ATHENS, Greece (JTA) — The Greek neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party questioned the need for the country to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, calling it “unacceptable.”
In the Greek Parliament last week, Golden Dawn lawmaker Ioannis Lagos asked the education and interior ministers why state institutions and schools commemorate the remembrance day, which is marked on Jan. 27 each year — the day in 1945 that Soviet forces liberated the Auschwitz death camp.
“We have received complaints that on this day, in Greek schools, texts are read which praise the Jews and at the same time portray them as heroes,” Lagos said. “Given that at the same time Greek children are completely ignorant of important moments in Greek history and of the real holocausts and heroes of the Greeks, we find it unacceptable that they are taught about the Jewish Holocaust in detail.”
In a separate statement on the party website posted over the weekend, Golden Dawn praised the 2013 winner of the World Press Photo Award showing the funeral procession of two children killed in Israel’s recent operation in Gaza. The statement called the photo another reminder of “the Judaic barbarity” and accused the Greek government, which it called “the pawn of International Zionism,” of colluding with Israel and American Jewish groups to combat Golden Dawn.
The statement also said the Greek government had abandoned Syria’s “legitimate leader (Bashar) Assad” and publicly supported “the murderers of the Syrian opposition” at the behest of “American-Zionist warhawks.”
Golden Dawn swept into the Greek parliament with 19 lawmakers in last year’s elections, campaigning on an anti-austerity, anti-immigrant platform that preyed on the fears of Greeks who have seen the country flooded with immigrants amid a terrible recession. Greek and international Jewish groups have repeatedly condemned Golden Dawn as racist and anti-Semitic.