Golden Dawn leader denies gas chambers of Holocaust

By Jennifer Lipman, May 15, 2012
Nikolaos Mihaloliakos

Nikolaos Mihaloliakos

The leader of the neo-fascist party that won seats in the Greek parliament for the first time earlier this month has denied some of the fundamental facts of the Holocaust.

Golden Dawn, which now claims 21 parliamentarians and whose members are known for giving Nazi salutes and for their staunchly anti-immigrant stance, is led by Nikolaos Mihaloliakos. According to Reuters Mr Mihaloliakos told an interviewer on Sunday that he did not believe that six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis. He described the figure as an "exaggeration".

He said: "There were no ovens, this is a lie ... there were no gas chambers either."

Holocaust denial is not illegal in Greece, but a government spokesman said he categorically condemned Mr Mihaloliakos's remarks.

"They distort history and offend the memory of millions of Holocaust victims," said Pantelis Kapsis.

Golden Dawn's success has sent shockwaves around Greece's Jewish community, which is estimated to include several thousand people. The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece called it a "serious blow" to Greek democracy.

Supporters of the Party were left unable to access its website on Monday, after the blog host WordPress removed the Golden Dawn page because of a "violation" of its terms of service.

Last updated: 1:09pm, June 14 2012