Golden Dawn and the Heart of Darkness

August 17, 1944

August 17, 1944

The emergence of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn has been highlighted again by a recent attack on a school for migrants in the Kokkinia district of Pireus. They deliver a  toxic cocktail of messages of hate coupled with violance and acts of terror on communities they seek to subjugate.  Vandals broke into the school causing damage and leaving messages of hate and claiming responsibility on behalf of Golden Dawn. For many Greeks these violent acts in a proud working class district of the Pireus port town were a horrible reminder of fascist atrocities committed 70 years earlier in Kokkinia.

The “Kokkinia Blockade” is remembered as a tragedy for Kokkinia, where mass executions were carried out in the region by the occupying fascist troops of Germany.

Around 3am Thursday, August 17, 1944, dozens of hiking and motorized divisions of the German army with Greek Nazi collaborationists invaded and surrounded Kokkinia. In the early morning hours, the Nazi collaborationists demanded men aged 14-60 years old to appear in the main square (plaza Osias Ksenis) to be controlled.

 Then, the Germans invaded homes and those found there or in the surrounding neighborhoods, were executed on the spot.  After a few hours around 20,000 people were in the square and the collaborationists (wearing hoods not to be recognized) indicated to the Nazis the Greek patriots.  They were led to the junkyard of Nikaia (a few blocks away from the square) and after being charged as communists they were executed.  Along with the mass executions, the Germans pillaged and burned dozens of homes.  At the end of the day thousands of corpses were transferred and buried in the Third Cemetery of Nikaia, and about 8,000 Kokkiniotes were taken as hostages and held at the Haidari camp.

Immediately after the attack on the Piraeus Open Immigrant School (OPEN SCHOOL), Syriza’s Piraeus Chapter released the following statement in condemnation and seeking a broad based resistance to the violent threat posed by Golden Dawn. 

It is imperative to put an end to the criminal action of the Neonazi group in the working class neighborhoods of Piraeus.  

On the eve of the remembrance day of the “Kokkinia Blockade”, the political descendants of the Nazi collaborationists decided to “celebrate” the anniversary with yet another racist attack.  This time, the target of the Neonazi assassins of Golden Dawn was the OPEN SCHOOL.  During the evenings of 14th to 15th of August, they vandalized the building where the OPEN SCHOOL is housed, as well as the 14th High School of Piraeus in Palia Kokkinia.  They broke down iron bars, destroyed windows and tried to steal electronic equipment from the school.

 They painted the walls of the classes where our children live and study daily by signing “GOLDEN DAWN-YOUTH BLOCK”.  All these just one day before the “Kokkinia Blockade” anniversary!

 In Kokkinia, the neighborhood of refugees and of working class and antifascist battles, the vandalism and terrorism of the Neonazi will not be tolerated!

 The schools, the streets, the squares and the public space of this city belong to all citizens, irrespective of their race or origin, to the workers, the unemployed, the youth and not to the Neonazi gangs that are trying to spread hatred and convince them that the crisis has been caused by the immigrants, thereby supporting in the most outrageous way the policies of the Samaras-Venizelos government that have impoverished the Greek people.

 We support the OPEN SCHOOL and those who have volunteered to create it: we support its 10 year solidarity action and contribution to education and culture;  a contribution that has been recognized by the society of Kokkinia, Piraeus and more broadly.

 It is imperative to put an end to the criminal action of the Neonazi group in the working class neighborhoods of Piraeus.

 We call every democratic citizen to join a broad anti-fascist block in order to continue to fight for neighborhoods of solidarity and coexistence with no place for hatred and intolerance, for the struggling people of Kokkinia and Piraeus, for every worker and unemployed, for a better life for all of us

 Kokkinia knows well about immigration- Oust The Fascists From Our Neighborhoods-Fascism Never Again.” 

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