Anti-Semitic book angers Russians

BBC News/December 17, 2000

A former leader of the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan group is in Moscow to promote an anti-Semitic book that has outraged Russian human rights activists.

David Duke, founder of the US-based National Organisation for European American Rights, says his book, Ultimate Supremacism: An Examination of the Jewish Question, may be printed in Russian even before it is out in English.

"It's not about hating other people, I don't hate other races, I don't hate other peoples. But I feel great love and appreciation for our European culture," Mr Duke told Russia's independent NTV channel.

A former Russian human rights commissioner, Sergei Kovalyov, said the book would only fuel "unfortunate" tendencies towards racial hatred in Russian society.

Russian anti-Semitism

"'Our supremacy must be announced. We are Arian' - it says that clearly here," he said, quoting the passages from the book which he found most offensive.

Russian racist Anti-Semitism has long been a painful issue in Russia, where radical nationalist organisations hold openly anti-Semitic views, and anti-Semitic literature is freely sold.

Anti-Semitic demonstrations and attacks on synagogues have forced many Russian Jews to emigrate, some to Israel.

Even the Russian Orthodox Church hierarchy takes seriously a theory, which says the last Russian royal family may have been killed as part of a Judaeo-masonic conspiracy.

On his internet site Mr Duke lauds Russia as the bulwark of the white race, which he intends to use to set up a domino-effect of "racial awareness" around the world.

August visit

"Russian people also have a much greater knowledge of the power of International Zionism and the dominant Jewish role in orchestrating the immigration and multiculturalism that is undermining the West," he said.

During his last visit to Russia in August, Mr Duke met Albert Makashov, a politician infamous for his nationalistic rhetoric, and Alexander Prokhanov, chief editor of the anti-Semitic Zavtra daily newspaper.

Mr Duke also delivered a speech in August to a cheering crowd of die-hard radicals only a couple of miles away from the Kremlin, praying that "Mother Russia be strong, free and always white".

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