New Publication from B’nai B’rith International and the Amadeu Antonio Foundation
B’nai B’rith International and the Amadeu Antonio Foundation launched on March 14 a new report titled “On Europe’s Streets: Annual Marches Glorifying Nazism.” The report focuses on 12 of the most notorious annual marches and meetings that glorify Nazism and/or fascism happening across the European Union: in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Poland and Spain.
Despite existing Europe-wide legal frameworks that ban Holocaust denial, gross distortion of the Holocaust and hate speech inciting to violence, these marches persist with impunity.
In the new report, B’nai B’rith International and the Amadeu Antonio Foundation, alongside experts from across Europe, track anti-Semitic displays, use of Nazi symbols and slogans, availability of Nazi memorabilia, violent incidents, transnational cooperation among organizing and participating groups, and techniques used by them to circumvent legislation. The report also documents reactions from civil society and public authorities and the broader impact of these marches on targeted groups.
As the report details, proper legal instruments are in place across Europe to ban marches glorifying Nazism and/or fascism. In certain cases, national authorities of European countries are not only allowed, but required to take action in order to criminalize incitement to hatred and the denial or gross trivialization of the Holocaust. Where complaints concerning gross anti-Semitic incitement or Holocaust denial have been brought to the attention of the authorities, these have often been dismissed by prosecutors and judges. Finally, where bans on marches have been put in place they have rarely been effectively implemented.
A concerted effort against marches glorifying Nazism and fascism can have a lasting positive impact and ensure a sense of security for Europe’s vulnerable communities and society as a whole. The persistent nature of these marches is not a fait accompli. As laid out in the recommendations of the report, through legislation, enforcement, public pressure and education, these displays of hatred on Europe’s streets can be curbed.
The report can be viewed here.
The report was launched and first presented to a public audience at the Brussels Press Club on March 14. In attendance were various civil society organizations, experts in the field of far-right extremism, researchers, representatives of EU institutions and missions to Brussels.
Alina Bricman, B’nai B’rith International’s EU Affairs director; Simone Rafael, editor of Belltower News, Amadeu Antonio Foundation; and Johanan Seynave, editor of the report, discussed the key findings of the publication, and recommendations for local, national and EU-wide action.
“We need to understand these marches as an organized pan-European phenomenon constituting a frontal attack on European values, the rule of law and the democratic order. And we must demand action, because public authorities have an obligation to enact existing rules and ensure a public space free from hate,” Bricman noted in concluding the event.
The launch event can be viewed here: On Europe’s Streets: Annual Marches Glorifying Nazis