CAMPAIGN REPORT

   

 Stop Fascism!

International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism
"Kristallnacht" commemoration November 9, 2006



Campaign-Actions in 42 European Countries!

At European level, commemorations of November 9th have taken place since the
50th anniversary in 1988. The commemoration has taken on a new meaning as we
remember not only the victims from 1938, but also campaign against the rise of neo-nazism and racism in Europe today, and show support for the recent victims of racist and fascist attacks. The UNITED network organises each year a European-wide campaign to commemorate the past, protest against the present and build the future. It is the variety and creativity of many different simultaneous activities all over Europe that make the UNITED campaign unique.
So again in 2006 the UNITED secretariat in Amsterdam coordinated the decentralised campaign by bringing participating NGOs and activists together by providing information and material. Like every year around November 9, the European anti-fascist and antiracist movement promoted the campaign to raise historical consciousness and to make the public aware of the dangers and consequences of prejudices, hatred, ignorance and intolerance in our contemporary world. Every country has to deal with different problems concerning the appearance of fascism. There is not just a single country that can be blamed of boarding fascist tendencies. It is a pan-European
phenomenon, often enough linked throughout the continent. Denmark for example is functioning as a sort of "distribution center" for Nazi material for northern European countries: books, CD' s and other extremist propaganda is produced in Denmark, and then sent to primarily England. Or Russia, where associated nationalists and right-wing radicals legally organised massive actions in Moscow and some other cities.
Traditionally, commemorations in former working and concentration camps in the Netherlands and Germany were organised. The initiative "Elftausend Kinder", for instance, highlighted the urgent need to recognise the group of 11.000 children of German immigrants murdered in Ausschwitz. Other organisations arranged torchlight processions in Denmark and Norway, concerts in Georgia and Estonia, working groups in Slovenia, the Netherlands and Spain, big anti-fascist demonstrations in Sweden and Czechia and exhibitions in Uzbekistan and Germany.


Stop Fascism!

The denial of the Holocaust and attacks against Jewish synagogues, Holocaust memorials and Individuals of different minorities are - if we are facing the brutality of the murdering of million of people - a shame for Europe's historical memory. How can it come that in our times people still have to suffer from the same problems? Didn't enough mothers, children, brothers, sisters cry because of their pain and loss? It seems that people are forgetting the pain of the victims and murdered. It is sad to say that we
are still confronted with fascism. And this year there were again neo-nazi appearances in Europe, like the nationalistic marches in Russia at 4 November!
Especially in socially and economically deprived areas, people tend to affiliate themselves to extreme ideologies that give them the feeling of strength and superiority. Through this, fascist organisations have an easy chance to rehabilitate racist legislation and National Socialist ideology.
But we should take the "Kristallnacht" as a challenge to motivate people to commemorate the victims, take a minute's silence and, most important, to give it further to our friends and our environment. The "Kristallnacht" pogrom, often seen as the symbolical beginning of the Holocaust, reminds millions of people of injustice, inhumanity, intolerance, fascism and antisemitism. And not just the victims - also us!


The 'Kristallnacht' Pogrom: A Short History
In Germany on November 9th 1938, the Nazis started a pogrom against the Jews. After the Nazis came to power in 1933, Jews were subjected to harsh laws against them - being forced to hand over their businesses to 'Aryans', only being allowed to shop in Jewish-owned shops, children only allowed to go to Jewish schools etc. This was accompanied by a wave of organised violence against Jews in the streets and elsewhere. But, until November 9th 1938, many of these attacks had the appearance of being unplanned by the leadership of the Nazi Party and the govern-ment of Germany. On November 6th, a young Jew living in Paris, Herschel Grynszpan, received a postcard
from his father Zindel who had been deported, along with 18.000 other German Jews, on October 27th to the Polish frontier. The postcard described the terrible conditions that the deportees were living under. Herschel Grynszpan was so angered by what he read that he went to the German Embassy in Paris and shot the first German official that he saw, Ernst vom Rath, a diplomatic assistant. Vom Rath died of his injuries on November 8th and the news of his death reached Germany the next day. Hitler and Goebbels were at that moment attending the NSDAP celebration on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Hitler putsch on 9 November 1923. Goebbels directly took up the chance to hold a rabble-speech against Jews.
The pogrom started in Berlin on November 9th 1938, organised unofficially by Hitler's SA storm troops. In a telegram-letter to all SA and SS-groups, Reinhard Heydrich, leader of the SS, clearly ordered the violence to begin. Synagogues were set on fire. Jewish shops had their windows smashed across the country, which gave rise to the name "Kristallnacht", which freely translated means the Night of Broken Glass. Many Jews were physically attacked too. More than 7000 Jewish businesses across the country were attacked.
Fires were lit in every Jewish area and the Nazis burned religious books. Around 200 synagogues were destroyed. The violence lasted 24 hours and 91 Jews were killed. More than 30.000 were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Many of them were killed in the following two months.
The 'Kristallnacht' pogrom is usually seen as the symbolic beginning of the Holocaust. In addition to the approximately 6 million Jews who were the targets of a complete annihilation policy, were an estimated 5,5 million "enemies of the German state", criminals and "a-socials", people with mental disabilities, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, trade unionists, political offenders such as communists and socialists, and Roma and Sinti. Estimates of the number of so-called "Gypsies" murdered are between 200.000 and 1.500.000. The estimated number of homosexuals killed in the camps varies from 10.000 to 15.000.
The word "Kristallnacht" was given to the event by the Nazis themselves, because it mocked what had happened. German anti-fascists today prefer to describe the pogrom as "Reichs-pogromnacht", although in most other countries the term "Kristallnacht" is used, as it is better known.


What Is UNITED?
UNITED for Intercultural Action is the European network against nationalism, racism, fascism and in support of migrants and refugees. All these issues have a European dimension and reveal the need for a network to exchange information and to share solidarity in the struggle for improvements.
Linked through UNITED more than 560 organisations from 49 European countries work toegether and base their common actions and shared activities on mutual respect and intercultural understanding. They meet each other on European conferences, exchange information and good practices leading to campaigning with strong local national and European impact.
While activities of the 'International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism' were performed independently by the network organisations, the Secretariat of UNITED co-ordinated the whole campaign at the European level, provided organisations with common campaign materials and ensured a good information flow among organisations, and towards media and decision-makers.
UNITED is an open network inviting everybody to join the European struggle against fascism and antisemitism. It is independent from all political parties. If you want to get involved in our network, discuss about the ideas and aims of UNITED within your organisation. It would be nice if you let us know if your organisation would like to join or receive further information.
And don't forget to add us to your mailing list!

Campaigning With UNITED
We, who work at the UNITED secretariat in Amsterdam, are often asked how such a huge European-wide campaign as the 'International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism' can be coordinated by such a small office with only a few staff members. The answer is quite simple: UNITED is not an office, it is the European network against nationalism, racism, fascism and in support of migrants and refugees. This means that once again this year, hundreds of NGOs from Sweden to Spain, from Great-Britain to Russia organised special activities to commemorate the 'Kristallnacht' pogrom in 1938. The participating NGOs could make use of a strong network structure, consisting of more than 560 organisations from 49 European countries, and of course also the work of the secretariat staff.
This is how we do it... A European-wide campaign has to be prepared very carefully - and this takes time. The preparation of the campaign starts more than 6 months in advance. One of the main principles within the UNITED network is that everyone is an expert in his or her working field and can learn from each other. Consequently at the UNITED conferences all the different opinions and ideas are discussed openly in special 'Campaign Working Groups'. The goal is to find a common slogan for the 'International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism' and to share experiences and discuss ideas for common actions. Back at the secretariat, we use these ideas to prepare a campaign poster, which includes background information. As soon as the campaign posters are printed, communication is needed: e-mails and phone-calls to hundreds of NGOs to motivate them and to find out in which way they plan to join the campaign. More than 40.000 posters are distributed to hundreds of organisations all over the continent. NGOs order posters and present their plans for activities. To give an overview on what is planned all over Europe, UNITED publishes a 'List of Activities' on its website. This way, many NGOs get inspired and can find partners to co-operate on a higher level. Furthermore, UNITED produces a media release and sends it to all important European press agencies and media. By joining the campaign, even the smallest NGO can profit from being part of a European-network since the media's reactions to the press release are directed to local organisations.
On November 9, organisations all over Europe are active in very different events, but take part in one common European campaign. After November 9, the UNITED secretariat collects all the information on the activities from NGOs from different countries. That is why it is so important that those organisations, which participated in the campaign, provide UNITED with flyers, pictures and articles-clips about their activities during the 'International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism'. When all the information has finally been collected, the European Report is produced and sent out to thousands of organisations throughout Europe. This Report is often used by NGOs to raise funds or to do media work. Again in 2005, organisations all over Europe joined the UNITED campaign.
On behalf of the whole network, we would like to thank the participating organisations for making such a successful campaign possible and for their engagement. With so many motivated people and organisations, the name of the network truly stands for its principle: UNITED for Intercultural Action.


After the great efforts of organisations all over Europe that took part at the 'International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism', UNITED's campaign coordinator wrote in cooperation with engaged contact persons the annual report. Not every organisation and not every country could be mentioned in this report, because we either didn't get any material or they were too late in sending their report. Possibly some information you get here can also just light the opinion and perception of our contact person and you will may be as the reader say something very different. This report doesn't claim to be a scientific work in fact this report is created with the help, experience, interest and knowledge of different experts and activists in the participating countries who are often better informed about the situation in their country than us sitting in the small office in Amsterdam. So enjoy reading and hopefully there will be something in this report that can give you a clearer picture of the situation in a country or inspire you for your further important struggle against fascism and antisemitism. Take this report as a product of our co-operating network!



COUNTRY REPORTS

ARMENIA AUSTRIA BELARUS BELGIUM
 BOSNIA-
HERZEGOVINA
BULGARIA  CROATIA CYPRUS 
CZECHIA  DENMARK ESTONIA   FINLAND

FRANCE

GEORGIA 

GERMANY

GREAT-BRITAIN 

 HUNGARY

 LATVIA 

 LUXEMBOURG

 IRELAND

 ITALY

REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA

MALTA

 NETHERLANDS

NORWAY 

POLAND

 PORTUGAL  

ROMANIA

RUSSIA 

 SERBIA

 SLOVAKIA

SPAIN

SWEDEN 

UKRAINE 
     




ARMENIA

In the framework of the "International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism" and together with UNITED, the Federation of Youth Clubs of Armenia organised an event called "YOUth Against Fascism". During this, FYCA carried several activities in public places of Yerevan and Gyumri, Armenias major cities, as well as in all state universities and institutes of Armenia. The campaign was thoroughly enlightened by media-coverage. First of all they adopted the resolution of the campaign: recognising that being independent citizens of a modern democratic country and standing in front of the integration into the global world, confronts the Armenian society with the problem of preserving its national soul, culture, uniqueness and values. In addition to that, the activists stated that they have to underline the importance of inviolability of human rights and the responsibility for crimes committed. So they called up to unite against fascism, irrespective of skin colour, social level, citizenship, sex, age, title and other circumstances. Consequently, the event aimed at raising the voice against the new wave of fascism, spread by nationalist groups in Russia. FYCA actively encourages and promotes within the limits of their possibilities the anti-fascist and anti-nationalistic activities and campaigns. FYCA distributed their press release with announcements of the activities among the mass media and in youth newspapers. Furthermore, activists spread material and information among NGOs and at a specially organised "Educational Fair" among the representatives of over 32 organisations. FYCA-members also distributed the resolution against fascism to embassies, international organisations and mass media with the call to be active in supporting the fight against fascism. Three activists from FYCA gave an interview in the morning program of a TV Station talking mostly on the campaign. Moreover they carried out a massive action in the center of Yerevan by distributing posters, booklets, resolution of FYCA and other materials among the gathered young people and reporters. The campaign in the European Regional Academy Institute of Information and Communication Technologies in Armenia raised a real interest among the students. As the posters attached on the walls of the institute were quite noticeable and impressing, many students were approaching members of FYCA with questions and requests for more information.


AUSTRIA

A newly-elected right-wing member of the Austrian parliament caused a political storm after saying that Nazism had "its good side ". "Of course Nazism had its good sides, only we don't want to see them today," Wolfgang Zanger of formerly ruling Freedom Party said, adding that Adolf Hitler had "given hope" to people in depressed Germany. Austria regularly sees rows over pro-Nazi statements by politicians. In 2005 an extreme-right senator deplored the "brutal persecution" of Austrian Nazis after World War II, and another questioned the existence of gas chambers to eliminate Jews. But fortunately victims of the nazi-regime have a forum to tell people from their experiences. In Vienna for example, there was a commemoration for victims organised by B-Project, where ghetto survivors told their stories. Furthermore, "Bund Sozialdemokratischer Freiheitskämpfer und Opfer des Faschismus" arranged speeches at different memorials and a commemoration march for victims of the fight against Austrian fascism and neo-fascism. They raised awareness for the victims of fascism, women and men of resistance executed by Nazi-authorities, and the February and Spain fighters. Under the slogan "Never Forget! Against Fascism and Antisemitism", Cafe Critique Verein für Gesellschafts- und Kulturkritik organised a demonstration commemorating the 9 November pogrom.


BELARUS

It is sad to say but the memorial for prisoners of the Minsk ghetto was damaged few days after the International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism November 9. Vandals splashed white paint on bronze figures along the steps leading to the stella and painted a large Nazi swastika on the upright pillar. Also the building of the Israeli Cultural and Information Centre was damaged in a vandal attack. Vandals daubed swastikas and wrote antisemitic graffiti across the front of the house. Nevertheless there were people that kept on the struggle against fascism in Belarus. "Stop Racism in Belarus" carried out all action together with the "Antyfa-center". They organised a round table to which representatives of the various youth organisations of their region have been invited. They discussed how to help people that suffered from fascism during World War II. Furthermore they talked about the distribution of information among the population of their region about the work of their organisations. Last but not least the counteraction to fascist and nazi-groups was reviewed. After that, the participants visited two Jewish organisations. During one of these meetings, they arranged a joint struggle against displays of fascism and antisemitism. The round table was followed by a street action. The participants distributed information material about the International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism, which they had received from UNITED. Unfortunately not everything that was conceived was managed to be finished. During the street action the Belarus police came to the participants and forbid its realisation. Only registered organisations have under the Belarus legislation the right to carry out actions in the street. 'Stop Racism in Belarus' is not registered, as they struggle for observance of human rights in their country and thus are very uncomfortable for president Lukashenko. All photos and video material of the participants have been confiscated and everyone had been punished by fines according to a law in force.
But the head of "Stop Racism in Belarus" said that such problems only strengthen their organisation and that they further will actively participate in all actions coordinated by UNITED.


BELGIUM

The Vlaams Belang, from the extreme right, almost obtained the control of the government of the city of Amberes in the middle of October 2006 with a openly islamophobic platform, with a 33.5% of the votes, in comparison with a 35% obtained by a socialist coalition. To approach themes like political, social and economical sustainability of different countries, Le Monde des Possibles in Bressoux organised intercultural songs, games and autobiographical narrations under the title "Annual Sustainability Weekend".


BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

Ten years after the Dayton peace agreement, Bosnia- Herzegovina is closely becoming part of European society with all its problems within different ethnic groups. There are still tensions among all ethnic groups and the latest election showed still high level of homogenisation inside these groups.
Nansen Dialogue Centre in Banjaluka supports the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina to take an active part in civil society by promoting democratic values, human rights, peaceful conflict resolution, tolerance and understanding. There is no visible presence of fascist and antisemitic elements, but they have their own "specialities" and NDC Banjaluka is there to be an active part in promoting the human rights, minority rights and to work on establishing the dialogue among their ethnic groups. NDC Banjaluka has been supporting the International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism since 2001, and they joined this year too. They found that this campaign can contribute breaking down prejudices and stereotypes in the society we live in.
So they organised activities in co-operation with the Students' Council of Banjaluka Philosophical faculty. They distributed UNITED-materials to the students in the premises of the Banjaluka Philosophical Faculty and posted them on their notice boards.
They believe that this campaign will also motivate other organisations to engage themselves in future campaigns.


BULGARIA
Volen Siderov, candidate of the extreme nationalist party Ataka, surpassed the other rightist parties obtaining a 22% of the votes in the first round of the Bulgarian presidential elections on October 22. With a platform that advocated the prohibition of the Turkish parties and persecution of the Roma minority, Siderov participated in a second round of presidential elections against the former socialist president, Georgi Parvanov. The forecasts of the election outcome alarmed commentators who claimed Siderov's gains showed Bulgaria was succumbing to nationalism and xenophobia. He was campaigning largely on hostility to Bulgaria's substantial ethnic and religious minorities. Many analysts agreed, saying most of those who backed Siderov did not plump for him as a fascist but as a figure challenging the status quo and "the system". Only a minority of the voters opting for Siderov were hard-core nationalists.
Nevertheless, there are Bulgarians that stand for diversity. People to People International at the American University in Bulgaria organised an anti-racism and anti-nationalism campaign called "Opinion and Mind Have no colour" along with AUBG's sports club and international NGOs like UNITED and FARE - Football against Racism in Europe. The week framed movies, round table discussions and a football game called "Griffins against Racism". To recognise and act against racism and discrimination, they organised different practical exercises and discussions in a two-day workshop "Living the Diversity". The students were stimulated to talk about cultural identity and its effect on their perception of other people. They were also challenged to define their own personal identity and to discuss to what extent their social and family environment determines their stereotypes towards other cultures. The participants also showed their understanding of such concepts as racism, human rights and tolerance by presenting real-life situations in which those are often observed. In a lecture the several types of minorities within Bulgaria were presented: Roma and Turks, Armenians and Jews as well as new minorities comprising mostly foreigners living in Bulgaria. It concluded with a short debate on Roma rights in Bulgaria between the lecturer and students attending the event. In another lecture it was explained how racism originated in different European countries. First it was accented on how religion was a point of differentiation in earlier times, later on, antisemitism was discussed. Here it was pointed out that prejudice coupled with extreme nationalism could lead to a conflict, which respectively may lead to war.


CYPRUS

On 12 November, Kisa - Action for Equality Support and Antiracism - in cooperation with other human rights organisations, migrant and refugee groups, organised the yearly well known Rainbow Festival "Different Cultures One Roof" which is an anti-racist, multicultural event with songs, dances, exhibitions, competitions, games, food and many other activities from different countries of the world. By taking into account important developments on the issues of integration of third country nationals and anti-discrimination, as well as the increasing interest of the various migrant and refugee communities to become more active in the fight for their rights, KISA is planning to broaden the scope of the Rainbow festival by including also issues and activities related to the integration of migrants as well as non discrimination and respect of the dignity of migrants in Cyprus.


CZECHIA

The Council of Europe started an international seminar on the Holocaust in Terezin, a WWII Nazi-controlled Jewish ghetto, with representatives of education ministries from some 50 European countries attending.
The Czech Education Minister said that teachers should point to the connections between fascism and skinhead actions. This seminar was also very important in Czechia because neo-fascism threatens the post-communist world, like ex-president Vaclav Havel said. He also realised this in connection with the police´s probably inappropriate crack down on a woman protesting against a Neo-nazi demonstration on 1 May. He stated that Neo-nazi movements do exist in the Czech Republic, are well organised and have their own media.

To raise awareness about fascism, Youth and Environment Europe decided to organise an "International Evening" where young people of different nationalities came together to speak about racism and antisemitism in their own country. Material from UNITED was at the participants' disposal, and international food was prepared for everybody.
In the beginning of the evening, they started to speak about racism and fascism and everybody gave his point of view and told something about the situation in his or her country. Then, one of the members of the YEE made a presentation to explain the differences between fascism, nazism, totalitarism and communism. This presentation permitted to clarify the definitions in the minds of the participants. Then they projected some pictures about fascism and antisemitism, and they finished by the film Latcho Drom, the story of the travel of the nomads from India to Europe.
The participants had the opportunity to play with the music instruments that they had brought together.


DENMARK

The main problem in today's Denmark might not be fascism or antisemitism but racism and islamophobia. Since there are no special laws against Nazism at all, Denmark is functioning as a sort of "distribution center" for Nazi material to all northern European countries: books, cd's and other propaganda is produced in Denmark, then sent to primarily the UK. To commemorate 9 November, Krystalnatinitiativet - in cooperation with over 20 other organisations carried out manifestations, demonstrations, marches with torches and speeches in 15 Danish cities. This year they presented slogans such as "Yes to equal rights - no to splitting!", "Yes to cohesion and solidarity - no to fear and terror", "No to racism, antisemitism and nazism!" and "Never again 'Reichsprogromnacht'!".


ESTONIA

There are currently approximately 3,000 Jews in Estonia. Although there is no institutionalised antisemitism in Estonia and 27 January has, since 2003, been commemorated as the Holocaust Memorial Day, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance notes that the manner in which the Holocaust and the Second World War is viewed, tends to minimise the gravity of this period in history. Fascists in Estonia are seen as heroes and liberators. Youth Union Siin organised at Tallinn's Parliament square street protest action against the new law about sanctioning the complete destruction of the monument of the Bronze Soldier, commemorating those who died fighting against fascism in Estonia or have it moved to the outskirts of Tallinn. They also visited a former concentration camp in Paldiski. The senior generation told youngsters about the horrors of fascism they had to go through. Unfortunately, Youth Union Siin couldn't organise a street action near to the Bronze Soldier monument because the organisation has been forbidden to hold a public meeting by Estonian Security Police Board and so they commemorated in a very "personal" way and put flowers to the monument.


FRANCE

In Paris violence broke out after a football match. Paris Saint-Germain fans ganged up on a Hapoel Tel Aviv supporter that ended in a fatal shooting.
"The seriousness of this event confirms the absolute necessity of fighting racism and antisemitism among PSG fans", Betrand Delanoe, the mayor of Paris said in a statement. Unfortunately, tougher punishments for hooligans and repeated zero-tolerance-vows from French Interior Minister and other politicians so far failed to eradicate the problem.
Under the slogan "Citizens for equality" the "Federation des Agences Internationals pour le Développement International" arranged a meeting, posting and distribution of flyers in Paris and claimed with this event "all citizens - equal rights for everybody".


GEORGIA

In Georgia the Stalinist repressions and terror of 1937 affected many Jewish activists along with the Georgian ones, but the friendly relationship of Georgian people towards the Jewish community did not change.

Today 10 000 Jews are living in Georgia. There are active synagogues and several Jewish organisations in Tbilisi and other towns with compact Jewish population. The social and economic situation of the Georgian people is rather difficult. Still youngsters remember the historical traditions of tolerance in Georgia and there are sometimes disputes about it in families.
Even though there are nowadays no visible antisemitic performances at the official level, the Jewish community as well as others national minorities do not have influential supervising positions at the governmental level.
The International Foundation LEA Children & Youth Department & Council of Jewish Women & Jewish Georgian Information Center organised a meeting devoted to the European wide campaign on the "International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism" and the 'Kristallnacht' pogrom commemoration. At this meeting 40 representatives of Georgian NGOs, members of the Jewish and of other ethnic minorities came together. It was considered that the International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism is very important and that the lessons of history about the 'Kristallnacht' should not be forgotten!


GERMANY

The opening ceremony of the new synagogue in München, considered Europe's largest Jewish center, marks a new time for the Jewish community in the city after the 'Kristallnacht'-pogrom 1938.This place gives people of Jewish believe a place to practice their religion - and for other people the possibilities to an open dialogue.
On this date, a lot of organisations joined the International Day against Fascism and Antisemitism. "Vereinigung der Verfolgten des Naziregimes" contributed by organising a demonstration at the place of a former synagogue by using the slogan "Never again fascism, never again war - so never again Auschwitz" and "Commemorate - be active - no tolerance for antisemitism".
In Proessneck "16. Antira/Antifa Ratschlag Thueringen" organised workshops and activities about combating right wing extremism with important knowledge and methods. Proessneck was chosen on purpose. There was a neo-Nazi Meeting in April 2005 and the organisers wanted to connect all democratic forces to exchange experiences with other activists and to set a significant sign against right wing extremism.
Furthermore the Gesellschaft für Christlich-Jüdische Zusammenarbeit Paderborn arranged the event "Remembering the Pogrom" at the Jewish memorial in Paderborn.
Government crime figures show a 20 per cent increase in far-right attacks in the first six months in 2006. During the FIFA Soccer World Cup, which Germany hosted in June and July 2006, some 100 far-right crimes were recorded but not mentioned at that time in the press. A survey conducted by Germany's Friedrich-Ebert Foundation showed that 39 per cent of Germans felt that their country was suffering a dangerous invasion of foreigners, that 18 per cent thought that Jews had too great influence and that 15 per cent wan ed the return of a 'strong leader'.
On 9 November, events were organised all over Germany. The initiative 'Eleven Thousand Children' campaigned for the remembrance of all children that were murdered during the Holocaust. Around 11.000 children of jewish parents have been documented, who were sent from France by train to death. Many thousands children of German emigrants were deported by train from the rest of Europe -like Belgium and the Netherlands. All in all around 3 million victims rolled over the German railway system in livestock wagons. The 'Reichsbahn' earned millions by the transports. But since 2 years the directorate of the Deutsche Bahn AG tries to forbid public commemoration at the train stations for these children. While in France and Poland the public presentation of these exhibitions was supported, the successor of Reichsbahn, the actual DB, tries to hide historical responsibility. The activists organised a lot of protests, and manifestations took place in 16 German cities. This initiative has reached in Germany a status of a big political issue, so that the government and the parliament have to deal with the case and it has reached attention in the broad public.


GREAT BRITAIN

After picking up extra council seats across England, anti-fascist campaigners expressed their alarm at the gains the far-right British National Party (BNP) made.
Holocaust survivor Henry Guterman said: "The BNP has made these gains simply by peddling racist lies which must be challenged and exposed. "He added: "The BNP is a racist organisation which targets Muslims and Jews and all minority communities. These results are an insult to all those who perished under the Nazis. The decent majority of people must support democracy and see that this does not happen again. "One BNP member was even brought to trial, because he described Islam as a "wicked, vicious faith" and that Muslims were turning Britain into a "multi-racial hell hole".
To promote anti-discrimination, cultural cohesion and anti-racism in all forms,the Hounslow Racial Equality Council carried out an event called "Hounslow Against Fascism and Antisemitism".
Furthermore the Racial Inclusion Project organised a Global Youth Action Program with the slogan "Stop Fascism".


HUNGARY

Sometimes during football matches in Hungarian arenas, bananas have been thrown in the direction of black players. In recent times also violent attacks have increased on black people, even on the streets. By recognising this fact it was considered that the job can not be left only to police and security forces Mahatma Gandhi Human Rights Organisation used the conclusion that entertainment can educate. They organised a match with about 50.000 spectators of the Ferencváros football club at Nyíregyháza. Ferencevaros is especially supported by extremist and skinhead groups but with this campaign, many of them are piping down. Furthermore, Mahatma Gandhi Human Rights Organisation arranged a special football match between MTKVM FC and Budapest Honvid FC


IRELAND

Although a large part of the Irish Jewish community complains about the increased apprehension relating primarily to the events in the Middle East and Europe, there appears to be no perceptible change in attitudes among the Irish population. Incidents of antisemitism are considered to be few and at a low level, with no evidence of systematic targeting of the Jewish community in Ireland. Indeed, most reports relate to graffiti of an antisemitic nature at Jewish sites and in city streets, to antisemitic undertone or sentiments expressed in the media - such as references to the 'huge' influence of the Jewish vote in America - and/or to inappropriate comments in daily life such as references to 'the rich Jews'. It is not always clear whether a specific attitude is to be taken as antisemitic, especially in Belfast where the flag of Palestine is used to mark the territory of the nationalistic areas, while the Israeli flag is used to mark territory of so called unionist areas. The question here is: is this antisemitism? It is important to mention that institutional antisemitism was evident when attempts to settle Jewish refugees in neutral Ireland, during and after World War II, met with consistent government opposition. When Ireland held its first Holocaust Memorial Day on 26 January 2003 in Dublin City Hall, Justice Minister Michael McDowell apologised for a policy that was inspired by "a culture of muted antisemitism in Ireland," which discouraged immigration by Europe's shattered Jews. He said that "at an official level the Irish state was at best coldly polite and behind closed doors antipathetic, hostile and unfeeling toward the Jews." Fortunately, nowadays there are good relations between the local police and representatives of the Jewish community. In connection with this, it is important to mention that the Waterford City Council -Social Inclusion Unit- distributed awareness-raising UNITED material for the contemporary situation and commemorated the victims of the nazi-regime in different locations for the International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism.


ITALY

In Italy numerous and disturbing manifestations of racism and antisemitism have occurred in football stadiums. Italian authorities have taken action to prevent such manifestations, for instance through awareness raising initiatives or the setting up of special units within the police, who work with supporters' organisations to prevent criminal behaviour. Furthermore, some repressive measures have been taken by the Ministry of the Interior and the football authorities, including the possibility of suspending th matches or imposing fines on sports associations. In connection with this, the Association of Social Promotion Youth Action for Right Development organised, for the 9th of November, the meeting "L'altra faccia dello sport - The other face of sport" with a dinner with nicaraguans typical food later on.


REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA

Unfortunately, developments in Macedonia are not going in a good direction and it seems to be the same like in other countries. One basic problem is the socio-economic situation and the lack of opportunities to live a normal life and to find a job. In connection to that, fascism, racism and antisemitism have a fertile ground for increasing and organisations like the Youth Forum - Bitola have big problems in communicating with the people and explaining them what their aims are. It is even more difficult to activate a large group that is not open for an initiative. This year in Macedonia, it was also evident that a lot of people mix the 9th of November commemoration with the present situation in Israel and Palestine. This is especially the case of foreign volunteers from E.U countries. The Youth Forum - Bitola organised a poster campaign in Bitola and spread posters in the center of the city. On November 9, they carried out an action on the main street where they distributed to the people stickers, postcards and posters with information about the commemoration...


MALTA

Malta is threatened by Nazis with so called patriots, posing as anti illegal immigration protesters. The media in Malta have been exposing the Nazis and party's activities for a while, but the government and the political establishment have been a bit reluctant to react, and act properly and incisively. There has been an official press release in May 2006, issued by the Malta Labour Party, in which the main spokesman for Foreign Affairs and IT strongly condemned the "attack" on the Jewish community of Malta in the "neo-fascist media".The same press release also condemned similar attacks on the Muslim community and called for reason, tolerance and common sense to prevail at a time when in Malta neo-fascism is raising. This latest initiative of the Malta Labour Party will hopefully give more impetus to the efforts of the police in Malta to bring the messengers of hate to justice. Therefore, Euro-Med Movement arranged a campaign in the Media in Malta to promote the fight against fascism and antisemitism as apart of the international campaign.


NETHERLANDS

This year former working and concentration camps interned from the Netherlands commemorated as an annual event the 9th of November. For instance, Kamp Amersfoort arranged a torchlight march and film night. The Nationaal Monument Kamp Vught organised for the first time a torchlight march for the commemoration of November 9 in co-operation with the commemoration center in Amersfoort and Westerbork. Kamp Westerbork contributed to this day by giving space for a contemporary witness of the camp, a presentation of a book for youngsters "Scherven in de nacht" (Sherds in the night), music-theatre performance for and with refugees, to show other people their shattering reality and the meaning of being a refugee. A torchlight march on the historical path that the former inmates also had to go was arranged. Under the slogan "One Time is Six Million Times to Much", Eindhoven Samen Tegen Racisme and Jongerenbond arranged lessons for schools and pupils and discussion meeting with speaker from Roma and Sinti associations Furthermore, they organised a memorial festival with contribution of youngsters. The Verzetsmuseum Zuid-Holland in Gouda commemorated this day with lectures accompanied by a choir.


POLAND

Polish MEP has sparked a sharp exchange of views in the European Parliament with his comment that Europe needs more politicians like Spanish dictator General Franco, as deputies debated the lessons learned 70 years after his coup in Spain.
In his speech on the subject, he praised the Spanish right wing powers and in particular general Francisco Franco for stopping the spread of communism to western Europe in the first half of the 20th century.
His speech was followed by a furious outcry from the German socialist leader. "What we have just heard is Mr Franco's ghost. It was a fascist speech and such a statement has no place in the European Parliament" he said, while shouting "You are Nazi" to some protesting Polish deputies. Over the past few months, socialist and liberal MEPs have several times criticised Polish government members, particularly for their views and policies on gays and lesbians.
As a positive contrast, it can be mentioned that in Torun an elementary school promoted tolerance on the "International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism" for the 68th anniversary of the 'Kristallnacht" Pogrom. Moreover, different organisations, like the One World Association, arranged a seminar in Mogilo concerning education about holocaust and human rights, as well as case studies on working camps and workshops at schools.
The Polish Humanitarian Organisation organised a panel discussion under the title "Antisemitism in Poland and attempt at a diagnoses".


ROMANIA

After decades of denial about the country's role in the Holocaust in 2004, Romania's government took responsibility for the crimes and pledged to educate citizens about them. "Romania needs to take responsibility for the crimes committed 60 years agoWe don't see this in history books" said one organiser of the protest march from Media Monitoring Agency. 200 activists marched through Bucharest to protest against discrimination based on race, disabilities, gender or sexual orientation. They also commemorated victims of Nazi persecution, with marchers stopping at the site of a monument for Holocaust victims. The wartime pro-Nazi government, led by Marshal Ion Antonescu, was responsible for the deaths of 280.000-380.000 Jews and more than 11.000 Roma. Miscarea Tinerilor Pentru Pace Oradea aimed with activities of their workshops at challenging participants' views and opinions on racism, antisemitism, xenophobia and intolerance and at reflecting on the perceptions different participants have of minorities.To this purpose, they organised an interactive workshop on the theme of discrimination and racism, and a presentation with background information about the Holocaust. A great success can be seen in the wide variety of around 130 persons aged between 14 and 55 years. These participants were Romanian students belonging to different ethnic groups, teachers, mass-media delegates, NGO workers, youth workers and other local citizens. Including a short movie on the topic of stereotypes, discrimination and racism, the youngsters exchanged first impressions and made good connections to what is happening nowadays in real life. A short press conference with media was held with representatives who were able to see the youngster in action. Furthermore, Montana Motilor Association empowered the situation of Roma children using the slogan "Roma children go to school, too!". There aim was the prevention of discrimination against Roma pupils and the improvement of their situation and education based on democratic citizenship, by raising awareness for the feeling of equality among the pupils. The message they want to transmit was that a society can help minimise the disadvantages through policies that help the ones who are less favoured instead of transforming the differences into handicaps. Their conclusion is that children need to enjoy the rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution of Romania without discrimination, despite their race, colour, sex orientation, language, religion. A new organisation - 'Steps for Peace' - arranged a campaign in a school near Brasov, discussing and presenting facts, showing a short power point presentation and sharing leaflets. After presenting the historical facts, they asked the youngsters about theirs problems concerning racism and discussed about it.


RUSSIA

The most important event related to intolerance and neo-fascism in Russia is the so-called Russian march, taking place on the 4th of November 2006.
It was an attempt of associated nationalists and right radicals with the Movement Against Illegal Immigration at the head to organise legal massive actions in the capital of Russia and some other cities.
The new state holiday - the 4th of November, the Day of Folk Unity, was meant to demonstrate the unity of Russia's multi-ethnic nation, but degenerated in 2005 into a show of ultra-nationalist groups who marched through Moscow and other cities with swastikas and who greeted each other with Nazi Germany's salute.
Russia, which lost around 30 million people fighting Nazi Germany and its allies in World War II, has seen a surge in racism in recent years. Among the slogans of the march, there were also antisemitic pronouncements. In response to this action series of raids were organised for pasting-up stickers, hanging out leaflets against the Russian march in the metro, at the bus stops, in meeting places for youngsters and as well an anti-fascism picket on the day of the march in one of Moscow's squares.
In Saint-Petersburg, a group of 50 anti-fascists blocked the way of the neo-nazi march which consisted of several hundred people and took the chance to stop the march. In other Russian regions, the actions of right-winged activists were rather smaller and in general were stopped by the police.
It's important to say that the Youth Human Rights Group put a lot of effort with mailing and action to win activists and to raise awareness for the 4th of November.
In the last years, neo-Nazis have acted mostly against migrants and blamed them for occupying Russian territories. The level of domestic antisemitism is also very high. In some way, it is reasoned by non-official antisemitic policies of the Soviet Union, which continued traditions of Jews pogroms taken place in the Russian Empire. Unfortunately, the myth about the global Zionist plot is very strong within the general population, and especially within elderly people.
As for crimes based on antisemitism reasons, unfortunately contaminations of Jewish cemeteries and synagogues have become usual occurrences. Russia's human rights advocates say they are alarmed that in St. Petersburg three different juries in a row have this year acquitted people charged with hate-crimes.
Dozens of foreign workers and students with foreign features and dark complexion have been killed or wounded in racist attacks, with many of the assailants escaping justice. It's terrible, but actually the main source of xenophobia is state propaganda, for example the systematical discrimination of Georgians.
Efforts in Russia are strengthened and it has to be mentioned that UNITED published now also a Russian Version of it's campaign posters for the 9th of November "International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism" and the 21th March "European-wide Action Week Against Racism".
50 Packages with 150 posters 'Resist Against Intolerance' each were already sent to new contacts all over Russia to spread the thoughts of real unity
To discuss about an explanation for the phenomenon of fascism and what is
necessary to stop the growing waves of xenophobia in Russia, the Center of Interethnic Cooperation held a press conference in Moscow.


SERBIA

In Nis, the Center for Civil Society Development and several other organisations addressed and talked during a street action with fellow citizens about the 9th of November and about fascism. Meanwhile, they also distributed UNITED and own material. The only mosque in Nis, which was burnt during the riots on 17th March 2004, after the riots in Kosovo, was also visited. They met there a Muslim priest, and exchanged with him their opinions on living together in Nis. Concerning the situation in Serbia now, they talked about how to improve the relations between Islam and Orthodox Christianity and the two national identities of Muslim and the Serbian majority. Especially Muslims are segregated and discriminated by the Serbian majority as a revenge for the burned churches and homes of Serbians in Kosovo by Albanians who were also Muslim. Consequently, the situation in Serbia is a bit complicated. An important aspect is that in the past people did not have many possibilities to go out of Serbia and to travel or to meet other people. This atmosphere led to the acceptance of xenophobia and nationalism as something normal.Serbia opened itself in the last four-five years towards the world, even though people are still against the world and perceive that every way of different thinking creates the fear of losing their national identity. This is for extremist groups, on the left and on the right hand, a good ground to grow. In 2005, a group of extremists broke a peaceful meeting in Novi Sad, but afterwards the police arrested them and sent them to jail. It is very important that courts and police in Serbia do not look to extreme nationalist and fascist organisations as heritage keepers, but bring them to trial. So this action can be seen as a worthy symbol in the atmosphere of today's Serbia. Furthermore, it is very important to raise awareness and to develop a positive atmosphere of living in one nation together with different nations, religions and cultures.


SLOVAKIA

For the first time in the history of independent Slovakia, a political party has been outlawed for its extremist ideology. The Supreme Court ordered the dissolution of the ultra-nationalist Slovenská Pospolitos? (Slovak Togetherness) party on the 1st March, based on a proposal filed by the Attorney General. The party had been banned because its program violated the universal right to vote and run for office as protected by the Slovak constitution. The party advocates an "estate-based" society in which only the members of 10 selected groups would have the right to cast ballots and be elected. Human rights activists from People against Racism had urged Slovak officials to take action against the party, claiming it was breaking several laws. "The ruling only confirmed our statements about the threat that the party represents to democratic Slovakia and the incompatibility of its program with the constitution," People Against Racism stated. Also, they organised an exhibition under the title "Art Against Racism" on the 9th of November and nomination of student works concerning racism, a performance of a Roma band and a plaque and statue for victims of racism and extremism. In connection to this they commemorated the murdering of a student in Slovakia.


SPAIN

In Madrid, hundreds of right-wing supporters, many making stiff-armed fascist salutes and chanting insults against gays and immigrants, gathered to mark the 31st anniversary of the death of Spanish dictator Gen. Francisco Franco. Since his death, dwindling numbers of supporters commemorate his death on the Sunday closest to Nov. 20. Witnesses estimated less than 1,000 people participating. During the meeting, attendants heard speeches criticising the policies of the Socialist Prime Minister, among them the legalisation of gay marriage - and against the huge wave of immigrants into Spain in the recent years. This event was largely ignored by Spain's mainstream political parties and given scant coverage by the national media.
The Asociación Columbares in Murcia considered it necessary to take part in the UNITED-campaign and to work with youngsters of their region in order to reflect and be aware about the consequences of prejudices and about mechanism of ethnic and racial discrimination starting from the pupils own context.
Meanwhile, they also commemorated the 'International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism' and made themselves aware of the historical knowledge connected to this date. They talked about antisemitic politics of the Nazis, clarified some important terms like antisemitic, religious discrimination, racial discrimination. After that, a short selection from the movie "The Diary of Anne Frank" by George Stevens was shown. Furthermore, they made the pupils aware of their social responsibility and of the possibility of being active and to participate. One starting activity aimed at making the participants experience a situation of exclusion by using the excuse of making up groups of 4 persons, they left the fifth person excluded. After that, some terms like immigrant, Roma, woman amongst others were discussed. The result of the working group was a poster that was hung up in the hall of the school. They also reflected about what they can do in their context (town, school, etc) at an individual or group level, such as passing information about active people and organisations.


UKRAINE

Special actions have taken place within activities of the Jewish Foundation of Ukraine on the International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism.
Posters with quotations of famous people against nazism and antisemitism have been shown in Lviv, Kiev, Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk and a book with the title "New Antisemitism in Ukraine" was published in the framework of the campaign. Furthermore, in Kiev round-table discussions about the problems of antisemitism in contemporary Ukraine were organised.
Moreover, they were present at the opening of the memorial of victims persecuted by Nazis in Belgorod-Dnestrovsky.







UP

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European network against nationalism, racism, fascism
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