Blog: The deceiving paradox of far-right politics

No Slav can stand with Hitler, writes NGO founder and author Zuzana Palovic.

Zuzana PalovicZuzana Palovic (Source: Courtesy of Z. Palovic)

One of the greatest challenges we face in life is learning how to discern ‘truth’ from a ‘lie’. I realized just how challenging this was when speaking to over 2,000 Slovaks students across 22 schools with Gabriela Bereghazyova this fall. Most of the schools we spoke at were in eastern Slovakia, and many of the students were, to our surprise, supporters of parties reminiscent of the neo-Nazi movement.

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I wanted to understand what was so attractive about a politician that celebrates Hitler and wants to isolate Slovakia from the world. What I discovered in those far-right supporters was not a personal sympathy for the values of the Third Reich, but rather a desperate desire to have somebody to look up to in life. Somebody. Anybody that provided some semblance of masculine authority, decisiveness, firm direction, protection, purpose and pride.

Deceptive validation

On the surface, the speeches of far-right parties are aimed at giving power back to the powerless. These politicians present themselves as men of the people, messiahs, so to speak, who have returned to protect the interests of the ordinary and hardworking Slovaks - a people made victim (according to their perspective) to an onslaught of other-interests groups, be it the Americans and the Jews, the Muslims and the EU Liberals, or the rich domestic oligarchs and their puppet politicians.

But, when I looked deeper, I can see that these sweet promises of a better future and quick thoughtless solutions (it’s somebody else’s fault, not ours) have a much darker underbelly.

The majority of far-right supporters do feel victimised by neo-liberalism. They feel their traditional way of life is being eroded, and they want their culture and religion acknowledged and protected. They also feel trapped in the cycle of poverty, earning a salary of 500 euros a month, with no way to live a decent life – and with no way out. As a result, they are attracted to powerful and authoritarian images.

Historical amnesia

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During World War II, the Slovak State directly contributed to the deportation, disposition and murder of the majority of its Jewish population (70,000 Slovak Jews perished out of a total population of 90,000). Our country’s 41-year experiment with communism saw cruel and unjust crimes sanctioned by the state. Nuns, priests and civilians were murdered, while a surveillance state was established that saw neighbors reporting on neighbors, and a quarter of a million Czechoslovaks imprisoned under false accusations for fabricated political crimes.

I cannot comprehend how politicians who proclaim themselves as proud Slavs can dare to wear a single Nazi-reminiscent symbol. Hitler openly expressed his strong contempt for Slavs, stating Slavs were “a mass of born slaves who feel the need of a master".

Some 6 million Jews died as a result of the Holocaust, but some 35 million Slavs died too, the majority of which were civilians, which is why some people also refer to WWII as a Slavic Genocide. The Nazi agenda in ‘Generalplan Ost’ was to exterminate the Slavic population, while enslaving the rest, to make way for millions of Germans to enter Eastern Europe and colonise it.

How can we discern ‘truth’ from a ‘lie’ and ‘reality’ from a ’facade ’ in a world where so many lie to us to secure their own hidden agenda? It is your sovereignty and birthright to choose what is best for you, but if I can make one suggestion, it is to listen to not only the words that are being said, but to the meaning and possible motives behind them.

Falling prey to words

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I would like to end by expressing my great respect for the men and women that uphold the sanity and sanctity of our culture, by steering us away from lies and towards greater truth by bravely sharing their life stories. Thank you to the truly noble and heroic Holocaust survivor Mrs Eva Mosnakova for living this mission.

To learn more about her work please click on the video below:

Zuzana Palovic PhD is a three-time published author, Central & Eastern Europe and Migration Expert and Founder of the NGO Global Slovakia.

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