5 March 2013
On the 5th of March 1933 the Nazi party of Germany managed to achieve a brilliant result in the parliamentary elections. They did not win the majority of the votes, only 45%, but that was the beginning which allowed Adolf Hitler to seriously change the course of world history later. At present the political state of affairs in European parliaments increasingly reminds of the situation 80 years ago.
More and more right-wing and ultra-rightist parties win seats there and the parliamentary majority has to reckon with their declarations and actions.
Parties on the right show high results in presidential and parliamentary elections in the EU countries. French National Front leader Marine Le Pen won 18% of the votes in the first round of the presidential election. The UK Independence Party won on average 14% in local elections. In the early parliamentary elections in Greece, 7% of citizens gave their votes to the ultra-rightist Golden Dawn party.
Some experts are already comparing the political state of affairs in European countries, as well as in the former republics of the Soviet Union, with the Weimar Republic. Right-wing parties have no majority in European parliaments so far but they can form coalitions and their own parliamentary groups. Like 80 years ago, this is happening against the background of an economic crisis. The crisis is responsible for the growth of radical moods, Assistant Director of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology at the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Zorin believes.
“The EU does not provide equal and fair development for all regions. So many countries, especially those that lost in WW2, crave for revenge. This revenge-seeking is the driving force of radicalism and attempts to revise history.”
Today, right-wing and ultra-rightist parties have made a gigantic breakthrough in such countries as France, Finland, Austria and Greece. They are supported by 10-15% of the population. Their electorate mostly consists of young people who are the most active part of society, Vice-President of the Centre of Strategic Communications Dmitry Abzalov says.
“A whole number of surveys shows that the European crisis is getting worse, which is followed by the growth of political parties with very radical views. To a large extent this is the result of double standards in the denouncement of Nazism. As a result of a fuzzy barrier, such parties’ chances to get into parliaments in North Europe or France have become much better, which was hard to imagine 5-10 years ago.”
The economic crisis gave nationalist parties a chance to receive serious support from the population. The crisis also became the reason for the failure of the idea of multiculturalism. No reciprocal influence of cultures and traditions resulted, on the contrary, confrontation came to the fore.
The understanding of Nazism has become blurred on the wave of right-wing ideas that are gaining popularity. Several politicians who are supported on the state level are even prepared to review the results of WW2, Vladimir Zorin believes.
“The world is standing on the threshold of new geopolitical changes. This also concerns the events in North Africa and the Arab world. Many parts of the world are troubled and restless. So some forces are trying to use the potential of nationalism and Nazism for solving contemporary problems. This is a very alarming fact which is also an important factor for further destabilization. For this reason, all forces that stand for the historical truth and the normal development of Europe and the entire world should be on the alert, Vladimir Zorin emphasizes.