As most readers already know, ever since the Counterjihad conference in Brussels ended last month, there has been a non-stop Whac-a-Mole game of accusations against the Flemish separatist party Vlaams Belang. Every time a new “neo-Nazi” mole of allegation pops up, it gets whacked back down. But instantly another one takes its place, and the old one is forgotten.
One of the remaining unwhacked moles has been a photo taken in 1992 showing a current EU Parliament MEP from Vlaams Belang named Koenraad Dillen with the 84-year-old ex-Nazi officer Léon Degrelle. Christine of CVF was able to locate Mr. Dillen today and ask him about the photo. Here is his response:
Yes I met LD on 11th of July 1992. I was 27 years old at the time.
I finished my studies in 1987 with a paper on the French writer Robert Brasillach. The director of my thesis was a left wing professor of literature, named George Adé. He died in 1992. I got “maxima cum laude” with my thesis.
Before the war, Robert Brasillach published a book on “Léon Degrelle et l’avenir de Rex”. Since my paper deals a lot with Brasillach and Belgium, I took a genuine interest in Degrelle and wrote about him. He was an important figure in prewar politics and played a major role during the war years. After the war, in exile, he continued his life in Spain as a writer.
Soldier on the eastern front, Degrelle was convicted, in absentia, for high treason. But he was never charged with war crimes.
I had neither sympathy, nor animosity for Degrelle in 1992. He was 84 years old at the time. He interested me as a person who played a historical role. No more, no less. I had no political functions at the time.
In May 1992, I started a weekly column on French intellectual life and politics in the newspaper ‘t’ Pallieterke. I still write my article every week. So I have a partly job as a journalist.
Degrelle talked to me. He explained me for example, why Franco did extradite Pierre Laval, the prime minister of collaborating France who was executed by De Gaulle and not him, the SS-general. (“Because I was Catholic, and Laval not”.) It was an interesting testimony, never published in any book. Why should I be blamed? I had a few drinks on his terrace. Fifty years after the war, it was not up to me to act as an attorney general ! He signed some books and photos. Did I have to refuse? I met the former Bolshevik commissar Lew Kopelev in 1987. He signed his memories for me. Does it make me a communist?
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I published a book on [corrected] European Commissioner Louis Michel and on the accession to European Union of Turkey. A major book on François Mitterrand — on which I work since three years — will follow in some months. I had interviewed and toasted with many French socialists — e.g. the former minister of Foreign Affairs Roland Dumas. It doesn’t make me a socialist.
As we all know, Mr. Dillen could claim to be a Communist and wear Lenin pins and hammer-and-sickle insignia as much as he liked, and no one would mind except for a few fascists like us. A taint of Bolshevism does no harm to a politician or a journalist; in fact, it confers upon him that cachet of self-righteous and high-minded social justice that is so dear to the Left. Never mind the hundred million corpses left behind by Communism: if you want to make an omelet, you have to etc blah yak.
But don’t get within a mile of anyone who even knew a Nazi — then you’re dead meat.
It’s unfortunate that we have to endure all this folderol about VB, because it’s heartening to read about what they’re doing in the European Parliament. Christine has collected some recent examples of Mr. Dillen’s speeches as an MEP; some excerpts are included below:
In terms of human rights, democracy and good governance, this forum is a faithful reflection of official EU policy and utterly fails to send out a powerful signal. A signal that demonstrates to the relevant countries that a refusal to respect human rights and apply democratic principles should be reciprocated with a reduction, or even scrapping, of all forms of development aid.
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In recent years, we have seen some striking examples of the deliberate deafness of official Europe. In France and the Netherlands, in democratic referendums, the people said ‘no’ to the European super state. Despite this, the German Presidency simply carries on down the path already chosen. For Angela Merkel, and I am afraid for you as a Member of the European Council, the will of the people does not count. All opinion polls show that whilst the Europeans want to be on friendly terms with the Turks, they do not want a non-European and Islamic country to join our Union. Again, the pre-determined path is simply followed.
I should like to finish off by saying to Mr Prodi that the government of my country brought itself into disrepute last week by refusing, for commercial reasons, to allow the Dalai Lama to visit Belgium. Nobody wants to offend China. It is very unfortunate that the rule in these situations seems to be that of Erst das Fressen und dann die Moral . I therefore hope that, within the European Council, you will speak up to focus on the attitude of your government which, although it likes to wax lyrical about human rights, when the chips are down, lets its own economic interests prevail, and also to denounce Belgium in this matter. If Europe is serious about defending human rights, it should also have the courage to denounce the hypocrisy of some Member States.
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The sanctimonious line is that a mutually acceptable solution must be found for Tibet’s future. To say that is to make victim and executioner equal partners in dialogue. It became once again evident on whose side the EU is when in November 2005, the Chinese President, Hu Jintao, was received with much pomp and circumstance across Europe, yet it had, in fact, been he who perpetrated serious human rights violations when he was Secretary of Tibet’s Communist Party between December 1988 and March 1992.
The Tibet issue once again demonstrates that European rhetoric all too often amounts to nothing but moral wrapping paper and that in reality, only economic interests matter. We must continue to have the courage to denounce the cowardice and sanctimoniousness of this Europe, of this mercantile Europe that chooses to side with the oppressors to the detriment of innocent peoples.
Does this sound like someone we should shun? An unreconstructed neo-Nazi racist white supremacist?
Christine has more quotes over at the CVF blog.
Judge for yourself.