(Reading time:9 mins.)
(Translated from Publico report by Danilo Albin and with comment by D.Breatnach)
A few days before Nazi bookseller Pedro Varela’s date for trial in Malaga for the continued crime of provoking hatred and discrimination, the Hitlerite activist gave a talk in which he called for founding “cells of Christian, white, and European men.”
The audience listened in silence. On stage was Pedro Varela, the great leader of Spanish neo-Nazis and one of the few Hitlerites tried in Spain for spreading genocidal ideas.1
It was the morning of Sunday, November 6, there were a few days left before another trial for spreading hate and Varela, in his usual style, had not planned to move an inch from his script.
“You go down a street in Madrid or Barcelona and you see black boys, handsome, tall, stocky, who measure 1.90. They are going to be the owners of the situation and the owners of the country. Do you think they are going to pay your pensions?”2
That was one of the statements made by the owner of Librería Europa during the conference held that day, according to a video that has just seen the light.
The Nazi activist’s speech, organized by the far-right publishing house Fides, was made on November 6 within the framework of the XVI Days of Dissidence3.
The event, which was initially going to be held in a conference room on Calle Hilarión Eslava in Madrid, had to change location after the publication of a news item about said meeting by Público4.
That change of location angered Varela, who did not hesitate to lash out at this newspaper. “As you know, lovers of freedom of expression and democracy have tried and succeeded in cancelling the room in Madrid that for years we used for this rally,” he said.
“The Público newspaper, a pamphlet from the extreme left5, announced the address where the Sixteen Days of Dissidence were going to take place, and encouraged the anti-fascist mobs to call, bother, and outrage the owners of that place so that they finally barred us access to it for holding the ‘Dissidents’,” he continued.
This veteran Nazi activist also referred to an episode of the Cuéntame series in which there was an allusion to his bookshop, located in Barcelona and dedicated to the sale of National Socialist materials.
“The propaganda against this small group of 200 or 300 people here today is tremendous. A newspaper like Público, a television program like Cuéntame, dedicate part of their efforts to combat the spread of our thought and our struggle,” he warned.
As established by Court Number 11 of Barcelona in 2010, this “thought” and this “fight” imply the crime of spreading genocidal ideas. Varela was imprisoned between December 2010 and March 2012.
In 2016, after a raid on the Nazi bookstore in which the Mossos d’Esquadra seized 15,000 books glorifying genocide, the activist spent a few days on the run until he turned himself in at a police station.
He then paid a bail of 30,000 euros and returned to the street. Currently he is awaiting a new trial.
The Prosecutor for Hate Crimes and Discrimination requested 12 years in prison for exaltation, justification and denial of the Holocaust and for crimes of incitement to hatred against Jews, migrants, Muslims and homosexuals, among others, as well as the permanent closure of its business, the Europa bookshop in Barcelona.
“Do not fear prison or persecution”
“Whoever had something interesting to say who has not been in prison for that? Do not fear prison or persecution, because they are medalsto your credit in the afterlife,” he said during the conference on November 6.
The latter was held a few days before he was due to face another trial in Malaga as a result of a complaint made by the Movement against Intolerance directed by Esteban Ibarra.
The prosecutor in this case – which is now pending resolution – requested three and a half years in prison for Varela for the continued crime of incitement to hatred and discrimination as a result of the content of some conferences held in Seville and Malaga.
This was given that his rallies created “an evident feeling of hostility towards the affected groups (African, Muslim or Jewish migrants, basically) that generated an objective dangerous to peaceful coexistence”, affirms the Public Ministry.
In the talk on November 6 in Madrid, Varela returned to raise similar issues. Among other things, he linked the number of migrants to the “increase in rape on the streets of Spain, including Valencia.”
“The Spanish are peaceful people6, almost all of them have a partner, a girlfriend, a family… they have a culture of respect for women, something that does not happen with these immigrants.”7
At another point in his speech, he asserted that “60 million blacks are needed to take the place of 100,000 abortions per year that Spain has.”
He also alleged out that immigrants “go to look for a partner in Spain, and if Spanish women do not decide to become their partner, what is happening happens.”
Varela not only did not hesitate to refer to himself as “National Socialist”, but also claimed the role of the ‘Napola’, the male boarding schools of the Hitler Youth that served as a school for the Nazi elites.
In these centres “they educated them in austerity, order and discipline” and offered them “a sense of mission in life”, according to his interpretation.
He encouraged the founding of “those cells of Christian, white, European men”
“What do we have to do to face this world? We cannot organize the Napola, because they are going to be banned, but yes, you can form a Napola among yourselves, in your family, in your circles of friends.”
“You have to mould the youth, your family, the children and yourselves” – he remarked – “in the character of the Napola kids”.
The Nazi bookseller proclaimed that “resistance must be not only political, ideological and human, but also familial, ethical and religious”, while encouraging his followers to have children and “found those cells of Christian, white and European men who, with respect and good neighbourliness with other races and cultures, prefers to defend his own than to succumb”.
“What Happened at Auschwitz”
He alleged that in Spain there is a “gradual loss of freedom of expression” and condemned the Democratic Memory Law8, which he compared to the German laws against Nazi apology.
“In Germany, as you know, the whole question of what happened, what did not happen or could have happened in Auschwitz is not debatable, it is not debatable,” he indicated. “Any German who claims to defend his own identity is suspicious of Auschwitz.”
In his opinion, “this dictatorship against freedom of expression also exists here. This law of historical memory and cancellation of white culture9 is carried out in all Western countries.”10
He even asserted that the legal persecution against Nazi broadcasting in Germany is a “sword of Damocles that hangs above all Germans so that any possible resistance to the cultural and ethnic invasion of the country does not take place.”
“Where do the transsexuals go?”
His speech was also loaded with transphobia. “I read a very curious joke the other day. – Hey dad, women go to the gynaecologist, right? – Yes. – And do men go to the urologist? – Yes.
And where do transgender people go? – I don’t know, kid, probably to the psychiatrist“. As can be seen in the video, the transphobic joke was followed by laughter and applause from the ultra-rightists who inhabited the room.
“This is of course a joke, because otherwise transgender people are going to sue me.11 Humour is what it is, but that is the biological reality. You can feel whatever you want, but biology says what you are.
You are a man or a woman, or to the urologist or the gynaecologist, you cannot go anywhere else,” he concluded.
by Diarmuid Breatnach
Fascism in Spain, then and now
The first thing to take into account is that unlike anywhere else in Europe, there was no overthrow of fascism in the Spanish State.
A cosmetic job of painting over four decades of the savage Franco dictatorship with pseudo-democracy was managed by the fascist ruling class with all their politicians, senior military and police officers, judges, bishops, bankers and media moguls remaining in place.
The second thing to note is that despite antifascist laws being passed as part of that “Transition” process, fascist glorification continued to be rampant in the Spanish state with fascist salutes and iconography regularly displayed in public and on photographs and video.
And fascist speeches too, all with impunity. Except in this case, which is why the report states that Varela is one of the few Hitlerites to be tried: not because there are only a few of them but because the State has decided to make Varela an exception to the rule.
Varela complains about the “dictatorship” that he feels being exercised against him and his rhetoric. Fascists always raise the flag of democracy, which they despise, only when they feel unable to use the mailed fist. Once in power, they give democracy to none except their own12.
It’s not a little amusing that the State is trying to close Varela’s fascist bookshop through the court because they closed Basque social centres, newspapers and social media sites merely be decree and even when their own Constitutional Court made them recant, are yet to pay a cent in compensation.
Hollocaust denial is one pretty frequent plank in the fascist platform, wherever in the world it is erected.
This too is curious, in a way because in the 1930s and 1940s, the Nazis and other fascists boasted about what they were doing, in particular to the Jews in Germany, Austria and in Occupied Europe.
True, they did not admit publicly to the mass exterminations but all the rest of it, expropriations, mass round-ups, concentration camps were no secret and they corresponded among themselves and reported to authority about the rest – the story the photos, film and survivors told the world later.
Vulnerability of the fascist male ego
Varela’s worries about Spanish women’s vulnerability to men of migrant background is another area of irony, given the problem of Spanish gender violence (see below).
Whilst there have been prominent female fascists, historically the cult of the superior male has been prominent in most fascist movements. Indeed Hitler’s Nazis proclaimed the correct areas for women’s activity to be “kinder, kuche und kirke” (‘children, kitchen and church’).
Most fascist movements and organisations have denounced homosexuality and many gays and lesbians have been killed by them, including an estimated 60% fatalities of the 50-60,000 sent to concentration camps by Nazi German courts.
In their hetero-sexual male insecurity, fascists and other racists often fear “their” women being attracted to other men, specifically to men of other ethnic groups13.
Conversely, fascists regularly see themselves as the “defenders” of “helpless females” while simultaneously detesting any exhibition of female independence or assertiveness.
Those circumstances encourage acts of rape and other sexual violence towards women: last year in the Spanish state 37 women died in violence by men and 46 the previous year.
People still remember the “Manada” (‘wolf-pack’) case where five men videoed themselves raping a young woman whom they left in a doorway after they stole her mobile phone. Although it occurred in the Basque province of Navarra, all the assailants were Spanish.
What’s more, one was a Spanish policeman while the other was military and some had previously videoed themselves in a van with an unconscious woman, talking about their intentions. The “Manada” was the name of a WhatsApp group of which they were members.
Historical memory and mass graves
Many people hope that changes in Spanish law, such as the Law of Historical Memory in 2007 and more recent practical steps herald a coming to terms with the state’s fascist past.
Some mass graves of fascist victims have been exhumed and removal Franco’s remains in October 2029 and projected removal of Primo de Rivera’s from their mausoleum in the Valle de Los Caidios gives hope to some14.
The remains of General Queipo de Llano, believed personally responsible for the execution of poet and dramatist Garcia Federico Lorca in 1936, were removed from the La Macarena basilica in Seville on 2nd November this year.
After Cambodia, the Spanish state remains the one with most mass graves in the world and the majority of those have not been exhumed15. The names of fascists still decorate streets and, as noted earlier, fascist events continue with public displays of fascist affiliation.
The fascist political party Vox continues in existence with currently 52 (out of 250) members of the Congress (lower house) of the Spanish Parliament.
There exists a deep fascist pool which has reflected at various times the political parties Partido Popular, Ciudadanos and now Vox with the votes of the pool being divided among those parties according to the wishes of the day.
As is usually the case, Spanish fascism is combined with a reactionary ‘nationalism’ of a unitary Spain based on Castille and León but including all its current territories.
They tack on to that a fictional concept of Spain with Flamenco in Andalusia and holidays in the Balearics and Canaries but seek the suppression of any national self-determination.
The Basque Country, Catalonia and Galicia have all historically declared for self-determination but all three were murderously suppressed during the Civil War and the Dictatorship, with the former two suffering heavy repression in the post-Franco ‘democratic’ Spain.
Any move towards self-determination in those nations stirs a fascist hornet’s nest to venomous buzzing and threats.
Overall, the signs are not favourable for a future Spanish state cleansed of fascism – at any rate not by moderate and peaceful means.
1See the Comment section on this question.
2A variation of the “white replacement” irrational anxiety of racists.
316 Days of activism against gender-based violence:16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign held every year. It begins on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until December 10, Human Rights Day. It is ironic, to say the least, for fascists to locate their events within this framework.
4Left wing on-line Spanish newspaper.
5From the perspective of fascists and far-right in the Spanish state, that on-line newspaper may seem “extreme Left” but although on the Left it is not even revolutionary.
6Oblivious to past and more recent history, obviously!
7See the Comment section on this question.
8The main provisions of the law are:
- Recognition of the victims of political, religious and ideological violence on both sides of the Spanish Civil War and of Franco’s State.
- Condemnation of the Francoist State
- Prohibition of political events at the Valley of the Fallen – Franco’s former burial place.
- The removal of objects which exalt the July 1936 coup, civil war and Francoist repression from public buildings and spaces. Exceptions may be given for artistic or architectural reasons, or in the case of religious spaces.
- State help in the tracing, identification and eventual exhumation of victims of Francoist repression whose corpses are still missing, often buried in mass graves.
- The granting of Spanish nationality to surviving members of the International Brigades, without requiring them to renounce their own nationalities.
- Rejection of the legitimacy of laws passed and trials conducted by the Francoist State.
- Temporary change to Spanish nationality law, granting the right of return and de origen citizenship to those who left Spain under Franco for political or economic reasons, and their descendants.
- Provision of aid to the victims and descendants of victims of the Civil War and the Francoist State.
9To Varela, there is such a thing as “white culture”, which will be a surprise at least to, let’s say Irish, Basque and Russians.
10See the Comment section on this question.
11See the Comment section on this question.
12And not even to their own, on occasion, as with the violent suppression of the whole leadership of the Browshirts by the Gestapo in The Night of the Long Knives 30th June-2 July 1934 in Germany.
13This has been nowhere more observable perhaps than in the ‘Deep Southern’ states of the USA, where black men were regularly lynched for alleged rape of white women without any proof. Conversely, the evidence of rape of black women in the same area during and after slavery is legion.
14Franco was the fascist dictator of four decades and Primo de Rivera was the founder of the fascist Falange, executed by the Spanish Republic.
15Holding the remains of an estimated 100,000 men and women.
SOURCES & REFERENCES
Original Público report: (El librero nazi Pedro Varela arremete contra ‘Público’ durante un nuevo alarde supremacista y tránsfobo | Público (publico.es) by Danilo Albin)
Cuéntame/ Remember When series: Cuéntame cómo pasó – Wikipedia
Thousands demonstrate in Spain to end violence against women | Reuters
La Manada rape case – Wikipedia