Italics – Brexit and Nazis

italicsBy Daniela Gross

In addition to Brexit, let’s speak about the ​return of the Nazis. The founder of Il Fatto Quotidiano Antonio Padellaro urged readers, last Sunday, not to limit their focus on the English upheaval. As he was writing, the UK’s EU referendum was yet to be voted, but, in any case, his call sounds both imperative and worrying.

The relation​ship​ between Brexit and Nazism is closer that it might ​seem. First of all, as Padellaro reminded, the man who murdered the British Labour Party politician Jo Cox is supposedly a sympathizer with neo-Nazi groups hostile to Europe and supporters of apartheid. Next, while this tragedy was hitting the UK “in France hordes of Russians, Croatians, English, and Germans were devastating cities and stadiums during the European cup: divided by football, but united by Nazi symbols and by xenophobe slogans.”

“The Nazi offensive is able to camouflage ​itself ​ through the mesh of democracy – he wrote – as demonstrated by the electoral progress of extreme right parties in Austria and Germany, not to mention that sincere admirers (even in double-breasted suits) of the swastika hold government positions in Hungary and Poland.”

The point, he stresses, is that “Nazis are coming back, although Europe pretends not to notice it, as if denying a bad skin disease would be enough to hide it.” This new Nazism is “isolationist, fights immigration and aims ​at dissolving the European Union.” This is even more worrying when we think that some of these positions echo in Donald’s Trump presidential campaign. The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union does not make this complex situation easier to tackle, but causes it to become even more urgent and unavoidable.