Friday, September 21, 2012

Does Greece 2012 remind anyone of Germany 1918-1932? A timeline...

The rise of Golden Dawn in Greece is eerily reminiscent of the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany prior to WWII and the Holocaust!

The political and economic angst permeating Greece has opened the door for the neo-Nazi Party Golden Dawn to gain power and popularity. Recently considered a far-right fringe group it has gained traction among a desperate and extremely unhappy population looking for a place to lay the blame for their plight.

And by no means is this type of movement limited to Greece!

Summary of the timeline for the rise of the Nazi Party in pre-WWII Germany

  • 1918 - German propaganda had not prepared the nation for defeat, resulting in a sense of injured German national pride.
  • 1919 - The German population swallowed the bitter pill of defeat as the victorious Allies punished Germany severely. In the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was disarmed and forced to pay reparations to France and Britain for the huge costs of the war.
  • 1928 - After Hitler was released from prison, he formally resurrected the Nazi Party. Hitler began rebuilding and reorganizing the Party, waiting for an opportune time to gain political power in Germany. The Conservative military hero Paul von Hindenburg was elected president in 1925, and Germany stabilized.
  • 1929 - The Nazi Party began building a mass movement. From 27,000 members in 1925, the Party grew to 108,000 in 1929.
  • 1929 - The Great Depression began in 1929 and wrought worldwide economic, social, and psychological consequences. The Weimar democracy proved unable to cope with national despair as unemployment doubled from three million to six million, or one in three, by 1932. The existing "Great Coalition" government, a combination of left-wing and conservative parties, collapsed while arguing about the rising cost of unemployment benefits.
  • 1932 - Germany's government remained on the brink of collapse. The SA brownshirts, about 400,000 strong, were a part of daily street violence. The economy was still in crisis. In the election of July 1932, the Nazi Party won 37% of the Reichstag seats, thanks to a massive propaganda campaign. For the next six months, the most powerful German leaders were embroiled in a series of desperate political maneuverings. Ultimately, these major players severely underestimated Hitler's political abilities. (source)
May 2012 - Back in May after the elections in Greece the following had occurred:

"...The Greece election results, besides throwing the financial bailout of the country into doubt, included an alarmingly strong performance by a party that goes by the name Golden Dawn. This anti-immigration and anti-austerity political movement was projected to have taken 7% of the vote. This compares to .29% of the vote this radical party won in 2009.

Said the leader of Golden Dawn,"The day of national revolution by the Greeks has begun against those who are selling us out and looting the sweat of the Greek people." Golden Dawn members typically wear black, display an emblem similar to the Nazi insignia and are are extremely anti-immigrant. Television ads run by the group during the campaign referred to immigrants saying, "let's rid the country of this stench."

This strong performance by Golden Dawn is a fairly clear indication of some of the troubles ahead for Greece and its people..." (TPC)

September 2012, Greece

"In recent weeks the once-fringe group has organised Greeks-only food handouts and blood donations, and has twice ousted migrant peddlers from street markets to the delight of local operators and the outrage of authorities.

Tightly regimented and dressed in black T-shirts stamped with the meander, an ancient Greek motif, Golden Dawn is also suspected of orchestrating a rising trend of racist violence against foreigners, legal or otherwise.

And it has sent squads of black-clad supporters to harass and intimidate political opponents at public events.

The government has already accused Golden Dawn of attempting to usurp the role of the police and warned that “storm battalions” would not be tolerated, a direct reference to the paramilitary gangs that helped Adolf Hitler’s rise to power…

It has benefited from judicial inertia and a suspiciously soft-handed response by police, who usually fail to arrest Golden Dawn members even when under direct attack by them.

And it has exploited anger towards Greece’s political system which is blamed by most people for the country’s economic ills…” (source)

If you are a doubter that history repeats itself, don't be!

H/T Mish

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