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Greek Neo-Nazis Set Sights on Indoctrinating Preschoolers

Greek neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party is opening nursery schools aimed at indoctrinating toddlers with vehemently anti-Semitic views.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 3/10/2013, 2:40 PM

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

The Greek neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, which already has a presence in the country’s elementary and high schools, is planning to open nursery schools aimed at indoctrinating toddlers with vehemently anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant and ultra-nationalistic views. 

According to The Greek Reporter, Golden Dawn parliamentarians Ilias Panagiotaros and Ilias Lagos announced the educational plans last week, in what they are calling an attempt to rectify the “warped version of Greek history” that is currently being taught in schools nationwide. 

The party is currently conducting “national awareness” lessons to elementary school students aged 6-10 to teach them “Greek ideals,” officials said, according to reports.

Recently 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, calling the decision “unacceptable.”

"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."

Last year Golden Dawn leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos claimed 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 xenophobic Golden Dawn party, whose logo closely resembles a Nazi swastika, won seven percent of the vote in the last round of general elections, gaining 18 seats in Parliament. It campaigned heavily on an anti-immigrant platform, under the slogan "so we can rid this land of filth."