Statements of Prague and by the European Parliament 1/2
The Statements of Prague of 3 June 2008 and by the European Parliament
of 23 September 2008 and their consequences
By Didier Bertin -02 May 2011
SOCIETY FOR THE PROMOTION OF THE EUROPEAN HUMAN RIGHTS MODEL
Free adapted translation in English of the survey in French
The contents of the Statements of Prague dated 3 June 2008 and by the European Parliament dated 23 September 2008, which were assumed to take stock of the suffering experienced by the peoples under communist regimes, have finally taken a critical ideological turn in response to a support from few Conservative world leaders.
For over two years we have seen the negative developments that these statements might have legitimized or encouraged.
We believe that a new objective and ethical Statement should be made in a way mentioning the mistakes and crimes of the communist regimes but also in acknowledging the meaning of major historical events in order to prevent truncating and amalgams with a probable propagandist purpose as we may have notice it in the two above mentioned Statements.
I-The Prague Statement of 3 June 2008
The Prague Statement of 3 June 2008 should have been devoted to the errors and crimes of communist regimes in European countries but was unfortunately well beyond this mission by engaging in an unfortunate historical revision motivated by political beliefs whose consequences are regrettable.
The letters of support from Margaret Thatcher, Nicolas Sarkozy, and Zbigniew Brzezinski foreshadowed probably the direction of the Prague Statement and its generated process.
Historical considerations or reference that were neither necessary nor justified shook European ethics when the European Parliament following Prague’s recommendations made another statement in the spirit of that of Prague. This was done without consideration for the European ethics whose achievement was so difficult that its current implementation remains difficult.
The content of the Statement of Prague lose track of critical assessment of the description of the errors or crimes of communist regimes to become a rightist political statement wearing them globally and trivially at the highest level of horror.
To this end the Statement of Prague has indirectly introduced a reconsideration of the crimes of Nazism which were superficially declared as equivalent to those of communism in assuming an absurd common legacy.
It was though clear and obvious that the Nazi crimes were the culmination of horror as this has been determined by the Nuremberg trial and all the legal procedures and investigations having started in 1945 and continuing today. The trial of a war criminal will start on 5 May 2011 in Budapest.
This indirect reconsideration of Nazi crimes seems to have been made in order to create an "effect of style" symbolizing the strong disapproval of communism by the signatories of the Statement of Prague and their supporters.
Unfortunately it has become commonplace to describe what one hates as Nazism in order to mark the horror that is felt, but this trivial ease of language becomes outrageous to the victims of Nazism when it is taken up by institutions in official statements.
This form of expression taken by institutions, which is at the border of Revisionism, is even counterproductive for the credibility of the critics of the communist regimes. Everything happens as if there was a lack of arguments regarding the criticism of the communist regimes filled by an imported reference to crimes of another type of regime in order to give them a qualification. We though think that the communist regimes have generated enough mistakes and crimes to be criticized for what they are.
This imported reference gives the analysis of the communist regimes, a propagandist dressing at the expense of victims of crimes of Nazism.
A very meaningful consequence of this trivial equivalence was the encouragement given to a number of Eastern countries to repeat this equivalence between the Holocaust and their suffering obfuscating the reality of the Holocaust itself.
The trivial equivalence made between Nazism and Communism betrays the meaning of the Prague Statement since they can be hardly compared because of their different historical backgrounds, generating facts, objectives, underlying ideologies and the nature and motivations of their proponents. We will come back on this unproductive comparison in paragraph Nazism and communism in brief.
However, given the political beliefs of the initiators of the Statement and their supporters, the simplicity of their analysis is probably not innocent and their consequences are certainly dangerous.
II-THE DANGEROUS CONSEQUENCES OF THE STATEMENT OF PRAGUE
1 - The European Union and the European Commission
The Statements of Prague and by the European Parliament have apparently already an impact on European institutions. Nazism seems to be now considered as a totalitarian regime among others and is thus trivialized, losing sight of more than half a century of investigations and legal procedures which permitted to rank it as the paroxysm of horror . See Appendices 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6.
It seems that the European Commission in this regard has limited powers and/or does not wish to interfere in the initiatives of member states, even if they deviate from the European Union rules and principles. See Appendices 1, 2 and 3. This is all the more regrettable that European Union has a meaningful Charter of Fundamental Rights but its application is de facto left at the discretion of Member States despite the firm intentions of the Treaty of Lisbon of 2009.
Indeed, the United Kingdom and Poland have denied their citizens the benefit of the Charter of Fundamental Rights just because they have requested and obtained it from the European Union. This authorization was paradoxically obtained in the frame of the same Treaty of Lisbon of 2009 whose target was to strengthen the implementation of the Charter.
2-The European Parliament
Similarly the European Parliament in its Statement of 23 September 2008 has repeated the same mistakes and shortcuts contained in the Statement of Prague.
This statement is not legally binding for the European Union due to the limited powers of the European Parliament, but remains regrettable since the citizens of the foreign countries do not know often the mechanisms of the European institutions.
In fact the real European Parliament is all the National Parliaments and the European voters are not mistaken. Indeed, the declaration of the European parliament has just been forwarded to the Presidents of National Parliaments for information.
3 - Nazism and Communism in Brief
The Statement of Prague mixes communism and his perverted version which is "Stalinism" and omits the responsibility of Europe due to the ostracism and offensive suffered by the revolutionary countries as France in 1789 and USSR in1917 from the highly conservative states. This aggressiveness paved the way to the conquering spirit of the First Empire in France and that of the USSR.
Moreover, the objectionable concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat, representing the assumed power given to impoverished people is insidiously confused in the two mentioned Statements with the dictatorship of one man like in Nazi, fascist or Stalinist regimes, playing dishonestly with the word “dictatorship.”
After a long period of silence from the survivors of the extermination camps due to the surrounding misunderstanding, the many legal procedures and investigations have revealed the reality of Nazism and it is would be immoral to be to return to silence and obfuscation in order to legitimate a forged equivalence made for Eastern Europe at the expense of the victims of Nazism.
- Nazism was the product of ambient European racism at the time of its creation It was inspired in particular from the works of two French and one English ideologues. It has developed the concepts of sub-men, and living space for the resulting supermen. It was dedicated in a fanatic way to the identity of the Germanic people.
- We are far from Communism and its conceptual willingness to empower the workers of all nationalities in order to improve their lot.
- The founder of Nazism has developed the traditional European anti-Semitism at a paroxysmal level. This tradition was stronger in Eastern countries than in western countries during a long period up to now.
- Communism has instead reduced the violent and mass anti-Semitism in the Eastern countries as compared to what it was before and to what it tends to be now.
- The cult of death and extermination were contained in "Mein Kampf” regarding the Jewish people and the persons in poor health well before the Wannsee Conference; the author was convinced that it was consistent with the designs of “the Lord” and Nature.
- Communism has no such conceptual values.
- Stalinism which was a perverted version of Communism has led to the death and exile and incarceration of large numbers of people
- Nazism developed the industrialization and commercialization of the mass extermination process through the provision of services to large German companies and sophisticated management of extermination based on performing equipment resulting in high killing productivity. Many manufacturing attempts were made to utilize the corps of Jewish victims as raw material for commercial production.
- Communism has not pursued a policy of industrial mass extermination.
- The Nazis and their allies have triggered a world war in which 65 million people were killed out of which 21 million of Soviet citizens and 63% of the European Jewish population. -See Appendices 4,5 and 6-
- Communism did not cause such carnage.
It is quite unfortunate that we need to remind such very well known events but the signatories of the Statements of Prague or the European Parliament did not apparently take them into consideration.
Nazism is the paroxysmal level of Horror and should remain as a reference of it and is not like any other totalitarian regimes. –See Appendices 1,2 and 3-
4-The Holocaust and the de facto obfuscation and denial trend of the Holocaust
The equivalence made between of Communism and Nazism by the statements of Prague and by the European Parliament has probably encouraged on the basis of this same principle of equalization, an increasing number of Eastern European countries to pretend they were victims of a genocide equivalent to the Holocaust. In some cases this self-persuasion goes to considering the Holocaust as minor as compared to the newly created Genocide concept of Genocide and even of trying to exclude it from the History. The Holocaust resulted in the death of 91% of the Jewish populations of Eastern countries, which were thus their main witnesses and sometimes participating actors. See Appendix 4.
- With the extermination of 6 million of Jews, the Holocaust was the massacre of 63% of the European Jews -See Appendices 4 and 5- and no other genocide is comparable in proportional magnitude.
- It is evident the peoples of European eastern country were not destroyed as such no eastern country may pretend that its people was killed in a proportion of near two thirds.
- The Eastern country which has lost the most people during World War II was USSR with 21 million of people killed by the Nazis out of 170 million inhabitants’ i.e.12.4% of its population.
- The alleged existence of a genocide in the Eastern equivalent to the Holocaust could have among others, the deep rooted anti-Semitic motivations still alive in Eastern Europe despite the almost disappearance of their local Jewish populations.
- We must also remember that the Holocaust was the paroxysmal phase of a European anti-Semitism bimillenary continuum.
- This paroxysmal phase of a continuum in Europe has resulted in the necessary need to create a duly acknowledged shelter for the Jewish people in the Middle East and consequently Europe is directly responsible of the conflict in the Middle East today.
- The questioning of the magnitude of the Holocaust by comparison to a recent new concept of Genocide is likely to exacerbate the conflict in the Middle East by giving arguments to the right wing Israeli authorities of to maintain the larger shelter for possible new comers. The European attitude shown in the statements of Prague and by the European Parliament disqualify the European Union to play a role in the peace process in the Middle East.
- Eastern countries such as Lithuania and Hungary can found in the Statements of Prague and by the European Parliament a support in their claim to be victims of genocide similar to the Holocaust and to develop the concept of dual-Genocide. As a matter of fact the wording of these Statements unduly questions the uniqueness of the Holocaust.
- The sole dual genocide that appears now is that of the disappearance of human beings followed by the disappearance of their memory. This situation may be clearly felt in Lithuania.
- The alleged existence of another genocide equivalent to the Holocaust is thus an indirect denial of the Holocaust "as such".
5-The possible incitement to intolerance following the Statements of Prague and by the
European Parliament in Eastern European Countries:
- The Holocaust was excluded from the National Museum of Genocide of Lithuania and the Research Centre of the Genocide associated with it. The visit of the museum is especially shocking and the manager advises Jewish people to go to the wooden hut dedicated to Jewish things (Green House).-
- The public relations officer of the Genocide Research Center, which is subsidized by the Lithuanian State, is a leader of the Neo Nazi Party and organizer of the Nazi parades in Vilnius.
- His statements in Diena.lt are clearly anti-Semitic: "The Jews are playing with matches on a powder keg ... if the Government does nothing ... the people will do it." See Appendices 7, 8 and 9
- A parade of contemptuous Nazis is allowed by the Authorities in the main street of Vilnius each for the Day of Independence of Lithuania.
- Lithuania has legalized the Swastika in 2010 as a national symbol (Judgment of Klaipeda) without any European protest to our knowledge. See appendix 7.
Lithuania has a prominent and influential role on other eastern countries in encouraging the
- The former leftist government had established in 2010 a law condemning the denial of the Holocaust.
- The new Rightist and totalitarian government has removed during the same year 2010, the word Holocaust from the text of this law to highlight the word Genocide referring to the one allegedly perpetrated by the communist regime against Hungary. See Appendix 10
- The same new rightist government has taken totalitarian steps limiting freedom of expression and increasing its control over the main entities of the country. To our knowledge, the European Commission is silent on this situation which is in contravention with the basic requirements of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. In addition the presidency of the Council of the European Union was given to Hungary from January to June 2011.
Hungary - Lithuania and others
Since the fall of Communism, World War II criminals of some Eastern European countries were able to move back in their home country for a quiet retirement either voluntarily, or because they were expelled out of the United States when they were unmasked. See Appendices 7 and 10.
The Statements of Prague and by the European Parliament will not facilitate the healing of resurgent anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe, which is especially significant since the Jewish populations of these countries have virtually disappeared.
6-Support to disinhibition of the extreme right in Europe as in France where its progress is substantial
We do not see need to develop this topic which a well known situation.
7-A Neo-McCarthyism in Europe and pauperism in the eastern countries of the European
The Prague Declaration accuses the Communist Parties of not being able to evolve and therefore encourages the implementation of a Neo-McCarthyist policy banning the Communist parties, their symbols and supporters.
This vision of the old America is obviously not suitable for Europe, which must remain a place of freedom. Neo-McCarthyist laws banning the Communism are in force in most Eastern countries of the European Union and are in contradiction with the principles the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
In addition, we may notice than 20 years after the fall of communism, we are seeing economic and social failure in most Eastern European countries.
One may consider 7 of these 10 countries as emerging countries. These countries are particularly poor, unresponsive to anti-social policies and their public services deteriorate.
Poland is the largest eastern country of Eastern European Union and has denied its citizens the benefit of the Charter of Fundamental Rights despite it is assumed to be a free country now.
This is widening more and more the difference between Eastern and Western Europe in contrast to what is allegedly wanted in the Prague Statement.
The averaged gross minimum monthly wage for the entire population of Eastern Europe of the European Union in 2011,amounts to 282.6 Euros or 267.6 Euros, without the exceptionally successful small Slovenia and corresponds to those of emerging countries.
In 2011, the minimum gross wage in Bulgaria and Romania amounts to 148.7 Euros on average per month, which is well below the minimum wage in Brazil. These two countries represent 28% of the population of Eastern European Union. See Appendix 13.
8-The freedom of Europe reconquered thanks to the USSR
The Statements of Prague and by the European Parliament leave no room for the fact that Europe owes its freedom to the USSR.
Without its 21 million of citizens killed during the World War II, including 13 600 0000 Red Army soldiers - See Appendix 6-, Europe would hardly have been liberated from Nazism.
The Red Army lost 9.4 times more soldiers than the losses of all the other allied armies (of about 1.44 million). See Appendix 6
Without the intervention of the USSR, the statements of Prague or by the European Parliament would have probably never existed and it might have been possible that after a protracted war, the Allies would have signed an armistice with Germany. In these conditions, the German living space would have included many countries and the extermination of the Jewish people almost succeeded in Europe, could have been fully completed limiting its existence to the community of the United States.
The division of Europe has not been decided by the USSR and Germany, but by the leaders of the United Kingdom, United States and USSR who met in Yalta: Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin.
It is a false indication suggested in the Statements of Prague and by the European Parliament that the division of Europe into different zones was due to the Ribbentrop-Molotov Agreement of 23 August 1939 and which was broken in June 22, 1941.
We remind that Germany did not win the war and was not able to divide Europe with the USS as this is suggested in the Statements of Prague and by the European Parliament.
The reference to Nazi-Soviet Pact is very significant from the political mindset of the signatories of the statements of Prague and of the European Parliament.
10-The relationship between Europe and the People's Republic of China
The unsubtle anti-Communism that emerges from the Statement of Prague and correlated statements could eventually pose diplomatic problems with China which is currently the second largest economy with a population of 1.337 billion people i.e. 500 million inhabitants more than the populations of the European Union and the United States combined. It is difficult to ignore the existence of China.
The feeling of disappearance of Communism with the fall of the Soviet bloc is false. Communism is the basic ideology of China. This world economic major power has adapted in an objectionable way in order to ensure a successful economy incommensurate with the poor performances of the former USSR.
China is now the second world power by the size of its GNP of about 10 000 billion USD.
II-Statement of the European Parliament of 23 September 2008 and its amazing
and precarious signatories
“Once again the mention the Quid pro quo (misunderstanding) between Ribbentrop-Molotov agreement and Yalta agreements gives this statement a strong rightist aspect"
Acting on the recommendation of the Statement of Prague, 409 Members of the Sixth European Parliament out of 732, have signed a Statement few months before the end of their term,
The appropriate word “Stalinism” was often preferred to the word “communism” but in fine refers generically to the communism as per the third paragraph of this statement.
This Statement makes a tragic mixture between Communism and Nazism, as in the Statement of Prague and again the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement is mentioned as the basis of the division of Europe as if Germany had won the war. The target of this quid pro quo has obviously an ideological origin.
The European Parliament dared even to propose the day of signature of the Ribbentrop-Molotov agreement as a day of commemoration for the victims of communism, but also for those of Nazism.
The victims of Nazism were thus utilized in order to give weight to anti-communism, while the communists were dreadful opponents (Resistance) against the Nazis and as we have mentioned Nazism was defeated thanks to the heavy losses and action of the Red Army.
The choice of such day as commemoration date is thus a provocation probably consciously for the extreme rightists and we expect unconsciously for the others.
The victims of Nazism are thus mistreated and include the Jewish people whose near two-thirds were destroyed in Europe and by Europeans who have generated the anti-Semitic continuum with the Holocaust as a paroxysmal phase.
The days of commemoration that serve the interests of some victims and reject that of all others can only cause bitterness and hatred.
Among the main victims of Nazism we may mention the Jews and the Gypsies so little appreciated in the Eastern countries, the people suffering from mental or physical failure (the sickly people as said approximately the founder of Nazism) ,the Freemasons, the Communists, the Socialists, the Soviet civilian and military citizens, the homosexuals ,the allied soldiers….
It is a shame to propose a common day of commemoration which excludes most of the victims by definition and without having the agreement of all.
Fortunately the statement by the European Parliament does not commit the European Union. This statement was sent for information to the Presidents of the National Parliaments in the European Union, which together form for the moment and in our opinion , the real and de facto European parliament.
The creation of a genuine European Parliament requires fundamental reforms of its prerogatives, voting system and nature of Representatives so that the people of Europe anymore refrains in his great majority to vote during the European elections. It is not clear that the Member States wish to create a truly authentic European Parliament which would make them lose some of their prerogatives.
2-CATEGORIAL ANALYSIS OF THE SIGNATORIES OF THE STATEMENT OF THE
In the following analysis, we will utilize the name of countries to only refer to the member of the European Parliament (referred also as MEP or MEPs) of these countries for convenience purpose.
These MEPs act according to their personal beliefs and often without referring to a group discipline and do not represent the official position of their countries. See Appendices 11 and 12.
2.1 - GERMANY - 99 members - 23 Signatories
The conduct of the MEPs of this country, which has lived at the heart of the experiences of Nazism and Communism (GDR) has a fundamental meaning and constitutes should have been a guiding reference for the other MEPs.
German MEPs had a wise and responsible behavior:
- 76 out of the 99 German deputies did not sign the Statement of 23 September 2008.
- 19 of the 23 SPD MEPs did not sign the Statement.
- 11 of the 13 Greens MEPs did not sign it either.
Only 23 MEPs out of which 17 were from the right Wing, signed the Statement.
2.2-EASTERN COUNTRIES- 204 MEPs OUT OF 732 AND 150 SIGNATORIES
150 deputies out of 204 or 73.5% of MEPs of Eastern Europe have signed the Statement, regardless of its wording that goes beyond the crimes of communist regimes by reclassifying the crimes of Nazism. This statement ranks at the same level Communism and Nazism and may encourage the excesses already noticed in the eastern countries.
Members of Eastern European countries had a "strategic" interest in signing the statement and probably neglect the historical references.
They accounted for 36.7% of all signatories. However it should be noted that 20 out of the 150 MEPs were Eurosceptics and 75% of these Eurosceptics are Polish citizens. Polish voters turned their backs on Europe in 2009 by failing to vote to 83%.
2.3-The vast majority of the 409 signatories was not reelected in 2009
226 members out of the 409 MEPs who signed the declaration, or 55.25% of them who were part of the 6th Parliament, were not reelected to the 7th parliament, a few months after this Statement.
2.4-THE EXTREME RIGHT AND EUROSCEPTICS
59 MPEs or 14.4% of them were hostile to the European Union - (Eurosceptics). 49 of these 59 deputies were not re-elected in 2009 or 83%.
2.5-SIGNATORIES STILL IN THE PARLIAMENT TODAY
Today only 183 the signatories are stil MEPs out of the 409,i.e. only 24.8% of the current Parliament out of which 10 Eurosceptics.
2.6-PROGRESSIVE ALLIANCE OF SOCIALISTS AND DEMOCRATS - 200 members in
2004 with 128 signatories - 184 Members in 2009
Unexpectedly, given the right-wing ideology that inspired the Statement and the revision of Nazi crimes, 128 signatories or 31.2% of the total, were members of the progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats.
64% of MEPs of the Democrat and Socialist Group signed therefore, a rightist Statement in our opinion.
However, 35 MEPs were from Eastern countries and have probably voted in priority for a condemnation of crimes of the communist regimes before any other considerations and 19 were members of the British Labour Party whose policy is in our opinion close to that of the French moderate right wing.
It should be noted that most of the fall of the progressive alliance of Socialists and Democrats is due to the stinging electoral defeat of the French Socialist Party in the European Elections.
2.7-THE FRENCH SOCIALIST PARTY -32 MEPs in 2004 - 13 signatories and 14 MEPs in
Among the 128 members of the group Socialists and Democrats, 13 were members from the French Socialist Party representing 40% of the French Socialist Party MEPs. 8 of these 13 MEPs were not re-elected to the 7th Parliament.
The important question that emerges is that of a tradition of absence of group discipline in the European Parliament. This lack of discipline contradicts the vote by list, which allows candidates to be elected simply because they rank favorably on the group lists.
The question of group discipline must be reviewed because it should permit in our view, to overcome the possible lack of experience, attention, time or insight of any MEP.
The motivations of French Socialist MEPs signatories remain difficult to understand, we could think of a desire to mark a distance with the Communist Party or a willingness to support to victims of communist regimes without worrying about the harm done to the victims of Nazism as a result of the one sided ideological wording of this Statement.
The French Socialist Party has lost 19 of its 32 MEPs from 32 MEPs to 14 only in 2009. The bulk of the fall of the progressive alliance of Socialists and Democrats is due to the stinging European electoral defeat of the French Socialist Party.
Among the causes of this decline we may include in our view the general discrediting of the European Parliament which has only attracted 40.5% of citizens in elections in France and 43% in Europe against 60.7% in the first election in France and 63% in Europe, the limited role of MEPs and a reputation to improve.
2.8-The United Left
The European United Left did not sign the declaration with the exception of Finnish MEP who was not reelected.