Neo-Nazi Sworn in as Greek Lawmaker
The Greek Jewish community in a letter to political leaders and the country’s president expressed its “revulsion” to the swearing-in of an anti-Semitic musician as a national lawmaker.
Artemios Mathaiopoulos of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party took the oath as a member of the Greek Parliament on Wednesday. He replaces another member of the party who resigned.
“This composer of hate lyrics that praise Auschwitz, offends the memory of the six million Jewish victims of Nazism – of whom 65,000 were Greek Jews – also offends thousands of their Christian fellow Greek citizens and vulgarly trivializes Jews and their sacred places, is now a member of the Greek Parliament,” said the letter from the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece sent Thursday.
The Jewish community took particular exception to Mathaiopoulos, who was a bass player in a hard rock Greek band called Pogrom, which has a “repertoire of fiercely racist, fascist, vulgar and anti-Semitic songs,” the lettter said, noting that a song titled “Auschwitz,” has lyrics like “f*| Anne Frank”, “f*| the tribe of Abraham” and “piss on the Wailing Wall.”
The letter asked President Karolos Papoulias to take “all necessary measures to keep those who extol Nazism out of the mainstream of our country’s political and social life.”
Golden Dawn, which features a Nazi swastika-like flag and has a Holocaust-denying leader, swept into parliament with 19 lawmakers in recent elections campaigning on an anti-austerity, anti-immigrant platform.