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Greece's Golden Dawn: Holocaust Memorial Day 'Unacceptable'

Greece's neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party has denounced the country's decision to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day, calling it “unacceptable.”
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 2/19/2013, 10:06 PM

Golden Dawn party leader Nikolaos Mihaloliakos
Golden Dawn party leader Nikolaos Mihaloliakos
Reuters

Greece's neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party has denounced the country's decision to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, calling it “unacceptable.”

Golden Dawn MP Ioannis Lagos lashed out at the country's education and interior ministers over new regulations requiring state institutions and schools to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, in commemoration of the over six million murdered at the hands of the Nazis.

"We have received complaints that on this day, in Greek schools, texts are read which praise the Jews and at the same time portray them as heroes," Lagos said, according to The International Business Times.

"Given that at the same time Greek children are completely ignorant of important moments in Greek history and of the real holocausts and heroes of the Greeks, we find it unacceptable that they are taught about the Jewish Holocaust in detail," he said.

In a separate statement, Golden Dawn accused the Greek government of being "the pawn of international Zionism" and of conspiring with Israeli and American Jewish groups.

According to The International Business Times, the party maintained that Athens had abandoned Syria's "legitimate leader, Bashar al-Assad" and supported "the murderers of the Syrian opposition", alleging it was acting according to the will of "American-Zionist war hawks".

Golden Dawn leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos claimed last year that Nazi concentration camps did not use ovens and gas chambers to exterminate Jews during the Holocaust.

"There were no ovens — it's a lie. I believe it's a lie. There were no gas chambers either," Michaloliakos said at the time.

The blatantly anti-Semitic and xenophobic party, which received a surge in popularity in the country’s June general election, campaigned under the slogan “So we can rid the land of filth” and holds frequent anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant rallies.