SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — The World Jewish Congress is voicing concern about the rise of far-right activities across Europe attempting to promote anti-Semitism, hatred, xenophobia, and Nazi glorification among young people.
The organization's CEO, Robert Singer, said in a statement that "it is absolutely abhorrent that in 2019 in Europe, the very place in which the Nazis attempted to wipe out the entire population of Jewish men, women, and children, far-rightists continue to parade unfettered through the streets with swastikas, SS symbols, and messages of hatred for Jews and other minorities."
He pointed at the annual Lukov March, to be held this weekend in Sofia, Bulgaria. Staged by the far-right Bulgarian National Union, it attracts hundreds of Bulgarian and nationalist supporters from other European countries who march through the country's capital to honor a World War II general known for his anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi activities.
The Sofia municipality has banned the rally, but the organizers have secured a court order overturning the ban.
"If this were just an isolated phenomenon, reserved for a single city or country, the repercussions would already be extremely worrisome," Singer said, adding that similar events are allowed to take place in Sweden, Poland, Germany, and many other countries, "where Nazism is still and continuously exalted to the detriment and disservice of all."
"We urge governments across Europe to prioritize the introduction of administrative bans against such marches. This is not just a problem of the Jewish communities, but of European citizens and governments at large," Singer said.