New York, NY, May 15, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today reiterated its concerns about the emerging role of a neo-Nazi party in Greece, following remarks by a party leader who questioned whether the Holocaust actually happened and asked an interviewer: "What Auschwitz? Were you there?"
In a televised interview on Sunday, Nikos Michaloliakos, the head of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, said there were no gas chambers or crematoria in Auschwitz and the number of six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust was "an overestimation which was made up." Golden Dawn won 7 percent in the first round of elections earlier this month in Greece, with enough votes to earn seats in parliament.
"With the announcement of the necessity for a new round of elections, the Greek people should be fully aware that a vote for Golden Dawn is a vote for Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor. "The voters, who gave this extremist party 7 percent in the first round -- perhaps in part as a protest vote -- should examine their conscience and realize they voted for the party of 'What Auschwitz?'"
Mr. Foxman added, "We welcome the Greek government's immediate and unconditional condemnation of Michaloliakos' statements, and encourage all political, civil society, and religious leaders to add their voices."
The League had previously called on Greek President Karolos Papoulias not to appoint any Golden Dawn members to any government posts, regardless of any future coalition agreements.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.