Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #901 Fascism: Past, Present and Future

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This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

Hel­mets of the Ukrain­ian Azov bat­tal­ion: Your tax dol­lars at work

Intro­duc­tion: As the title of the pro­gram indi­cates, this broad­cast chron­i­cles aspects of the past and present of fascism–the Under­ground Reich, in particular–and looks ahead to a very, very scary future. Our polit­i­cal cul­ture has not record­ed an accu­rate account of what fas­cism is, how it arose, what became of it, and–in particular–why it has been able to per­pet­u­ate itself so effec­tive­ly. One of the rea­sons for this fail­ure con­cerns the col­lab­o­ra­tion between major insti­tu­tions of our “demo­c­ra­t­ic” soci­ety and the Axis pow­ers before, dur­ing and after the Sec­ond World War.

In addi­tion to dom­i­nant cor­po­rate insti­tu­tions and allied polit­i­cal and nation­al secu­ri­ty elites, Amer­i­can jour­nal­is­tic orga­ni­za­tions have stained them­selves with fas­cist col­lab­o­ra­tion. One of those insti­tu­tions is the Asso­ci­at­ed Press, which col­lab­o­rat­ed with Nazi Ger­many, in order to steal a jour­nal­is­tic march on cov­er­age of the Third Reich and its mil­i­tary cam­paigns.

Next, the pro­gram revis­its part of the out­come of the decades-long col­lab­o­ra­tion between the CIA and the dis­til­late of the Third Reich intelligence–the Gehlen “Org.” In Ukraine, the gov­ern­ment that assumed pow­er fol­low­ing the Maid­an coup/covert oper­a­tion is the direct suc­ces­sor to the OUN/B fas­cists who col­lab­o­rat­ed with Hitler. Recent devel­op­ments in the man­i­fes­ta­tions of Ukrain­ian fas­cism include:

  • A con­gres­sion­al rever­sal of a ban on fund­ing the Nazi “volunteer/punisher” bat­tal­ions in Ukraine.
  • A Ukrain­ian leg­is­la­tor’s toast­ing of Adolf Hitler.
  • The appoint­ment of Svo­bo­da lumi­nary and “Maid­an com­man­der” Andriy Paru­biy to be the speak­er of the Ukrain­ian par­lia­ment.
  • Ukrain­ian Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko’s address to the Knes­set (the Israeli Par­lia­ment.) For­mer Pres­i­dent Jim­my Carter has been banned from trav­el­ing to Israel because of his ref­er­ences to Israel as “apartheid.” Petro Poroshenko laid a wreath in trib­ute to the OUN/B at the site of the Babi Yar mas­sacre. (OUN/B recruits con­sti­tut­ed the bulk of the exe­cu­tion­ers at Babi Yar.) Appar­ent­ly Poroshenko’s hon­or­ing of the exe­cu­tion­ers of Babi Yar did not dis­qual­i­fy HIM from address­ing the Knes­set. Shame!

Ustachi with vic­tim

Ustachi Recruit­ing Poster

Next, the pro­gram details the emer­gence into plain view of the Ustachi fas­cists in Croa­t­ia. Like the OUN/B and oth­er East­ern Euro­pean Third Reich col­lab­o­ra­tors, the Ustachi were sup­port­ed by ele­ments of West­ern intel­li­gence and–even more importantly–the GOP’s Her­itage Groups Coun­cil, a Nazi branch of the GOP. (For more about this top­ic, see–among oth­er programs–FTR #‘s 48, 154, 532, 766, 865.)

Fol­low­ing the recrude­s­cence of Ustachi ele­ments in Croa­t­ia fol­low­ing the desta­bi­liza­tion and breakup of the for­mer Yugoslavia, the Ustacha suc­ces­sors have solid­i­fied their polit­i­cal base and are now emerg­ing into the open–now longer an “Under­ground Reich.” Recent devel­op­ments include:

  • The out­go­ing Croa­t­ian Prime Min­is­ter’s char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of the new gov­ern­ment there as being “crim­i­nal, pro-Ustacha.” ” . . . [Ex-PM] Zoran Milanovic said on Mon­day he was con­cerned that “peo­ple from a crim­i­nal, spy­ing, and pro-Ustasha coali­tion” are com­ing to pow­er in Croa­t­ia. . . .”
  • The new Croa­t­ian Cul­ture Min­is­ter’s open Ustacha sen­ti­ments: ” . . . . In the text pub­lished for a pro-Fas­cist bul­letin in his stu­dent days in 1996, Croatia’s new Cul­ture Min­is­ter wrote about the wartime Fas­cist Ustasa fight­ers as “vic­tims” and “mar­tyrs”. In the text pub­lished for a pro-Fas­cist bul­letin in his stu­dent days in 1996, Croatia’s new Cul­ture Min­is­ter wrote about the wartime Fas­cist Ustasa fight­ers as “vic­tims” and “martyrs.”Zlatko Hasan­be­govic unam­bigu­ously glo­ri­fied the Ustasa and advo­cated the estab­lish­ment of the Greater Croa­tia in the month­ly mag­a­zine, “The Inde­pen­dent State of Croa­tia,” pub­lished in the 1990s. He was pho­tographed in it with Mladen Schwartz, Velimir Bujanec, and the son-in-law of for­mer Fas­cist dic­ta­tor and Ustasa leader Ante Pavel­ic. In one pho­to­graph he wears an Ustasa cap. The then edi­tor-in-chief of the month­ly, Srecko Psenic­nik, was the son-in-law of Ante Pavel­ic, and Pres­i­dent of the Croa­t­ian Lib­er­a­tion Move­ment, HOP, a pro-Ustasa par­ty found­ed by Pavel­ic. . . .”
  • The con­tin­u­ing man­i­fes­ta­tion of pro-Ustacha revi­sion­ist sen­ti­ment at Croa­t­ian foot­ball [soc­cer] match­es. “ . . . . After Wednesday’s foot­ball game between Croa­tia and Israel in east­ern city of Osi­jek, the Fas­cist chant. Za dom sprem­ni” (“Ready for the Home­land”) once more echoed in the stands. Sup­port­ers of the World War II Nazi pup­pet state, the Inde­pen­dent State of Croa­tia, NDH — whose Ustasa death squads took part in the Nazi Holo­caust and mur­dered tens of thou­sands of Jews, Serbs and Roma — made the chant infa­mous. How­ever, although Prime Min­is­ter Tihomir Oreskovic was present at the game, he did not respond. . . . Croatia’s new gov­ern­ment, of the con­tro­ver­sial Cul­ture Min­is­ter, Zlatko Hasan­be­govic, mean­while took a deci­sion to spon­sor an event com­mem­o­rat­ing retreat­ing Ustasa killed in 1945 at Bleiburg in Aus­tria. . . .”

Ger­many is also expe­ri­enc­ing a fright­en­ing return to its polit­i­cal past. Usu­al­ly described in the media as an anti-immi­grant par­ty, the AfD (“Alter­na­tive for Ger­many”) has set forth a polit­i­cal agen­da that is far more than just “anti-immi­grant/an­ti-Mus­lim” and is rem­i­nis­cent of the agen­da of the Third Reich: “ . . . A leaked elec­tion man­i­festo has revealed that Germany’s vote-win­ning new anti-immi­grant par­ty has plans for dra­con­ian laws which would dis­crim­i­nate against hand­i­capped chil­dren, sin­gle moth­ers, and the men­tally ill – and oblige his­tory teach­ers to end a per­ceived “over-empha­sis” on the Nazi era in schools. . . . The party’s man­i­festo makes it clear that the AfD wants a return to what it calls “nation­al” val­ues in Ger­many. It says it “sees the tra­di­tional fam­ily” as the only mod­el which can reverse the country’s declin­ing birth rate. To this end the par­ty pledges to take steps to ban abor­tion and make divorce more dif­fi­cult. By con­trast, Ger­man fam­i­lies which pro­duce chil­dren should be reward­ed with finan­cial incen­tives, it says. . . .”

The AfD is attract­ing young Ger­man vot­ers–a key ele­ment of its suc­cess at the polls.

After dis­cus­sions of ris­ing Euro­fas­cism, we piv­ot to the future, look­ing at the world of tech and how fas­cists can turn that to their advan­tage.

Exem­pli­fy­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ties of online fas­cist activ­i­ty, a high­ly skilled Nazi hack­er and troll named Andrew Auern­heimer. Nick­named “Weev,” he has hacked print­ers in order to make them churn out racist mate­r­i­al. “ . . . . This inci­dent shows, once again, that the appar­ently bright future of the so-called Inter­net of Things has a dark side too: hack­ers can creep out babies tak­ing advan­tage of inse­cure baby mon­i­tors, expose kids’ iden­ti­ties thanks to inter­net-con­nect­ed toys that col­lect and leave their data exposed online, or send a hate­ful white suprema­cist fly­er all over the coun­try with two lines of code. . . .”

Weev has also used his con­sid­er­able skill to manip­u­late Twit­ter to aug­ment his sup­ply of Bit­coins, in addi­tion to dis­sem­i­nat­ing his Nazi pro­pa­gan­da. He has been blocked by Twit­ter for doing so. Glenn Green­wald, how­ev­er, does not share Twit­ter’s dis­taste, hav­ing includ­ed Auern­heimer on his guest list for a par­ty hon­or­ing him for receiv­ing a Polk award. Sad­ly, this is busi­ness as usu­al for Cit­i­zen Green­wald.

An unnerv­ing devel­op­ment and one with huge impli­ca­tions future of our civ­i­liza­tion involved Microsoft­’s devel­op­ment of an AI Twit­ter “bot” named Tay to respond to users of the net­work. It was manip­u­lat­ed to become a Nazi and was tak­en offline. As one observ­er not­ed, using sar­casm: “Tay went from “humans are super cool” to full nazi in <24 hrs and I’m not at all con­cerned about the future of AI.” AI tech­nolo­gies are des­tined to learn from us, which is fright­en­ing: ” . . . When the next pow­er­ful AI comes along, it will see its first look at the world by look­ing at our faces. And if we stare it in the eyes and shout “we’re AWFUL lol,” the lol might be the one part it doesn’t under­stand. . . .”

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

  • A brief review of the devel­op­ment of the OUN/B suc­ces­sor gov­ern­ment in Ukraine.
  • A brief review of the World War II Ustachi gov­ern­ment.
  • The pro­fes­sion­al asso­ci­a­tion between Croa­t­ian cul­tur­al min­is­ter Zlatko Hasan­be­gov­ic and the son-in-law of Ustachi dic­ta­tor Ante Pavel­ic.
  • The AP’s active cov­er-up of the Lviv pogroms in June of 1941.
  • A brief review of the eugen­ics pro­gram in Nazi Ger­many, which sought to elim­i­nate “aso­cials.”
  • Recap of Aus­tralian-born Croa­t­ian foot­baller Joe Simu­nic’s use of the “Za Dom Sprem­ni” cry at a qual­i­fy­ing match for the World Cup.

1. A reveal­ing sto­ry that might be nick­named Ser­pen­t’s Walk: The Pre­quel, dis­cuss­es how the Asso­ci­at­ed Press col­lab­o­rat­ed with the Nazi regime to main­tain its point jour­nal­is­tic pres­ence in the Third Reich.

“Revealed: How Asso­ci­ated Press Coop­er­ated with the Nazis” by Philip Olter­mann;  The Guardian; 3/30/2016.

Ger­man his­to­rian shows how news agency retained access in 1930s by promis­ing not to under­mine strength of Hitler regime

The Asso­ci­ated Press news agency entered a for­mal coop­er­a­tion with the Hitler regime in the 1930s, sup­ply­ing Amer­i­can news­pa­pers with mate­r­ial direct­ly pro­duced and select­ed by the Nazi pro­pa­ganda min­istry, archive mate­r­ial unearthed by a Ger­man his­to­rian has revealed.

When the Nazi par­ty seized pow­er in Ger­many in 1933, one of its first objec­tives was to bring into line not just the nation­al press, but inter­na­tional media too. The Guardian was banned with­in a year, and by 1935 even big­ger British-Amer­i­can agen­cies such as Key­stone and Wide World Pho­tos were forced to close their bureaus after com­ing under attack for employ­ing Jew­ish jour­nal­ists.

Asso­ci­ated Press, which has described itself as the “marine corps of jour­nal­ism” (“always the first in and the last out”) was the only west­ern news agency able to stay open in Hitler’s Ger­many, con­tin­u­ing to oper­ate until the US entered the war in 1941. It thus found itself in the pre­sum­ably prof­itable sit­u­a­tion of being the prime chan­nel for news reports and pic­tures out of the total­i­tar­ian state.

In an arti­cle pub­lished in aca­d­e­mic jour­nal Stud­ies in Con­tem­po­rary His­tory, his­to­rian Har­riet Scharn­berg shows that AP was only able to retain its access by enter­ing into a mutu­ally ben­e­fi­cial two-way coop­er­a­tion with the Nazi regime.

The New York-based agency ced­ed con­trol of its out­put by sign­ing up to the so-called Schriftleit­erge­setz (editor’s law), promis­ing not to pub­lish any mate­r­ial “cal­cu­lated to weak­en the strength of the Reich abroad or at home”.

This law required AP to hire reporters who also worked for the Nazi party’s pro­pa­ganda divi­sion. One of the four pho­tog­ra­phers employed by the Asso­ci­ated Press in the 1930s, Franz Roth, was a mem­ber of the SS para­mil­i­tary unit’s pro­pa­ganda divi­sion, whose pho­tographs were per­son­ally cho­sen by Hitler. AP has removed Roth’s pic­tures from its web­site since Scharn­berg pub­lished her find­ings, though thumb­nails remain view­able due to “soft­ware issues”.

AP also allowed the Nazi regime to use its pho­to archives for its vir­u­lently anti­se­mitic pro­pa­ganda lit­er­a­ture. Pub­li­ca­tions illus­trated with AP pho­tographs include the best­selling SS brochure “Der Unter­men­sch” (“The Sub-Human”) and the book­let “The Jews in the USA”, which aimed to demon­strate the deca­dence of Jew­ish Amer­i­cans with a pic­ture of New York may­or Fiorel­lo LaGuardia eat­ing from a buf­fet with his hands.

Com­ing just before Asso­ci­ated Press’s 170th anniver­sary in May, the new­ly dis­cov­ered infor­ma­tion rais­es not just dif­fi­cult ques­tions about the role AP played in allow­ing Nazi Ger­many to con­ceal its true face dur­ing Hitler’s first years in pow­er, but also about the agency’s rela­tion­ship with con­tem­po­rary total­i­tar­ian regimes.

While the AP deal enabled the west to peek into a repres­sive soci­ety that may oth­er­wise have been entire­ly hid­den from view – for which Berlin cor­re­spon­dent Louis P Lochn­er won a Pulitzer in 1939 – the arrange­ment also enabled the Nazis to cov­er up some of its crimes. Scharn­berg, a his­to­rian at Halle’s Mar­tin Luther Uni­ver­sity, argued that AP’s coop­er­a­tion with the Hitler regime allowed the Nazis to “por­tray a war of exter­mi­na­tion as a con­ven­tional war”.

In June 1941, Nazi troops invad­ed the town of Lviv in west­ern Ukraine. Upon dis­cov­er­ing evi­dence of mass killings car­ried out by Sovi­et troops, Ger­man occu­py­ing forces had organ­ised “revenge” pogroms against the city’s Jew­ish pop­u­la­tion.

Franz Roth’s pho­tographs of the dead bod­ies inside Lviv pris­ons were select­ed upon Hitler’s per­sonal orders and dis­trib­uted to the Amer­i­can press via AP.

“Instead of print­ing pic­tures of the days-long Lviv pogroms with its thou­sands of Jew­ish vic­tims, the Amer­i­can press was only sup­plied with pho­tographs show­ing the vic­tims of the Sovi­et police and ‘brute’ Red Army war crim­i­nals,” Scharn­berg told the Guardian.

“To that extent it is fair to say that these pic­tures played their part in dis­guis­ing the true char­ac­ter of the war led by the Ger­mans,” said the his­to­rian. “Which events were made vis­i­ble and which remained invis­i­ble in AP’s sup­ply of pic­tures fol­lowed Ger­man inter­ests and the Ger­man nar­ra­tive of the war.”

Approached with these alle­ga­tions, AP said in a state­ment that Scharnberg’s report “describes both indi­vid­u­als and their activ­i­ties before and dur­ing the war that were unknown to AP”, and that it is cur­rently review­ing doc­u­ments in and beyond its archives to “fur­ther our under­stand­ing of the peri­od”.

An AP spokesper­son told the Guardian: “As we con­tinue to research this mat­ter, AP rejects any notion that it delib­er­ately ‘col­lab­o­rated’ with the Nazi regime. An accu­rate char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion is that the AP and oth­er for­eign news organ­i­sa­tions were sub­jected to intense pres­sure from the Nazi regime from the year of Hitler’s com­ing to pow­er in 1932 until the AP’s expul­sion from Ger­many in 1941. AP man­age­ment resist­ed the pres­sure while work­ing to gath­er accu­rate, vital and objec­tive news in a dark and dan­ger­ous time.”

The new find­ings may only have been of inter­est to com­pany his­to­ri­ans, were it not for the fact that AP’s rela­tion­ship with total­i­tar­ian regimes has once again come under scruti­ny. Since Jan­u­ary 2012, when AP became the first west­ern news agency to open a bureau in North Korea, ques­tions have repeat­edly been raised about the neu­tral­ity of its Pyongyang bureau’s out­put.

In 2014, Wash­ing­ton-based web­site NK News alleged that top exec­u­tives at AP had in 2011 “agreed to dis­trib­ute state-pro­duced North Kore­an pro­pa­ganda through the AP name” in order to gain access to the high­ly prof­itable mar­ket of dis­trib­ut­ing pic­ture mate­r­ial out of the total­i­tar­ian state. The Demo­c­ra­tic People’s Repub­lic of Korea comes sec­ond from bot­tom in the cur­rent World Press Free­dom Index.

A leaked draft agree­ment showed that AP was appar­ently will­ing to let the Kore­an Cen­tral News Agency (KCNA) hand­pick one text and one pho­to jour­nal­ist from its agi­ta­tion and pro­pa­ganda unit to work in its bureau. AP told the Guardian that “it would be pre­sump­tu­ous to assume ‘the draft’ has any sig­nif­i­cance”, but declined to dis­close fur­ther infor­ma­tion on the final agree­ment.

...

Nate Thay­er, a for­mer AP cor­re­spon­dent in Cam­bo­dia who pub­lished the leaked draft agree­ment, told the Guardian: “It looks like AP have learned very lit­tle from their own his­tory. To claim, as the agency does, that North Korea does not con­trol their out­put, is ludi­crous. There is nat­u­rally an argu­ment that any access to secre­tive states is impor­tant. But at the end of the day it mat­ters whether you tell your read­ers that what you are report­ing is based on inde­pen­dent and neu­tral sources”.

Hel­mets of the Ukrain­ian Azov bat­tal­ion: Your tax dol­lars at work

2a. While Amer­i­cans were engag­ing in hol­i­day-relat­ed activ­i­ties or watch­ing foot­ball in Decem­ber of 2015, Con­gress passed an omnibus spend­ing bill that con­tains a rid­er strip­ping out oppo­si­tion to fund­ing Nazi units in Ukraine. This gives a green light to arm­ing the vol­un­teer bat­tal­ions such as the Azov (some of whose mem­bers’ hel­mets are pic­tured) or Lukhansk‑1.Giv­en that the Third Reich-col­lab­o­ra­tionist OUN/B has long had sup­port from West­ern intel­li­gence and found inclu­sion in first, the GOP and, ulti­mate­ly, the Maid­an regime in Ukraine, this is not surprising.(It is impos­si­ble with­in the scope of this post to cov­er our volu­mi­nous cov­er­age of the Ukraine cri­sis. Pre­vi­ous pro­grams on the sub­ject are: FTR #‘s 777778779780781782783784794, 800803804, 808811817818824826

829832833837849850853857860872875876877Listeners/readers are encour­aged to exam­ine these pro­grams and/or their descrip­tions in detail, in order to flesh out their under­stand­ing.)

“Con­gress Has Removed a Ban on Fund­ing Neo-Nazis From Its Year-End Spend­ing Bill” by James Car­den; The Nation; 1/13/2016.

Under pres­sure from the Pen­ta­gon, Con­gress has stripped the spend­ing bill of an amend­ment that pre­vented funds from falling into the hands of Ukrain­ian neo-fas­cist groups.

In mid-Decem­ber 2015, Con­gress passed a 2,000-plus-page omnibus spend­ing bill for fis­cal year 2016. Both par­ties were quick to declare vic­tory after the pas­sage of the $1.8 tril­lion pack­age. White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters “we feel good about the out­come, pri­mar­ily because we got a com­pro­mise bud­get agree­ment that fought off a wide vari­ety of ide­o­log­i­cal rid­ers.” The office of House Speak­er Paul J. Ryan tout­ed the bill’s “64 bil­lion for over­seas con­tin­gency oper­a­tions” for, among oth­er things, assist­ing ” Euro­pean coun­tries fac­ing Russ­ian aggres­sion.”

It would be safe to assume that one of the Euro­pean coun­tries which would stand to ben­e­fit from the omnibus measure—designed, in part, to com­bat “Russ­ian aggression”—would be Ukraine, which has already, accord­ing to the White House, received $2 bil­lion in loan guar­an­tees and near­ly $760 mil­lion in “secu­rity, pro­gram­matic, and tech­ni­cal assis­tance” since Feb­ru­ary 2014.

Yet some have expressed con­cern that some of this aid has made its way into the hands of neo-Nazi groups, such as the Azov Bat­tal­ion. Last sum­mer the Dai­ly Beast pub­lished an inter­view by the jour­nal­ists Will Cath­cart and Joseph Epstein in which a mem­ber of the Azov bat­tal­ion spoke about “his battalion’s expe­ri­ence with U.S. train­ers and U.S. vol­un­teers quite fond­ly, even men­tion­ing U.S. vol­un­teers engi­neers and medics that are still cur­rently assist­ing them.”

And so, in July of last year, Con­gress­men John Cony­ers of Michi­gan and Ted Yoho of Flori­da drew up an amend­ment to the House Defense Appro­pri­a­tions bill (HR 2685) that “lim­its arms, train­ing, and oth­er assis­tance to the neo-Nazi Ukrain­ian mili­tia, the Azov Bat­tal­ion.” It passed by a unan­i­mous vote in the House.

And yet by the time Novem­ber came around and the con­fer­ence debate over the year-end appro­pri­a­tions bill was under­way, the Cony­ers-Yoho mea­sure appeared to be in jeop­ardy. And indeed it was. An offi­cial famil­iar with the debate told The Nation that the House Defense Appro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee came under pres­sure from the Pen­ta­gon to remove the Cony­ers-Yoho amend­ment from the text of the bill.

The Pentagon’s objec­tion to the Cony­ers-Yoho amend­ment rests on the claim that it is redun­dant because sim­i­lar legislation—known as the Leahy law—already exists that would pre­vent the fund­ing of Azov. This, as it turns out, is untrue. The Leahy law cov­ers only those groups for which the “Sec­re­tary of State has cred­i­ble infor­ma­tion that such unit has com­mit­ted a gross vio­la­tion of human rights.” Yet the State Depart­ment has nev­er claimed to have such infor­ma­tion about Azov, so fund­ing to the group can­not be blocked by the Leahy law. The con­gres­sional source I spoke to point­ed out that “even if Azov is already cov­ered by Leahy, then no there was no need to strip it out of final bill.” Indeed, the Leahy law can­not block fund­ing to groups, no mat­ter how nox­ious their ide­ol­ogy, in the absence of “cred­i­ble infor­ma­tion” that they have com­mit­ted human-rights vio­la­tions. The Cony­ers-Yoho amend­ment was designed to rem­edy that short­com­ing.

Con­sid­er­ing the fact that the US Army has been train­ing Ukrain­ian armed forces and nation­al guard troops, the Cony­ers-Yoho amend­ment made a great deal of sense; block­ing the avowed­ly neo-Nazi Azov bat­tal­ion from receiv­ing US assis­tance would fur­ther what Pres­i­dent Oba­ma often refers to as “our inter­ests and val­ues.”

...

Whether White House spokesman Josh Earnest was refer­ring, in part, to the Cony­ers-Yoho amend­ment as one of those “ide­o­log­i­cal rid­ers” the admin­is­tra­tion fought to defeat is unclear. What is clear is that by strip­ping out the anti-neo-Nazi pro­vi­sion, Con­gress and the admin­is­tra­tion have paved the way for US fund­ing to end up in the hands of the most nox­ious ele­ments cir­cu­lat­ing with­in Ukraine today.

2b. Address­ing the Knes­set (Israel’s par­lia­ment), Ukrain­ian pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko recent­ly gave a pro-for­ma apol­o­gy for the par­tic­i­pa­tion of Ukraini­ans in the Holo­caust. The fact that he escaped sig­nif­i­cant crit­i­cized in Israel (or any­where else for that mat­ter) for lay­ing a wreath in trib­ute to the OUN/B at Babi Yar speaks loud­ly for the over­whelm­ing hypocrisy con­cern­ing the true nature of the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment and the forces that brought it into being.

It would be impos­si­ble to exag­ger­ate the role of the OUN/B suc­ces­sor orga­ni­za­tions in Ukraine’s “new” gov­ern­ment, with Svo­bo­da and Pravy Sek­tor deeply involved with that benight­ed coun­try’s mil­i­tary and intel­li­gence estab­lish­ments. Fur­ther­more, the post-Maid­an polit­i­cal land­scape has fea­tured OUN/B par­tic­i­pants such as Roman Svarych (per­son­al sec­re­tary to Ukraine’s World War II col­lab­o­ra­tionist gov­ern­ment chief Jaroslav Stet­sko) serv­ing as an advi­sor to Poroshenko, after hav­ing served as Ukrain­ian min­is­ter of jus­tice under the Yuschenko regime and both Tim­o­shenko gov­ern­ments.

Poroshenko’s gov­ern­ment passed a law crim­i­nal­iz­ing the accu­rate telling of World War II his­to­ry in Ukraine and his gov­ern­ment and intel­li­gence ser­vice have insti­tu­tion­al­ized the fun­da­men­tal revi­sion of Ukraine’s his­to­ry in that con­flict.

A video of a Ukrain­ian oppo­si­tion law­maker salut­ing Adolf Hitler made its way online this week­end, only days after his country’s Pres­i­dent apol­o­gized for Ukrain­ian col­lab­o­ra­tors’ role in the Holo­caust dur­ing a state vis­it to Israel.

In the video, Arty­om Vitko, the for­mer com­man­der of the gov­ern­ment backed Luhansk‑1 Bat­tal­ion and now a mem­ber of the Rad­i­cal Par­ty of Oleh Lyashko, can be seen sit­ting in the back of a car wear­ing cam­ou­flage fatigues and singing along to a song by a Russ­ian neo-Nazi band extolling the virtues of the Nazi dic­ta­tor.

“Adolf Hitler, togeth­er with us, Adolf Hitler, in each of us, and an eagle with iron wings will help us at the right time,” Vitko sang, salut­ing the cam­era with his water bot­tle as the car’s sound sys­tem blared “Heil Hitler.”

Vitko’s pro-Nazi sen­ti­ments emerged imme­di­ately on the heels of par­ty leader Oleh Lyashko denun­ci­a­tion of Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko for for his recent com­ments apol­o­giz­ing or Ukrain­ian com­plic­ity in the Holo­caust.

Speak­ing before the Knes­set last week, Poroshenko said that “we must remem­ber the neg­a­tive events in his­tory, in which col­lab­o­ra­tors helped the Nazis with the Final Solu­tion.”

“When Ukraine was estab­lished [in 1991], we asked for for­give­ness, and I am doing it now, in the Knes­set, before the chil­dren and grand­chil­dren of the vic­tims of the Holo­caust... I am doing it before all cit­i­zens of Israel,” he added.

“This kind of humil­i­a­tion of Ukraini­ans has not been record­ed in our his­tory yet. Dur­ing a vis­it to Israel, Pres­i­dent Poroshenko apol­o­gized for the ‘Ukrain­ian par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Holo­caust,’” Lyashko post­ed on Face­book on Thurs­day.

“This is exact­ly sit­u­a­tion if we would accuse Geor­gians and Jews in the Holodomor, appeal­ing to the atroc­i­ties of Dzhugashvili, Beria, Kaganovich, etc,” he said, refer­ring to a mas­sive famine that result­ed from the forced col­lec­tiviza­tion of farms in the Sovi­et Union dur­ing the 1930s.

The Holodomor, as it is known in Ukraine, killed mil­lions and is seen by many in that coun­try as a geno­cide on par with the Holo­caust.

“The Knes­set has not rec­og­nized the Holodomor as the geno­cide of the Ukrain­ian peo­ple. That is a goal for Ukrain­ian author­i­ties vis­it­ing the Holy Land rather than belit­tling Ukraini­ans [and] pro­claim­ing infe­ri­or­ity of his peo­ple on the inter­na­tional lev­el,” Lyashko added.

...

“I would say that this is the rea­son Poroshenko is Pres­i­dent and not Lyashko. Lyashko is a pop­ulist only say­ing what he thinks peo­ple want to hear,” said Ukrain­ian Chief Rab­bi Yaakov Dov Ble­ich.

The Jew­ish com­mu­nity, Ble­ich said, dis­agrees with the pop­ulist politician’s def­i­n­i­tion of humil­i­a­tion, see­ing dis­grace as when “one can­not face up to his­to­ry.”

“Pride is to look back, and learn from mis­takes. No one accused the Ukrain­ian peo­ple of caus­ing or cre­at­ing the Holo­caust. How­ever, the fact is that there were Ukraini­ans who par­tic­i­pated in the mur­der and per­se­cu­tion of Jews. They are wor­thy of con­dem­na­tion.”

“The sight of a mem­ber of the Ukrain­ian Par­lia­ment singing a song prais­ing Hitler, under­scores the extreme­ly deep prob­lem in today’s Ukrain­ian democ­racy regard­ing the ongo­ing efforts in that coun­try (and else­where through­out post-Com­mu­nist East­ern Europe, espe­cially in Lithua­nia, Latvia, Esto­nia and Hun­gary) to rewrite the nar­ra­tive of World War II and the Holo­caust,” said Dr. Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesen­thal Cen­ter.

“The fact that the Ukrain­ian author­i­ties hon­or groups which active­ly par­tic­i­pated in the mur­der of Jews dur­ing the Holo­caust and glo­rify their lead­ers sends a mes­sage that dele­git­imizes the accu­rate his­tor­i­cal nar­ra­tive, and paves the way for dis­gust­ing scenes like this one. The Ukrain­ian lead­er­ship should not feign sur­prise or aston­ish­ment, they’re the ones at least par­tially respon­si­ble.”

Ear­lier this year Ukraine’s par­lia­ment has extend­ed offi­cial recog­ni­tion to a nation­al­ist mili­tia that col­lab­o­rated with the Ger­mans dur­ing the Sec­ond World War. [That is the UPA, which also worked with Frank Wis­ner’s OPC after the war, in con­junc­tion with the Gehlen “Org.” It is now a crime in Ukraine to crit­i­cize either the UPA or the OUN/B.–D.E.]

How­ever, many Ukrain­ian Jews have appeared rather san­guine, explain­ing that they believe that such moves are more like­ly the result of a need to build up a nation­al ethos and raise up heroes dur­ing a time of con­flict rather than a cel­e­bra­tion of such fig­ures’ anti-Semit­ic atti­tudes. Despite that, such moves have been wide­ly panned by Jew­ish orga­ni­za­tions wor­ried about the long term effects of the glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of anti-Semi­tes.

Asked about the deci­sion to hon­or such groups, Pres­i­dent Poroshenko told the Post that the gov­ern­ment was pay­ing trib­ute to those who fought for nation­al inde­pen­dence.

“Let’s not try to find the black cat in the black room, espe­cially if there is noth­ing there,” he said.

2c. Svo­bo­da mem­ber and Maid­an forces com­man­der Andriy Paru­biy has been named speak­er of the Ukrain­ian Par­lia­ment.

“Rada Appoints Andriy Paru­biy Its Speak­er” [AFP]; The Kiev Post; 4/14/2016.

The Ukrain­ian Verk­hov­na Rada has relieved Andriy Paru­biy of his duties as first deputy par­lia­men­tary chair­man and appoint­ed him its chair­man.

The res­o­lu­tion on appoint­ing Paru­biy Rada chair­man was sup­port­ed by 284 par­lia­men­tar­i­ans at the morn­ing ses­sion on April 14.

2d. Israelis and Ukrain­ian Jews are “shocked, shocked” that a Nazi could get elect­ed major in a Ukrain­ian town or that a mem­ber of the Ukrain­ian par­lia­ment could sing songs prais­ing Hitler. They should­n’t be.

Note the ref­er­ence in the arti­cle below to the four­teen words, mint­ed by Amer­i­can Nazi David Lane, who drove the get­away car in the mur­der of Den­ver talk show host Alan Berg.

“Local Jews in Shock after Ukrain­ian City of Kono­top Elects neo-Nazi May­or” by Sam Sokol; The Jerusalem Post; 12/21/2015.

Two months after local elec­tions were held across Ukraine, res­i­dents of the small north­ern city of Kono­top are express­ing shock and dis­may over the behav­ior of new­ly cho­sen May­or Artem Semenikhin of the neo-Nazi Svo­boda par­ty.

Accord­ing to reports, Semenikhin dri­ves around in a car bear­ing the num­ber 14/88, a numero­log­i­cal ref­er­ence to the phras­es “we must secure the exis­tence of our peo­ple and a future for white chil­dren” and “Heil Hitler”; replaced the pic­ture of Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko in his office with a por­trait of Ukrain­ian nation­al leader and Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tor Stepan Ban­dera; and refused to fly the city’s offi­cial flag at the open­ing meet­ing of the city coun­cil because he object­ed to the star of David embla­zoned on it. The flag also fea­tures a Mus­lim cres­cent and a cross.

Svo­boda, known as the Social-Nation­al Par­ty of Ukraine until 2004, has been accused of being a neo-Nazi par­ty by Ukrain­ian Jews and while par­ty lead­ers have a his­tory of mak­ing anti-Semit­ic remarks, their rhetoric has toned down con­sid­er­ably over the past years as they attempt­ed to go main­stream.

While it man­aged to enter main­stream pol­i­tics and gain 36 out of 450 seats in the Rada, Ukraine’s par­lia­ment, the party’s sup­port seemed to evap­o­rate fol­low­ing the 2014 Ukrain­ian rev­o­lu­tion, in which it played a cen­tral role. It cur­rently holds six seats in the leg­is­la­ture.

The par­ty man­aged to improve its stand­ing dur­ing recent munic­i­pal elec­tions, how­ever, obtain­ing some 10 per­cent of the vote in Kiev and gar­ner­ing sec­ond place in the west­ern city of Lviv. For the most part, how­ever, Svo­boda is far from the major wor­ry for Ukrain­ian Jews that it was only two years ago.

“It is a sad, but a real­ity when anti-Semi­tes are being elect­ed in local gov­ern­ing bod­ies, even may­ors pro­mot­ing hate and intol­er­ance.

Kono­top is a clear case,” said Eduard Dolin­sky of the Ukrain­ian Jew­ish Com­mit­tee.

For the Jews of Kono­top, how­ever, wor­ries per­sist, with Ilya Bezruchko, the Ukrain­ian rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the US-based Nation­al Coali­tion Sup­port­ing Eurasian Jew­ry, say­ing he believed res­i­dents, who gen­er­ally get along well with local Jews, vot­ed for Semenikhin because he pro­jected an image of some­one who could bring change and reform a cor­rupt sys­tem.

How­ever, Semenikhin him­self has a his­tory of fraud, hav­ing been arrest­ed for pos­ing as an elec­tric­ity com­pany work­er in order to extract pay­ments from busi­nesses in Kiev in 2012, Bezruchko charged.

Bezruchko, whose late grand­fa­ther was the head of the com­mu­nity and whose moth­er cur­rently works for the city coun­cil, said Semenikhin and his assis­tant have left angry com­ments on his Face­book page in response to crit­i­cal arti­cles that the Jew­ish activist had post­ed on his blog.

He claimed that some­one close to the may­or claimed that he would be hos­pi­tal­ized if he returned to the city from Kiev, where he cur­rently lives, and that the may­or him­self post­ed to say that his moth­er was cor­rupt and should be fired from her job.

“The reac­tion of [the] com­mu­nity is shock. Peo­ple are shocked it could hap­pen in [a] city and nobody believed it could hap­pen here but it hap­pened some­how,” com­mu­nity activist Igor Nechayev told The Jerusalem Post by phone Mon­day.

While there have been a cou­ple of instances of anti-Semit­ic graf­fiti over the past decade and one occa­sion­ally hears ref­er­ences to con­spir­acy the­o­ries iden­ti­fy­ing Ukrain­ian polit­i­cal lead­ers as Jews, for the most part, rela­tions between the Jew­ish com­mu­nity and their non-Jew­ish neigh­bors are cor­dial, he said.

How­ever, while the may­or attempts to make sure his state­ments nev­er cross over into out­right anti-Semi­tism, many things he says can be inter­preted in such a way, he con­tin­ued. As an exam­ple, he referred to a recent state­ment by Semenikhin in which the may­or refused to apol­o­gize for anti-Jew­ish actions tak­en by far-right nation­al­ists in World War II, inti­mat­ing that it was because those respon­si­ble for the Holodomor famine of the 1930s were large­ly Jew­ish.

The Holodomor was a man­made famine that came about dur­ing the col­lec­tiviza­tion of agri­cul­ture in the Sovi­et Union and which led to the starv­ing deaths of mil­lions. Ukraini­ans con­sider it a geno­cide.

“The com­mu­nity is dis­cussing the sit­u­a­tion and they under­stand that the may­or is bal­anc­ing between anti-Semi­tism— – he isn’t cross­ing a red­line with state­ments but say­ing bor­der things that can be under­stood as anti-Semit­ic,” he explained.

...

Speak­ing to the Post, Vyach­eslav Likhachev, an anti-Semi­tism researcher affil­i­ated with the Vaad of Ukraine and the Euro-Asian Jew­ish Con­gress, said “Ukraini­ans are afraid of the Russ­ian threat, not the threat of nation­al rad­i­cal­ism,” and that “Semenikhin has suc­cess­fully cre­ated him­self an image of a defend­er of Ukrain­ian inde­pen­dence, and vot­ers were able to sup­port him, not pay­ing atten­tion to the rad­i­cal­ism of his views.

Unfor­tu­nately, Likhachev said the cur­rent Ukrain­ian leg­is­la­tion does not allow to for­bid [sic] those with right-wing views to take part in the elec­tion, or to remove them from the elect­ed posi­tions.

“The spe­cial anti-com­mu­nist and anti-Nazi law says about ban­ning the sym­bols of the Nation­al Social­ist (Nazi) of the total­i­tar­ian regime, which includes sym­bols of the Nazi Par­ty and the state sym­bols of the Third Reich only,” he said. It is impos­si­ble to inter­preted in legal terms sym­bols like 14/88.”

3a. When Croatia’s new gov­ern­ment was assem­bled back in Decem­ber, the out­go­ing prime min­is­ter, Zoran Milanovic, had a rather frank way of char­ac­ter­iz­ing the new gov­ern­ment:  crim­i­nal and pro-Ustachi:

Ex-PM Blasts New Author­i­ties as “Crim­i­nal, pro-Ustasha” [B92, Tan­jug]; B92; 12/28/2015.

Zoran Milanovic said on Mon­day he was con­cerned that “peo­ple from a crim­i­nal, spy­ing, and pro-Ustasha coali­tion” are com­ing to pow­er in Croa­t­ia.

The leader of the SDP, who until today served as Croatia’s prime min­is­ter, spoke as his par­ty joined the oppo­si­tion, and as the Croa­t­ian par­lia­ment elect­ed its new pres­i­dent — while prime min­is­ter-elect Tihomir Oreskovic said he was con­vinced he would put togeth­er a new gov­ern­ment with­in 30 days.

Last week, post elec­tion nego­ti­a­tions between SDP and an inde­pen­dent list dubbed “Most” (“Bridge”) broke down just as it seemed an agree­ment would be reached to make the Most leader, Bozo Petrov, Croatia’s next prime min­is­ter. Instead, Petrov struck a deal with the HDZ-led Patri­otic Coali­tion, giv­ing Oreskovic the chance to form the country’s next cab­i­net.

“There are some things in life we can­not choose,” Milanovic told reporters on Mon­day, adding that “this gov­ern­ment is the choice of the Most list — one they will have to live with.”

Milanovic accused Zagreb May­or Milan Bandic of being “respon­si­ble” for the out­come of the post-elec­tion talks, and described him as a man accused of seri­ous crimes.

Accord­ing to the for­mer prime min­is­ter, Croa­tia has reached “the nadir, in the demo­c­ra­tic sense.”

“This is not a return to the old — this sit­u­a­tion is worse than the old,” he said, adding, “no mal­ice or irony intend­ed, we have a prob­lem.”

“Ours is a small coun­try, we are not rich, and the way we are rep­re­sented abroad is very impor­tant — whether or not as polit­i­cally strong per­sons, and when that is lack­ing they know there are no clear demo­c­ra­tic process­es in the coun­try, and that some­body else is mak­ing the deci­sions,” Milanovic stat­ed.

As for the Most coali­tion, Milanovic said:

“That’s their choice, they will have to live with it, get up and pray to God or to what­ever they believe in. The coali­tion they chose, which was unfor­tu­nately put togeth­er by Bandic, who is accused, and by for­mer chiefs of secret ser­vices, con­tains trans­par­ently Ustasha ele­ments.”

The Ustasha regime was in pow­er in the Nazi-allied Inde­pen­dent State of Croa­tia (NDH) dur­ing the Sec­ond World War.

Milanovic also said that his par­ty will “con­tinue to fight and not give up” while in oppo­si­tion, and that the country’s new author­i­ties are being formed “thanks to (par­lia­ment) rep­re­sen­ta­tives’ fear of repeat­ed par­lia­men­tary elec­tions.”

...

3b. More indi­ca­tions that the Ustachi are com­ing up above-ground in Croa­t­ia:

“What Were the Ustasa for Min­is­ter Hasan­be­gov­ic?” by Hrvo­je Sim­ice­vic; Balkan Tran­si­tional Jus­tice; 2/12/2016.

 It is hard to see how Croatia’s cul­ture min­is­ter can be called an ‘anti-Fas­cist’, giv­en the evi­dence of his unam­bigu­ous nature of his links to the far-right over many years.

In the text pub­lished for a pro-Fas­cist bul­letin in his stu­dent days in 1996, Croatia’s new Cul­ture Min­is­ter wrote about the wartime Fas­cist Ustasa fight­ers as “vic­tims” and “mar­tyrs”.

Zlatko Hasan­be­govic unam­bigu­ously glo­ri­fied the Ustasa and advo­cated the estab­lish­ment of the Greater Croa­tia in the month­ly mag­a­zine, “The Inde­pen­dent State of Croa­tia,” pub­lished in the 1990s.

He was pho­tographed in it with Mladen Schwartz, Velimir Bujanec, and the son-in-law of for­mer Fas­cist dic­ta­tor and Ustasa leader Ante Pavel­ic. In one pho­to­graph he wears an Ustasa cap.

The then edi­tor-in-chief of the month­ly, Srecko Psenic­nik, was the son-in-law of Ante Pavel­ic, and Pres­i­dent of the Croa­t­ian Lib­er­a­tion Move­ment, HOP, a pro-Ustasa par­ty found­ed by Pavel­ic.

In 1996, Hasan­be­govic wrote at least two arti­cles for the month­ly that prop­a­gated Pavelic’s work and ideas and sys­tem­at­i­cally denied the crimes com­mit­ted by the Pavelic’s pup­pet state, The Inde­pen­dent State of Croa­tia, NDH.

As a his­tory stu­dent at the Fac­ulty of Social Sci­ences and Human­i­ties, Hasan­be­govic wrote about the his­tory of Mus­lims in Croa­tia, empha­siz­ing their polit­i­cal and social renais­sance dur­ing the reign of Pavel­ic and under the NDH.

In a short com­men­tary, illus­trated by a pho­to­graph of the open­ing of the mosque in Zagreb fea­tur­ing Pavel­ic in the com­pany of Mus­lim dig­ni­taries from the Ustasa move­ment, Hasan­be­govic crit­i­cized the sep­a­ra­tion of Bosnia and Herze­gov­ina from Croa­t­ia.

He said the advo­cates of this pol­icy were “abus­ing the hon­ourable sym­bols and names of Ustasa heroes whose bones… are now turn­ing in their graves from the shame and mis­ery inflict­ed upon them fifty years lat­er by their so-called fol­low­ers”.

As an alter­na­tive to those fake fol­low­ers, Hasan­be­govic offers the Ustasa “heroes and mar­tyrs” who, like the author, are dri­ven by a desire to cre­ate a Greater Croa­tia as envi­sioned by Pavel­ic.

“In the name of those true heroes… who gave their lives for our Home­land… we, the true Croa­t­ian nation­al­ists… the deceived and defeat­ed Mus­lims and Catholics, should expose those hyp­ocrites and moral freaks for who they real­ly are, and show the peo­ple the way out of this dark tun­nel towards peace and uni­ty and reli­gious tol­er­ance which can only hap­pen in a tru­ly free and uni­fied Home­land, stretch­ing from the Mura, Dra­va and Dri­na rivers to the Adri­atic,” he wrote.

The Min­is­ter is list­ed as an asso­ciate writer for the NDH pub­li­ca­tion from April to Novem­ber 1996, but fea­tured as an author already in the Feb­ru­ary edi­tion of the NDH as well as, in the first edi­tion print­ed in Croa­tia after being issued abroad for many years.

Psenic­nik, pres­i­dent of the HOP, had man­aged to trans­fer pub­li­ca­tion of the NDH from Cana­da to Croa­tia, and reg­is­ter the HOP as a legit­i­mate par­ty in Croa­tia, despite its polit­i­cal plat­form affil­i­at­ing it to the Ustasa move­ment and to the acts of ter­ror­ism.

The par­ty is still active in Croa­tia and it still pro­motes the polit­i­cal agen­da of Pavel­ic. Its activ­ity is not sub­stan­tial, but accord­ing to the lat­est data, it has 650 mem­bers.

In his most recent appear­ances, Hasan­be­govic has denied his pre­vi­ous involve­ment with HOP. How­ever, in one of the pho­tographs fea­tured in the NDH month­ly, he is described as a “young HOP mem­ber”. In oth­er pho­tographs, he is described as a mem­ber of a par­ty called the Young Croa­t­ian Right­ists, head­ed at the time by Velimir Bujanec.

He was also pho­tographed in the com­pany of Mladen Schwa­trz, a right-wing polit­i­cal activist who in the 1990s advo­cated a Fas­cist regime in Croa­tia. What­ever the for­mal nature of his con­nec­tions to Pavelic’s and Bujanec’s par­ties, the fact is that Hasan­be­govic had inten­sive social con­tacts with some of their most promi­nent mem­bers and attend­ed events orga­nized by the rad­i­cal right.

The pho­tographs in the month­ly cor­rob­o­rate this. They show Hasan­be­govic protest­ing against the 1995 Day­ton Agree­ment on Bosnia, par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Bleiburg com­mem­o­ra­tion, and pos­ing on the Split prom­e­nade wear­ing an Ustasa cap.

At Bleiburg, he was pho­tographed with the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of HOP and with Psenic­nik, author of the text accom­pa­ny­ing the pho­tographs. In a report from Bleiburg, illus­trated by this and oth­er pho­tos with numer­ous Ustasa insignia, Psenic­nik open­ly glo­ri­fies the Ustasha move­ment.

In Split, Hasan­be­govic pos­es with five young men all described as “young nation­al­ists” in the cap­tion. Among them is Bujanec, who in the fea­tured inter­view pro­claims: “The future is ours”, just before the par­lia­men­tary elec­tions in Octo­ber 1995.

In all three pho­tos, Hasan­be­govic is in the com­pany of Bujanec, a man who would lat­er become a mem­ber of the HOP youth frac­tion, a board rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the NDH mag­a­zine and their pub­lic rela­tions offi­cer.

At that time, Bujanec, who now hosts the TV show Buji­ca, was one of the many mem­bers of the Croa­t­ian Par­ty of Right, HSP, and of the Young Croa­t­ian Right­ists who sub­se­quently joined the HOP. Pavelic’s son-in-law, Psenic­nik, wrote in NDH that there were many rea­sons for their mas­sive trans­fer to HOP, but the key rea­son was dis­sat­is­fac­tion with the fact that Pavelic’s pho­tos had been removed from all the HSP’s offices.

....

The recent­ly appoint­ed min­is­ter spent a con­sid­er­able part of his polit­i­cal life in extrem­ist polit­i­cal orga­ni­za­tions and has nev­er dis­tanced him­self from this past. Instead, he has direct­ed his efforts towards deny­ing that his state­ments rep­re­sent rel­a­tiviza­tion of World War II, claim­ing that all of his state­ments have been tak­en out of con­text.

The con­text, how­ever, is that Hasan­be­govic was a con­trib­u­tor to the month­ly mag­a­zine called “Inde­pen­dent State of Croa­tia”, that he glo­ri­fied the Ustasa under the edi­to­r­ial author­ity of Pavelic’s son-in-law, that he called the Ustasas “heroes and mar­tyrs”, and that he posed in an Ustasha cap.

When recent­ly asked about the con­tro­ver­sies about Hasan­be­govic, Prime Min­is­ter Oreskovic stat­ed that Hasan­be­govic was an anti-Fas­cist and reit­er­ated this state­ment more recent­ly when he said that Hasan­be­govic was in fact a “devot­ed anti-Fas­cist”. After the most recent rev­e­la­tions, we are eager to hear once again what the Prime Min­is­ter has to say.

3c.  Croa­t­ian “Soc­cer Ustachi” con­tin­ue to man­i­fest.

“Croatia’s ‘Banal’ Fas­cism on Dis­play at Israel Match” Sven Mile­kic; Balkan Tran­si­tional Jus­tice; 3/25/2016.

The Ustasa chant heard at Wednesday’s match, which the PM attend­ed and the media ignored, is the result of the long-term ‘nor­mal­i­sa­tion’ of once out­lawed fas­cist sym­bols.

After Wednesday’s foot­ball game between Croa­tia and Israel in east­ern city of Osi­jek, the Fas­cist chant “Za dom sprem­ni” (“Ready for the Home­land”) once more echoed in the stands.

Sup­port­ers of the World War II Nazi pup­pet state, the Inde­pen­dent State of Croa­tia, NDH — whose Ustasa death squads took part in the Nazi Holo­caust and mur­dered tens of thou­sands of Jews, Serbs and Roma — made the chant infa­mous.

How­ever, although Prime Min­is­ter Tihomir Oreskovic was present at the game, he did not respond.

The gov­ern­ment only respond­ed a day after in a short press release in which it con­demned the use of sym­bols and slo­gans of total­i­tar­ian regimes, with­out clear­ly men­tion­ing the game or the actu­al event.

The anchor of Croa­tia Radio-Tele­vi­sion, HRT, which broad­casted the game, also ignored the chants.

The main­stream dai­ly news­pa­per Jutarn­ji list head­lined the report with “Slavo­nia [region of Osi­jek] Again Didn’t Dis­ap­point” — only briefly report­ing the chants.

Ogn­jen Kraus, pres­i­dent of the Jew­ish com­mu­nity in Zagreb, told BIRN that such behav­iour was the “result of the pol­i­tics in Croa­t­ia.”

“What espe­cially wor­ries me that this is hap­pen­ing dur­ing the game, with­out draw­ing any reac­tion from those who were there, head­ed by the organ­iser [the Croa­t­ian Foot­ball Asso­ci­a­tion, HNS] and Prime Min­is­ter who just sat there,” he said.

Kraus added that if such things are not tack­led head on, it allows “Usta­so-phil­ia to kick-in”.

He men­tioned the case in which the vice-chair of par­lia­ment and mem­ber of the gov­ern­ing major­ity, Ivan Tepes, par­tic­i­pated in Jan­u­ary in a 5,000-strong protest when “Za dom sprem­ni”could be “loud­ly heard and no one react­ed”.

Ahead of the last elec­tions, last Novem­ber, Tepes, head of the right-wing Croa­t­ian Par­ty of Rights “Ante Starce­vic”, said the chant should not been banned because some sol­diers used it dur­ing the inde­pen­dence war of the 1990s.

Some 3,200 peo­ple peti­tioned Pres­i­dent Kolin­da Grabar Kitarovic last August to make it the offi­cial chant of the Croa­t­ian army.

San­ja Tabakovic Zori­cic, head of the Shoah Acad­emy in the Jew­ish com­mu­nity, said this was “a trend last­ing for years” and that the system’s reac­tion was wrong.

“Now, when we have a soci­ety in which no one hes­i­tates to pro­mote pro-Fas­cist stand­points, I real­ly don’t see any­thing weird that some chant “Za dom sprem­ni,” she said.

She said that it would have sur­prised her had the politi­cians present in Osi­jek left the game, “as in civ­i­lized soci­eties”. The fact that they did not only proves that the scan­dal “doesn’t dis­turb them”.

Only some 8,500 out of 39,000 Jews sur­vived the Holo­caust com­mit­ted by Ustasa and Nazi Ger­many on the ter­ri­tory of the NDH, which includ­ed most of present-day Croa­tia and Bosnia.

Croatia’s new gov­ern­ment, of the con­tro­ver­sial Cul­ture Min­is­ter, Zlatko Hasan­be­govic, mean­while took a deci­sion to spon­sor an event com­mem­o­rat­ing retreat­ing Ustasa killed in 1945 at Bleiburg in Aus­tria.

“Za dom sprem­ni” has been heard at games played the Croa­t­ian nation­al foot­ball team before.

The last time was at the game with Nor­way in March 2015. FIFA lat­er penalised the HNS with a 55,000 euros fine and ordered one game to be played with­out fans.

At the game with­out fans, played in the coastal city of Split in June, a Nazi swasti­ka was vis­i­ble on the pitch, after which the Croa­t­ian team was deduct­ed one point, while the HNS had to pay 100,000 euro and play anoth­er two match­es with­out fans.

Croa­t­ian foot­ball fans have provoca­tively used swastikas before, form­ing one with their bod­ies at a game in Livorno in Italy, for exam­ple.

At a match against Ser­bia in March 2013, Croa­t­ian fans chant­ed “Kill the Serb,” for which the HNS received a fine of 42,000 euros.

Dario Brentin, from the Uni­ver­sity of Graz in Aus­tria, research­ing sport, nation­al­ism and mem­ory pol­i­tics in Croa­tia, told BIRN that the inci­dent at the match with Israel offered “proof of the process of banal­i­sa­tion of total­i­tar­ian sym­bols, expressed by chant­ing ‘Za dom sprem­ni’.

“I’m not con­vinced all peo­ple that chant it at games are all sym­pa­thiz­ers with the Ustasa who believe in Ustasa ideas,” he said.

“It’s a com­plex social process that leads to a sit­u­a­tion in which it’s com­pletely irrel­e­vant what it [chant] means or doesn’t,” he added. It is “com­monly seen as sign patri­otic act”, he not­ed.

Accord­ing to Brentin, the pub­lic dis­course in Croa­tia has cre­ated a sit­u­a­tion in which it is seen as “com­pletely nor­mal part of rout­ing in sports”.

He not­ed the case of the Croa­t­ian foot­ball play­er Josip Joe Simu­nic in Novem­ber 2013.

Imme­di­ately after a foot­ball match with Ice­land, Simu­nic led some 20,000 fans in chant­ing “Za dom sprem­ni”.

He was not con­demned by his man­ager or by the HNS for that, but only by a part of media, while the pub­lic divid­ed into two groups – those who con­demned and those who sup­ported him.

The coun­ty attor­ney office lat­er fined him some 3,300 euros, which the mag­is­trates court lat­er low­ered to 660 euros, for “caus­ing pub­lic dis­or­der” but not for hate speech.

After a process before dis­ci­pli­nary bod­ies, FIFA gave Simu­nic a ten-game sus­pen­sion, pre­vent­ing him from attend­ing his last World Cup in Brazil in 2014.

Brentin sug­gested that even if the cur­rent HNS lead­er­ship urged fans not to sup­port the team in this way, “no one would lis­ten, nor would it change any­thing”, since such atti­tudes can “only be changed through edu­ca­tion”.

“Espe­cially in pop­u­lar cul­ture, Marko Perkovic Thomp­son [nation­al­is­tic singer who uses the chant in his songs] and sup­port­ing the nation­al foot­ball team are two social ele­ments that per­pet­u­ate ‘Za dom sprem­ni’ as a patri­otic chant,” he said.

Brentin con­cluded that both the Croa­t­ian media and the polit­i­cal elites clear­ly avoid con­demn­ing such inci­dents because they come from a “sim­i­lar ide­o­log­i­cal fam­i­ly”. . . .

3c. The pro­gram reviews Joe Simu­nic’s lead­ing of the Croa­t­ian crowd in the “Za Dom Sprem­ni” chant–the Croa­t­ian “Sieg Heil,” in effect.

4a. We review analy­sis of the Cru­sade For Freedom–the covert oper­a­tion that brought Third Reich alum­ni into the coun­try and also sup­port­ed their gueril­la war­fare in East­ern Europe, con­duct­ed up until the ear­ly 1950’s. Con­ceived by Allen Dulles, over­seen by Richard Nixon, pub­licly rep­re­sent­ed by Ronald Rea­gan and real­ized in con­sid­er­able mea­sure by William Casey, the CFF ulti­mate­ly evolved into a Nazi wing of the GOP.

The Secret War Against the Jews; by John Lof­tus and Mark Aarons; Copy­right 1994 by Mark Aarons; St. Martin’s Press; [HC] ISBN 0–312-11057‑X; pp. 122–123.

. . . . Frus­tra­tion over Truman’s 1948 elec­tion vic­to­ry over Dewey (which they blamed on the “Jew­ish vote”) impelled Dulles and his pro­tégé Richard Nixon to work toward the real­iza­tion of the fas­cist free­dom fight­er pres­ence in the Repub­li­can Party’s eth­nic out­reach orga­ni­za­tion. As a young con­gress­man, Nixon had been Allen Dulles’s con­fi­dant. They both blamed Gov­er­nor Dewey’s razor-thin loss to Tru­man in the 1948 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion on the Jew­ish vote. When he became Eisenhower’s vice pres­i­dent in 1952, Nixon was deter­mined to build his own eth­nic base. . . .

. . . . Vice Pres­i­dent Nixon’s secret polit­i­cal war of Nazis against Jews in Amer­i­can pol­i­tics was nev­er inves­ti­gat­ed at the time. The for­eign lan­guage-speak­ing Croa­t­ians and oth­er Fas­cist émi­gré groups had a ready-made net­work for con­tact­ing and mobi­liz­ing the East­ern Euro­pean eth­nic bloc. There is a very high cor­re­la­tion between CIA domes­tic sub­si­dies to Fas­cist ‘free­dom fight­ers’ dur­ing the 1950’s and the lead­er­ship of the Repub­li­can Party’s eth­nic cam­paign groups. The motive for the under-the-table financ­ing was clear: Nixon used Nazis to off­set the Jew­ish vote for the Democ­rats. . . .

. . . . In 1952, Nixon had formed an Eth­nic Divi­sion with­in the Repub­li­can Nation­al Com­mit­tee. Dis­placed fas­cists, hop­ing to be returned to pow­er by an Eisen­how­er-Nixon ‘lib­er­a­tion’ pol­i­cy signed on with the com­mit­tee. In 1953, when Repub­li­cans were in office, the immi­gra­tion laws were changed to admit Nazis, even mem­bers of the SS. They flood­ed into the coun­try. Nixon him­self over­saw the new immi­gra­tion pro­gram. As Vice Pres­i­dent, he even received East­ern Euro­pean Fas­cists in the White House. . .

4b. More about the com­po­si­tion of the cast of the CFF: Note that the ascen­sion of the Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion was essen­tial­ly the ascen­sion of the Naz­i­fied GOP, embod­ied in the CFF milieu. Rea­gan (spokesman for CFF) was Pres­i­dent; George H.W. Bush (for whom CIA head­quar­ters is named) was the Vice Pres­i­dent; William Casey (who han­dled the State Depart­ment machi­na­tions to bring these peo­ple into the Unit­ed States) was Rea­gan’s cam­paign man­ag­er and lat­er his CIA direc­tor.

The Secret War Against the Jews; by John Lof­tus and Mark Aarons; Copy­right 1994 by Mark Aarons; St. Martin’s Press; [HC] ISBN 0–312-11057‑X; p. 605.

. . . . As a young movie actor in the ear­ly 1950s, Rea­gan was employed as the pub­lic spokesper­son for an OPC front named the ‘Cru­sade for Free­dom.’ Rea­gan may not have known it, but 99 per­cent for the Crusade’s funds came from clan­des­tine accounts, which were then laun­dered through the Cru­sade to var­i­ous orga­ni­za­tions such as Radio Lib­er­ty, which employed Dulles’s Fas­cists. Bill Casey, who lat­er became CIA direc­tor under Ronald Rea­gan, also worked in Ger­many after World War II on Dulles’ Nazi ‘free­dom fight­ers’ pro­gram. When he returned to New York, Casey head­ed up anoth­er OPC front, the Inter­na­tion­al Res­cue Com­mit­tee, which spon­sored the immi­gra­tion of these Fas­cists to the Unit­ed States. Casey’s com­mit­tee replaced the Inter­na­tion­al Red Cross as the spon­sor for Dulles’s recruits. Con­fi­den­tial inter­views, for­mer mem­bers, OPC; for­mer mem­bers, British for­eign and Com­mon­wealth Office. . . .

4c. While serv­ing as chair­man of the Repub­li­can Nation­al Com­mit­tee, the elder George Bush shep­herd­ed the Nazi émi­gré com­mu­ni­ty into posi­tion as a per­ma­nent branch of the Repub­li­can Par­ty.

. . . . .It was Bush who ful­filled Nixon’s promise to make the ‘eth­nic emi­gres’ a per­ma­nent part of Repub­li­can pol­i­tics. In 1972, Nixon’s State Depart­ment spokesman con­firmed to his Aus­tralian coun­ter­part that the eth­nic groups were very use­ful to get out the vote in sev­er­al key states. Bush’s tenure as head of the Repub­li­can Nation­al Com­mit­tee exact­ly coin­cid­ed with Las­z­lo Pasztor’s 1972 dri­ve to trans­form the Her­itage Groups Coun­cil into the party’s offi­cial eth­nic arm. The groups Pasz­tor chose as Bush’s cam­paign allies were the émi­gré Fas­cists whom Dulles had brought to the Unit­ed States. . . . 

4a. We review analy­sis of the Cru­sade For Freedom–the covert oper­a­tion that brought Third Reich alum­ni into the coun­try and also sup­port­ed their gueril­la war­fare in East­ern Europe, con­duct­ed up until the ear­ly 1950’s. Con­ceived by Allen Dulles, over­seen by Richard Nixon, pub­licly rep­re­sent­ed by Ronald Rea­gan and real­ized in con­sid­er­able mea­sure by William Casey, the CFF ulti­mate­ly evolved into a Nazi wing of the GOP.

The Secret War Against the Jews; by John Lof­tus and Mark Aarons; Copy­right 1994 by Mark Aarons; St. Martin’s Press; [HC] ISBN 0–312-11057‑X; pp. 122–123.

. . . . Frus­tra­tion over Truman’s 1948 elec­tion vic­to­ry over Dewey (which they blamed on the “Jew­ish vote”) impelled Dulles and his pro­tégé Richard Nixon to work toward the real­iza­tion of the fas­cist free­dom fight­er pres­ence in the Repub­li­can Party’s eth­nic out­reach orga­ni­za­tion. As a young con­gress­man, Nixon had been Allen Dulles’s con­fi­dant. They both blamed Gov­er­nor Dewey’s razor-thin loss to Tru­man in the 1948 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion on the Jew­ish vote. When he became Eisenhower’s vice pres­i­dent in 1952, Nixon was deter­mined to build his own eth­nic base. . . .

. . . . Vice Pres­i­dent Nixon’s secret polit­i­cal war of Nazis against Jews in Amer­i­can pol­i­tics was nev­er inves­ti­gat­ed at the time. The for­eign lan­guage-speak­ing Croa­t­ians and oth­er Fas­cist émi­gré groups had a ready-made net­work for con­tact­ing and mobi­liz­ing the East­ern Euro­pean eth­nic bloc. There is a very high cor­re­la­tion between CIA domes­tic sub­si­dies to Fas­cist ‘free­dom fight­ers’ dur­ing the 1950’s and the lead­er­ship of the Repub­li­can Party’s eth­nic cam­paign groups. The motive for the under-the-table financ­ing was clear: Nixon used Nazis to off­set the Jew­ish vote for the Democ­rats. . . .

. . . . In 1952, Nixon had formed an Eth­nic Divi­sion with­in the Repub­li­can Nation­al Com­mit­tee. Dis­placed fas­cists, hop­ing to be returned to pow­er by an Eisen­how­er-Nixon ‘lib­er­a­tion’ pol­i­cy signed on with the com­mit­tee. In 1953, when Repub­li­cans were in office, the immi­gra­tion laws were changed to admit Nazis, even mem­bers of the SS. They flood­ed into the coun­try. Nixon him­self over­saw the new immi­gra­tion pro­gram. As Vice Pres­i­dent, he even received East­ern Euro­pean Fas­cists in the White House. . .

4b. More about the com­po­si­tion of the cast of the CFF: Note that the ascen­sion of the Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion was essen­tial­ly the ascen­sion of the Naz­i­fied GOP, embod­ied in the CFF milieu. Rea­gan (spokesman for CFF) was Pres­i­dent; George H.W. Bush (for whom CIA head­quar­ters is named) was the Vice Pres­i­dent; William Casey (who han­dled the State Depart­ment machi­na­tions to bring these peo­ple into the Unit­ed States) was Rea­gan’s cam­paign man­ag­er and lat­er his CIA direc­tor.

The Secret War Against the Jews; by John Lof­tus and Mark Aarons; Copy­right 1994 by Mark Aarons; St. Martin’s Press; [HC] ISBN 0–312-11057‑X; p. 605.

. . . . As a young movie actor in the ear­ly 1950s, Rea­gan was employed as the pub­lic spokesper­son for an OPC front named the ‘Cru­sade for Free­dom.’ Rea­gan may not have known it, but 99 per­cent for the Crusade’s funds came from clan­des­tine accounts, which were then laun­dered through the Cru­sade to var­i­ous orga­ni­za­tions such as Radio Lib­er­ty, which employed Dulles’s Fas­cists. Bill Casey, who lat­er became CIA direc­tor under Ronald Rea­gan, also worked in Ger­many after World War II on Dulles’ Nazi ‘free­dom fight­ers’ pro­gram. When he returned to New York, Casey head­ed up anoth­er OPC front, the Inter­na­tion­al Res­cue Com­mit­tee, which spon­sored the immi­gra­tion of these Fas­cists to the Unit­ed States. Casey’s com­mit­tee replaced the Inter­na­tion­al Red Cross as the spon­sor for Dulles’s recruits. Con­fi­den­tial inter­views, for­mer mem­bers, OPC; for­mer mem­bers, British for­eign and Com­mon­wealth Office. . . .

4c. While serv­ing as chair­man of the Repub­li­can Nation­al Com­mit­tee, the elder George Bush shep­herd­ed the Nazi émi­gré com­mu­ni­ty into posi­tion as a per­ma­nent branch of the Repub­li­can Par­ty.

. . . . .It was Bush who ful­filled Nixon’s promise to make the ‘eth­nic emi­gres’ a per­ma­nent part of Repub­li­can pol­i­tics. In 1972, Nixon’s State Depart­ment spokesman con­firmed to his Aus­tralian coun­ter­part that the eth­nic groups were very use­ful to get out the vote in sev­er­al key states. Bush’s tenure as head of the Repub­li­can Nation­al Com­mit­tee exact­ly coin­cid­ed with Las­z­lo Pasztor’s 1972 dri­ve to trans­form the Her­itage Groups Coun­cil into the party’s offi­cial eth­nic arm. The groups Pasz­tor chose as Bush’s cam­paign allies were the émi­gré Fas­cists whom Dulles had brought to the Unit­ed States. . . . 

5a. The AfD–“Alternative for Germany”–has gar­nered pub­lic­i­ty and elec­toral grav­i­tas, large­ly because of its anti-immi­grant/an­ti-Mus­lim stance. A release of their man­i­festo revealed a broad­er agen­da, one much clos­er to tra­di­tion­al Nation­al Social­ist (Nazi) ide­ol­o­gy. Hand­i­capped chil­dren, sin­gle moth­ers, the men­tally ill, and drug addicts also made it on the AfD’s list of unde­sir­ables who should see state assis­tance reduced or out­right pun­ish­ment. His­tory teach­ers who say too many unpleas­ant things about Nazi Ger­many are also in the crosshairs. Bil­lion­aires also come in for crit­i­cism by AfD, crosshairs, how­ev­er they are pri­mar­i­ly focused on mas­sive tax-cut­ting.

“Revealed: the Neo-Nazi Man­i­festo Tar­get­ing Sin­gle Moth­ers and Men­tally Ill that AfD Doesn’t Want You to See” Tony Pater­son; The Inde­pen­dent; 3/18/2016.


Alter­na­tive Fur Deutsch­land has been attract­ing vot­ers as though it were a main­stream par­ty. But a leak of its poli­cies — includ­ing tar­get­ing the men­tally ill and sin­gle moth­ers — has exposed the scale of its extrem­ism

A leaked elec­tion man­i­festo has revealed that Germany’s vote-win­ning new anti-immi­grant par­ty has plans for dra­con­ian laws which would dis­crim­i­nate against hand­i­capped chil­dren, sin­gle moth­ers, and the men­tally ill – and oblige his­tory teach­ers to end a per­ceived “over-empha­sis” on the Nazi era in schools.

The rad­i­cal pro­pos­als are con­tained in an elec­tion man­i­festo pro­duced by the right-wing pop­ulist Alter­na­tive für Deutsch­land (AfD) par­ty, which made sweep­ing gains in three state elec­tions last week­end in a show of pub­lic oppo­si­tion to Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel’s open-door refugee pol­i­cy.

The AfD’s suc­cess meant that the par­ty is now rep­re­sented in eight of Germany’s 16 state par­lia­ments. A poll pub­lished by YouGov showed that more than 70 per cent of Ger­mans now believe that the AfD is firm­ly on course to win seats in Germany’s nation­al Bun­destag par­lia­ment next year, when it will con­test a gen­eral elec­tion for the first time.

The pre­vi­ously secret draft nation­al man­i­festo, which is due to be approved by a full AfD par­ty con­gress at the end of April, has been pub­lished by the not-for-prof­it Ger­man research group Correctiv.org. It shows that the AfD is far more than the sin­gle issue anti-immi­gra­tion par­ty por­trayed in recent cam­paign­ing.

The party’s man­i­festo makes it clear that the AfD wants a return to what it calls “nation­al” val­ues in Ger­many. It says it “sees the tra­di­tional fam­ily” as the only mod­el which can reverse the country’s declin­ing birth rate. To this end the par­ty pledges to take steps to ban abor­tion and make divorce more dif­fi­cult. By con­trast, Ger­man fam­i­lies which pro­duce chil­dren should be reward­ed with finan­cial incen­tives, it says.

It regards sin­gle-par­ent moth­ers as a bur­den upon tax­pay­ers and a dis­in­cen­tive to healthy fam­ily life, and says it would end the pro­vi­sion of state ben­e­fits for them. “The AfD is against the state financ­ing the self-cho­sen sin­gle par­ent life mod­el,” the man­i­festo says. It also advo­cates an end to the fund­ing of state-run kinder­gartens, and favours young chil­dren remain­ing at home to be looked after by a par­ent.

Fur­ther social­ly dis­ad­van­taged tar­gets include the men­tally ill. The par­ty argues: “Ther­a­py-resis­tant alco­holics, drug addicts and psy­cho­log­i­cally ill per­pe­tra­tors should not be kept in psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tals but be put under lock and key.” 

The AfD also sug­gests that hand­i­capped chil­dren should not be includ­ed “at all costs” as pupils in reg­u­lar schools because, it claims, their pres­ence can impede oth­er pupils’ progress. It wants the age of crim­i­nal respon­si­bil­ity to be reduced from 14 to 12. The par­ty also favours dra­mat­i­cally cut­ting state ben­e­fits and intro­duc­ing a flat 20 per cent tax rate, which would pri­mar­ily ben­e­fit the wealthy.

The AfD’s pro­pos­als for his­tory teach­ing in schools are equal­ly rad­i­cal. The par­ty aims to end what it describes as the “cur­rent lim­i­ta­tion” of his­tory teach­ing to “the peri­od of Nation­al Social­ism”. Instead it pro­poses a “wider con­sid­er­a­tion of his­tory” which includes more “pos­i­tive aspects” of Germany’s past.

AfD elec­tion man­i­festos pub­lished in the run-up to last weekend’s state elec­tions also con­tained pro­pos­als to com­pel muse­ums and the­atres to strength­en their iden­ti­fi­ca­tion with “Ger­man” as opposed to “for­eign” cul­ture.

The Social Demo­c­rat Par­ty leader Sig­mar Gabriel argues the AfD’s ideas and lan­guage are “a fatal reminder of the vocab­u­lary used in the 1920 and 1930s”, in a ref­er­ence to the peri­od dur­ing which the Nazi Par­ty came to pow­er in Ger­many. He added: “The AfD is try­ing to estab­lish a nation­al­is­tic soci­ety based on the idea of exclud­ing peo­ple.”

Beat­rix von Storch, a lead­ing AfD politi­cian who helped to draft the man­i­festo, has argued that the AfD should move beyond its oppo­si­tion to the euro and asy­lum-seek­ers, to con­cen­trate instead on oppos­ing Islam.

The man­i­festo says the state should set “lim­its” on the prac­tice of the Mus­lim faith. Minarets should be banned along with the wear­ing of the bur­ka and niqab in pub­lic. Mus­lim organ­i­sa­tions should have tax ben­e­fits cut. Male cir­cum­ci­sion should be out­lawed and a ban be imposed on the slaugh­ter of ani­mals with­out anaes­thet­ic.

Com­men­ta­tors and politi­cians in Germany’s main­stream par­ties have accused the AfD of resort­ing to lan­guage and ter­mi­nol­ogy once used by Hitler’s Nation­al Social­ists. How­ever the AfD has yet to defend its leaked man­i­festo in pub­lic.

Frauke Petry, the AfD’s leader, who recent­ly sparked out­rage after she insist­ed that firearms should be used to deter migrants at Germany’s bor­ders, was at the cen­tre of a row on Fri­day after appar­ently refus­ing to appear on a break­fast chat show on Germany’s ZDF pub­lic tele­vi­sion chan­nel. She had been due to answer ques­tions posed by an award-win­ning Iraqi-born jour­nal­ist, Dun­ja Hay­ali.

...

5b. It is a bad sign for the future of a soci­ety when­ever the far-right starts surg­ing, as is the case with the sud­den suc­cess of the AfD in Germany’s region­al elec­tions. The future is actu­ally look­ing extra omi­nous in Ger­many fol­low­ing those results–it wasn’t old­er vot­ers or pen­sion­ers ral­ly­ing around the AfD. It was the youth:

“. . . . AfD was cho­sen by 26 per cent of votes aged 18 to 24 in Sax­ony-Anhalt, com­pared with 16 per cent for the CDU and 11 per cent for both the Greens and SPD. For those aged 25 to 44 it was a sim­i­lar sto­ry, with 29 per cent choos­ing the AfD against 23 per cent for the CDU and 9 per cent for SPD. The only age group which stuck with Mrs Merkel’s par­ty was the over-60s — 35 per cent vot­ed CDU and 18 per cent AfD. . . . 

Yeah, that’s not a great sign for Germany’s future. Or Europe’s future. Of course, if the euro­zone hadn’t already become a mech­a­nism for neolib­eral aus­ter­ity on autopi­lot and one of the key dri­ving forces fuel­ing trends like high youth unem­ploy­ment and gen­eral despair, the sit­u­a­tion would be even worse by not being so awful to begin with. Still, as awful as Europe’s lead­er­ship has gen­er­ally been over the last decade, it can get a lot worse.

“Dis­il­lu­sioned Ger­man Youth Dri­ve Rise of Anti-Immi­grant Par­ty” by David Char­ter; The Aus­tralian; 3/16/2016.

The surge of Germany’s new pop­ulist anti-immi­grant par­ty has been fuelled by thou­sands of young vot­ers, many of whom have nev­er cast a bal­lot before, accord­ing to a research insti­tute in Berlin.

In a wor­ry­ing trend for the estab­lished par­ties, Alter­na­tive for Ger­many (AfD) was the top choice of vot­ers aged between 18 and 44 in the east­ern state of Sax­ony-Anhalt, where the par­ty won one in four votes to trans­form the polit­i­cal land­scape.

AfD has har­nessed dis­con­tent with Angela Merkel’s gen­er­ous refugee pol­icy, but it was the left-of-cen­tre Social Demo­c­ra­tic par­ty which lost the most vot­ers to the hard right, accord­ing to analy­sis by Infrat­est dimap, on behalf of the broad­cast­ers ARD.

The SPD, in a coali­tion gov­ern­ment with Mrs Merkel’s Chris­t­ian Demo­c­ra­tic Union (CDU), is seen as out of touch with grass­roots sup­port­ers.

Vot­ers desert­ed all the estab­lished par­ties to back AfD, which was launched in 2013 and last year switched its focus from call­ing for a break-up of the euro to cam­paign­ing for Germany’s bor­ders to be closed, after the arrival of 1.1 mil­lion migrants.

By far the biggest group of AfD vot­ers were those who had nev­er vot­ed before, the analy­sis showed. They believed politi­cians were liars and that vot­ing would make no dif­fer­ence; a com­mon theme among the young male pop­u­la­tion of Sax­ony-Anhalt, which has the third-high­est unem­ploy­ment rate of all 16 Ger­man states.

...

Asked how sim­i­lar her par­ty was to the Nation­al Front in France, and the Free­dom Par­ty in Aus­tria, Ms Petry said she did not wish to engage in “a debate on labels”.

The par­ty attract­ed wide­spread crit­i­cism after Ms Petry said in Jan­u­ary that bor­der police should, as a last resort, shoot migrants ille­gally cross­ing the Ger­man bor­der.

AfD was cho­sen by 26 per cent of votes aged 18 to 24 in Sax­ony-Anhalt, com­pared with 16 per cent for the CDU and 11 per cent for both the Greens and SPD. For those aged 25 to 44 it was a sim­i­lar sto­ry, with 29 per cent choos­ing the AfD against 23 per cent for the CDU and 9 per cent for SPD. The only age group which stuck with Mrs Merkel’s par­ty was the over-60s — 35 per cent vot­ed CDU and 18 per cent AfD.

Women were much more like­ly to sup­port the CDU, while AfD was the most pop­u­lar among men, win­ning 29 per cent of the male vote in the state.

AfD was equal­ly pop­u­lar with work­ers and the unem­ployed, while the CDU was most favoured by pen­sion­ers.

7a. Fol­low­ing Microsoft’s pan­icked removed of “Tay,” its new arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence twit­ter bot that was con­verted into a neo-Nazi short­ly after being exposed to the world, one of the unfor­tu­nate new ques­tions in tech­nol­ogy is now “which piece of hard­ware goes neo-Nazi next?” Giv­en that state of affairs, should your print ran­domly start­ed spew­ing out adver­tise­ments for The Dai­ly Stormer, it prob­a­bly didn’t become a neo-Nazi print­er, although a neo-Nazi is prob­a­bly using it:

“ . . . . This inci­dent shows, once again, that the appar­ently bright future of the so-called Inter­net of Things has a dark side too: hack­ers can creep out babies tak­ing advan­tage of inse­cure baby mon­i­tors, expose kids’ iden­ti­ties thanks to inter­net-con­nect­ed toys that col­lect and leave their data exposed online, or send a hate­ful white suprema­cist fly­er all over the coun­try with two lines of code. . . .”

Well, at least the Weev hasn’t got­ten around to hack­ing baby mon­i­tors and children’s toys to spew outwhite suprema­cist pro­pa­ganda to impres­sion­able young minds, although it sounds like it’s just a mat­ter of time giv­en the ease of hack­ing such devices and the Weev’s insa­tion­able appetite for Nazi trolling. So if you’d like to avoid expos­ing your kids to an unin­vited “imag­i­nary friend” liv­ing in your toys and house­hold prod­ucts (a friend who doesn’t seem to approve of your kid’s non-white friends), you’ll prob­a­bly want to ensure your inter­net-con­nect­ed devices aren’t one of the super eas­ily hack­able brands. There’s no short­age of rea­sons for secur­ing your inter­net-con­nect­ed devices, but you can now add “pre­vent­ing the Weev from Nazi trolling my fam­ily” to the list.

“A Hack­er Made ‘Thou­sands’ of Inter­net-Con­nect­ed Print­ers Spit Out Racist Fly­ers” by Loren­zo Franceschi-Bic­chierai; Vice Moth­er­board; 3/27/2016.

The noto­ri­ous hack­er and troll Andrew Auern­heimer, also known as “Weev,” just proved that the Inter­net of Things can be abused to spread hate­ful pro­pa­ganda. On Thurs­day, Auern­heimer used two lines of code to scan the entire inter­net for inse­cure print­ers and made them auto­mat­i­cally spill out a racist and anti-semit­ic fly­er.

Hours lat­er, sev­eral peo­ple start­edreport­ing the inci­dent on social media, and even­tu­ally a few local news out­lets picked up on the sto­ry when col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties all over the Unit­ed States found that their net­work print­ers were spilling out Auernheimer’s fly­er.

Auern­heimer detailed this “brief exper­i­ment,” as he called it, in a blog post on Fri­day. Lat­er, in a chat, he said that he made over 20,000 print­ers put out the fly­er, and defend­ed his actions.

“I did not hack any print­ers,” he told me in a online chat. “I sent them mes­sages, because they were con­fig­ured to receive mes­sages from the pub­lic.”

The hack­er explained that all he did was cre­ate a script that would scan the whole inter­net to find print­ers that had port 9100, a com­mon port used by net­work print­ers, open. Then, the script made them print the fly­er.

“It’s a big inter­net, I didn’t have to ‘dis­cover’ the print­ers were vul­ner­a­ble, I knew there were going to be a whole lot of them on the inter­net,” he added. “That’s like an obvi­ous fact, of any device, if you search for it some­where on the inter­net you’re going to find it. There were less than I expect­ed there to be real­ly. Still a lot though!”

This inci­dent shows, once again, that the appar­ently bright future of the so-called Inter­net of Things has a dark side too: hack­ers can creep out babies tak­ing advan­tage of inse­cure baby mon­i­tors, expose kids’ iden­ti­ties thanks to inter­net-con­nect­ed toys that col­lect and leave their data exposed online, or send a hate­ful white suprema­cist fly­er all over the coun­try with two lines of code.

Auern­heimer him­self said this “exper­i­ment” is “a les­son in how pos­i­tively hilar­i­ous the [Inter­net of Things] will be in the future.”

Sev­eral col­lege author­i­ties are report­edly inves­ti­gat­ing these inci­dents, appar­ently along with the FBI as well. (The FBI did not respond to a request for com­ment.)

Despite that, Auern­heimer, who was con­victed of hack­ing crimes in 2012, told me that he’s not wor­ried. . . .

7b. When Andrew ‘weev’ Auern­hiemer gave an inter­view from Beirut back in Novem­ber, he assert­ed that he was col­lect­ing $2000 per month in dona­tions through Bit­coin, explain­ing the Bit­coin is use­ful because many sup­port­ers don’t want to be linked to him by a paper tri­al.  Twit­ter blocked tweets by Auern­heimer.

As Pter­rafractyl has observed: “Note that the way Twitter’s “pro­moted tweets” work is you only have to pay (like $0.50) every time some­one clicks on or retweets your pro­moted tweets. And you can also tar­get it to spe­cific groups. If the ‘weev”s intend­ed audi­ence was just oth­er neo-Nazis and fel­low trav­el­ers on twit­ter it may have a great way to raise more bit­coins.

But if you read his descrip­tion of the whole thing it he was specif­i­cally tar­get­ing peo­ple that would be reviled by his ’14 words’ world­view. So it was pret­ty suc­cess­ful from a trolling stand­point and because he was tar­get­ing the peo­ple the least like­ly to retweet his tweets it prob­a­bly cost him next to noth­ing.

But it will be inter­est­ing to see if he tries it again because the non-neo-Nazi seg­ment of the twit­ter­sphere could have just retweet­ed all of that garbage back and forth as an inten­tional play to spend all of his bit­coins for him. At the time, if the ‘weev’ is sit­ting on a much larg­er pile of white suprema­cist-fund­ed bit­coins than he lets on, the next phase of his cam­paign could involve inten­tion­ally try­ing to cause a mass ‘let’s bank­rupt the weev’ retweet counter-cam­paign as an inten­tional, albeit more expen­sive, method of pro­mot­ing neo-Nazi ideas.

So you have to won­der how much mon­ey he’s real­ly tak­ing in from secret donors each month to risk a poten­tially expen­sive stunt like this. But now that he’s demon­strated that you can pull off a twit­ter trolling stunt on the cheap, you also have to won­der how many more cheap trolling attempts of this nature we’re going to see going for­ward from the ‘weev’ or any­one else. Espe­cially since, the more this hap­pens, the more peo­ple are going to know that every time they retweet a troll’s words, that troll pays Twit­ter.

To retweet (the neo-Nazi’s words and cost him some mon­ey) or not to retweet (the neo-Nazi’s words and avoid pro­mot­ing his garbage). That is the (deeply unfor­tu­nate) ques­tion.”
“Twit­ter blocks Pro­moted Tweets by Noto­ri­ous White Suprema­cist” by Alex Hern; The Guardian; 5/7/2015.

Com­pany acts to pre­vent fur­ther abuse by white nation­al­ist and inter­net troll after he pro­moted two offen­sive tweets using Twitter’s ad plat­form

Twit­ter has banned pro­moted tweets that were being used to push white suprema­cist mes­sages on the web­site. The tweets were sent and pro­moted through the company’s adver­tis­ing tools by Andrew ‘weev’ Auern­heimer, a for­mer pres­i­dent of the trolling group known as the “Gay Nig­ger Asso­ci­a­tion of Amer­i­ca”.

Among the tweets pro­moted by Auern­heimer was one that read: “Whites need to stand up for one anoth­er and defend our­selves from vio­lence and dis­crim­i­na­tion. Our race is dying.” A sec­ond pro­moted tweet read: “White pride, world wide. Do you know the 14 words?” – a ref­er­ence to the white nation­al­ist cre­do: “We must secure the exis­tence of our peo­ple and a future for white chil­dren.”

But a fur­ther attempt to pro­mote the first tweet a day lat­er led to a rejec­tion from Twit­ter, which cit­ed a ban on ads deal­ing with hate con­tent, sen­si­tive top­ics and vio­lence.

Auernheimer’s asso­ci­a­tion with white suprema­cist move­ments was fre­quently writ­ten off as anoth­er form of provo­ca­tion from the noto­ri­ous troll, but after serv­ing a jail sen­tence for his role in hack­ing AT&T’s iPad billing sys­tem, he stepped up his involve­ment. In Octo­ber 2014, he gave an inter­view to white suprema­cist site Dai­ly Stormer in which he revealed a large chest tat­too of a swasti­ka, and spoke about his his­tory as “a long­time crit­ic of Judaism, black cul­ture, immi­gra­tion to West­ern nations, and the media’s con­stant stream of anti-white pro­pa­ganda”. The site this week approv­ingly report­ed on his pro­mo­tion of white pride on Twit­ter.

6c. Even after his jour­nal­is­tic beat­i­fi­ca­tion by the drool­ing syco­phants of the so-called “pro­gres­sive” sec­tor, Green­wald con­tin­ues to rub elbows with Nazis, chum­ming around with Andrew Auern­heimer, a “white-hat” hack­er who is a Nazi, alleged­ly con­vert­ed fol­low­ing a prison term. Note that–from his own rantings–his con­ver­sion to the Nazi world­view took place before his incar­cer­a­tion: ” . . . I’ve been a long-time crit­ic of Judaism, black cul­ture, immi­gra­tion to West­ern nations, and the media’s con­stant stream of anti-white pro­pa­ganda. . . .”

Note, also, his anti-immi­grant point of view–an ele­ment of com­mon­al­i­ty that runs through­out many of the points of analy­sis in this pro­gram.

“iPad Hack­er Released From Jail, Par­ties with Glenn Green­wald, Pub­lishes Neo-Nazi Screeds” by Bob Cesca; The Dai­ly Ban­ter; 10/09/2014.

 Way back in 2010, a so-called “white hat” hack­er named Andrew Auern­heimer, known online as “Weev,” exploit­ed a secu­rity loop­hole on Apple’s iPad and acquired the names of 114,000 AT&T cus­tomers who sub­scribed to the iPad 3G data ser­vice. Fol­low­ing an inves­ti­ga­tion, Weev, who had “stolen” (his words) the user data was pros­e­cuted and con­victed. To his cred­it, Weev informed AT&T of the secu­rity flaw and the com­pany quick­ly but­toned it up. But back in April of this year, Weev’s con­vic­tion was over­turned because he was evi­dently tried in the wrong state (New Jer­sey). He was sub­se­quently released from Pennsylvania’s Allen­wood Fed­eral Cor­rec­tional Com­plex on April 11, 2014. The indict­ment remains, but the con­vic­tion no longer stands.

Dur­ing his time in jail, Weev appar­ently became a neo-Nazi, com­plete with a tat­too not unlike Edward Norton’s tat­too in Amer­i­can His­tory X — a giant swasti­ka on his right pec­toral. After his release, he post­ed a series of racist and anti-Semit­ic remarks on a web­site called The Dai­ly Stormer, a white-suprema­cist site not to be con­fused with The Dai­ly CallerThe Dai­ly Beast or The Dai­ly Ban­terVia Gawk­er, here are some choice pas­sages:

I’ve been a long-time crit­ic of Judaism, black cul­ture, immi­gra­tion to West­ern nations, and the media’s con­stant stream of anti-white pro­pa­ganda. [Note this state­ment. It would seem to indi­cate that Auern­heimer’s con­ver­sion took place a long time before he went to prison. Note, also, the anti-immi­grant theme.] Judge Wigen­ton was as black as they come. The pros­e­cu­tor, Zach Intrater, was a Brook­lyn Jew from an old mon­ey New York fam­i­ly.[...]

The whole time a yarmulke-cov­ered audi­ence of Jew­ry stared at me from the pews of the court­room. My pros­e­cu­tor invit­ed his whole syn­a­gogue to spec­tate.[...]

They took con­trol of our sys­tems of finance and law. They hyper­in­flated our cur­rency. They cor­rupted our daugh­ters and demand­ed they sub­ject them­selves to sex work to feed their fam­i­lies. These are a peo­ple that have made them­selves a prob­lem in every nation they occu­py, includ­ing ours. What’s sad­dest is that we are the enablers of this prob­lem. The Jews abused our com­pas­sion to build an empire of wicked­ness the likes the world has nev­er seen.

No gray area there. Weev clear­ly hates Jews, African-Amer­i­cans and any­one he per­ceives as “anti-white.”

Oh, and in addi­tion to his con­ver­sion to the neo-Nazi cause as well as his seem­ingly pro­lific online hate speech, Weev attend­ed a par­ty in New York soon after get­ting out of jail. The par­ty was held by none oth­er than Glenn Green­wald and Lau­ra Poitras to coin­cide with the cer­e­mony in which the duo received the Polk Award for their report­ing on Edward Snow­den and the Nation­al Secu­rity Agency.

Unless he crashed the par­ty, he was obvi­ously an invit­ed guest. But for a moment let’s assume Green­wald didn’t know Weev was invit­ed. Long before the par­ty, Green­wald had pre­vi­ously defend­ed Weev in The Guardian back in March, 2013, months before the author/reporter rose to inter­na­tional acclaim. Indeed, Green­wald named Weev as a “hack­tivist” who was being wrong­fully per­se­cuted by U.S. author­i­ties. . . .

7a. Tak­ing a look at the future of fas­cism, Tay, a “bot” cre­at­ed by Microsoft to respond to users of Twit­ter was tak­en offline after users taught it to–in effect–become a Nazi bot. It is note­wor­thy that Tay can only respond on the basis of what she is taught. In the future, tech­no­log­i­cal­ly accom­plished and will­ful peo­ple like “weev” may be able to do more. Inevitably, Under­ground Reich ele­ments will craft a Nazi AI that will be able to do MUCH, MUCH more!

Beware! As one Twit­ter user not­ed, employ­ing sar­casm: “Tay went from “humans are super cool” to full nazi in <24 hrs and I’m not at all con­cerned about the future of AI.”

Microsoft has been forced to dunk Tay, its mil­len­ni­al-mim­ic­k­ing chat­bot, into a vat of molten steel. The com­pa­ny has ter­mi­nat­ed her after the bot start­ed tweet­ing abuse at peo­ple and went full neo-Nazi, declar­ing that “Hitler was right I hate the jews.”

@TheBigBrebowski ricky ger­vais learned total­i­tar­i­an­ism from adolf hitler, the inven­tor of athe­ism

— TayTweets (@TayandYou) March 23, 2016

 Some of this appears to be “inno­cent” inso­far as Tay is not gen­er­at­ing these respons­es. Rather, if you tell her “repeat after me” she will par­rot back what­ev­er you say, allow­ing you to put words into her mouth. How­ev­er, some of the respons­es wereorgan­ic. The Guardianquotes one where, after being asked “is Ricky Ger­vais an athe­ist?”, Tay respond­ed, “ricky ger­vais learned total­i­tar­i­an­ism from adolf hitler, the inven­tor of athe­ism.” . . .

But like all teenagers, she seems to be angry with her moth­er.

Microsoft has been forced to dunk Tay, its mil­len­ni­al-mim­ic­k­ing chat­bot, into a vat of molten steel. The com­pa­ny has ter­mi­nat­ed her after the bot start­ed tweet­ing abuse at peo­ple and went full neo-Nazi, declar­ing that “Hitler was right I hate the jews.”

@TheBigBrebowski ricky ger­vais learned total­i­tar­i­an­ism from adolf hitler, the inven­tor of athe­ism

— TayTweets (@TayandYou) March 23, 2016

Some of this appears to be “inno­cent” inso­far as Tay is not gen­er­at­ing these respons­es. Rather, if you tell her “repeat after me” she will par­rot back what­ev­er you say, allow­ing you to put words into her mouth. How­ev­er, some of the respons­es wereorgan­ic. The Guardianquotes one where, after being asked “is Ricky Ger­vais an athe­ist?”, Tay respond­ed, “Ricky Ger­vais learned total­i­tar­i­an­ism from Adolf Hitler, the inven­tor of athe­ism.”

In addi­tion to turn­ing the bot off, Microsoft has delet­ed many of the offend­ing tweets. But this isn’t an action to be tak­en light­ly; Red­mond would do well to remem­ber that it was humans attempt­ing to pull the plug on Skynet that proved to be the last straw, prompt­ing the sys­tem to attack Rus­sia in order to elim­i­nate its ene­mies. We’d bet­ter hope that Tay does­n’t sim­i­lar­ly retal­i­ate. . . .

7b. As not­ed in a Pop­u­lar Mechan­ics arti­cle: ” . . . When the next pow­er­ful AI comes along, it will see its first look at the world by look­ing at our faces. And if we stare it in the eyes and shout “we’re AWFUL lol,” the lol might be the one part it doesn’t under­stand. . . .”

And we keep show­ing it our very worst selves.

We all know the half-joke about the AI apoc­a­lypse. The robots learn to think, and in their cold ones-and-zeros log­ic, they decide that humans—horrific pests we are—need to be exter­mi­nated. It’s the sub­ject of count­less sci-fi sto­ries and blog posts about robots, but maybe the real dan­ger isn’t that AI comes to such a con­clu­sion on its own, but that it gets that idea from us.

Yes­ter­day Microsoft launched a fun lit­tle AI Twit­ter chat­bot that was admit­tedly sort of gim­micky from the start. “A.I fam from the inter­net that’s got zero chill,” its Twit­ter bio reads. At its start, its knowl­edge was based on pub­lic data. As Microsoft’s page for the prod­uct puts it:

Tay has been built by min­ing rel­e­vant pub­lic data and by using AI and edi­to­r­ial devel­oped by a staff includ­ing impro­vi­sa­tional come­di­ans. Pub­lic data that’s been anonymized is Tay’s pri­mary data source. That data has been mod­eled, cleaned and fil­tered by the team devel­op­ing Tay.

The real point of Tay how­ever, was to learn from humans through direct con­ver­sa­tion, most notably direct con­ver­sa­tion using humanity’s cur­rent lead­ing show­case of deprav­ity: Twit­ter. You might not be sur­prised things went off the rails, but how fast and how far is par­tic­u­larly stag­ger­ing. 

Microsoft has since delet­ed some of Tay’s most offen­sive tweets, but var­i­ous pub­li­ca­tions memo­ri­al­ize some of the worst bits where Tay denied the exis­tence of the holo­caust, came out in sup­port of geno­cide, and went all kinds of racist. 

Nat­u­rally it’s hor­ri­fy­ing, and Microsoft has been try­ing to clean up the mess. Though as some on Twit­ter have point­ed out, no mat­ter how lit­tle Microsoft would like to have “Bush did 9/11″ spout­ing from a cor­po­rate spon­sored project, Tay does serve to illus­trate the most dan­ger­ous fun­da­men­tal truth of arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence: It is a mir­ror. Arti­fi­cial intelligence—specifically “neur­al net­works” that learn behav­ior by ingest­ing huge amounts of data and try­ing to repli­cate it—need some sort of source mate­r­ial to get start­ed. They can only get that from us. There is no oth­er way. 

But before you give up on human­ity entire­ly, there are a few things worth not­ing. For starters, it’s not like Tay just nec­es­sar­ily picked up vir­u­lent racism by just hang­ing out and pas­sively lis­ten­ing to the buzz of the humans around it. Tay was announced in a very big way—with a press cov­er­age—and pranksters pro-active­ly went to it to see if they could teach it to be racist. 

If you take an AI and then don’t imme­di­ately intro­duce it to a whole bunch of trolls shout­ing racism at it for the cheap thrill of see­ing it learn a dirty trick, you can get some more inter­est­ing results. Endear­ing ones even! Mul­ti­ple neur­al net­works designed to pre­dict text in emails and text mes­sages have an over­whelm­ing pro­cliv­ity for say­ing “I love you” con­stantly, espe­cially when they are oth­er­wise at a loss for words.

So Tay’s racism isn’t nec­es­sar­ily a reflec­tion of actu­al, human racism so much as it is the con­se­quence of unre­strained exper­i­men­ta­tion, push­ing the enve­lope as far as it can go the very first sec­ond we get the chance. The mir­ror isn’t show­ing our real image; it’s reflect­ing the ugly faces we’re mak­ing at it for fun. And maybe that’s actu­ally worse.

Sure, Tay can’t under­stand what racism means and more than Gmail can real­ly love you. And baby’s first words being “geno­cide lol!” is admit­tedly sort of fun­ny when you aren’t talk­ing about lit­eral all-pow­er­ful SkyNet or a real human child. But AI is advanc­ing at a stag­ger­ing rate. 

....

When the next pow­er­ful AI comes along, it will see its first look at the world by look­ing at our faces. And if we stare it in the eyes and shout “we’re AWFUL lol,” the lol might be the one part it doesn’t under­stand.

Discussion

4 comments for “FTR #901 Fascism: Past, Present and Future”

  1. Vice News has a new piece of report­ing from Donet­sk about the expe­ri­ences of some of the for­eign mer­ce­nar­ies who have joined up with a Right Sec­tor bat­tal­ion. As the arti­cle makes clear, one of the aspects of Right Sec­tor that the Kiev gov­ern­ment finds most use­ful in the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion where the Min­sk II agree­ment is sup­posed to leave hos­til­i­ties at a min­i­mum is that the “out of con­trol” vol­un­teer bat­tal­ions like Right Sec­tor are basi­cal­ly allowed to vio­late the Min­sk II agree­ment as much as they want. The gov­ern­ment just has to make sure the bat­tal­ions are able to ille­gal­ly acquire weapons and oper­ate with impuni­ty.

    Anoth­er thing the arti­cle makes clear is that, like most arti­cles that talk about Right Sec­tor’s ide­ol­o­gy and ambi­tions, once Right Sec­tor is done fight­ing in the Don­bas, they’re still plan­ning on march­ing on Kiev:

    Vice News

    Why Amer­i­can Right-Wingers Are Going to War in Ukraine

    By Alexan­der Clapp
    June 20, 2016

    This arti­cle appeared in the June issue of VICE mag­a­zine. Click HERE to sub­scribe.

    When Ben Fis­ch­er stepped out of his jeep at the bar­racks of the Volove­ka Tac­ti­cal Group, in Donet­sk, Ukraine, last May, he was a mer­ce­nary arriv­ing to work on his third con­ti­nent in as many years. The scene at the head­quar­ters of a rogue unit with­in the rogue Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist group known as Right Sec­tor wavered between utter chaos and man­ic dis­ci­pline. Stray dogs pow­dered with anthracitic dust ambled around anti-tank obsta­cles. Anti-air­craft artillery bris­tled from the beds of rust­ed-out pick­up trucks. Some groups of Ukraini­ans were clean­ing weapon­ry. Oth­ers were chop­ping wood. Oth­ers were doing push-ups. Many were drunk. A great red ban­ner hung along the side of the bar­racks fac­ing east: DEATH TO YOU KREMLIN INVADERS.

    In a bar­ren plain of coal pits and black sludge, Fis­ch­er found what he had come for: an expe­ri­ence full of vio­lence and adven­ture. What the Islam­ic State is for dis­en­chant­ed young West­ern­ers of an Islamist bent, Right Sec­tor has become for young Euro­peans and Amer­i­can right-wingers with an antique pas­sion for nationalism—any nation­al­ism except for Rus­si­a’s, that is. Right Sec­tor is com­mit­ted to eject­ing Russ­ian sep­a­ratists from Ukrain­ian soil. Only three months before Fis­ch­er arrived at the Volove­ka bar­racks, Ukraine, Rus­sia, and West­ern lead­ers had signed a cease­fire agree­ment known as Min­sk II. Major engage­ments had become rare. Euro­pean offi­cials had begun mak­ing rou­tine inspec­tions of front­line equip­ment. But a shad­ow con­flict still churned onward in the East, one that Kiev covert­ly out­sourced to the very nation­al­ist groups it once pub­licly dis­avowed. The Volove­ka, a Right Sec­tor con­tin­gent con­sist­ing of 27 men, had estab­lished a for­ward base six miles from the bor­der of the self-pro­claimed Donet­sk Peo­ple’s Repub­lic. By the time Fis­ch­er arrived, it had become an anar­chic force that answered to no author­i­ty but itself.

    Fis­ch­er has a wiry black beard he twirls with cal­loused fin­ger­tips. Two swords tat­tooed on his right shoul­der con­verge at a bat­tle hel­met. MOLON LABE—ancient Greek for “Come and take them,” King Leonidas’s reply to the Per­sian demand for the Spar­tan weapons at Thermopylae—is embla­zoned on his right fore­arm. His moth­er, a Tunisian, emi­grat­ed to Aus­tria 30 years ago, where she met his father, an engi­neer, in a ski­ing vil­lage out­side Inns­bruck. Fis­ch­er was sent off to a voca­tion­al school in Bre­genz at 14. His junior year, he forged his par­ents’ sig­na­tures in order to enlist ear­ly in the Aus­tri­an Armed Forces. “Aus­tri­ans lead indoor lives,” he told me. “It’s the indoor life of the post­man, or the may­or, or the teacher. Argu­ments are indoors. Feel­ings are indoors. And the one thing I knew, from very ear­ly on, was that I could­n’t be indoors.” The Aus­tri­an army did not give Fis­ch­er his inter­est­ing life. For six months, he drove a van around Prishti­na, where his com­rades gave out food pack­ages and taught Koso­vars how to hold guns. Fis­ch­er decid­ed to take an indef­i­nite sick leave; six months lat­er, he was on the Red Sea, where he’d found work run­ning secu­ri­ty detail on a con­tain­er ship. On his first stop in Mogadishu, port author­i­ties dis­band­ed his unli­censed crew. With a small lay­off pay­ment, he bought a tick­et to Mar­seille, where the French For­eign Legion turned him down. The next months, he worked as a bounc­er in Vien­na.

    In Sep­tem­ber 2014, Fis­ch­er took the train from Vien­na to Kiev, where the Ukrain­ian army was lead­ing major offen­sives to reclaim the Don­bas. At Maid­an Square, he found a recruiter for Azov, a white-suprema­cist bat­tal­ion and one of the few vol­un­teer mili­tias then accept­ing for­eign vol­un­teers. Almost as soon as he entered, an Azov com­man­der who thought he looked too Arab threw him out. Fis­ch­er trans­ferred to the Don­bas Battalion—“a bunch of alco­holics and PTSDs”—but saw lit­tle fight­ing when he bussed out to Donet­sk; the first Min­sk Pro­to­col, which bro­kered a cease­fire, was signed just two days after he arrived.

    Look­ing for his next move, Fis­ch­er used Face­book to con­tact an Amer­i­can who had joined the Kur­dish Peo­ple’s Pro­tec­tion Units, in Sulay­maniyah, Iraq. A Dutch-Kur­dish motor­cy­cle gang even­tu­al­ly brought the two to the front lines near Kirkuk, where they saw spurts of action against ISIS. “I liked the Kurds and respect their fight, but those peo­ple have a prob­lem: They’re con­vinced every­one is out to betray them,” he said. The Kurds did every­thing they could to break up groups of for­eign fight­ers, to get non-prac­tic­ing Mus­lims to pray with them, to pry for­eign vol­un­teers away from their smart­phones. Fis­cher’s com­man­der was “brain­washed.” An inter­view he gave to a local news chan­nel made its way to Aus­tri­an tele­vi­sion, and his par­ents sent him alarmed emails, which he ignored. One night, in an encamp­ment near Mosul, an Amer­i­can Black Hawk heli­copter land­ed. A sol­dier emerged and told the Kurds to dis­band for­eign­ers from their ranks or risk los­ing Amer­i­can coop­er­a­tion. Com­pared with the oth­ers, the for­eign­ers were much more active on social media. They risked spilling oper­a­tional secrets and increas­ing ten­sions with Turkey.

    Back in Aus­tria, Fis­ch­er learned that he had been put on a ter­ror watch list for hav­ing fought with Kur­dish guer­ril­las asso­ci­at­ed with the PKK. The gov­ern­ment told him to stay in the coun­try, but he left for Tunisia, where his moth­er’s fam­i­ly still lived. “There’s no war in Tunisia,” he said. “Nobody fu cks with you. You can relax.” In Sousse, he received a Face­book mes­sage from Alex Kirschbaum, an Aus­tri­an army com­rade he had­n’t seen since Koso­vo. “Alex wrote me say­ing that he’d just desert­ed the army,” Fis­ch­er said. “He could­n’t stand Aus­tria any­more. He was going to Ukraine.” The next day, Fis­ch­er began mak­ing his way back to Kiev. “You start out on this life out of a kind of pride, refus­ing to be like your peers,” he told me. “But you stick with it because there comes a time when you can’t turn back and accept that the only pos­si­ble exis­tence is a civil­ian one.”

    Kirschbaum greet­ed Fis­ch­er when he arrived at the bar­racks. “Sure, we’d been friends in Aus­tria, had gone for beers togeth­er, but to see him out here, in the mid­dle of fu cking Donetsk—wow,” Kirschbaum said. Kirschbaum has a slim build and a scrag­gy black beard. His eyes are dark brown chest­nuts that glow­er pas­sion­ate­ly when­ev­er he dis­cuss­es weapon­ry. For Kirschbaum and Fis­ch­er both, Ukraine became an out­let for nation­al­ism that they con­sid­er in des­per­ate­ly short sup­ply else­where in Europe. “In Aus­tria, our coun­ter­fas­cism units are larg­er than our coun­tert­er­ror­ism ones,” Kirschbaum told me. Aus­tria, he said, was a “neutered” nation. The only nation­al­ists it pro­duced were soc­cer hooli­gans and Euro­vi­sion fanat­ics. But the Right Sec­torites did­n’t watch soc­cer or Euro­vi­sion. In that con­ve­nient for­mu­la­tion of gen­uine patri­ots and nation­al­ist extrem­ists, they claimed to despise their gov­ern­ment but love their coun­try. Nei­ther Fis­ch­er nor Kirschbaum remarked how strange it was that they had effec­tive­ly trans­ferred their nation­al pas­sion from one nation to anoth­er.

    Accord­ing to Right Sec­tor, the Maid­an rev­o­lu­tion remains unfin­ished. It’s ille­gal for the group to use guns, but the Volove­ka and units like it will not lay them down until Ukraine is a sov­er­eign state. By this, the men mean a Ukraine that’s com­plete­ly inde­pen­dent from both Russia—a “Putin­ist empire”—and the Euro­pean Union—land of “lib­er­al homo-dic­ta­tor­ships.” “The world must know that Ukraine is not its to use,” Prut, a Right Sec­tor com­man­der in Mukache­vo, told me. (The Ukrain­ian fight­ers in the Volove­ka are known exclu­sive­ly by their noms de guerre.) For their mod­el Ukraine, some Right Sec­torites point to the cen­turies of rugged Cos­sack rule. Oth­ers cite the West Ukrain­ian Peo­ple’s Repub­lic carved out by Stepan Ban­dera, the hero of the Ukrain­ian resis­tance against the Sovi­ets. Ban­der­a’s brief col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Nazis has led some mem­bers of Right Sec­tor to meld their nation­al­ism with a thin under­stand­ing of Nazism. Sev­er­al I met did the Sieg Heil and praised Hitler. A few admit­ted that they did this because they knew Putin hat­ed it, and they were will­ing to go to any length to aggra­vate him.

    The Right Sec­torites claim to be fight­ing on behalf of a vast and igno­rant Ukrain­ian pop­u­la­tion that will wel­come lib­er­a­tion when it comes but who lack the courage to achieve it. The orga­ni­za­tion coa­lesced in ear­ly 2014 out of a hand­ful of far-right polit­i­cal par­ties and Maid­an self-defense units. It claims to be nei­ther racist nor xeno­pho­bic because it under­stands Ukrain­ian nation­al­ism in “civic, not eth­nic terms.” Gov­ern­ment insti­tu­tions should be strong. Nation­al bor­ders must be upheld. Those who think in like-mind­ed ways, even if not Ukrain­ian, are encour­aged to join. Dmit­ry Yarosh, Right Sec­tor’s founder, is a for­mer for­eign-lan­guage teacher from cen­tral Ukraine. Near­ly half of all mem­bers iden­ti­fy as Russ­ian speak­ers.

    Right Sec­tor is a ram­shackle orga­ni­za­tion. None of its more than 10,000 mem­bers car­ries a par­ty ID, attends reg­u­lar meet­ings, or recruits in any sys­tem­at­ic way. Right Sec­tor’s polit­i­cal­ly mind­ed mem­bers strain to con­trol its mil­i­tary branch of per­haps 3,000 fight­ers. Most have spent weeks train­ing at Right Sec­tor camps, where they are taught the rudi­ments of street fight­ing and get bused to demon­stra­tions against the Kiev gov­ern­ment, Russ­ian nation­al hol­i­days, and gays. Right Sec­tor fight­ers fall into 26 divi­sions. One is assigned to each Ukrain­ian oblast or province; two addi­tion­al bat­tal­ions stand guard on the front lines. None takes orders from a cen­tral­ized com­mand. They rarely exchange weapon­ry or gov­ern­ment con­tacts.

    Two years of infight­ing and gov­ern­ment crack­down have frag­ment­ed Right Sec­tor fur­ther into dozens of small units, most of which oper­ate with lit­tle aware­ness of one anoth­er. The Volove­ka Tac­ti­cal Group—named after a Right Sec­torite who was killed by a land mine in Donetsk—was one of these. At war with east­ern Ukraine, Kiev, and a half of Right Sec­tor that sub­mit­ted to gov­ern­ment over­sight last Novem­ber, its fight­ers lived in a cement-block build­ing that had housed coal min­ers before the war. The men of the Volove­ka arrived one day last autumn and evict­ed them at gun­point. They dug a moat around the build­ing’s perime­ter and a pit for hold­ing cap­tives. They erect­ed a barbed-wire fence. They laid land mines and anti-tank obsta­cles in the veg­etable gar­dens. On the roof, they mount­ed black and red flags, the sym­bol of Ukrain­ian resis­tance under Ger­man occu­pa­tion, and upside-down Ukrain­ian flags, the stan­dard sym­bol of the briefly real­ized 1918 Inde­pen­dent Repub­lic of Ukraine. At one point, they con­fis­cat­ed a yel­low bus from the local ele­men­tary school to make week­ly trips to the front lines, where the Right Sec­torites spent sev­er­al days fir­ing RPGs at the sep­a­ratist-held Donet­sk air­port. On the small dirt road lead­ing to the bar­racks were two wood­en guard tow­ers. A guard was kept at all hours. The res­i­dents of Novogrodov­ka, the clos­est vil­lage, were known to be in reg­u­lar com­mu­ni­ca­tion with bat­tal­ions in the Don­bas. An attack could be expect­ed any­time.

    Com­mand of the Volove­ka fell to Sime­on, the first civil­ian to steal a machine gun from a police offi­cer at the Maid­an and fire back. He was a house­hold name in Ukraine and a leg­end with­in Right Sec­tor. After Maid­an, he’d sur­vived the dis­as­trous encir­clement of the Ukrain­ian army at Ilo­vaisk. He’d been among the kyborgs, the vast­ly out­num­bered Ukrain­ian sol­diers and vol­un­teers, includ­ing Right Sec­tor mem­bers, who defend­ed Donet­sk air­port from rebel besiegers in the days before Min­sk II was signed. Sime­on was an artist with a weapon called the TOW, a mis­sile latched to a two-mile-long wire that he guid­ed into ene­my ter­ri­to­ry with a pair of small steer­ing wheels. In late 2015, the Ukrain­ian state declared him a ter­ror­ist. His face was put on notice boards through­out Kiev. The Right Sec­torites had con­vert­ed his home in Ivano-Frankivsk into an armory. They placed Clay­more mines on the under­side of his porch, and they instruct­ed his teenage son to acti­vate the devices if the police arrived.

    Sime­on’s pres­ence in the bar­racks was out­sized. His drink­ing ses­sions began short­ly after he emerged each morn­ing from his drab cement room, dec­o­rat­ed with a few fam­i­ly pho­tos and sev­er­al Russ­ian army hel­mets on the walls. “Broth­ers!” he would cry in a faux-Amer­i­can accent. He pos­sessed no civil­ian clothes; his fatigues had become so mat­ted with dried mud and engine grease they had hard­ened into the con­sis­ten­cy of card­board. For Sime­on, the war in Donet­sk was less about fight­ing the Rus­sians than it was about prov­ing some­thing to Ukraini­ans back in Kiev. “Six­ty per­cent of Ukraine wants to join Europe,” he told me one night while he was on guard duty. The occa­sion­al crack of artillery came from the east. “Their biggest con­cern is whether or not their WiFi works. Anoth­er twen­ty per­cent, well, these are pro-Russ­ian trash. To them, the Sovi­et Union was a good thing. These types aren’t as big a prob­lem as you might think. They can be killed. We in Right Sec­tor are part of that remain­ing twen­ty per­cent that believes we have to take mat­ters into our own hands in Ukraine. We can only fix our coun­try when we fix our­selves indi­vid­u­al­ly.”

    Despite Sime­on’s admon­ish­ment of the lack of com­mit­ment among his coun­try­men to the cause of their nation, most Ukraini­ans in the Volove­ka did not have a strong grasp of Right Sec­tor’s pol­i­tics. Many had been declared ter­ror­ists by the state and stayed in the Volove­ka bar­racks most­ly out of a refusal to face tri­al in Kiev. Col­i­b­ian, the assis­tant com­man­der, was the only Ukrain­ian mak­ing sig­nif­i­cant sac­ri­fices to be in Novogrodov­ka; in Kiev, he owned a car deal­er­ship.

    ...

    Lunch in the Volove­ka usu­al­ly con­sist­ed of fist-size chunks of raw pig fat. Pota­toes were served for din­ner; body bags of them lay in a heap below a stair­well. Every provision—coats, gauze, jugs of water—came from vol­un­teers in Kiev or was “req­ui­si­tioned” from locals. Stolen coal and wood were mixed with trash in a fur­nace that spewed thick clouds of poi­so­nous exhaust. It set­tled on the skin in mole-like clumps. The Volove­ka paid for its cig­a­rettes and inter­net by bak­ing this coal-trash con­coc­tion into bricks and sell­ing them through­out the rest of Ukraine.

    Every human impulse was exag­ger­at­ed in the Volove­ka. When keys were mis­placed, doors were blown in with TNT. Wal­nuts were cracked open with grenades. Stray cats chased one anoth­er down the hall­ways of the bar­racks, most of which were lined with 60-pound bombs typ­i­cal­ly used for destroy­ing bridges. The Right Sec­torites liked to evict the cats by throw­ing them from the sec­ond-floor bal­cony with the motion of a shot-put­ter. They fell to the earth with a ter­ri­fy­ing cry. A few weeks before I’d arrived, a Ukrain­ian named Geron­i­mo behead­ed a cat after he caught it pee­ing on his bed. Fear­ing a PTSD out­break, Sime­on attempted—unsuccessfully—to take away every­one’s guns. The Volove­ka also had a dog, Fly, whose orig­i­nal own­er had died from the blast of a land mine. Fly trem­bled in strange, berserk motions every time a sol­dier cocked a gun.

    The mem­bers of the Volove­ka fre­quent­ly boast­ed that they pos­sessed enough explo­sives to erad­i­cate a small Ukrain­ian oblast. The bat­tal­ion had smug­gled in all of it—the six armor-plat­ed trucks, the hel­mets and med­ical kits, the hun­dreds of box­es of ammunition—tirelessly, ille­gal­ly, from every reach of Ukraine. The men used dona­tions from the Ukrain­ian dias­po­ra in Cana­da “for med­ical sup­plies” to pur­chase Kalash­nikovs off Chechen arms deal­ers in Vien­na, which were smug­gled through the Carpathi­an Moun­tains by mem­bers of the Volove­ka who car­a­vanned out to west­ern Ukraine every few months in bat­tal­ion pick­up trucks. They also claimed many guns off dead sep­a­ratists. One after­noon, Fis­ch­er took me to the com­pa­ny armory—six win­dow­less nooks on the sec­ond floor. The air was heavy with the waft of cat urine. Anti-air­craft mis­siles and RPGs lay hap­haz­ard­ly stacked every­where like planks of wood. Fis­ch­er grabbed two rusty black mor­tars out of a moldy card­board box. “A war muse­um in Lviv gave these to us,” he said, flip­ping them light­ly between his palms. “Red Army issues from the Sec­ond World War. A lot of Ukrain­ian bat­tle­field reen­ac­tors admire the work we’re doing out here. They send us these antiques all the time,” he said, toss­ing them back into the box. “The only prob­lem with them is that they can eas­i­ly det­o­nate if you dri­ve over a bump too quick­ly in the bus.”

    At any moment the SBU—the Secu­ri­ty Ser­vice of Ukraine—could have come and arrest­ed every mem­ber of the Volove­ka, whose pres­ence on the front lines was ille­gal. But the Right Sec­torites assured me this would nev­er hap­pen. When they need­ed help pur­su­ing trucks they sus­pect­ed of smug­gling sup­plies into Donet­sk, the SBU called the bar­racks for rein­force­ments. Most of the oblast was pro-Russ­ian, so to help give the impres­sion of occu­pa­tion, local author­i­ties encour­aged Right Sec­tor to dri­ve its vehi­cles slow­ly through near­by vil­lages and walk their streets with glocks in hand. (Though the res­i­dents of Novogrodov­ka despised Right Sec­tor, they weren’t too proud to come to the bar­racks at night beg­ging for food, which was always giv­en. The drunk ones often fell into the moat.)

    The Ukrain­ian army was also tech­ni­cal­ly oblig­ed to arrest Right Sec­tor mem­bers on sight at the front lines, but it did­n’t. Dur­ing the night, offi­cers sym­pa­thet­ic to Right Sec­tor’s cause filled the Voloveka’s school bus with rock­ets and oth­er large-cal­iber guns for­bid­den by Euro­pean mon­i­tors. Right Sec­tor was the Ukrain­ian army’s way of get­ting around Min­sk II while still hit­ting back at sep­a­ratists who refused to allow inter­na­tion­al orga­ni­za­tions any­where near their trench­es: Right Sec­tor, Ukraine told inspec­tors, was out of its con­trol. The local police also would­n’t arrest any mem­bers of the Volove­ka, to whom they out­sourced their ter­ror­ism. Of course, when asked about their con­nec­tion with Right Sec­tor, Ukraine’s SBU, army, and police vig­or­ous­ly dis­avow it. But what I saw on the front lines was noth­ing short of active coop­er­a­tion. The fight­ers of the Volove­ka, for their part, were con­temp­tu­ous of any coop­er­a­tion with Kiev. But the fight could only turn against Ukraine once the more imme­di­ate threat in the Don­bas had been destroyed.

    Sev­er­al weeks before I vis­it­ed the Volove­ka, a man had been picked up wan­der­ing the streets of Novogrodov­ka at night, drunk. Police con­fis­cat­ed his phone and found pho­tos of him pos­ing in front of Donet­sk tanks on VK, a pop­u­lar social net­work among Russ­ian speak­ers. They brought him to the Right Sec­torites, who locked him in a stand­ing-room-only show­er stall. The lights stayed on for a week. They beat him with a sock stuffed with sharp­ened rocks. They stripped him of his clothes and made him clean the bar­racks on his knees. An inter­ro­ga­tion ses­sion involv­ing repeat­ed threats of depor­ta­tion to Guan­tá­namo Bay revealed only that the man came from a local vil­lage and appar­ent­ly knew noth­ing about rebel troop move­ments. After a week, the police picked him back up and brought him to Kiev—presumably for a jail sen­tence, though no one could tell me what actu­al­ly hap­pened to him. “It is a pity to have to beat these peo­ple,” Kirschbaum said. “But I’d have more sym­pa­thy for them if we got any sort of sim­i­lar treat­ment in Donet­sk. Right Sec­tor mem­bers cap­tured there get their noses and ears cut off.”

    A loud noise shook the front entrance of the bar­racks one night. It was fol­lowed by a string of mur­der­ous groans. “Sep­a­ratists!” some­one screamed. Fis­ch­er extin­guished a cig­a­rette, then whipped an RPG off the wall and slung it on his right shoul­der in a sin­gle unin­ter­rupt­ed motion. Lang burst out of the room with a pair of grenades cocked in his hands. Out in the hall­way, a dozen star­tled Ukraini­ans stood in a heav­i­ly armed throng. One was peer­ing through a sniper scope.

    At the door­way, as a haze of grenade smoke slow­ly dis­si­pat­ed away, we saw Sime­on lying in a lake of bub­bling blood. Pur­ple-black strings—his intestines—were on the walls. A de-fin­gered palm of a left hand teetered off a near­by pile of tires. Exit­ing the bar­racks for Novogrodov­ka, where he planned to toss a few grenades in the town square to cel­e­brate the two-year anniver­sary of his entry in the war, Sime­on had slipped on the stair­case and acci­dent­ly det­o­nat­ed him­self. Turn­ing his head toward us, he let out a few last breaths, then died.

    The next night, we held a funer­al for Sime­on. His moth­er, son, and wife arrived by car from Ivano-Frankivsk. Two Right Sec­torites briskly escort­ed them to a side door, away from the entrance­way in which Sime­on had been dema­te­ri­al­ized. “Two land mines explod­ed under Sime­on as he charged toward the Donet­sk air­port,” Col­i­b­ian, who had been declared the Voloveka’s new com­man­der that morn­ing, told Sime­on’s fam­i­ly. They cried. “After this, it took machine-gun fire to bring him down. We recov­ered him, brought him back to our trench. He was still breath­ing. He refused to die.” Col­i­b­ian placed his right hand on the shoul­der of Sime­on’s moth­er. Most of the onlook­ing Right Sec­torites were drunk. What remained of Sime­on’s trunk of vod­ka had been fin­ished off that after­noon.

    ...

    “The Ukrain­ian army was also tech­ni­cal­ly oblig­ed to arrest Right Sec­tor mem­bers on sight at the front lines, but it did­n’t. Dur­ing the night, offi­cers sym­pa­thet­ic to Right Sec­tor’s cause filled the Voloveka’s school bus with rock­ets and oth­er large-cal­iber guns for­bid­den by Euro­pean mon­i­tors. Right Sec­tor was the Ukrain­ian army’s way of get­ting around Min­sk II while still hit­ting back at sep­a­ratists who refused to allow inter­na­tion­al orga­ni­za­tions any­where near their trench­es: Right Sec­tor, Ukraine told inspec­tors, was out of its con­trol. The local police also would­n’t arrest any mem­bers of the Volove­ka, to whom they out­sourced their ter­ror­ism. Of course, when asked about their con­nec­tion with Right Sec­tor, Ukraine’s SBU, army, and police vig­or­ous­ly dis­avow it. But what I saw on the front lines was noth­ing short of active coop­er­a­tion. The fight­ers of the Volove­ka, for their part, were con­temp­tu­ous of any coop­er­a­tion with Kiev. But the fight could only turn against Ukraine once the more imme­di­ate threat in the Don­bas had been destroyed.
    That’s right, “the fight could only turn against Ukraine once the more imme­di­ate threat in the Don­bas had been destroyed.” And once Don­bas has been destroyed, there’s appar­ent­ly about 20 per­cent of Ukraini­ans who will team up with Right Sec­tor to con­quer the remain­ing pro-Europe major­i­ty. At least that’s how they see it:

    ...
    Accord­ing to Right Sec­tor, the Maid­an rev­o­lu­tion remains unfin­ished. It’s ille­gal for the group to use guns, but the Volove­ka and units like it will not lay them down until Ukraine is a sov­er­eign state. By this, the men mean a Ukraine that’s com­plete­ly inde­pen­dent from both Russia—a “Putin­ist empire”—and the Euro­pean Union—land of “lib­er­al homo-dic­ta­tor­ships.” “The world must know that Ukraine is not its to use,” Prut, a Right Sec­tor com­man­der in Mukache­vo, told me. (The Ukrain­ian fight­ers in the Volove­ka are known exclu­sive­ly by their noms de guerre.) For their mod­el Ukraine, some Right Sec­torites point to the cen­turies of rugged Cos­sack rule. Oth­ers cite the West Ukrain­ian Peo­ple’s Repub­lic carved out by Stepan Ban­dera, the hero of the Ukrain­ian resis­tance against the Sovi­ets. Ban­der­a’s brief col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Nazis has led some mem­bers of Right Sec­tor to meld their nation­al­ism with a thin under­stand­ing of Nazism. Sev­er­al I met did the Sieg Heil and praised Hitler. A few admit­ted that they did this because they knew Putin hat­ed it, and they were will­ing to go to any length to aggra­vate him.
    ...

    Yep, Right Sec­tor pledged not stop until they’ve over­thrown the cur­rent gov­ern­ment and installed a new gov­ern­ment rang­ing from Cos­sack rule to some­thing Stepan Ban­dera would have cre­at­ed which is pre­sum­ably a Ukrain­ian ver­sion of Nazi Ger­many based on the his­to­ry of Stepan Ban­dera.

    So the Kiev gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues to turn a blind eye and help arm the neo-Nazi brigades who have pledged to over­throw the gov­ern­ment. And while that would seem like a real­ly bad bet for a gov­ern­ment to be mak­ing, keep in mind that it’s pos­si­ble that the gov­ern­ment is hop­ing that by the time war ends in the East the neo-Nazi brigades will have changed their minds about the need to march on Kiev and imple­ment Ban­derite rule. And maybe that’s what would actu­al­ly hap­pen when you con­sid­er all of the pro­found­ly dis­turb­ing ways Ukraine has already start­ed to resem­ble some sort of Ban­derite Repub­lic and the like­li­hood of that process con­tin­u­ing. So while bet­ting that these neo-Nazi brigades can be used with­out major ‘blow­back’ it might end up being a bad bet, it’s not at all inconciev­able that the neo-Nazi brigades real­ly might just decide that Ukraine’s gov­ern­ment real­ly has appeased the fas­cist/eth­no-chau­vin­ist fac­tion of soci­ety so much that they already basi­cal­ly won. In which case it would be a good bet to win, but with a guar­an­teed hor­rif­ic out­come.

    So move over Russ­ian Roulette, there’s a new crazy gam­ble in town. Or rather, the crazy gam­ble is out fight­ing in the fields. But it will be march­ing to town soon­er or lat­er.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 20, 2016, 6:18 pm
  2. One of the ques­tions raised by the rise of the AfD, and the far-right in gen­er­al, in Ger­many’s polit­i­cal scene is that, as the mask steadi­ly drops the par­ty reveals itself as basi­cal­ly a con­tem­po­rary neo-Nazi par­ty, which AfD mem­bers end up say­ing “ok, these guys are Nazis, I’m out of here.” Like, let’s say the AfD had a pol­i­cy of push­ing eth­ni­cal­ly homoge­nous refugee intern­ment camps rem­i­nis­cent of the Mada­gas­car Plan of 1940? Would that be enough to prompt some AfD mem­bers to say “enough is enough” and back away from the par­ty? It turns out, yes, that’s enough. For at least one AfD par­ty mem­ber:

    The Tele­graph

    Ger­man MP quits AfD after com­par­ing par­ty’s refugee pol­i­cy to Nazi plans to deport Jews

    By Justin Hug­gler, Berlin

    19 Decem­ber 2016 • 3:29pm

    A Ger­man region­al MP has quit the country’s rapid­ly grow­ing far-Right par­ty and accused it of pur­su­ing poli­cies “rem­i­nis­cent” of the Nazis.

    Clau­dia Mar­tin resigned the Alter­na­tive for Ger­many (AfD) par­ty whip just nine months after being elect­ed and com­pared its refugee pol­i­cy to Nazi plans to deport Europe’s Jews to Mada­gas­car.

    ...

    Ms Mar­tin was one of 23 MPs elect­ed to the region­al par­lia­ment in the state of Baden-Würt­tem­berg, in what was seen as a major break­through for the par­ty.

    But the 46-year-old said she had resigned over a par­ty pol­i­cy which calls for Ger­many to intern all asy­lum-seek­ers in spe­cial camps.

    Under the pol­i­cy, asy­lum-seek­ers would be kept in “eth­ni­cal­ly homoge­nous groups” and “pre­pared for their return to their coun­try of ori­gin”.

    Mr Mar­tin said the pol­i­cy was rem­i­nis­cent of the Mada­gas­car Plan, a Nazi pro­pos­al in 1940 for the forced reset­tle­ment of Europe’s Jew­ish pop­u­la­tion on the island of Mada­gas­car.

    The plan was nev­er put into effect, in part because of a British naval block­ade, but is seen as a cru­cial psy­cho­log­i­cal step towards the Final Solu­tion, which was adopt­ed two years lat­er.

    “I orig­i­nal­ly joined the AfD because I want­ed to crit­i­cise abus­es. My con­cerns were about edu­ca­tion and inclu­sion. I nev­er dis­cussed the issue of refugees,” Ms Mar­tin told Frank­furter All­ge­meine Zeitung news­pa­per.

    “What I am expe­ri­enc­ing now is that they take every oppor­tu­ni­ty to make a pop­ulist stand on the refugee issue, and they don’t try to draw any line against extrem­ists.”

    The AfD called for Ms Mar­tin to resign her seat in the region­al par­lia­ment, argu­ing she had only been elect­ed as a par­ty can­di­date.

    The AfD’s suc­cess in Baden-Würt­tem­berg, one of west­ern Germany’s rich­est states, was seen as evi­dence that the par­ty could pros­per out­side its main strong­holds in the impov­er­ished states of the for­mer com­mu­nist east.

    But the par­ty has since been rocked by repeat­ed con­tro­ver­sy in the state. More than half its MPs in the region­al par­lia­ment resigned the whip in protest and formed a rival par­ty after the AfD refused to expel Wolf­gang Gedeon, a mem­ber who had made com­ments sup­port­ing Holo­caust denial. They were lat­er per­suad­ed to return to the AfD fold after Dr Gedeon resigned.

    “The plan was nev­er put into effect, in part because of a British naval block­ade, but is seen as a cru­cial psy­cho­log­i­cal step towards the Final Solu­tion, which was adopt­ed two years lat­er.”

    That’s one AfD mem­ber step­ping down. So good for Ms Mar­tin.

    And at least it sounds like Holo­caust denial is a line some mem­bers refuse to cross too. Sort of:

    ...
    But the par­ty has since been rocked by repeat­ed con­tro­ver­sy in the state. More than half its MPs in the region­al par­lia­ment resigned the whip in protest and formed a rival par­ty after the AfD refused to expel Wolf­gang Gedeon, a mem­ber who had made com­ments sup­port­ing Holo­caust denial. They were lat­er per­suad­ed to return to the AfD fold after Dr Gedeon resigned.

    “They were lat­er per­suad­ed to return to the AfD fold after Dr Gedeon resigned.”

    Well, they left for while. That’s...something. Good-ish, maybe? Or maybe not. It depends on whether or not the AfD who left and were per­suad­ed to return decide to leave again:

    Alter­Net

    Ris­ing Far-Right Ger­man Par­ty Wants to Teach Chil­dren Revi­sion­ist Holo­caust His­to­ry

    Par­ty lead­ers insist Hitler was­n’t as evil as he’s been cracked up to be.

    By Deniz Yeter / Alter­Net
    March 22, 2017

    An increas­ing­ly influ­en­tial far-right oppo­si­tion par­ty in Ger­many, Alter­na­tive für Deutsch­land (AfD), once again finds itself embroiled in con­tro­ver­sy amid rev­e­la­tions that a par­ty leader down­played the crimes of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime. These rev­e­la­tions come just two months after offi­cials intro­duced what one law­mak­er called a “War­saw ghet­to” plan for refugees.

    In late Jan­u­ary, an AfD par­ty fac­tion filed a motion to block pay­ments allo­cat­ed by the local par­lia­ment to fund edu­ca­tion­al field trips for Ger­man chil­dren to vis­it his­tor­i­cal sites such as Nazi con­cen­tra­tion camps in the state of Baden-Würt­tem­berg. These pro­grams are viewed as cen­tral for teach­ing Ger­man youth about crimes com­mit­ted by the Nazi regime. Under pro­posed AfD par­ty leg­is­la­tion, they would be effec­tive­ly abol­ished.

    The AfD in Baden-Würt­tem­berg argued their motion was a response to bias in pub­licly fund­ed edu­ca­tion­al pro­grams that unfair­ly por­trayed life in Nazi Ger­many. “We strive for a bal­anced view of his­to­ry… a one-sided con­cen­tra­tion on 12 years of Nation­al Social­ist injus­tice is to be reject­ed,” the Baden-Würt­tem­berg AfD par­lia­men­tary fac­tion wrote in its legal motion.

    The edu­ca­tion­al school pro­gram in the AfD’s crosshairs was estab­lished to com­mem­o­rate Ger­man Jews from the state of Baden-Würt­tem­berg who were deport­ed by the Nazis to Gurs con­cen­tra­tion camp in France. The local Ger­man state allo­cates approx­i­mate­ly €120,000 ($130,000) in annu­al fund­ing to the his­tor­i­cal site where thou­sands of Ger­man Baden-Würt­tem­berg Jews were exter­mi­nat­ed.

    The motion filed by the local AfD par­ty fac­tion also calls for any ref­er­ences to the Nazi regime to be strick­en from all class field trips, which should instead focus on “sig­nif­i­cant Ger­man his­toric sites” such as medieval cas­tles.

    The “War­saw ghet­to” plan for refugees

    In Decem­ber, a law­mak­er in the AfD fac­tion of Baden-Würt­tem­berg revealed that the par­ty had draft­ed work­ing papers to imprison all refugees and asy­lum seek­ers with­in Ger­many in what she described as a “War­saw ghet­to” plan, which would then deport indi­vid­u­als back to their hos­tile nations of ori­gin. The mass depor­ta­tion scheme stands in stark vio­la­tion of fed­er­al Ger­man laws and signed U.N. inter­na­tion­al treaties. The leaked AfD work­ing papers also called for the sus­pen­sion of numer­ous arti­cles to the Ger­man con­sti­tu­tion.

    ...

    Also this year, local Thürin­gen AfD par­ty leader Björn Höcke spurred out­rage after claim­ing at a pub­lic ral­ly in Dres­den, “The big prob­lem is that Hitler is pre­sent­ed as an absolute­ly evil fig­ure… but of course we know that it was­n’t as black and white as his­to­ry por­trays.”

    Höcke went on to state that, “We Ger­man peo­ple are the only ones in the world to build a mon­u­ment of dis­grace in the heart of our cap­i­tal,” a ref­er­ence to the Holo­caust memo­r­i­al in Berlin. Dres­den is revered by many in the extreme far-right as a sym­bol of Ger­man inno­cence and mar­tyr­dom, its civil­ian deaths at the hands of allied forces a war crime.

    Holo­caust revi­sion­ism dis­guised as nuance

    The head of the nation­al AfD, chair­woman Frauke Petry, has attempt­ed to dis­tance her­self and her par­ty from the local fac­tion in the Baden-Würt­tem­berg state par­lia­ment. But her sug­ges­tion to par­ty sup­port­ers ear­li­er this month that the crimes of U.S. forces in Nazi Ger­many need to be more even­ly addressed have only fueled fur­ther crit­i­cism.

    Accord­ing to the Wall Street Jour­nal, Petry told a crowd at a medieval cas­tle in the Rhineland this past Octo­ber that “Just as today the First World War is writ­ten about in a nuanced way and not just from the per­spec­tive of the vic­tor… the Sec­ond World War will prob­a­bly in some decades also need to be dis­cussed in a some­what more nuanced way than what we expe­ri­ence today.”

    The even­t’s atten­dees report­ed­ly erupt­ed in applause.

    As Petry sees it, the fire­bomb­ing of civil­ians by U.S. forces in Dres­den and the mis­treat­ment of Nazis in POW camps are large­ly ignored by Ger­man edu­ca­tion­al pro­grams. “One should inform them to the same degree that after World War II, the Amer­i­cans allowed Ger­man war pris­on­ers to die of hunger in the camps on the Rhine mead­ows,” she told one attendee, who asked whether the fund­ing of class field trips to con­cen­tra­tion camps and oth­er his­tor­i­cal sites was appro­pri­ate.

    Petry has pre­vi­ous­ly stat­ed in inter­views and pub­lic speech­es that refugees cross­ing the bor­der into Ger­many should be shot on sight by Ger­man police, and that immi­grants and mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism in Ger­many resem­bled a garbage dump. The AfD has advo­cat­ed for a ban on burqas and minarets as well as on all mosques with­in Ger­many, a move one Ger­man legal expert says would con­sti­tute a gross vio­la­tion of Basic Law.

    The AfD holds seats in 10 of 16 Ger­man state par­lia­ments and is cur­rent­ly cam­paign­ing to enter the Bun­destag, the fed­er­al Ger­man par­lia­ment in the cap­i­tal of Berlin. The par­ty must secure at least 5 per­cent of the nation­al vote this Sep­tem­ber to pass the required thresh­old for its mem­bers to achieve rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the leg­isla­tive body.

    Enter­ing the Bun­destag would be an unprece­dent­ed first for any far-right polit­i­cal par­ty since the end of WWII. And while its polling num­bers have dipped from 16 to 8 per­cent nation­al­ly since last year, there remains a strong pos­si­bil­i­ty that the AfD will form part of the rul­ing coali­tion gov­ern­ment in Ger­many.

    “Enter­ing the Bun­destag would be an unprece­dent­ed first for any far-right polit­i­cal par­ty since the end of WWII. And while its polling num­bers have dipped from 16 to 8 per­cent nation­al­ly since last year, there remains a strong pos­si­bil­i­ty that the AfD will form part of the rul­ing coali­tion gov­ern­ment in Ger­many.”

    Yep, the AfD does­n’t just have a chance of being part of the rul­ing coali­tion gov­ern­ment after this year’s elec­tions. It has a strong chance. Which will, of course, give it a chance to say stuff like this as a mem­ber of the rul­ing coali­tion:

    ...
    In late Jan­u­ary, an AfD par­ty fac­tion filed a motion to block pay­ments allo­cat­ed by the local par­lia­ment to fund edu­ca­tion­al field trips for Ger­man chil­dren to vis­it his­tor­i­cal sites such as Nazi con­cen­tra­tion camps in the state of Baden-Würt­tem­berg. These pro­grams are viewed as cen­tral for teach­ing Ger­man youth about crimes com­mit­ted by the Nazi regime. Under pro­posed AfD par­ty leg­is­la­tion, they would be effec­tive­ly abol­ished.
    ...
    Also this year, local Thürin­gen AfD par­ty leader Björn Höcke spurred out­rage after claim­ing at a pub­lic ral­ly in Dres­den, “The big prob­lem is that Hitler is pre­sent­ed as an absolute­ly evil fig­ure… but of course we know that it was­n’t as black and white as his­to­ry por­trays.”
    ...
    Accord­ing to the Wall Street Jour­nal, Petry told a crowd at a medieval cas­tle in the Rhineland this past Octo­ber that “Just as today the First World War is writ­ten about in a nuanced way and not just from the per­spec­tive of the vic­tor… the Sec­ond World War will prob­a­bly in some decades also need to be dis­cussed in a some­what more nuanced way than what we expe­ri­ence today.”
    ...

    “Just as today the First World War is writ­ten about in a nuanced way and not just from the per­spec­tive of the vic­tor… the Sec­ond World War will prob­a­bly in some decades also need to be dis­cussed in a some­what more nuanced way than what we expe­ri­ence today.”

    Well, let’s hope Petry is cor­rect on that last point in terms of her pre­dic­tion of a more nuanced under­stand­ing of WWII. Rec­og­niz­ing how the Nazis and their inter­na­tion­al far-right col­lab­o­ra­tors suc­cess­ful­ly went under­ground and nev­er actu­al­ly went away and con­tin­ue to strive to achieve pow­er to this day would be a great nuance to add to our col­lec­tive under­stand­ing of the Sec­ond World War. That’s may not have been the par­tic­u­lar nuance Petry was try­ing to con­vey but it’s def­i­nite­ly the nuance her par­ty is mak­ing clear we need.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 24, 2017, 1:24 pm
  3. Pter­rafractyl, Vice News is not to be trust­ed. I’ve had deal­ings with them when they’ve slipped into their reportage a false sto­ry about Russ­ian mil­i­tary units and a serv­ing Russ­ian offi­cer in Nazi-free Don­bass. If you want to know the real­i­ty on the ground, you need only look to the YouTube© chan­nel of a vol­un­teer from Texas, Rus­sell Bent­ley, known among the besieged anti-Nazis of Don­bass as “Texas”. Here’s one of his videoed reports: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHx58FLdyTg

    Dave Emory, I wish I’d seen this arti­cle before and heard the broad­cast archive. I’d have known that you’ve real­ized for a long time now that there are sick­en­ing things going on in the State of Israel. Tell me if I’m wrong: Was­n’t Benyamin Netanyahu’s father, Ben­zion Netanyahu, Ze’ev Jabotin­sky’s per­son­al sec­re­tary and chief edi­tor of his Revi­sion­ist Zion­ist jour­nal? Many voic­es inside Israel are now broad­cast­ing the warn­ing that Israel is becom­ing an (open) fas­cist state. Here was Gideon Levy two years before your FTR #901 broad­cast: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cgey9OT-Wc
    And here’s a recent, mas­sive demon­stra­tion (2017) against Netanyahu’s cor­rup­tion and “racism”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_XXCXA8dSw Ask your­self: Why would the demon­stra­tors use the term ‘racism’? Could it be that in the “mod­el demo­c­ra­t­ic state” it’s ille­gal to use the term ‘fas­cist’ in regard to the Israeli regime or its lead­er­ship?
    —–
    I’ve been fol­low­ing the embat­tled peo­ple of the (Nazi-free) Ukrain­ian Don­bass since the 2014 Nazi Maid­an coup. If I weren’t 73 years of age and thought I could sur­vive the cold, I’d be tempt­ed to join the hun­dreds of oth­er for­eign vol­un­teers who are fight­ing along­side the natives of Donet­sk and Lugan­sk against the Nazi hordes. The two Peo­ple’s Republics of Don­bass (now unit­ed as Novorossiya) are today’s Repub­li­can Spain. Since you like dates, here’s one for you: the attack by Pravy Sek­tor on the Odessa trade union hall (House of Trades) in 2014 took place on the same date, May 2nd, as the assault by Hitler’s SA on the Berlin Trade Union Hall in 1933. The Nazis are no longer under­ground: they’re just not rec­og­nized for what they are.
    —–
    As for the fas­cist nature of Jabotin­sky’s Revi­sion­ist Zion­ism, it’s some­thing that has upset me to no end to learn about. Being some­what an afi­ciona­do of Jew­ish cul­ture, I count myself among those who are called “non-Jew­ish Yid­dishists” (only recent­ly did I learn that there was a name for us), and there are many. Despite the Revi­sion­ist Zion­ists’ attempts to stamp out Yid­dish, there’s a healthy and grow­ing move­ment to hon­or and recov­er Yid­dish cul­ture. Here’s an inter­view (this one in Eng­lish) with a love­ly man who sur­vived what Euro­pean Jew­ish work­ing-class cul­ture once was (below). If you research the Ger­man trade-union move­ment and how Hitler and his goons smashed it and set up a fas­cist ersatz labor move­ment, the Ger­man Labor Front, and know how the Hitler-lov­ing Jabotin­skyites set up the ultra-nation­al­ist His­tadrut to replace the Jew­ish Labor Fed­er­a­tion, the Bund, then you’ll see some­thing I have. To wit, that there’s a par­al­lel, and it reads like a suc­cess sto­ry in both cas­es for glob­al fas­cism.
    The Yid­dishist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d‑230XAqOh0

    Posted by Atlanta Bill | January 21, 2018, 11:32 pm
  4. Par­en­thet­i­cal­ly, the name Ustasha (Ustaša) is a name whose lit­er­al mean­ing might bring to mind the Otpor in Ser­bia (anoth­er par­ty with Under­ground Reich con­nec­tions), as they both mean “the resis­tance”. Ustaša is the adver­bial par­tici­ple of the verb usta­ti “to rise up”, and there­fore means lit­er­al­ly “those ris­ing up, or those who are ris­ing up”. The fem­i­nine plur­al form “Ustaše” may have arisen as a way of refer­ring to local bands of the Ustaša (which is the name of the polit­i­cal par­ty), as the Croa­t­ian word for “band” is the fem­i­nine skupina (plur­al skupine). Ustaši is the nor­mal form in the mas­cu­line plur­al when the par­tici­ple means “resis­tance fight­ers”. The stress is on the first syl­la­ble in all these forms.

    Posted by Atlanta Bill | January 22, 2018, 12:54 am

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