Iton Gadol (in Spanish) writes about B’nai B’rith International’s groundbreaking report (in English), “On Europe’s Streets: Annual Marches Glorifying Nazism,” report on the annual far-right marches that persist across Europe despite existing Europe-wide bans on Holocaust denial and distortion.
B’nai B’rith International and the Amadeu Antonio Foundation presented in mid-March a new report entitled “On the Streets of Europe: Annual Marches that Glorify Nazism.” The report focuses on 12 of the most notorious annual marches and meetings that glorify Nazism and/or fascism that take place throughout the European Union (EU): in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Poland and Spain.
Despite the existing legal frameworks throughout Europe that prohibit the denial of the Holocaust, the flagrant distortion of the Holocaust and the hate speech that incites violence, these marches persist with impunity.
In the new report, B’nai B’rith International and the Amadeu Antonio Foundation, together with experts from all over Europe, follow up on anti-Semitic manifestations, the use of Nazi symbols and slogans, the availability of Nazi memories, violent incidents, transnational cooperation between organizing groups and participants, and the techniques used by them to circumvent legislation. The report also documents the reactions of civil society and public authorities, as well as the broader impact of these marches on the groups to which they are addressed.
As the report details, throughout Europe there are adequate legal instruments to prohibit marches that glorify Nazism and/or fascism. In some cases, the national authorities of European countries not only can, but are obliged to take measures to penalize incitement to hatred and the flagrant denial or trivialization of the Holocaust. When the authorities learned of the complaints of serious anti-Semitic incitement or Holocaust denial, they were sometimes dismissed by prosecutors and judges. Finally, in cases where marches were banned, they were rarely applied effectively.
A concerted effort against the marches that glorify Nazism and fascism can have a lasting positive impact and guarantee a sense of security to the vulnerable communities of Europe and to society as a whole. The persistence of these marches is not a fait accompli. As stated in the report’s recommendations, through legislation, law enforcement, public pressure and education, these displays of hatred can be stopped on the streets of Europe.
The report can be viewed by clicking here.
The report was presented to the public for the first time at the Brussels Press Club on March 14. Various civil society organizations, experts in the field of extreme right-wing extremism, researchers, representatives of EU institutions and missions in Brussels attended.
Alina Bricman, director of EU Affairs at B’nai B’rith International; Simone Rafael, editor of Belltower News, Amadeu Antonio Foundation; and Johanan Seynave, editor of the report, discussed the main conclusions of the publication and the recommendations for local, national and EU-wide action.
“We must understand these marches as an organized pan-European phenomenon that constitutes a frontal attack on European values, the rule of law and the democratic order. And we must demand that action be taken, because public authorities have the obligation to promulgate the current rules and guarantee a public space free of hatred,” Bricman said at the end of the act.
The presentation event can be viewed by clicking here.