[Note: The links in the post direct the reader to sources in Greek. Please use Google Translate to read the articles in English.]
How short is Memory? In Greece, it has taken supporters of the “Chryse Avge” party, or “Golden Dawn,” (mostly young, unemployed, hopeless 20-somethings) less than a century–roughly 70 years–to forget the fascist atrocities, and aspire to definitive solutions (note: I would use the word “final” to describe vociferous calls to expel all immigrants or send criminal immigrants to “special” camps, but I hesitated because of the connotations).
In a country that lost the 10% of its citizens to WWII; that saw the 90% of its Jewish communities perish in the Holocaust; and that Nazi massacres at Kalavryta and Distomo are still open wounds, seeing a party with a classical meander reminiscent of the swastika as its emblem on the brink of entering the parliament is alarming. It does not help that mainstream party leaders are invoking God and the Fatherland (patris) in their election speeches.
Polls show Chrysi Avge (an extremist party, whose leaders eulogize Hitler and Goebbels) as claiming the 4.1 % of votes in the upcoming (May 6) general elections. Some see this rise as a by-product of the prolonged crisis that has pushed 20% of the workforce to unemployment, and reduced some of the fiercely proud population to searching the garbage for food, and of the rise of illegal immigrants-related crimes.
History does repeat itself after all…Witnessing 1930s phenomena in the midst of the 21st century is quite disconcerting. The outcome of the Greek elections will be crucial: not only because it will define the future direction of the country, but it will also affect the discourse on multiculturalism in Greece.