The true face of fascism

Juvenile and other immature males seem to have a morbid fascination with fascism, or rather with the trappings of fascism: uniforms, flags, marching, and of course shouting and threatening. But they are only trappings. There’s more to fascism than that.

In various European countries where “normal” capitalism is collapsing, fascism—the naked rule of capital, without bourgeois democracy, or bourgeois decency—is being cultivated, to stave off the inevitable. And now we see the beginnings of this in Ireland.

To organise those mostly working-class or unemployed people who feel no hope and, through no fault of their own, see no alternative (and the establishment and the media make sure they don’t), scapegoats must be found. In other countries and times it might be different racial or national identity, or religious beliefs; today it might be anti-vaccination and other ignorant ideologies. It doesn’t much matter, because the substance is the same, and the externals are only a trap for the unwary.

Fascists fish in muddy waters. Any grievance will do—so long as it’s not a grievance against capitalism. But behind the scenes there are those who know precisely what they’re doing, aided by so-called journalists, greedy for novelty and quite prepared to give the “oxygen of publicity” to the most appalling anti-social activities.

Between 1940 and 1945 about 1¼ million people, including a quarter of a million children, were slaughtered at Oświęcim in Poland (called Auschwitz by the Germans). When the Red Army liberated the camp in 1945 they found that the fascists, with notorious German efficiency, had kept detailed records of their victims, including biographical information, and photographs. So, thanks to German efficiency, we know who the girl in this photograph is.

Her name is Czesława Kwoka. She is Polish, and she is fourteen years old.

On 12 March 1943 this beautiful child was dead—murdered by German doctors, three weeks after her mother, probably with an injection of phenol into her heart.

Challenge any fool who is flirting with fascist ideology to look into this girl’s eyes. She is terrified, obviously. Her hair has been crudely cropped. Her face is dirty, probably from crying, and she has cuts round her mouth, having just been beaten with a stick by a female kapo (trusty). This is known from an eye-witness account.

But mainly she’s baffled. Why am I here? What’s happening to me? I don’t understand. She’s here because she’s Polish, and because German fascists had chosen Slavic nationality as one of their scapegoats. It could be any other formula to create a false enemy. Today it might be immigrants, or doctors who carry out vaccination, next month maybe people with red hair. Almost anything will do.

John Waters, Gemma O’Doherty and Dolores Cahill may be fools; but they’re culpable fools. And Justin Barrett is worse than a fool, for his infatuation with German fascism is explicit, revealed by his attendance at rallies of a German Nazi party and its youth wing in 1999 and 2000. These people know what they’re doing. They’re opening doors for further horrors in the future.

They must be stopped.