THE EUROPEAN CHARTER UNDER ATTACK IN EUROPE
The charter of the Fundamental Rights of the European Union under attack
By Didier BERTIN – 10 March 2011
The treaty of Lisbon converted officially the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union into a legal and binding agreement. We show in this report that in fact its enforcement remains difficult to apply in the Eastern part of the European Union where the disrespect of the social and democratic rules cannot be considered as local cultural traditions out of the field of competence of the European Council.
I-Disrespect of the memory of the Holocaust-Rise of the extreme right wing
We would like to draw your attention to an unfortunate campaign conducted within the European Union by several countries at the initiative of Lithuania, whose target is ultimately to declare as equivalent to the Holocaust, the plight of peoples of the eastern countries of EU under communist regimes and to commemorate together in EU the memory of the Holocaust and of the suffering inflicted by Communist regimes.
Of course the Holocaust is unique and cannot be compared to very different events. This campaign has endeavored to enshrine this new version of History for the entirety of the European Union, via strong symbols such as declarations of principle signed (in particular the declaration of September 23, 2008) by many Members of the European Parliament despite a certain number of them did not seem to have clearly understood the scope of what they have signed.
Two of these countries have already enacted laws to prosecute (prison penalties) those who disagree with this revised version of History.
We can already see many facts demonstrating that this new conception of History is made in by jeopardizing the memory of the Holocaust and we do think that the Holocaust deserves a special commemoration in Europe, independently of those which might be dedicated to the suffering inflicted by Communist regimes.
We also think that Europe of yesterday have had a responsibility in the Holocaust because of its mistakes and procrastination, which have paved the way of Nazism between the two World Wars.
We also believe that good quality information campaigns and good education system is a better guarantee of memory than specific laws.
II –The Uniqueness of the Holocaust
We wish to recall the facts:
- Almost 92% of the exterminations of the Holocaust took place in the Eastern countries who are key witnesses and have as such a priority duty to respect the memory of the Holocaust
- 63% of the European Jewish population was exterminated as a result of the Holocaust
- Only 12% of the Jewish population now lives in Europe as compared to 60% in 1939
None of these events is comparable with the crimes of communist regimes and the overuse of the word genocide by Eastern Countries to designate their plight under communist regimes, may involve the risk that the real genocidal attempts as in Rwanda or in ex-Yugoslavia may escape to our vigilance.
The bad aspect of the communist regimes was the will to control by violence if necessary their peoples and keep them by force within the borders of their countries and not to exterminate systematically all of them.
III –Upsurge of censorship and prison for crimes of opinion
These EU countries leading this campaign are Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and the Czech Republic. We remind that Hungary freed from communism has now returned to a regime of censorship in opposition to the rules of the Charter of the Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
A law criminalizing the denial of communist crimes is already in place in Poland, Lithuania, Hungary and the Czech Republic whose interpretation could leave the door open to severe misuses. A law criminalizing those who do not accept the ultimate equivalence between the Holocaust and the crimes of the communist regimes is already in force in Lithuania and Hungary.
These laws constitute a real legal risk including two years of imprisonment in Lithuania and three years in Hungary for those who do not share the views of these countries on the magnitude of the crimes of the communist regimes and on their ultimate equivalence with the Holocaust. These substantial risk concerns together the local citizens and all other citizens of the countries simply traveling in these territories and who might not be informed or used to the censorship. These laws contravene the freedom of expression and movement within the European Union guaranteed by the Charter of the Fundamental Rights of the European Union legally binding and enforceable as the result of the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009.
IV –The memory of the 13.6 million soldiers of the USSR killed for the liberation of Europe
We must also respect the memory of the 21 million Soviet citizens killed during the Second World War out of which 13.6 million soldiers of the Red Army whose sacrifice made possible the liberation of Europe from the German invasion and Nazism.
The members of the European Parliament must never forget it.
V-Nazism and extremism in Lithuania today
Lithuania saw the highest percentage of extermination of the Jewish population among other countries during WW2 (near 96%) and saw violent and vast anti-Semitic outbreaks of murder that were in effect the onset of the Holocaust when in 1941 the Red Army withdrew and before the arrival of the German Forces.
- Despite these facts Lithuania has rehabilitated the Swastika as a national symbol in 2010 (Judgment of the Court of Klaipeda) and
- On the Day of Independence of this country, a Nazi parade proceeds with the official permission on the main Boulevard of Central Vilnius, an EU and NATO capital.
- The so called museum of “genocides” of Vilnius excludes the Holocaust,
- While the Jewish Museum’s Holocaust exhibit is a wooden hut invisible from main streets and very difficult to find.
- In 2005 buildings were built on a Jewish cemetery.
- The Ninth Fort museum in Kaunas focuses on victims of the Soviet regime though it was the was the primary mass murder site for Kaunas Jewry while it is a necessary step towards the Ninth Fort, which was a concentration camp during WW2 for Jews of Lithuania and of other European countries (France among others).
- In late October 1941 more Jewish people were massacred in Kaunas area than in any single day in Baltic History and
- In July 2010 anti-Semitic provocations took place in the same city of Kaunas.
- During the post communist era: No completion of sentences against the former Nazi Collaborators – The failure of Lithuanian prosecutors to punish any local Nazi war criminals emboldened those ultranationalists who refused to admit Lithuanian complicity in Holocaust crimes. See details below
At least fifteen Lithuanian Nazi war criminals who had escaped to the USA after WW2 and who were stripped of their US citizenship when their past was revealed, returned to Lithuania Only three were brought to trial for their Holocaust crimes. The two most important cases were those of the district of Vilnius ; the Commander of the Lithuanian Secret Police , the Saugumas, Aleksandras Lileikis and his deputy Kazys Gimzauskas were, only prosecuted after they were declared medically unfit to stand trial and then never appear at their trial and could not be punished. In the third case, a member of the Saugumas of the same district, Algimantas Dailide was convicted and sentenced to imprisonment, but the judges refused to implement his sentence because he had to take care of his ailing wife.
VI-Other symbolic facts
In Poland, in Warsaw, only few people know the monument of the Ghetto, while there is a monument dedicated to victims of the deportations, which consists of a wagon full of bristling Christian crosses only.
VII -The disrespect of the basic rights of workers
We must also note that many Eastern European countries of the European Union does not seem not to fully apply either the provisions of the Charter of the Fundamental Rights of the European Union in the field of social welfare, health protection and employment. Poland, which is the most important eastern country of the European Union, have been unfortunately duly exempted of implementing the rights included in the European Charter by the Treaty of Lisbon of 2009
These abnormalities are a total lack of respect of the dignity of the workers of the related countries and constitute also a propagation vector of pauperism in the other countries of the UE by the liberal process of industrial relocations far from the welfare spirit prevailing in the Charter of the EU.
VIII – Incapability of Europe to enforce its own rules
Our exchange of letters with the European Council shows that the European Union cannot or does not want to interfere in this field in what is called the internal politics of the member States and is failing its duty to enforce the articles and spirit of the Charter of the Fundamental Rights of the European Union since the Treaty of Lisbon gave it the necessary tools.