.
There are Russian boneheads in these states who use certain types of crosses, there is another bloc of boneheads of local ethnicity who have been infiltrated by Vinland/CIA and use the \”celtic cross\”, and there are a minority of swastika-toting Germanic-descendant boneheads left over from the Teutonic knights and the Hanseatic League. These groups fight each other severely. They basically represent the three empires of Russia, the EU and the USA, which are fighting for control of this strategic region.
On the matter that they agree upon, ie white power, these grey cold states represent the lowest economic substratum of the EU on paper and as a result are basically white. There is no reason to move there as the wages are on a par with Africa. They were cleared of Jews, and to some extent obvious German influence, during the WWII era. As a result, the boneheads fight and kill each other\’s factions as they have little else to focus upon. Even the anarchist/socialist minority contingent was silent during the recent NATO meeting as the Balts have been crushed and ethnically cleansed to some extent by the Soviets, and they want strong nuclear government to back up their linguistic and cultural identity and land.
On the matter and future of the swastika in Latvia and in the EU:
If I point you towards the pagan Latvian metal band —
— you might think that their use of doubly-twisted swastikas and proto-runes would leave them politically on the mad-metal extreme-right with Varg Vikernes of Norway. However their CD releases have \”This is not Nazi shit\” written across their crosses. The swastika in various forms is a Latvian folk symbol and they are not keen to give it up just because the Germans started to use it. The symbol of the Lativan Students Union in 1918 was a swastika with a sword in the middle, but this had nothing to do with Nazism, so they still use that symbol on their door plaque. In fact, the Perkonkrusts was the symbol of those against Nazi Germany. The wikipedia entry on the Perkonkrusts is not really accurate with regards to anti-Semitism in Latvia, as it fails to point out that the Latvians were one of the first countires to fully recognise Judaism and promote its culture as a national religion with its own education system.
The majority of Latvians resisted the Third Reich, the Holocaust and the Soviet Russians, and those who did join these invading forces were often of German or Russian descent. So don\’t assume you know what the swastika means in a European political context. There is a campaign to revive the orignal Baltic meaning of the swastika, although the mittens knitted for NATO delegates did not feature the traditional Peronkrusts.
In a sense you are letting the Nazis claim that symbol if you give them sole ownership of it in a European context, and after losing more than a third of their population the Lats are willing to stand up for their own identity rather than post Perkonkrusts being broken or thrown in the bin all over the interweb.
Yeah, boneheads are pretty good @ fighting one another, often violently (a practice I like to encourage as much as possible). But sadly, the main motivation for this kind of behaviour appears not to be that they recognise one another as complete scum who deserve to die (although there’s an element of that too), but that Everyone Wants to be Fuhrer.
I’m not surprised that the NATO meeting in Riga was not met with protest, for the reasons you allude to: years of Soviet occupation, an impoverished economy, and a desire on the part of Latvian authorities for ‘peace’ and ‘development’. The meeting itself (aside, perhaps, from its symbolic significance — Latvia is the first former Soviet satellite to host a NATO summit) was overshadowed by other matters: Bush and Iraq and Ratso in Turkey.
Here’s one analysis of the Summit:
NATO’s Riga summit
December 4, 2006
…The most important aspect of the Summit, however, was that in the various steps that it took, it re-affirmed NATO’s relevance in the post-Cold War era. Given that its sole initial mission was to provide an effective defense against the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies, NATO’s future was not certain once the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact became distant memories in the trash bin of history. It had to re-define itself. Several European countries, including France, have labored long and hard to develop a separate wholly European alternative to NATO. There is in fact an EU force now that has even taken on responsibility for peacekeeping in Bosnia. All of the European efforts, however, have always had to confront the reality that for decades, Europe as a whole and individually has spent only half as much on defense as the United States. Moreover, the bulk has gone to salaries and redundant national projects. This means that the United States remains critical for strategic power projection, including long-range airlift capability, and also that it remains in a class of its own when it comes to overall military capability. That provides an indispensable edge for NATO in any serious conflict…
The other major concern for Lativa, and the Baltic states generally, is energy:
Beyond territorial security, however, there is also the question of vulnerability to Russian political interference. All three countries depend on Russia for approximately 90% of their oil and almost all of their natural gas supplies. They also risk becoming more reliant on Russia for electricity imports—Lithuania and Estonia are currently net exporters, but Lithuania’s Ignalina nuclear power plant is due to close in 2009 and the future of oil shale as a generating source in Estonia is limited by environmental pressures and competition from cheaper sources of energy, such as gas…
As for the meaning and significance attached to the symbol of the swastika in Europe… I’m not sure that I follow yr line of argument all that well, and I haven’t made any ref to this subject in the post to which yr comment is presumably a response, but I’ll have a crack:
1) “The swastika in various forms is a Latvian folk symbol.” Right-o.
2) “The Perkonkrusts was the symbol of those against Nazi Germany.”
Um… as far as I can tell, the Perkonkrusts (Thundercross) was not a symbol, but the leading anti-Semitic group in Latvia from the 1920s. Further, according to one source (The Holocaust in the Baltics, Katy Miller-Korpi, May 1998):
“This right-wing organization was strongly nationalistic, and their racist attitudes were all inclusive towards any Latvian minority. Their anti-Semitic ideology was embraced amongst some members of the intelligentsia and in particular, student members of fraternities. Select members of this group did embrace Nazism, and were involved in the actions taken against the Jews. The Perkonkrusts were also anti-Baltic German, so they were not prime targets of Nazi recruiters.”
I imagine that other symbols were employed by other groups and tendencies that opposed Nazi Germany, and that some of these groups were anti-Semitic and others were not. Obviously, opposition to Nazism, esp in this context =/= opposition to anti-Semitism.
3) “The Latvians were one of the first countires to fully recognise Judaism and promote its culture as a national religion with its own education system.”
From the same source as above:
“The twentieth century began with the countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania under Russian subjugation. The turn of the century was an important time of emerging nationalism for all these peoples. In all countries, Jews were important contributors to their respective nation’s pursuit of independence. In the years that followed WWI the Baltic states were able to achieve their goal of independence…
In Latvia, the course following independence was quite similar to that of Lithuania. The Latvian constitution guaranteed minority rights, and each minority group, including the Jews, was given the right to exist as an autonomous entity within the republic. This decree was a double-edged sword. On the one hand, autonomy enabled a proliferation of Jewish thought and culture, but on the other hand, it increased the isolation between Jew and non-Jew. Within the parliament of the Latvian Republic (the Saeima) there was Jewish representation. Jews played an important role in helping the fledgling nation to obtain economic stability after the enormous losses of WWI. In trade and commerce, Jews made up 48% of the work force. In the industrial sector 28% of the workers were Jews…”
(The essay also provides a link to the following bibliography on the history of of the Jews of Latvia: http://www.jewishgen.org/Latvia/SIG_Bibliography.html)
4) As for allocating responsibility for the mass genocide of Jews in Latvia and the Baltic countries generally, again, I think that the claim that “The majority of Latvians resisted the Third Reich, the Holocaust and the Soviet Russians, and those who did join these invading forces were often of German or Russian descent” is, on the basis of some very casual research of my own, at the very least, arguable. Thus:
“The factors contributing to the Holocaust in the Baltics are a complex web of politics, propaganda and prejudice. With the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1939 the fate of the Baltic Jews was sealed. Coming under Soviet rule in 1940, the Baltic countries of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were classified as enemy territories by the Germans. One year later the Germans violated their treaty with Russia and invaded these countries. Because of this brief period of Soviet control, the German propaganda machine was able to manipulate the feelings of anti-communism and nationalism in the non-Jewish Baltic populations. In Lithuania in particular, and Latvia and Estonia to some extent, there was also an already existing foundation of anti-Semitism. The Germans were able to use these feelings in certain segments of the local population to incite them into collaboration with their anti-Jewish policies. *One of the significant aspects of the Holocaust in the Baltics is the fact that the Germans were able to solicit executioners from the local population.* Prior to the German invasion of Russia, Jews in other German occupied countries were being ghettoized and murdered, but not to the extent and with the swiftness that happened in the Baltic countries…”
Further, in a passing ref by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen (Hitler’s Willing Executioners, p.409):
“The most important national groups who aided the Germans in slaughtering Jews were the Ukrainians, Latvians and Lithuanians, about whom two things can be said. They came from cultures that were profoundly antisemitic, and the knowledge that we have, little as it is, of the men who actually aided the Germans suggests that many of them were animated by vehement hatred of Jews. Much more work needs to be done on these people. Before conclusions are drawn about the sources of their participation — and also what their actions tell us about the German perpetrators — careful analysis of the (often enormously different) contexts of their actions, as well as of the similarities and differences in their views of the victims, should be undertaken.”
On the mass genocide itself (again citing Miller-Korpi):
“Jews in Latvia became Nazi victims within days of Nazi occupation. As in Lithuania, Latvian Jews fell into the hands of the German Einsatzgruppe A, led by General Walter Stahlecker. Under his supervision, a group of Latvian citizens known as the Arajs Kommando aided in the mass genocide of Latvian Jews. The killing of the Jews occurred in two phases. The first phase was between July and October 1941, where the rural population was liquidated. The second phase was the extermination of the Jews in the cities from November to December 1941. *Of the approximately 66,000 Jews in Latvia at the time of the Nazi invasion, there were as many as 59,000 that were killed in 1941.* The remaining Jews were sent to ghettos to be used as slave labor. Ultimately, these Jews were transported to Germany in 1944. Of those, most perished there. The largest action taken against Latvian Jews occurred on November 30 and December 8, 1941. 25,000 Jews from Riga were murdered in an action that came to be known as Rumbula, named for the railway station nearby.”
Interestingly, and as a sidenote, one member of the Arajs Kommando was now-deceased Melbourne resident Konrad Kalejs, one of many Nazi war criminals Australian authorities rewarded for their efforts in massacring Jews by allowing them safe haven within its boundaries.
Nazis yes; refugees no.
“Jeremy Jones, vice-president of the executive council for Australian Jewry, estimates that there are a dozen Nazi war criminals who still live quietly in [Melbourne’s?] southern suburbs. As Aarons says: “The probability is that the last Nazi will die peacefully in his bed, somewhere in Australia, in the next few years.” | Konrad Alfred Kalejs, alleged war criminal, born June 26 1913, died November 8 2001.”
Source : http://www.guardian.co.uk/nazis/article/0,2763,591774,00.html
The history of the world in a nutshell, really.
More generally, see Tony Jones’ i/view w/- Mark Aarons, author of ‘War Criminals Welcome’ (Black Inc, 2001): http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/stories/s300455.htm
5) Yeah, I think that in Europe, the association b/w Nazism and the swastika is, like, a pretty strong one. But good luck to the swastika-waving Latvian anti-anti-Semitic mitten-knitting folk-singers, whoever and wherever they are. But as for “Latvian culture and identity”, better luck to the comrades at Nekac [ http://www.nekac.lv/web-content/EN/index_e.html ] and, of course, Bendradarbiai (Lithuania) and PunaMust [ http://www.punamust.org/index_e.html ] in Estonia.
Yes there were/are naughty naughty Balts, and some used the name Perkonkrusts. However the word also refers to the cross itself and the anti-Semites were always a small minority. I would point out that the Soviets were anti-religious and this included Judaism, so when the Kurzeme soldiers of the western Latvian coast fought the Soviets almost until their last man was standing, they were standing up for freedom of religion for all (and bullshit hierarchical private property rights). Catherine the Great of Russia coined the term \”beyond the pale\” (not the silly folk of Dublin Castle), the \’palus\’ being the stake that represented the end of the inner Russian area where Judaism was forbidden. The Pale did not include the Baltic states so that is why many Jews settled there.
However, as we can read, Jews enjoyed a good life when Latvia et al were independent and are being actively encouraged to return through cultural and economic programmes such as the recent documentary about the Rabbi in Riga. How independent the Baltic states are when they have NATO\’s advanced \”anti-missile\” defence systems installed on their eastern borders to fend off Korean/Iranian/Oceanian missiles remains to be seen.
Unless you are willing to dress up as a bonehead and learn multiple languages in order to undertake participant observation, I would recommend casual observation only. Partly due to the type of extreme violence you note, which was also the reason there was only stencil art protests against militarism at the NATO conference. It\’s not some summer picnic riot with divvy vans and beer cans, the whole inner city (VecRiga) was completely shut down by soldiers. I was followed by about 5 blokes in blue anoraks with NATO conference badges at Riga airport on the way home and they became bleeding obvious when they followed me into the tiny newsagent whilst pretending to read
Interesting yeah no yeah also but type counter-points: maybe you should work with the Cockburn brothers at Counter Punch or the lovely lasses at Zala Alternativa (Green Alternative, as there is a Green Party in power but they are promoting hunting, etc).
The connections between UK and Polish bones are only the tip of the melting iceberg when it comes to the globalisation of extreme nationalism and street politics in the Baltic region. In terms of the strong (but not extreme — 700,000 Latvian Russians do not have passports by law) nationalism of current president of Latvia, Vike-Freiberga — who was educated in Canada — and Karlis Ulmanis — a lecturer at the univeristy of Nebraska before leading the last independent Latvian government — connections could be made with the frozen US Midwest, the outback of Oregon, William Pierce, the McVeigh-style survivalist movement and dreadful experimental bands such as Wolf Eyes and doom metal like Stephen O\’Malley\’s
from that region. I blame Melbourne High artist
for promoting this white noise nonsense on the face of this simmering globule.
Okay, enough aspersions.
@ndy font of all gnauleeej, what do you have on the radicalism of the Essene Jews and their vegie diet? Where do they fit into the cultural picture today and what is their connection to the West Coast/desert US raw food movement?
Less quotes and more analysis and wash that infopoo off yr nodule and you can descend further into the ranks of the non-hierarchical homeless former academics.
— Ex-Prof Suk