[By Rabbi Abraham Cooper, crossposted from the Huffington Post.]
Given the growing mainstream clout of three-piece neo-Nazis, it should come as no surprise that Nazi war criminal Dr. Sandor Kepiro -- facing trial after his return to Budapest from Buenos Aires for the massacre of 1,200 Jews, Serbs and Gypsies -- sued Simon Wiesenthal Center's Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff for libel with the support of Hungary's growing fascist movement.
While economists ponder the fate of the Euro, political extremism is fast becoming the European Union's new common currency. In a time of increasing social and economic dislocation, many Europeans are once again in search of a convenient scapegoat to blame for their troubles.
Already, the line is blurring between the insane margins and the sensible mainstream, while Europe's historic culture seems to be giving up trying to integrate the continent's growing, disaffected Muslim minorities. This is a crisis of confidence that goes beyond politics and economics to threaten the soul of a civilization and the spirit of tolerance.
The last barrier to respectability and empowerment for Europe's xenophobic extremists is the dimming collective memory of what Nazism wrought upon humankind a generation ago.
Holocaust denial is no longer merely the domain of pseudo-intellectuals, assorted Jew-haters and Middle East tyrants; it is the key to deconstructing the last barrier to rehabilitation and political power for Hitler's heirs.
It is estimated that more than 10,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel alone are passing away each year. Their dwindling ranks are forced to witness the rehabilitation in Europe as well as the Middle East of fascism and other forms of extremism, based on the denial of their suffering and the martyrdom of their loved ones.
In our time, it is the younger generations, not yesterday's victims, who have to take up the daunting challenge to thwart genocidal fanatics in Tehran, racist thugs and election-winning bigots across Europe. The collective assault on historic truth is underway, one that extends from the parliaments of Budapest and Athens to the online domains of Facebook and YouTube. Should that assault be successful, it could set the stage for future atrocities -- and not only against Jews.