The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece is demanding the firing of historian Yiannis Kotoulas from his role as Interior Ministry adviser following reports about the academic’s texts offering an uncritical view of Nazism.
“What the ministerial adviser supports in his revisionist books about (Adolf) Hitler and the shameless justification he attempts to give for Hitler’s concentration camps, the aerial bombardment of Greek cities by the Luftwaffe and Nazi policy are an insult to the memories of the victims of the German occupation and the Holocaust,” the organization said.
The newspaper Avgi brought to light Kotoulas’ book The Rise of the Third Reich in which he refers to Nazism as “a great revolution,” as well as a magazine article in which he refers to concentration camps as “a normal and established practice of all warring sides.”
Kotoulas was transferred in September 2012 to work in the office of Deputy Interior Minister Haralambos Athanassiou, where he serves as an adviser on the citizenship law in which the government is making it more difficult to obtain citizenship, especially for immigrants, including their children who were born in Greece, went to Greek schools and speak Greek. The government policy stands with that of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party which has called for all illegal immigrants to be forced out of the country.
“We ask for the academic’s immediate removal from the Interior Ministry,” said the Jewish group. “At a time when the struggle against neo-Nazism is a struggle for democracy itself, the revisionists of Nazi brutality and the Holocaust can have no place serving the Greek state.”
Greece’s Jewish community was reduced from about 80,000 people to 10,000 during the Second World War.
There was no comment from the government. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has yet to speak out about Golden Dawn, which has been accused of conducting attacks on immigrants, which the party denies.