The Greek Justice (?)
Posted by Abravanel, the Blog στο 10/11/2007
Books questioning the Shoah or downright racist are free to circulate and enjoy a high popularity even in mainstream bookshops. This includes books that are proven literary forgeries like the infamous «The Protocols of the Elders of Zion» that do not only circulate freely but are fiercely defended by the totality of the greek publishers and society.
So when well known nazi-admirer and TV figure Mr.Plevris published a book called «Jews, the whole truth» where he openly expressed his admiration for Hitler there was no shock. But what really distinguished him was not only his questioning of the Shoah but his open support for the extermination of the jews which, as far as he was concerned, it should have been more effective. Or else to put it in his own words:
«unfortunately the Nazis chose to move the Jews away from Europe, when in my opinion, they should have killed them, because this is the behavior towards those who desire world domination.»
P. 742: ‘That’s what Jews want. It’s the only thing they understand: an execution squad within 24 hours’
P. 269: ‘Every Greek, every person who is aware of the subversion carried out by Jewish Zionism, should act on his own as an individual and mobilize himself against Jews. Initially he needs to do the following:…
…Wherever intervention by Jews is noted he should foil it by denouncing it and then take whatever action is necessary.
P. 778: ‘The only way Jews can find salvation is for them to stop dreaming of ruling the world… Otherwise their annihilation will be complete and for all. At most a few thousand will remain and they will snip their little willies and wait for their Jehovah’.
P. 852: ‘Hitler was blamed for something that did not actually take place. Later the history of humanity will blame him for not ridding Europe of the Jews, though he could have… My dear Jews, I do not ask you to suffer all the things that your holy books tell you that we should suffer from you… You are criminals because that is what your religion has taught you to be. You are murderers because crime is instilled in you from an early age. Therefore we others have the right to deal with you. And that is what we will do’.
Phrases like this forced a group of greek christians and greek jews to file a complaint against him for advocating racist violence. A law suit which was accepted as legitimate by an Athens Appeals Judicial Council because “The appellant’s argument that his writings are an expression of opinion is unfounded because in fact he is inciting the readership, especially the Greek one, to mobilize against Jews (that is to hate, discriminate against, or use violence against them), whom the appellant characterizes indiscriminately as subhuman, deserving extinction, enemies of the Greek people and of Europe in general, praising at the same time the Nazis and SS’s criminal actions against the Jews.”
One thing that Greek Jewry and the Human Rights Organizations did not certainly expect was how the trial turned into a true farce. A court openly anti-jewish which was not only sympathetic to the defendant but downright hostile towards the witnesses for the prosecution. A court which rejected all greek jewish witnesses as not having legal interest in the case, as if it concerned some uncertain entity and not people in blood and flesh! A court who’s Prosecutor was so favorable to Plevris that he arrived to declare as «scientific work» his book! Even when this scandal came to light through a newspaper article, a complete silence roared deafeningly since no political party, public figure or academic rose to protest agaist the state of the Greek Justice.
What follows is the english translation of the bulletin by the Greek Helsinki Monitor, a greek NGO for human rights, which was actively involved in the law suit. Among else it includes selected excerpts from the trial which document the prejudice of the judges who arrived to defend themselves the defendant instead of letting his lawyers!
Link to the AntiNazi Initiative which covers broadly the trial: http://www.antinazi.gr/ (english and greek)
Link to Greek Helsinki Monitor: http://cm.greekhelsinki.gr/
Δίκη Πλεύρη – Ελεύθερου Κόσμου για αντισημιτισμό στις 5-9 – Εκπρόσωπος ΛΑΟΣ στηρίζει Πλεύρη
Ενημέρωση και ανασκευή ανακριβειών για δίκη Πλεύρη – «Ελεύθερου Κόσμου» για αντισημιτισμό στις 5-9
Τρεις δίκες ακροδεξιού «Ελεύθερου Κόσμου» για αντισημιτικά και αντι-τσιγγάνικα κείμενα
Ψέματα Άδωνι Γεωργιάδη για βιβλίο Κώστα Πλεύρη και αντισημιτισμό
69η Ημέρα Μνήμης της «Νύχτας Κρυστάλλων» και αντιεβραϊκή δίκη στην Αθήνα
Link to DeviousDiva who hosted an article on the International Day Against Fascism and Anti-Semitism and also hosts the bulletin by the GHM: http://deviousdiva.com/2007/11/09/remember
Link to touki8eblom‘s blog’s who at the bottom of the page has a cartoon which depicts my view perfectly: http://tuki8eblom.blogspot.com
It is noteworthy, though it hardly appears surprising, the fact that the populist, antisemitic party of LAOS appeared closely linked to this book. LAOS deputy Adonis Georgiadis openly praised the book in various TV shows while the son of Plevris was also elected as a deputy for the LAOS party, though later LAOS tried to disassociate itself from the «dangerous» Plevris. For the record the team of liberal journalists of IOS Press have dealt extensively with both Plevris book and it’s links to LAOS; for more info try clicking (in greek):
UPDATE: Link to Jungle-Report, a greek-language blog posting about this: http://jungle-report.blogspot.com/2007/11/blog-post_09.html
The Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM), on the occasion of tomorrow’s International Day Against Fascism and Anti-Semitism in commemoration of Kristallnacht (9 November 1938), notes “the unprecedented for Greek justice anti-Jewish climate that prevailed in the [11 September 2007] trial of the self-proclaimed anti-Semite Kostas Plevris, author of the racist book ‘The Jews: The whole Truth’ (1,400 pages), mainly because of the attitude of the prosecutor, who did not think twice before calling the neo-Nazi book ‘scholarly work.’ In the anti-Jewish climate prevailing at the trial, there was an indirect contribution of the presiding judge of the court, who was apologetic towards the defendant for the delay in the trial procedure and in consequence in the issuing of the verdict! The prosecutor was also disdainful towards the first prosecution witness [Anna Stai, President of the Anti-Nazi Initiative], whose arguments he tried to refute himself rather than letting the defendant’s lawyers do that!”
These are comments of the President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) Moses Konstantinis, in the September 2007 issue of the KIS newsletter “Ta Nea mas” (“Our news”), translated in English by GHM. GHM appends characteristic excerpts from that trial, which document the comments of the KIS President. It is reminded that defendants Kostas Plevris and “Eleftheros Kosmos” (a neo-Nazi weekly) were referred to trial on the basis of the indictment by Deputy Athens Appeals Prosecutor Spyridon Mouzakitis (available at the webpage http://cm.greekhelsinki.gr/index.php?sec=194&cid=3176), confirmed by an Athens Appeals Judicial Council, when it rejected (decision 1817/2007) K. Plevris’ appeal against the indictment: “The appellant’s argument that his writings are an expression of opinion is unfounded because in fact he is inciting the readership, especially the Greek one, to mobilize against Jews (that is to hate, discriminate against, or use violence against them), whom the appellant characterizes indiscriminately as subhuman, deserving extinction, enemies of the Greek people and of Europe in general, praising at the same time the Nazis and SS’s criminal actions against the Jews.”
GHM notes that, even after the publication of documented articles about what was said in that trial, on 12 September 2007, in the large circulation dailies “Ta Nea” (“Racism is ‘scholarly work!’ Uproar with the prosecutor’s attitude towards K. Plevris’ book on the Jews” at http://www.tanea.gr/article.aspx?d=20070912&nid=5962628) and “Eleftherotypia” (“Plevris on the carpet” at http://www.enet.gr/online/online_print?id=42961328), there was not a single institution –political, scholarly, legal, journalistic, human rights, or other- that even whispered a condemnation of the anti-Jewish attitude of these judicial officials.
It was thus proved once again that tolerance of anti-Semitism (and of other forms of racism) is widespread in Greece. It was also proved that the various “anti-racist activists” act only within “limits.” These limits almost always do not include fighting racism against the Jews (and against ethnic and national minorities). This is why, within the EU, Greece and Greek society enjoys indeed a unique position (of discord)…
Prosecutor Leonidas Lazarakos:
There is Plevris, there are also A, B, C, X, Y, Z, who have opposing opinions, sister! And they want to express them. So, will we reach the level of those ludicrous decisions taken in foreign courts to accuse and condemn historians, who have denied the Holocaust? They deny it! That’s their right! So, let the others, the historians come out and say “gentlemen you are wrong. You are frauds of science. What you say isn’t true. And that the Holocaust did happen for this, that or the other reason. Here is the evidence. Here are our sources. Mr. Plevris cites a bibliography. He has quoted from bibliography. By this I mean to conclude that his work is of a scholarly nature. The entire spirit of your testimony, which concerns me, is that you deny the scholarly nature of his work. (…)
Prosecutor: We have said many times that democracy is a very good political system but it has an inherent weakness. It permits everyone to express his opinions. Therefore, the fascist and the national socialist also have the right to express their opinions. Right? (…)
Prosecutor: Whether Hitler did good or evil, global humanity, global humanity has said he did evil. Mr. Plevris has the right to say that he did good. Why should we deprive him of that? (…)
Prosecutor: The Jews…the Jews, has anyone condemned them and persecuted them for their ideas? If Hitler did do that, everyone has condemned him. As global humanity. When Jews say “we are the chosen people on earth” has anyone filed a complaint against them? (…)
Prosecutor: These two things emerge as conclusions. Because you are not evaluating his work in a scholarly manner. This is what concerns us here. Plevris is a scholar! Whether we like Plevris as a scholar… this is a question of criticism, it’s not a question of tossing him in the dungeon. (…)
Prosecutor: But [Plevris’ book] is a scholarly manual. (…)
Prosecutor: Do you, as an anti-Nazi, have the right to write a book against the Nazis?
Witness Anna Stai (President of the “Anti-Nazi Initiative”): I have an obligation to write a book against the Nazis.
Prosecutor: Fine. Fine. In your opinion, you have an obligation. And Plevris, in his opinion, has the obligation to write what he wants. Now, would you want a Nazi court to try you and convict you? Or a Nazi state? (…)
Prosecutor: Look here madam. Let me explain something to you: The court is tolerating you. I, myself, cannot tolerate you! If you continue in this fashion I will order your arrest and detention! (…)
Presiding Judge of the Three-Member Appeals Court Efrosyni Tselehovitou: Well, let me tell you something. In your effort here to support your positions, you or others, I don’t know who, try not to be picturesque. Is it an expression “Hitler is his boss”? “Which Hitler”? Is there a Hitler so you can call him “boss”? (…)
Presiding Judge: No madam! The books are not on trial!
Stai: Those “ideas” are on trial…
Presiding Judge: Nor are ideas on trial! (…)
Presiding Judge: Madam, let me ask you something. This is irrelevant to these proceedings. Is the need such here that you have to have an anti-Nazi organization? (…)
Kostas Plevris: Yes. And a question. Do you approve that [the Jews] gave an image to the Ministry of Culture, this one here [approaches Stai and shows her an illustration in his book] with Christ deformed (…) what page is it, what page is it?
Prosecutor: Which page is that on? Which page?
Kostas Plevris: page 194. Look here! The Jews gave it! The Jews gave a painting…
Presiding Judge: Don’t give me a speech. Ask a question.
Kostas Plevris: Did you know that the Jews gave a painting to the Ministry of Culture, which depicts a Jewish penis with a circumcision ejaculating on the Cross? I have it in here. Do you want to see it? Do you approve of that?
Prosecutor: Which page did you say that was on?
Kostas Plevris: The Jews gave it [to them] and got 175 million. Here you are, Mr. Prosecutor! Here it is!
Prosecutor: 194? Tell me what page! I’ll find it, I’ll find it.
Kostas Plevris: And did [Archbishop] Christodoulos protest? And didn’t they insult him?
Prosecutor: Well!…What would they have done? Wouldn’t they have insulted him?
GHM note: The painting in question “Asperges Me”, by Belgian (non-Jewish) artist Thierry de Cordier, was exhibited in the International Art Exhibition OUTLOOK, an event of the Cultural Olympiad (an initiative of the Ministry of Culture) for the Olympic Games of Athens 2004, curated by Christos Joachimides (also non-Jewish). Six weeks into the exhibition, a supporter of the extreme right LAOS party happened to see the painting and informed George Karatzaferis, the party leader, who in turn demanded the painting be removed from the exhibition. Former conservative party New Democracy leader Miltiadis Evert also asked for the removal. Minister of Culture Evangelos Venizelos and the board of the Cultural Olympiad asked that the painting be taken down. Exhibition curator Christos M. Joachimides complied with the request and removed the work on 10 December 2003. The story is actually mentioned in page 157 of the first edition of the book
Presiding Judge: Can you tell me, can this book…
Irene Koutelou (Member of the Anti-Nazi Initiative): About violence. Let me tell you something about violence. You can also “rid” your life of the Jew by burning him, say. You can bust up his shop, like what happened on Kristallnacht under Hitler.
Presiding Judge: Look here. You’re drawing parallels that are to the say the least… silly.
Koutelou: We aren’t drawing the parallels. It’s not us who are doing that.
Presiding Judge: You’re saying Kristallnacht with Plevris.
Koutelou: Yes, Kristallnacht, which he approves of. Mr. Plevris approves of it. (…)
Prosecutor: Because he’s a little heated in his writing?
Koutelou: You can’t be “a little heated” in your writing when you say that “unfortunately the Nazis chose to move the Jews away from Europe, when in my opinion, they should have killed them, because this is the behavior towards those who desire world domination.” This, in my opinion, is not being “heated”. Just as you are not being “heated” when you say that supposedly they went to the ovens and supposedly then went to the gas chambers…
Prosecutor: Why not? He is questioning these events! Isn’t that his right?
Koutelou: It is not his right to question these events…
Prosecutor: Why not?? Why not???
Koutelou: Because the Holocaust is recognized by all of humanity and of the basis of this recognition of the Holocaust…
Prosecutor: Madam, one moment! One moment! Here we have a misunderstanding.
Koutelou: … by the Greek state, this law was enacted on the basis of which [Plevris] is being tried.
Prosecutor: The law against racial discrimination was enacted for the Jews and their Holocaust??? Are you speaking seriously????
Koutelou: Certainly. Yes, yes. It was enacted on the basis of the Convention…
Prosecutor: Are you speaking seriously???
Prosecutor: Are you speaking seriously????
Koutelou: It was one of the reasons why it was enacted.
Prosecutor: What are you talking about madam??? What are you talking about???
Koutelou: Certainly! Certainly! (…)
Prosecutor: Why? Was there any danger? What I want to make you understand is that there was no danger to Jews in Greece, and for this reason it was not possible for this law to have been enacted for the Jews and the Holocaust.
Koutelou: But there was…
Prosecutor: In 1979 everyone was unsuspecting about the Holocaust. Now, in the past 2 years, there have been some…things in Europe and, in France and Germany, there have been some court convictions, on the basis of some laws of questionable constitutionality. And there have been…
Koutelou: So it doesn’t happen again [meaning the Holocaust]. So it doesn’t happen
Prosecutor: …appeals to the European Court and we’ll see what the European Court will say.
Koutelou: So it doesn’t happen again. When it does happen again, the law will be meaningless.
Prosecutor: Listen, madam. So it doesn’t happen again… Oh! Meaning this is the mentality of Nasreddin Hoca. Right? So you don’t break the vase – Hoca says to his son – I’ll beat you in advance so you’ll be careful!
Koutelou: No, that’s not it at all! It’s nothing like that!
Prosecutor: This is what you’re saying to me.
Koutelou: When you condone a crime, when you say that the Holocaust didn’t happen and you say that to….
Prosecutor: He is not condoning a crime here!!
Koutelou: He is condoning it because he says, “it should have happened! It didn’t happen but it should have.”
Prosecutor: Listen. Let’s start from what you’re saying: He is denying the Holocaust. It’s his right to deny it. Some other historian will come along and take him on in a scholarly way. He’ll say, “Sir, you are wrong for this and that reason.”
Koutelou: Throughout Europe the right to deny the Holocaust is being denied because…
Prosecutor: What did you say??? It’s being denied???? Are you speaking seriously madam???
Prosecutor: Madam, if you want to know, the objective of Law 927/79 was to protect the Gypsies, who had suffered from what you are talking about. They weren’t allowed into shops; they weren’t issued boat tickets; or allowed on ships; they weren’t allowed in cafés; shopkeepers refused to sell them jackets, trousers, shirts; for these reasons, if you want to look more deeply into the matter…
Prosecutor: Here, all sorts of perverts and junkies are running around, and all the muddleheaded intellectuals and progressives come out saying: “Oh! The right to diversity. Oh!! The right to [free] expression.” And everyone says: Fine and well!