Immigration has become a focal point of political dissent in the developed world, as “globalization” relocates industrial facilities to the Third World and, in turn, professionally qualified workers from underdeveloped countries to the First World. “Immigration” and the socioeconomic pressures created by the European Union and European Monetary Union have fueled the rise of fascist political movements throughout Europe. beginning with discussion of the recent success of Jörg Haider in Austria, the program compares Haider’s political agenda with that of other European fascist movements.
Termed “the Yuppie fascist” by some, Haider has been the lynchpin of the Austrian Freedom Party. This party was created in the late 1940’s as a vehicle for the political rehabilitation of Nazis who had served Hitler. Haider has termed his political agenda “The Contract with Austria,” after that of former American Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Successfully mobilizing Austrians’ fear of “immigrants,” Haider has entered the government as part of a parliamentary coalition. Lionizing the SS, Haider has steadfastly refused to condemn his Third Reich political antecedents.
The program highlights the role that political corruption has played in creating popular dissatisfaction with the political ”establishments” in EU countries. In Italy, that corruption helped to bring Silvio Berlusconi to power in 1994. (Berlusconi held that post in a political coalition with Gianfranco Fini, the head of the Italian fascist party and political heir to Mussolini.)
The broadcast highlights the anti-immigrant sentiment in Denmark, fueling the rise of the far right in that country.
Next, the broadcast turns to a series of Nazi terrorist acts in Sweden, including an assassination of a prominent anti-fascist. That killing brought thousands into the streets in protest. Next, the broadcast sets forth Austrian chancellor Wolfgang Schussel’s visit to Hungary and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s endorsement of Haider’s political ascent in Austria. Viewed with a jaundiced eye because of his previous political alignment with the fascist Tudjman regime in Croatia, Orban has demonstrated a distinct nostalgia for Hungary’s fascist past.
In addition to bestowing honors on the fascist militia that participated in the extermination of Hungarian Jewry during World War II, Orban’s government has honored Hungarian soldiers who fought alongside the Third Reich. (Hungary was part of the Axis during World War II.)
Orban’s coalition partner, Istvan Csurka, has called for the political rehabilitation of the Hungarian fascist parties of the World War II period.
Combatants who fought alongside the Nazis are being rehabilitated in the former Soviet republic of Latvia, as well. The Latvian Waffen SS division has been officially honored in that country, with numerous members of the Latvian parliament participating in the ceremony. Previously, the top officials of the Latvian armed forces participated in the honoring of the SS.
The second half of the program begins with discussion of Latvia’s imprisonment of an anti-Nazi partisan for alleged “war crimes”. This man had been viewed as a hero for fighting against the Nazis.
The second half of the program then deals with the recent electoral success of the Italian media magnate Silvio Berlusconi, and his relationship with the fascist P‑2 lodge of Licio Gelli, highlighting Berlusconi’s close ties to former Prime Minister Bettino Craxi, and the political forces that engendered a series of scandals over the years. Centered on the P‑2, those political forces catapulted Berlusconi (himself a member of P‑2) into power. Ironically, it was disenchantment with the very corruption embodied by Berlusconi and his associates that led to his election as part of a fascist coalition government. The program reviews Berlusconi’s participation in Gelli’s “democratic re-birth of fascism”. (Recorded on 4/30/2000.)