Last weekend, around 10,000 people gathered in a field near the town of Bleiburg in southern Austria for what the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance calls the “largest regular neo-Nazi rally” in Europe. Hitler salutes, racist flags and slogans were common. Kids ran around with fascist slogans on their T-shirts. Featured guests gave speeches defending fascism.
Efraim Zuroff, the Eastern Europe director for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, called the event “an affront to the memory of Holocaust victims.”
But the most surprising part of this event may be the identity of its organizer: the Croatian Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church.
What is the Catholic Church doing organizing a neo-Nazi rally? A look at history points to the answer. Continue reading