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Weissman writes: "Yes, many Israelis make use of the Holocaust, just as many in America traded on the undeniable horror of 9/11. That's Shoah business, as Israel's silver-tongued Abba Eban once called it."

The protest against Hollande turned anti-semitic. (photo: AFP)
The protest against Hollande turned anti-semitic. (photo: AFP)

Fascist Beast Back in the Streets of Paris

By Steve Weissman, Reader Supported News

30 January 14


ew, go away," the marchers in Paris shouted last Sunday. "France is not for you." Mostly white men under 30, they made their feelings clear. "Juif! Juif! Juif! Juif!" they shouted with menace, "Jew! Jew! Jew! Jew!" They also shouted against LICRA, the International League against racism and anti-Semitism, which is not quite an equivalent of our ACLU. A few marchers waved French flags, the blue, white, and red. A man with a shaved head and leather jacket gave what appeared to be an old-fashioned Nazi salute.

"Juif. Hors de France!" "Jew. Out of France!" they shouted. "Faurisson was right. Gas chambers are a fraud."

Watch the action on YouTube. Let it be a wake-up call for us all, and a reality check for those who view the Holocaust and its gas chambers as little more than a Zionist marketing ploy. Yes, many Israelis make use of the Holocaust, just as many in America traded on the undeniable horror of 9/11. That's Shoah business, as Israel's silver-tongued Abba Eban once called it. Netanyahu continues to use the Holocaust against the Palestinians and in his nightmare talk of "an existential threat" from Iran.

This is part of the story, and no one should deny it. But wake up and smell the gas. Zionists did not make Jews Hitler's chosen people. Hitler did. He made us his chief scapegoat and whipping boy, and not for anything we did, an inconvenient truth that will provoke closet anti-Semites and perturb those Jews who - like members of other persecuted minorities - buy into the hateful ideologies of their persecutors. Jews were not guilty for the crimes of the Third Reich, whether against other nations, other people, or European Jewry. Hitler was guilty, along with his supporters, taking so much of his insane inspiration from the darkest depths of Christian Europe's long-standing hatred of its generally miniscule Jewish minority.

As Sunday's march shows, his die-hard followers still sing the same song, and - like their Führer - they will not stop with Jews. They are already targeting Gypsies, gays, immigrants, and above all Muslims who live here, many from former French colonies in North Africa and south of the Sahara. Sadly, an uncertain number of French Muslims have bought into the Jew-bashing. I hope they do not discover their mistake the hard way. Inshallah.

Advanced billing for the "Jour de Colère" - "Day of Rage" - never mentioned the neo-Nazis, who were only one of the participating groups. Organizers estimated the overall numbers at 120,000, while police put it at 17,000, and they came together to declare the beginning of a retro-revolutionary "French Spring."

Sponsors included a who's zoo of the far-right fringe, from Catholic traditionalists and royalists to modern-day poujadists and neo-fascist defenders of their European, French and regional identities. Their slogans and placards told where they came from and where they would take France if they ever took power. Defend "family values." Stop immigration. Keep France for the French. Oppose abortion. Condemn in vitro fertilization. Overturn the recent legalization of "marriage for all." Reject changes to traditional education. "No to the destruction of civilization." "France, nation, revolution!"

Participants also called for the hapless French president François Hollande to step down from office, and protested loudly against his high taxes and go-nowhere economic policies. I share their pain, but prefer Paul Krugman's Keynesian critique, and I blame Hollande and other European deficit hawks and austerity mongers for opening the door to the growing revival of the far right.

As far as I can tell, few if any of the other angry participants have disavowed and condemned the Neo-Nazi shock troops with whom they marched. Why offend them? They could in time prove useful.

The loudest silence comes from Marine Le Pen and her rebranded National Front, who did not sponsor the march but pitch much of their appeal to those who were there. These 'patriots" and "people of the Right" are her base, whom she cannot afford to offend even as she tries tirelessly to move beyond the thuggery of her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, the godfather of French "fachos."

Correction: "Denying the Holocaust: What Would Hitler Do?"

In my last column, I mentioned that Hitler wrote as early as 1922 that his "first and foremost task will be the annihilation of the Jews." He never wrote that, but said it in an interview with the German journalist Josef Hell. The German-born historian Gerald Fleming saved this all-important scrap of history in his book "Hitler and the Final Solution."

"What do you want to do to the Jews once you have full discretionary power?" Hell asked.

Stunned by Hitler's response, Hell noted it at length.

His eyes no longer saw me but instead bore past me and off into empty space; his explanations grew increasingly voluble until he fell into a kind of paroxysm that ended with his shouting, as if to the a whole public gathering: "Once I really am in power, my first and foremost task will be the annihilation of the Jews. As soon as I have the power to do so, I will have gallows built in rows - at the Marienplatz in Munich, for example - as many as traffic allows. Then the Jews will be hanged indiscriminately, and they will remain hanging until they stink; they will hang there as long as the principles of hygiene permit. As soon as they have been untied, the next batch will be strung up, and so on down the line, until the last Jew in Munich has been exterminated. Other cities will follow suit, precisely in this fashion, until all Germany has been completely cleansed of Jews.

Hitler said this in 1922. According to the highly-respected Fleming, the record can be found at Josef Hell, "Aufzeichnung," 1922, ZS 640, p. 5, Institut fur Zeitgeschichte.

A veteran of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and the New Left monthly Ramparts, Steve Weissman lived for many years in London, working as a magazine writer and television producer. He now lives and works in France, where he is researching a new book, "Big Money and the Corporate State: How Global Banks, Corporations, and Speculators Rule and How to Nonviolently Break Their Hold."

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