This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Monday, November 26, 2012

 The Many Signs of Anti-Semitism

Despite its deep fascination with and involvement in fascism, Italy under Il Duce, Benito Mussolini as part of the Axis powers under the tutorship of Nazi Germany is not known for deep-seated anti-Semitism.  Proportionate to many other countries of Europe like Latvia and Lithuania and Poland, not nearly as many Jews of Italian origin where Jews had lived since Roman times, were sacrificed to the final solution of the Holocaust.

Italy was responsible for 16.7% of the deaths of Italian Jews during World War II; Italians at large were relatively loathe to surrender their friends and neighbours to the death chambers.  In comparison, Latvia freely gave up 84.2% of its Jews, Lithuania 91%, Netherlands 65%, Norway 46.7% and Poland fully 100% of its ancient Jewish-Polish residents, citizens, neighbours to the Nazi death machine.

This chart below illustrates how Europe, by and large rated in its response to the Final Solution during World War II when the fascist Nazi regime set into full and determined play its meticulously designed campaign to rid the world of its population of European Jews.  It was a campaign that - had it succeeded and had the Axis won out over the Allies battling them - would have absorbed Jews from further abroad as well.

The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust.[32]
Country Pre-War Jewish population Low Estimate High Estimate
Austria 191,000 50,000 65,000
Belgium 60,000 25,000 29,000
Czech Republic(Bohemia & Moravia) 92,000 77,000 78,300
Denmark 8,000 60 116
Estonia 4,600 1,500 2,000
France 260,000 75,000 77,000
Germany 566,000 135,000 142,000
Greece 73,000 59,000 67,000
Hungary (borders 1940)[33] 725,000 502,000 569,000
Italy 48,000 6,500 9,000
Latvia 95,000 70,000 72,000
Lithuania 155,000 130,000 143,000
Luxembourg 3,500 1,000 2,000
Netherlands 112,000 100,000 105,000
Norway 1,700 800 800
Poland 3,250,000 2,700,000 3,000,000
Romania (Borders 1940) 441,000 121,000 287,000
Slovakia 89,000 60,000 71,000
Soviet Union (Borders 1939) 2,825,000 700,000 1,100,000
Yugoslavia 68,000 56,000 65,000
Total 9,067,000 4,869,860 5,894,716

It is no secret that there has been a resurgence of anti-Semitism around the world, and particularly in Europe, where it has traditionally been in place and smouldering under society's mantle.  There was a considerable period directly after World War II when anti-Semitism took a low profile.  It simmered deep in the psyches of those who felt comfortable hating Jews and blaming them for whatever has gone awry in the world, but it remained fairly low-ebb and concealed.

Largely because an aura of 'political correctness' followed hard on the zeitgeist of horror in many circles as the full story of the Holocaust began to emerge, and the contingent of liberal leftists took up the cause of the world's unwilling martyrs to xenophobic ethnic cleansing resulting in a tide of genocide few could imagine the details and operating scope of.  A hatred so corrosive that precious resources and fighting personnel were side-lined to death camp operations in lieu of war-fronts.

And here too is Italy today, with the mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno, a former neo-fascist youth leader who when he was elected mayor in 2008 was feted with fascist salutes and adoring cries of "Duce! Duce!" in memory of Benito Mussolini.  Mayor Alemanno gave voice to a $27-million fund for a Holocaust Museum "to give an immediate response to the many signs of anti-Semitism that have occurred recently in our city."

Among those "signs", neo-fascist youth group Blocco Studentesco demonstrating in support of Italy's Lazio soccer team and who attacked visiting Tottenham soccer team fans who had travelled to Rome to watch their team play in the Europa League.  Among the many fans who travelled to Italy from Britain was a large contingent of Jewish fans.

Witnesses described for the Italian media the sight they witnessed of masked men armed with knives and baseball bats shouting "Jews, Jews", laying siege to a tourist-popular downtown pub where the Tottenham supporters were drinking, in the old quarter of Rome.  The attack left ten people injured and 25-year-old British fan Ashley Mills undergoing surgery for a severed artery in his leg.

Italian media reported Lazio fans chanting "Juden Tottenham, Juden Tottenham" at the Thursday match.  Now, while the head of Rome's Jewish community insists the attack demonstrates how vulnerable the city's Jews are to vicious attacks, the city's police commissioner Giuseppe Pecoraro insists otherwise: "The police do more for the Jewish community in Rome than anywhere else in the world."

Italy's Lazio is known for attracting fans with extreme right-wing sympathies who are fond of Nazi salutes, unfurling anti-Semitic banners and unison-chanting racist insults against black players.  Those fascist calls against black players in an earlier match against Tottenham played in London earned the team a 40,000 euros fine in September.

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