Fascism’s Face-Lift

Hits: 820

Last year, antifascists in Poland commemorated the country’s international brigades on the eightieth anniversary of the Spanish Civil War. Their gathering came under attack and a smoke grenade was thrown through the door. Inscribed on the projectile was the phrase “ha pasado,” “we have passed,” Franco’s retort to Dolores Ibárruri’s “no pasarán” on the day the Republic fell.

Another iconic turn of phrase associated with the civil war owed much to Poland’s influence. “A las Barricadas,” the anthem of the anarcho-syndicalist CNT federation, became the war’s most famous song — but it wasn’t exactly an original. Its tune had been written by Józef Pławiński and its lyrics by Wacław Święcicki, both Polish socialist musicians. Their “Warszawianka” had been the anthem of the 1905 Polish Revolution, when worker militias sought to overthrow the Russian imperial government.

Today, progressive history is under attack not only in Poland but across Eastern Europe. From its beginnings “decommunization” took aim not only at the Soviet era but at earlier socialist and republican history too. In the 1990s, as the Hungarian government began the wholesale removal of Communist statues, it decided to store them all in a single place. Budapest’s Memento Park was born and the architect who won the competition to design it, Ákos Eleőd, was clear about its intentions. “This park,” he said, “is about dictatorship.”

But, for a park about dictatorship, it has an interesting lineup. Alongside monuments to politicians from the Communist period — and Marx, Engels, and Lenin — stand those left-wingers from generations earlier. There are commemorations for figures from the short-lived 1919 Hungarian Soviet Republic, including Tibor Szamuely and Jenő Landler, as well as Ede Chlepkó and Béla Kun, who were executed in Stalin’s purges. Róbert Kreutz and Endre Ságvári, killed by the Nazis and Hungary’s fascist government during World War II also have statues. They are joined by Miklós Steinmetz and I.A. Ostapenko, Red Army captains who died liberating Budapest from German occupation. And, of course, there’s a memorial to the Hungarian international brigade to Spain.

Unfortunately, it is no surprise that initiatives which purport to challenge dictatorship are instead demonizing those who struggled against fascism. Decommunization has become a tool for resurgent nationalist movements to rehabilitate their own record — one which often involved Nazi collaboration.

In 2015, riding a wave of nationalist sentiment in the wake of conflict in the country’s east, Ukraine began an intensive process of decommunization. Since then thousands of streets and hundreds of towns have been renamed, statues of Lenin have been torn down in every corner of the country, and political parties which are deemed too sympathetic to the Communist past have been banned — including the Communist Party of Ukraine, which regularly received millions of votes.

The legislation that Ukraine’s Parliament voted on wasn’t exclusive to Communism. Its text promised to combat celebration of both “Communist and National-Socialist totalitarian regimes.” But in 2015, as these measures passed, Ukraine’s government was in fact institutionalizing fascist militias into its armed forces. That summer the Azov Battalion, founded by members of the neo-Nazi Social-National Assembly, was officially upgraded to a Special Operations Regiment of the Ukrainian Army. Its members celebrated with photos showing their SS tattoos, symbols which the government was supposed to have banned.

The institutionalization of fascism isn’t confined to the military. The country’s far right is increasingly prominent in official history as well, part of a state-sponsored revisionist project designed to venerate Ukrainian nationalism. The most high-profile figure to be rehabilitated is Stepan Bandera, the nationalist leader who collaborated with the Nazis during the Second World War and whose Ukrainian Insurgent Army participated in the Holocaust.

But Bandera is far from the only figure to undergo such a rebranding. In October 2017 the Ukrainian city of Vinnitsa unveiled a statue to Symon Petliura, who led an anti-communist uprising against the Bolshevik Revolution. Under his reign, fifty thousand Jews were killed in pogroms in the Ukrainian People’s Republic. This isn’t a record that the city is hiding from — local authorities ultimately decided to place his statue in the city’s historic Jewish quarter, a short walk from one of the few remaining synagogues.

Elsewhere, too, decommunization has been a cloak for attacks on Eastern Europe’s Jews. The Lithuanian government, keen to construct a nationalist narrative which justifies collaboration with the Nazis, has accused its Jewish partisans of war crimes. A monument to their struggle, once placed prominently in the country’s capital, has been hidden away in another “dictatorship” park. Today its plaque notes that the partisans who fought the Nazis — in a country where almost two hundred thousand died in the Holocaust — were “mostly Jewish.” Lithuanians, it says, “didn’t support the Communists.”

The Soviet Union’s record in Eastern Europe was bleak — its population transfers, political repression, and forced collectivizations contribute to much lingering resentment. But the drive to decommunize has little to do with building a more democratic society. It’s, at its heart, a project designed to rewrite history, forgiving fascism and condemning those who fought it.


Originally published on 2017-05-12

Author: Ronan Burtenshaw

Source: Jacobin

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

[wpedon id=”4696″ align=”left”]

READ MORE!
Ukraine Re-Writes History by Celebrating Nazi Collaborator
For the approximately 200 Canadian military trainers currently deployed to Ukraine, it is likely that on the first of January they would have witnessed a torch lit procession. Throughout Kiev and numerous other towns in Western Ukraine, thousands of civilians took to the streets – not to usher in the New Year – but to celebrate the 110th anniversary of the birth of a man named Stepan Bandera.This was not the first time Ukrainian nationalists marched with torches to celebrate Bandera’s birthday, but it was the first time such a spectacle was an officially sanctioned affair.On December 28, 2018, Ukrainian ...
READ MORE
Macedonization of Macedonia
As a matter of historical fact, a separate Macedonian ethnonational identity did not exist until the second half of the 19th century. This is partly due to the fact that Macedonia was ruled by Ottoman Empire for a longer period of time: from 1371 to 1912. It is known that Ottoman authorities did not recognize any kind of ethnonational or ethnolinguistic identities but rather only the confessional (millet-system). Therefore, the Christians of Macedonia were not differentiated between themselves on the ethnic bases. Furthermore, Macedonian territories were inhabited by different ethnic, linguistic and religious groups (Slavic- and Greek-speaking Christians, Turkish- and ...
READ MORE
The Psychology of Fascism
Some recent studies have reminded us of the characteristics of fascist movements and individuals, particularly as they manifest among politically active fascists. For example, in his recent book How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us And Them Professor Jason Stanley has identified ten characteristics shared by fascists which have been simply presented in the article ‘Prof Sees Fascism Creeping In U.S.’These characteristics, readily evident in the USA, Europe, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar and elsewhere today, include belief in a mythic (false) past, propaganda to divert attention and blame from the true source of corruption, anti-intellectualism and a belief in the ...
READ MORE
The Hidden Story of Crimea’s Economic Success
Recently Crimea celebrated the 2nd anniversary of its reunification with Russia, marked on the day of the referendum that ended the Ukrainian occupation. Much has been written about the political and geopolitical aspects of the reunification as well as the social sentiments of the people, but little has been said about the economy. I want to lift the lid on that because the results of the economic transition are in fact quite impressive, especially considering the arduous hurdles that had to be overcome in the process.The transition from the Ukrainian economy to the Russian one meant a transfer from a ...
READ MORE
Tito Disappeared in 1937: Yugoslavia was Led by a Russian Agent – FBI Documents
On April 20, 1955, Marijan John Markul entered the FBI’s Los Angeles office and told a shocking story. The man who then introduced himself as Marshal Josip Broz Tito was not actually him, but a Russian agent who assumed the identity of Tito after Josip Broz disappeared in Russia in 1937. This is stated in the FBI’s report from the beginning of May 1955, writes daily newspaper “Kurir”.Secret FBI reports from the fifties were recently opened and released to the public.Marijan Markul was born in Livno in 1909. He moved to the United States in 1936 and received citizenship in ...
READ MORE
Linguistic Engineering: New “Boshnjak” Identity and “Bosnian” Language
On November 21st, 2015 it was the 20th anniversary of the 1995 Dayton Peace Accord – a treaty signed by four Presidents (the USA, Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina) that led to an end of the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. As a result of the Dayton Peace Accord a new “independent and internationally recognized state” emerged: Bosnia-Herzegovina as a confederation of two political entities (the Republic of Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation) but ethnically strictly divided into three segments composed by the Serb, Croat and Muslim (today Boshnjak) controlled territories. In contrast to the Republic of Srpska (49% of the territory ...
READ MORE
The Crimean Tatar Card is Being Played Again
The Crimean Tatar writer and artist Diana Kadi recently wrote an open letter to Angela Merkel:“I am the author of a novel about the Crimea. Since an information war is being waged of such intensity that propaganda and lies have become the norm, I believe that it is important for me to set forth my views on the subject of the Crimea. Ukrainian politicians claim that Russia is the aggressor and that Crimean Tatars are oppressed, but that is simply untrue. My people have once again become an instrument of political manipulation. The alleged oppression of the Crimean Tatars is ...
READ MORE
Operation Barbarossa: The 75th Anniversary of the Nazi Invasion of the Soviet Union
Seventy-five years ago Adolf Hitler launched the biggest and most destructive military campaign in history when three million German and allied troops invaded the Soviet Union along a 1,000-mile front.Operation Barbarossa – the codename for the German invasion of Russia - was no ordinary military campaign: it was an ideological and racist war, a war of destruction and extermination that aimed to kill Jews, enslave the Slavic peoples and destroy communism. The result was a war in which 25 million Soviet citizens died, including a million Jews, executed by the SS in 1941-1942 – an action which became the template ...
READ MORE
Save Donbass People from Ukrainian Euromaidan Army
SaveSaveOrigins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.[wpedon id="4696" align="left"]
READ MORE
Kosovo and Ukraine: Compare and Contrast
There have been at least two countries in Europe in recent history that undertook ‘anti-terrorist’ military operations against ‘separatists’, but got two very different reactions from the Western elite.The government of European country A launches what it calls an ‘anti-terrorist’ military operation against ‘separatists’ in one part of the country. We see pictures on Western television of people’s homes being shelled and lots of people fleeing. The US and UK and other NATO powers fiercely condemn the actions of the government of country A and accuse it of carrying out ‘genocide’ and ’ethnic cleansing’ and say that there is an ...
READ MORE
US Propaganda Campaign to Demonize Russia in Full Gear over One-Sided Dutch/Aussie Report on Flight 17 Downing
If the danger of the anti-Putin, anti-Russian disinformation propaganda campaign out of the Pentagon and promoted by the US corporate media weren’t so serious, the effort itself might be laughable. I did laugh.In fact, listening last night to a discussion by an NPR host with a government spokesperson about the latest propaganda effort to blame the downing of a Malaysian jumbo jet over Ukraine on July 17, 2014 on Russia. After hearing the government official, whose name I didn’t catch, say that Dutch prosecutors had found “solid evidence” that it was a “Russian-made” BUK antiaircraft missile launched from “pro-Russian” rebel ...
READ MORE
The US/NATO Orchestration of the 2014 Maidan Coup in Ukraine
The 70 Years of NATO: From War to War,by the Italian Committee No War No NATODocumentation presented at the International Conference on the 70th Anniversary of NATO, Florence, April 7, 20191. The operation conducted by the USA and NATO in Ukraine began in 1991 after the Soviet Union collapsed and the Warsaw Pact, which was a part of the Soviet Union, also disintegrated. The United States and its European allies moved immediately to take full advantage of the new geopolitical situation.2. Ukraine – whose territory acts as a buffer between NATO and Russia and is crossed by energy corridors between Russia and the ...
READ MORE
Cheap Dignity of the Ukrainian Revolution
The interviews with three snipers of Georgian nationality, conducted by the Italian journalist Gian Micalessin and aired last week as a breathtaking documentary on Milan-based Canale 5 (Matrix program), still have not paved its way to the international mainstream media. That is hardly surprising taking into account the bombshell evidence against the real perpetrators and organizers of the 2014 coup d’etat in Kiev, generally known as the “revolution of dignity“.The documentary features Alexander Revazishvili, Koba Nergadze and Zalogi Kvaratskhelia, Georgian military officers  who were recruited to carry out a “special mission” in Kiev by Mamuka Mamulashvili, a close aid of ...
READ MORE
The USA has been at War 93% of the Time (222 out of 239 Years – since 1776 to 2015)
The U.S. Has Only Been At Peace For 21 Years Total Since Its Birth In 2011, Danios wrote: Below, I have reproduced a year-by-year timeline of America’s wars, which reveals something quite interesting: since the United States was founded in 1776, she has been at war during 214 out of her 235 calendar years of existence.  In other words, there were only 21 calendar years in which the U.S. did not wage any wars. To put this in perspective: * Pick any year since 1776 and there is about a 91% chance that America was involved in some war during that calendar year. * No U.S. president truly qualifies as a ...
READ MORE
EuroMaidan Ukraine – (Selection of the Best Photos)
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.[wpedon id="4696" align="left"]SaveSaveSave
READ MORE
How the War in Ukraine Started
Clear and convincing evidence will be presented here that, under U.S. President Barack Obama, the U.S. Government had a detailed plan, which was already active in June 2013, to take over Russia's main naval base, which is in Sevastopol in Crimea, and to turn it into a U.S. naval base. There can now be no question that the war in Ukraine started, and resulted from, the U.S. Government's plan to take over all of Ukraine, and especially to take over that Russian naval base, in Crimea, which then was in Ukraine. The war in Ukraine didn't start at the time when ...
READ MORE
Commemorating Odessa Massacre
The Ukrainian massacre of anti-regime pamphleteers on May 2, 2014 at the Odessa Trade Unions Building, burning these pamphleteers alive there, was crucial to the Obama Administration’s solidification of its control over Ukraine. That massacre was designed to, and it did, terrorize the residents in all areas of Ukraine which had voted overwhelmingly for the man whom Obama had just ousted, Viktor Yanukovych. Especially in the Donbass region, Yanokovych had received 90%+ of the votes. In Odessa, he had received three-quarters of the votes. (Later will be explained why this terror against the residents of such regions was necessary for ...
READ MORE
Why Russia Resents U.S.
Friday, a Russian SU-27 did a barrel roll over a U.S. RC-135 over the Baltic, the second time in two weeks. Also in April, the U.S. destroyer Donald Cook, off Russia’s Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, was twice buzzed by Russian planes. Vladimir Putin’s message: Keep your spy planes and ships a respectable distance away from us. Apparently, we have not received it. Friday, Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work announced that 4,000 NATO troops, including two U.S. battalions, will be moved into Poland and the Baltic States, right on Russia’s border. “The Russians have been doing a lot of snap exercises right up against ...
READ MORE
Who Annexed the Crimean Peninsula?
Due to the international media’s continued claims about the «annexation of Crimea», it’s been difficult for the citizens of the US and Europe to make sense of the details of the peninsula’s recent history. Exactly three years ago, on March 16, 2014, the Crimeans were offered a choice: to rejoin Russia or to return to the constitution of 1992 that proclaimed Crimea a legal, democratic, secular state whose relationship with Ukraine was based on bilateral agreements. That constitution was unilaterally abolished by Kiev on March 17, 1995, and here’s what’s surprising: no one at that time in the West demanded that the Ukrainian ...
READ MORE
Why America Needs War
GR Editor’s Note: This incisive article was written on April 30, 2003, by historian and political scientist Jacques Pauwels. A timely question: Why Does Hillary Want War… ? And why do people support her?  *     *     * Wars are a terrible waste of lives and resources, and for that reason most people are in principle opposed to wars. The American President, on the other hand, seems to love war. Why? Many commentators have sought the answer in psychological factors. Some opined that George W. Bush considered it his duty to finish the job started, but for some obscure reason ...
READ MORE
Ukraine Re-Writes History by Celebrating Nazi Collaborator
Macedonization of Macedonia
The Psychology of Fascism
The Hidden Story of Crimea’s Economic Success
Tito Disappeared in 1937: Yugoslavia was Led by a Russian Agent – FBI Documents
Linguistic Engineering: New “Boshnjak” Identity and “Bosnian” Language
The Crimean Tatar Card is Being Played Again
Operation Barbarossa: The 75th Anniversary of the Nazi Invasion of the Soviet Union
Save Donbass People from Ukrainian Euromaidan Army
Kosovo and Ukraine: Compare and Contrast
US Propaganda Campaign to Demonize Russia in Full Gear over One-Sided Dutch/Aussie Report on Flight 17 Downing
The US/NATO Orchestration of the 2014 Maidan Coup in Ukraine
Cheap Dignity of the Ukrainian Revolution
The USA has been at War 93% of the Time (222 out of 239 Years – since 1776 to 2015)
EuroMaidan Ukraine – (Selection of the Best Photos)
How the War in Ukraine Started
Commemorating Odessa Massacre
Why Russia Resents U.S.
Who Annexed the Crimean Peninsula?
Why America Needs War

Written by Policraticus

SHORT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website. The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website. The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. No advertising, government or corporate funding for the functioning of this website. The owner & editor-in-chief and authors are not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the text and material found on the website www.global-politics.eu

Website: http://www.global-politics.eu