Chilling resurgence

February 2, 2012

This may be the twentyfirst century but little has changed in parts of Europe, where antisemitism has returned to the mainstream.

In Hungary, Jew-haters are closing in on government. Jobbik, the third-largest party in parliament and tipped to take many more seats in a future election, spouts rhetoric that could have come from the Third Reich. The Lithuanian Foreign Minister has attacked parliamentarians who signed the Wannsee Declaration on the Holocaust. In Austria, the head of the Freedom Party, Heinz-Christian Strache, claimed on Holocaust Memorial Day that the country's far-right was being "persecuted" in the same way as the Jews on Kristallnacht.

And in Germany, the Bundestag was presented with a government-sponsored survey showing that one in five Germans had antisemitic views.

The resurfacing of such brazen and widespread Jew-hatred is chilling, not least because there is every reason to think that these examples are the start of a deepening trend. That they should surface at the very time the world remembers the Holocaust adds an added piquancy to a disturbing - to say the least - resurgence in antisemitism. With economic misery set to worsen, the omens are worrying.

Last updated: 11:59am, February 2 2012