OPINION

The stigma of the Nazi salute

As far as the swastika-style symbol they worship goes, they claimed, ostensibly from a position of being well educated in all things Greeks, that it is a blend of borrowed symbols. It is not borrowed from the Nazis, they say, but from the ancient Greek menander with something of ancient India splashed in, which apparently symbolizes happiness.

As unlikely as it is to find the last Greek scholars of Sanskrit in the dark bowels of Golden Dawn, so it is that the militaristic entourage of party leader Nikos Michaloliakos copied the menander from ancient pottery.

They do not worship the menander; they worship the swastika. They borrowed a part of it because they embrace what it stands for, so maybe they should just leave the ancients alone; they?ve sullied them enough.

As far as the Nazi salute is concerned, Michaloliakos?s show the other day was not the first time we?ve come to realize that the party members identify themselves with him and all the darkness he carries inside, are proud of him and see him as a symbol of their identity. It is likely that those of Golden Dawn who raise their hand, fingers together and palm down, have someone in their family who was killed by a Nazi gun or starved to death during the occupation, because it is impossible that they all come from a line of collaborators or black marketeers. Of course, when it comes to history, this doesn?t always count, because it doesn?t always make sense.

By saying that his party members only occasionally give the Nazi salute and adding that their hands, however, are clean, Michaloliakos was trying to play two roles: to play up to his supporters while also avoiding getting into hot water with the justice system by admitting openly that he worships a gesture that caused disgust and terror all over the world.

Any hands raised in the salute of Hitler?s soldiers, who decimated nations either with their guns or crematoriums, cannot possibly be clean. Michaloliakos?s party, his deputies and his sidekicks not only have nothing to say against fascism and the Nazis, but adopt and implement their ideas about ?subhumans? and ?garbage? that needs to be done away with.

A Nazi salute with clean hands is just not possible. It is not a symbol; it is a stigma. It is the stigma on the soul of inhumanity made by the blood of millions spilled by very dirty hands indeed. It is a stigma that marks the most brutal period of tyranny, the most inhuman form of bondage.