UN official compares current climate in Europe to that before Nazis’ rise
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UN official compares current climate in Europe to that before Nazis’ rise

Top adviser for prevention of genocide says ‘signs of the ’30s are resurfacing’ with resurgent anti-Semitism and growing anti-immigrant sentiment

The UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng (center), in Geneva, May 1, 2019 at the Second Global Summit on Religion Peace and Security. (UN)
The UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng (center), in Geneva, May 1, 2019 at the Second Global Summit on Religion Peace and Security. (UN)

The UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide has warned that political rhetoric being heard in Europe is similar to language used during the Nazis’ rise to power.

“The signs of the (19)30s are resurfacing. You all are witnessing every day the anti-Semitism which is rising,” Adama Dieng said Wednesday at the Second Global Summit on Religion, Peace and Security that was held at the United Nation offices in Geneva.

While pointing out recent attacks against Jews, Christians and Muslims, Dieng specifically called for action in Europe where he noted signs of growing militant nationalism based on racist ideology.

“Big massacres start always with small actions and language,” Dieng warned, noting that the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis was preceded by hate speech and hate crimes, that robbed Jews of their basic humanity.

The Senegalese diplomat said Europe was witnessing daily humiliation and dehumanization of migrants and refugees.

Police secure the demonstration of the far-right party ‘Rise of German Patriots’ in Leipzig, Germany, May 1, 2019. (Heiko Rebsch/dpa via AP)

“You are hearing political leaders in this continent… who are simply using that category of population as a scapegoat,” Dieng said, adding “accusing them even… [of] the failure of their economics.”

Dieng said it was time to “call a spade a spade” and call out ultra-nationalist extreme right-wing leaders for incitement.

“I think unless we are blind or of a bad faith we should admit that it is time to stand up. It is time to speak out… We cannot allow human beings to be treated the way they are being treated.”

Dieng has been with the UN since 2001 when he was appointed by then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to work on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, investigating the Rwandan genocide during that country’s civil war in 1994, in which up to a million people were killed.

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