Greek far-right leader George Karatzaferis 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/John Kolesidis )
Yes, the Holocaust happened, ascending Greek politician Georgios Karatzaferis said this week, reversing his previous Holocaust denial.
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Greece’s ANA wire service quoted Karatzaferis – the head of the far-Right Greek Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party, which has been coopted as part of the new transitional government headed by Lucas Papademos – as acknowledging the Holocaust in an interview with the private Skai television on Monday.
“Who can question the Holocaust?” he was quoted as saying. “The Holocaust of the Jews by Hitler, as well as the genocide of the Armenians by Kemal Ataturk, were the greatest crimes of the previous century.”
The LAOS leader, who played an important role in the establishment of the transitional government to implement drastic austerity measures needed to save the country’s economy, has come under fire in the past from various organizations around the world, including the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League and the Central Committee of German Jews, for questioning the Holocaust.
The European Jewish Press quoted him as having said in 2001 that the “Jews have no right to provoke, because they have filled the world with crimes.”
According to the report, he said that “the Jews have no legitimacy to speak in Greece and provoke the political world,” and that “their impudence is crass.” He challenged the Israeli ambassador in Greece to come and debate “the Holocaust, the Auschwitz and Dachau myth.”
A JTA report from 2009 said that Karatzaferis, who publishes a weekly
newspaper with a circulation of 6,000, called Jews “Christ killers” in
an editorial about the Gaza conflict. The paper wrote that “in less than
70 years the main victims of Hitler’s brutality turned into the same
heinous murderers as their persecutor.”
“Israel feels that in the name of the Holocaust it can still misbehave,
be indecent, blackmail, and debase institutions and people,” the
editorial said. It added that with some effort, the Jews could be placed
among the nations of justice, “but what do you expect from a race that
crucified God the only time he came to earth.”
Later, the editorial asked rhetorically, “Yet would God killers care
about a few hundred innocent children?” In the Skai interview,
Karatzaferis took a somewhat more sanguine view of Israel, saying, “I
have taken positions many times in favor of cooperation with Israel. I
believe, however, that sometimes excessive force [by Israel] was used.”