Posts Tagged ‘Neo-Nazis’

Why are Nazis acceptable in Ukraine?

March 4, 2022

Azov Battaltion insignia and Nazi symbols

One of Vladimir Putin’s demands is that Ukraine “de-Nazify.”

These days the word “Nazi” is often a general purpose insult with no specific meaning. except “very, very evil.” But there are Nazis in Ukraine, and they are the real thing.

I don’t want to exaggerate.  

Ukrainian neo-Nazis are few in number. Most estimates put hardo-core Nazis at less than 2 percent of the population.  The extreme nationalist Svoboda and Right Sector parties each received less than 2 percent of the vote in recent presidential elections.  

Volodymyr Zelensky, the current President of Ukraine, is Jewish, and he received more than 72 percent of the vote.  Most of the rest went to the incumbent.

On the other hand the neo-Nazi parties are part of the Ukraine’s governing coalition.  The Azov Battalion, whose members are openly neo-Nazi, is an important part of Ukraine’s fighting force.  The “Overton window”—the range of ideas that are acceptable to discuss—includes neo-Nazis.

To understand how this can be, you have to know about the Holodomor, also known as the Terror-Famine or Great Famine, imposed by Joseph Stalin on Ukraine from 1929 to 1933.  

It was one of the 20th century’s greatest crimes against humanity.  A United Nations report estimates it cost the lives of 3 million to 10 million Ukrainians.  It is officially recognized as genocide by Ukraine and 16  other countries.

Joseph Stalin forced millions in Ukraine and other parts of the Soviet Union to starve to death in order to force the peasants into collective farms and gain control of the food supply.  He also suppressed Ukrainian cultural institutions.

Most historians interpret this as the Soviet Communist Party preemptively destroying all potential sources of resistance to the regime, including farmers who owned their land and individuals loyal to non-Russian cultures.

But there are those who see the Holodomor as an attempt by “the Russians” to destroy the Ukrainian race.  I’ve come across this meme serval times over the years while doing Internet research.  And I’ve also come across the meme that it was an attempt by “the Jews” to destroy the Ukrainian race.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s first look at the Ukraine terror-famine in all its horror.


How dangerous is the alt-right?

May 8, 2019

A pro-Nazi rally in Madison Square Garden on Feb. 20, 1939


A left-wing writer who calls himself Jay Firestone wrote an interesting article and gave an interesting interview about his three months’ experience hanging out with the “alt-right” in New York City.

My three takeaways are (1) yes, these guys really are Nazis, even though they don’t say so in public; (2) they have been effectively marginalized for the time being; but (3) they could become a major political force if things go on as they are.

The alt-right … … is a response to decades of decline in standards of living for working people, amid the proliferation of unemployment and meaningless, dead-end jobs.  Moreover, no coherent leftist movement exists through which everyday people can make sense of this world and collaborate across lines of race and gender to build a better one.  As a result, many of those who reject the status quo blame their problems on immigrants, feminism, trans rights, and other bogeymen, rather than the capitalist social relations from which the problems facing working people inevitably proceed.

The real threat today is not that small pockets of white-supremacist ideologues exist.  It’s that their vision of society might become the only one that makes sense to ordinary white people, for whom reality increasingly seems like a battle between racially-defined interest groups for slivers from a shrinking pie.  

From the article in Commune

It’s fashionable to say that the alt-right, and the more mainstream Trump movement, is rooted in white working-class resentment of black and immigrant advancement. This idea gets us absolutely nowhere.  It’s based on the economic fallacy that all the jobs and assets lost by white people in the last four decades have gone to black people and immigrants. That’s totally wrong.  Things are getting worse for just about everyone.  … …

Now you have austerity dressed up in this business-friendly liberalism; you literally have downwardly mobile white people being scolded, being told, “You’re only resentful because black people have a seat at the table,” or “You should be ashamed of yourself, check your privilege.”  

I mean, if your options are very narrow, you are one health emergency away from destitution, and these self-righteous liberals are saying you need to feel bad for how great you have it, you need to give up a little to atone for the sins of the past, the natural response is “fuck that.”  Only very comfortable people would embrace a politics based on giving up what you have so that individual people can succeed in your place.  And I can’t think of an easier politics to organize against.

Thus the big threat that the alt-right poses is the way they can tell white people, especially downwardly mobile white people: You don’t have to feel bad; you don’t have to apologize to anybody. You can actually feel good about yourself, about being white, and turn your back on humanity. 

From the interview in Jewish Currents


Victim of neo-Nazi beating charged with assault

October 11, 2017

Zach Roberts, who took the photo above, and Greg Palast reported for Truthout:

African-American school teacher DeAndre Harris, victim of a beating by neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August [shown above], has been charged with assaulting the white supremacists who beat him with boards, iron rods, and brass knuckles.

That is correct.  Harris, who was shown being beaten close to death in photos released by Truthout and carried worldwide, has now been charged with the same crime as his attackers: “unlawful wounding.”

Several of Harris’ attackers remain on the run — and local and federal officials show little interest in going after them. Yet, the Charlottesville Police Department issued a warrant to arrest Harris on October 9.

Harris is accused of taking a swing at a neo-Nazi who tried to stab a friend of Harris with the staff of a flag pole holding a Confederate flag. On the advice of his lawyer, Harris was unable to be reached for comment.

Source: Truthout.

Harris suffered broken bones and had to have 18 staples put in his head, according to Truthout.

The right to self-defense is a basic human right—maybe the most basic of all human rights.   Some Southern states have “stand your ground” laws affirming the right to defend yourself with deadly force.   Surely no supporter of these laws would deny the right to defend oneself with your fists.

Imagine the reaction to the above photo if the man on the ground was white and his attackers were black.


Charlottesville Victim of Neo-Nazi Beating Charged With Assault by Greg Palast and Zach Roberts for Truthout.

How could Ukrainians embrace Naziism?

February 3, 2015

Azov battalion of the Ukrainian army. Click to enlarge

Azov battalion of the Ukrainian army. Click to enlarge.

Source: Cannonfire.

I cannot understand how a Ukrainian could be a Nazi.

Given the purges and starvation imposed on Ukraine by Stalin, it is not surprising that many Ukrainians welcomed the invading Germans as liberators in 1941.  But they soon learned better.

Wikipedia says the Nazis killed 17 million people, including 6 million Jews and 11 million others, mostly Slavs.

Between 1941 and 1945, approximately 3 million Ukrainian and other gentile victims were killed as part of Nazi extermination policies in the territory of modern Ukraine. 

More Ukrainians were killed fighting the Wehrmacht than American, British, and French soldiers combined.

Original plans of genocide called for the extermination of 65 percent of the nation’s 23.2 million Ukrainians, with the remainder of inhabitants to be treated as slaves.  Over 2 million Ukrainians were deported to Germany for slave labor. 

In ten years’ time, the plan effectively called for the extermination, expulsion, Germanization or enslavement of most or all Ukrainians.

via Holocaust victims – Wikipedia.

The picture above shows members of the Azov battalion of the Ukrainian army.  Notice whose portrait is being held up.  Andriy Biletsky, the commander of the Azov battalion, has been quoted as follows.

From the mass of individuals must arise the Nation; and from weak modern man, Superman… The historic mission of our Nation in this watershed century is to lead the White Races of the world in the final crusade for their survival: a crusade against semite-led sub-humanity… The task of the present generation is to create a Third Empire — Great Ukraine… If we are strong, we take what is ours by right and even more; we will build a Superpower-Empire…

via Azov Battalion – Wikipedia.

I hope and believe Azov is unrepresentative of a majority of Ukrainians, not to mention the Russians, Tatars, Jews, Poles and other ethnic groups in Ukraine.

Azov+neo+naziBut the present Ukrainian government accepts Azov’s display of Nazi symbols.   The Ukraine, along with the USA and Canada, were the only countries to vote against a United Nations resolution condemning the glorification of Naziism.

There are neo-Nazis in the Russian Federation who’ve murdered Central Asian immigrants.  There have even been neo-Nazi skinheads in Israel some years back, among Russian immigrants whose Jewish identity evidently wasn’t strong.  There are neo-Nazis in other countries, too.   But there are no neo-Nazis in countries other than Ukraine, that I know of, with official acceptance.

Maybe one reason why Naziism is acceptable among a segment of Ukrainians is that the old Soviet Union treated Naziism as a kind of benchmark of evil, and Ukrainians understandably felt that whatever the Communists said must be the opposite of the truth.

Many people around the world have embraced fascism because they think it is the opposite of Communism, and vice versa.


Ukraine, allies refuse to condemn Nazi symbols

December 4, 2014

The Azov battalion, a Ukrainian militia fighting separatists

The Azov Battalion, a Ukrainian militia operating against separatists

Photo via Libertarian Nation

Last Nov. 22, the United Nations General Assembly voted, 115 to 3, with 55 abstentions, to condemn the glorification of Naziism and the display of Nazi and neo-Nazi symbols.

The three opponents were the United States, Canada and Ukraine, and the members of the European Union all abstained.

The resolution was introduced by the Russian Federation, with the obvious intent of embarrassing Ukraine and its allies, but there is nothing in it that refers specifically to Ukraine or any of its political parties or militias.

Hitler’s intentions in Ukraine were to starve and massacre large number of the population, and enslave the rest, in order to provide “living room” for the population.

imagesIt is incredible to me, given this history, that there could be Ukrainians sympathetic to Hitler’s ideals, but this is the case.  Evidently they are blinded by hatred of Russians, Poles and Jews, and by their historic memory of Stalin’s crimes, as if it were necessary to choose between Hitler and Stalin.

Supporters of Ukraine point out that many countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation itself, have a neo-Nazi lunatic fringe, and supporters of Ukraine say that the Ukrainian neo-Nazi movement is no different.

But if they are merely a fringe, making public statements to condemn them should not be a problem.  It would be as if an American politician were not willing to condemn the Ku Klux Klan.  It would show that the Klan, like the neo-Nazis in Ukraine, were too powerful a force to risk offending.

It is true that the ultra-nationalist Svoboda and Right Sector parties did poorly in the last election, but they nevertheless seem powerful in government and on the street.

Right-wing Ukrainian nationalists, when interviewed, say they have nothing against other nationalities, but that Ukraine should be for Ukrainians alone.  The implication is that non-Ukrainians should be driven out, or worse.

I find it humiliating, as an American, that somebody like Vladimir Putin, who is an authoritarian nationalist himself, should occupy the moral high ground compared to my own country.  But in this case, he does.