Fascism

Europe’s Fault Lines

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Liz Fekete has done all socialists and anti-racists a service by documenting the extent of right wing mobilisation across Europe. She discusses the rise of the fascist right such as the Front National in France, and the right wing parties that are gaining ground in Austria, Poland, Hungary and the rest of eastern Europe.

Importantly she identifies this push as coming not simply from fascist ideologues but from the actions of mainstream parties as they adopt increasingly right wing positions.

Who makes the Nazis?

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A new book examines how Hitler’s early regime in the 1930s looked to US laws on immigration, citizenship and mixed marriage to legitimise itself. It is a crucial history in the era of Trump, writes Roddy Slorach.

“In the early 1930s, the Jews of Germany were hounded, beaten and sometimes murdered by mobs and the state alike. In the same years the blacks of the American South were hounded, beaten and sometimes murdered as well.” So reads the introduction to a revealing new book by James Q Whitman.

Today’s debates on the nature of Trump’s presidency and the way it has boosted far-right parties across the globe lends urgency to this story: how Hitler’s new Nazi state drew on US state racism to help consolidate and legitimise its new regime.

Halting the conveyor belt of hate

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Donny Gluckstein analyses the relationship between nationalism, which helps convince workers to defend the “national interest”, the racism which flows from that idea of an us and them defined by nation, and full-blown fascism, which abandons the notion of democratic consent altogether.

We are daily buffeted by a bewildering mass of bad news stories on the racism front. The most bizarre example to date is Trump, the most powerful person in the world, retweeting the grotesque videos of Britain First, a tiny fascist grouping whose only claim to fame is that the murderer of Jo Cox MP shouted its name as he attacked her. To make sense of such events it helps to clearly understand what nationalism, racism and fascism are, how they are connected, and how they interact.

Trump, the alt-right and fascism in the US

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The killing of Heather Heyer by a Nazi in Charlottesville provoked horror and fear, but also a magnificent response from anti-racists across the US. Michael Bradley examines the tangled relationship between the far-right and President Trump, and the implications for fighting fascism.

The images of Neo-Nazis marching with burning torches, Swastika banners and Confederate flags through the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, US, and shouting “Jews will not replace us” were shockingly reminiscent of Nazi Germany.

And the death of the anti-racist Heather Heyer at the hands of white supremacist James Fields and the injuries to 19 demonstrators as he drove into the crowd was a moment of true horror.

The Handmaid's Tale

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If you’ve read Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, published in 1985, you likely will have called it to mind frequently in recent years — and perhaps especially since last November. The book depicts a fascist US society that responds to ecological destruction with oppression, using the language of Christianity to hide and justify the real structures of power.

Henry Ford's dirty history

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Donald Trump’s reluctance to denounce neo-Nazis marching on the streets of the US has shocked many people. But there is a long history of US businessmen flirting with fascism, writes John Newsinger.

Donald Trump is by no means the first US businessman to flirt with the far-right and even fascism. In the 1920s and 1930s many American businessmen looked to fascism as a way to protect their interests.

One particular individual stands out though — Henry Ford. Ford is still celebrated as one of the greatest US businessmen, as someone who transformed modern capitalism.

What is less often acknowledged is that he was also a vicious antisemite. Indeed, far from Ford being influenced by the Nazis, it was very much the other way round.

Austrian Nazi makes a mark

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Last month’s first round presidential election in Austria showed a dangerous shift to the right. Norbert Hofer of the fascist Freedom Party came top with 36 percent of the vote. In second place was the Green Party candidate with 20 percent.

There will be a run-off election between the two to decide the presidency on 22 May. Although the president is mainly a ceremonial role, Hofer has already claimed that he would dissolve parliament before the next parliamentary elections in 2018.

Roots of the Holocaust

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On the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Tom Kay examines how anti-Semitism used by the German ruling class as a weapon against the workers' movement escalated into genocide.

In the course of the Holocaust 6 million Jews — two thirds of the entire European Jewish population — died at the hands of the Nazi murder machine. Adolph Hitler’s regime oversaw the killing of roughly 5 million socialists, communists, Roma Gypsies, Slavs, Christians, LGBT and disabled people.

Remembering Poland's hidden Jewish history

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The Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw

The opening of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw represents a milestone in confronting both the country's history and present day anti-Semitism, writes Andy Zebrowski.

Anti-Semitism remains the most common form of racism in Poland. The sweeping under the carpet of Jewish history is one aspect of this. The newly opened Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw is an important opportunity to remember the millions the Nazis murdered.

The museum is a splendid monument, majestic and architecturally interesting. It stands in the old Jewish area of Warsaw facing the monument to the Ghetto Heroes, where clashes between the Nazis and Jewish fighters took place during the Ghetto Uprising in 1943. But the museum deals with more than the Holocaust.

Legacy of Eichmann's trial

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Eichmann on trial

To mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the BBC is showing a dramatisation of the trial of Adolf Eichmann.

On 11 April 1961 the 55 year old Nazi Adolf Eichmann was marched into a protected glass booth in a Jerusalem court. His entrance heralded the beginning of the first internationally televised trial, broadcast for four months across 37 countries.
Newsreels flown daily to the United States were transmitted by all the major news networks. Opinion polls indicated 87 percent of the US public had heard of or read about the trial.

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