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Overcoming Anti-Semitism and Nationalistic Bias


Lessons from Kristallnacht in Serbia 2005

Press Release to Mark November 9, International Day Against Fascizm and Anti-semitism



What action Serbia takes on this day when over 40 countries worldwide - including her neighbors - commemorate the pogrom that took place 66 years ago, when millions of people, all over again, remember the Kristallnacht, a symbolic beginning of Holocaust? What action Serbia takes so as to keep alive the remembrance of fatal consequences of racism, fascism and anti-Semitism, and what action does she take so as to raise public awareness that no nation can build its future on intolerance and discrimination?

In this context, official Serbia does nothing at all. However, while she benevolently looks at manifestations whereby the non-governmental sector only partakes in the commemoration of an international day, the official Serbia is taking actions any country, calling themselves democratic, would be ashamed of.

The official scene of today's Serbia is dominated by dogmatic and anti-modern ideologies - coming either from the Right or the Left - the common dominator of which is fundamental denial of human and minority rights. Serbia's present coalition government has been formed by the party the leader of which looks up to Dimitrije Ljotic, well-known ideologist of fascism before and during the World War II, as his political ideal. The media in Serbia promote the intellectuals advocating not only the validity of fascist collaborators' ideas, but also a ban on non-governmental organizations, "financed by Soros's Jewish lobby."

Serbia even got a law that equalizes the rights of the WWII Chetniks and partisans - the law unprecedented in any country of the anti-fascist coalition that totally devaluates the idea of anti-fascism, the anti-fascist struggle and millions of human lives that perished under fascism. Serbia got textbooks that shamelessly revise not only more than 50-year history in the territory of ex-Yugoslavia, but also the recent past when, among other things and in the name of the Serbian people, the first genocide in Europe after the WWII has been committed.

In the post-October 5 Serbia, the Serbian Orthodox Church canonized Bishop Nikolaj Velimirovic who had considered Adolph Hitler a first-rate statesman of the 20th century, a visionary to be properly perceived as such only when "it becomes clear - and that's unavoidable - that it were England and America that caused the WWII with a view to saving the Soviet Russia, and that Jews were not being killed in gas chambers."

Last but not least, today's Serbia publishes hundreds of new titles and reprints firstly issued at the time of Nazi occupation, the authors of which are known as members of fascist and similar organizations. Thus, today's Serbia not only "informs" readers that "all modern Europe's ideas were invented by Jews who had crucified Christ: democracy, strikes, socialism, atheism, religious tolerance, pacifism, worldwide revolution, capitalism and communism" (Nikolaj Velimirovic), but also - from the shelves of outstanding publishers - feeds them with titles such as "Jewish Complot," "The Serbian People in the Clutches of Jews," "Why Is It I Hate Jews?" "The Evil and the Damned," "3000 Years in the Service of Satan," "Why Is It I Admire Adolph Hitler," "Jewish Ritual Killing," etc. Serbia is doing all that just because it does nothing to prevent this evil plight similar to the one that, 66 years ago, brought about the Kristallnacht.

Belgrade, November 8, 2005




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