27 January is the day Auschwitz was liberated. 75 years ago, Red Army troops reached the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, the largest of the Nazi camps.

In 1996, Germany began commemorating the date on the grounds that future generations must never forget the crimes of National Socialism. By 2005, the United Nations General Assembly had adopted a resolution encouraging governments around the world to mark the date as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

So, have we learned the lessons of the past? European antisemitism lead to the holocaust. Racism, bigotry, xenophobia, national chauvinism and the poisonous ideology of Nazi eugenics created the conditions necessary for mass murder. Could those conditions ever exist again? Is racism and far-right bigotry on the rise across Europe?

What do our readers think? We had a comment come in from reader Tony, who feels strongly that countries in the EU are becoming more racist. He says: “I am a migrant and have lived in several countries, and the only place I have been discriminated against is in EU.”

To get a response to Tony, we spoke to Anetta Kahane, co-founder and chair of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation, which campaigns against far-right extremism, xenophobia, and antisemitism. What would she say to Tony’s comment?

I don’t think Europe is more racist than other continents. I think there is very, very serious racism in Asian countries and there is also racism in some African regions, there is of course racism in North America and very seriously in South America; but there are different circumstances each time.

All in all, I would say that there are two parallel movements in Europe: firstly, racism is named more clearly and because it is named and discussed, there is also an encouraging increase in addressing other racist incidents. That means that there is the impression that racism is growing. I honestly do not believe that this is definitely the case compared to the fifties, sixties, seventies or eighties because at the same time, there are much more mixed societies in all European countries.

Making a comparison to the 1950s, immigration has become so normal in European countries, at least in Western Europe, that we are dealing with racism but of course also with a much more diverse society. In my opinion there is proportionally less racism. I think that the actual number is very high, which we absolutely have to punish and outlaw and fight with all available means, but in relation to the circumstances, both the numerical and behaviour of right and wrong, there is now relatively less racism.

For another perspective, we also put Tony’s comment to Ojeaku Nwabuzo, Senior Research Officer at the European Network Against Racism. What would she say?

Are we becoming more racist and bigoted? Is racism a European invention? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

Image Credits: Bigstock (c) palinchak; Portrait Credits: Kahane (c) Peter van Heese


68 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Aris

    it is more than obvious that European Nationalism is coming back in some European countries.
    The immigration crisis was a “Gift” for many European Nationalist groups to spread their propaganda and lies in order to exploit this crisis and gain political power.

    • avatar
      Władysław

      Where are the lies though?

    • avatar
      Gabriella

      Lies? :). If you want your migrants in Greece, go ahead and take care of them. I personally do not want to be a secondary citizen in my own country just because I am a female. If you think this is nationalism, than be it. I am a natioanlist. So what? How is it harming you that I like my heritage and culture?

    • avatar
      Wasim

      The way you are talking about immigrants just if they were garbage or things, makes me really sick , i am not even use any metaphors, just readin6your words makes me really really sick
      Let me tell you secret about me, when i talk to someone (irrelevant where social media or personal) i try to talk him with his mindset based on what i know about him, however your mindset is just sickness itself, do you read your word before you post them? Do you ever imagine your words? #center_Europe
      By the way in geopolitical term there is nothing call center unless you are talking about rational or balanced parties, one that neither left or right, middle wing or something, however hungry are very right wing country as you already defined it earlier
      Second point when we talk about America generally and normally everyone understand that one in Center despite the fact that America is not just USA but includes Canada South America.. Etc but no one call USA as Center America because this term is not used, #check_fact

    • avatar
      Aris

      to do not want immigrants its natural, to label immigrants as potential terrorists, rapists, criminals is nationalist propaganda. Can you understand the difference or not?
      By the way, the Hungarian Government is the TOP 1 liar and propagandist in entire Europe. On one hand, you pretend the Christian Knights of Europe who will defend the continent against the Islamic invasion of immigrants and on the other hand, Hungary joins the Organization of Turkic states and it is the biggest supporter of Turkey’s membership in the Union.
      So you get mad if Hungary takes 5000 Muslims immigrants but if Turkey of the 80 million Muslims join the EU is not a problem for Hungary.

    • avatar
      Elias

      Please do not misuse the word “nationalism”. Use “chauvinism/racism/fascism” instead.
      Without “nationalism”, Korea would never exist and freed themselves from the Fascist Imperial Japanese oppression, or Poland would never exist and freed themselves from the Nazi Germany oppression.

    • avatar
      Любомир

      When you have no way of identifying migrants because they have no ID and have entered the country illegally, your most viable option is to treat them like a potential danger. This is what our institutions should do, because they have been democratically elected to safeguard our safety and security as European citizens and this should be their priority. I am all for helping legal migrants and real refugees who are eligible for asylum. But if someone is trying to get illegally smuggled in, then their place isn’t here.

  2. avatar
    Chris

    No. People are less racist than before.

    • avatar
      Toni

      What about Africa and Asia?! Seem native europeans can’t live and walk around there calm, as asians and africans walk in Europe, but still they cry about europeans being racists.

  3. avatar
    Ivan

    Of course we do because Europe has not values Any more, lets see hungary Polen Slovakiet about immigration and lets see north germany Danmark sweden, then try to see greece, Who crete fasism is the rich country like germany France Holland austria, only think about Them, rest is second category europeans where is solidarity for greece spain Portugal irland, i think Europe has to end, there is nothing that was the first idea of Europe left

    • avatar
      Gabriella

      Hungary and Poland have very good values…. We are just fine, thank you. We do not believe in the leftist communist bs what this idiotic new generation and some global multinational interest groups try to force on us. We had communism in our countries for more than 40 years – we do not want it again. We are not racists, we just do not want some valueless “uber-power” to tell us what to do, how to do and when to do…. That is the biggest “racism” what the western-eu countries commies/liberals want to push on us. IF you wnat your migrants, fine…. Deal with them. We do not want to host Africa’s economic migrants, we are poor enough still…

    • avatar
      Ivan

      ok i Will ask you then now that global warming make 100 millions to move Who are you to say No, you can be in same shoes in 10 years stop this stupid White power argument

    • avatar
      Ivan

      i cant hear you, nothing to say, use your brain not the brainwash you had before talking about humans, there are humans not things

    • avatar
      Gabriella

      What’s wrong with you, man? Look who is talking about being brainwashed? How global warming or the latest climate histeria comes to this topic? Btw, I am pretty sure that Hungary is a very carbon neutral country – Please look around and ask your stupid questions from the Saudis, US, China, Germany, etc…. Plus, please throw away all you consumables, do not use laptop, internet, do not travel… Then I believe you actually do sg about our climate. Otherwise, from behind an electricity consuming phone/laptop please do not create hatred… You are a tipical leftist anarchist….

    • avatar
      Gabriella

      Btw.. How many of these humans you host in your apartment?

    • avatar
      Ivan

      My country is a big house that i am proud and I support with All the good and bad things, ask scientist about global warming but No you safe now but you didnt visit countries that All ready been under the global warming and they fight this issues, i dont ask germany i ask Polen, you, are you feel safe with global warming, and your solution is close borders, when you become a vip citisen in this world

    • avatar
      Gabriella

      Ivan Giankovits You are dillusional….. #1, your English is not at all understandable, #2, you are very narrow mindedly see something in my text which is not there. And yes – borders are there to be closed. That is why these borders were created and different laws were implemented for the protection/rights/obligations of citizens. Anyone who wants to enter within these borders need to do it lawfully, and must comply with the law of the land. Otherwise anarchy will errupt and mass killings will happen again. Hungary and Poland NEVER colonized any country, NEVER started a war abroad… So why these countries are reponsible for anything in yor views? Have you studies history at all?

    • avatar
      Ivan

      because immigration is europeans problem and you dont show solidarity to it sorry about My english but thats not the issue, if tommorow you get a huge problem do you want the rest Europe to help you, are we together or not? If putin like to Come back to russia do you want the others to help? If not what’s the point of Europe

    • avatar
      Gabriella

      You jsut said the truth. Rest of Europe. Europe!!!!!! Not MEA. Or if anyone wants to solve their problem, go ahead. Especially those countries that colonized them. But Hungary and Poland NEVER colonized anybody, we did not have any wealth or advantage of those countries. Why should we pay any proce now?

  4. avatar
    Любомир

    No, and nationalism isn’t the same as racism and xenophobia. It’s useful to know the difference. In the age of information being ignorant is a choice.

    • avatar
      Wasim

      Are you try to justify being racist or justify being xenophobic? Cause i can’t tell the difference from your short comment, would you mind explain

    • avatar
      Marius

      was WW2 created by nationalism or xenophobia?

    • avatar
      Любомир

      You can google the terms and read all about them. I’m not your teacher and it’s not my job to educate you.

    • avatar
      Любомир

      It was started by ridiculous contract terms after WWI and by the rise of the imperialist governments of the nazis in Germany and the communists in the Soviet Union. If you don’t know the differense between nazism and nationalism, you should read more and educate yourself. The USSR’s Communist International created hot pockets in numerous countries in Europe by funding violent dissent and revolutions with the intent of taking over national governments and spreading communism this way. Read up on Europe’s history, I have no other advice to give.

    • avatar
      Arnout

      it goes hand in hand mate.
      You might confuse patriotism with nationalism.

    • avatar
      Wasim

      As matter of fact i did but there were no results for ”
      Are you try to justify being racist or justify being xenophobic?”
      So i am going ahead N label my questions with not answered still thank you teacher for guide me to google, we in third world countries Never heard of it before, i will start google some nude, just like you stereotype us

    • avatar
      Любомир

      I see you are based in Germany. So sorry that you live in this horrible third world country where they don’t have Google. You obviously have Facebook though. Alternatively, you can always visit a library ;)

    • avatar
      Любомир

      @Arnout I’m not confusing them, but just like patriotism and nationalism aren’t the same thing, nationalism and nazism aren’t the same thing. And no, they don’t go hand in hand.
      Loving your country and wanting your people to have an independent nation state doesn’t mean you hate other people and their cultures, or that you want to rule over them.
      Just like loving your family doesn’t mean you hate other people’s families.
      You have to be a really simple-minded person to not be able to understand that loving something and being ready to fight to protect it, doesn’t mean you hate everything else.

    • avatar
      Wasim

      Living in place is not like coming from that place, just like your argument said, so even it’s true i live in Germany, i am coming from Syria a third world country, but i fail to understand what my location has to do with the missing answer, i guess we are just hiding behind the bushes so i will go ahead and release you from answering the question, cause even ignoring to answer the question, IS an answer for that question, and i can tell exactly why you are refusing to be direct for someone from Hungary, am i right? After all it’s east Europe, just geographic fact

    • avatar
      Любомир

      Your location has everything to do with the tools that are available to you to learn and get educated on matters before discussing them. I don’t care where you originally come from, it is completely irrelevant to this discussion.

    • avatar
      Manuel

      @Wasim
      Imagine that you are in the 10th century in Spain, year 1000 exactly, according to the chronological account of Christianity.
      At that time there was the Caliphate of Cordoba in today Spain.
      The Caliphate of Cordoba was more advanced in civilization than any other European kingdom.
      The Hispanic and Latin Christians were almost totally defeated by the Muslims and Arabs.
      So the Christians asked the Pope of Rome for a declaration or “bull” of “holy war” against the “Muslims of Spain” (because they were living there for 3 centuries).
      Would this be, for you, a simple religious war between Christians, Muslims and Jews?
      Or would it be a nationalistic war between the European nation of Spain and the Muslim Caliphate of Cordoba?
      Or would it be a xenophobic war between the genetically Spanish and Europeans against the Arabs of Asia and the Muslims of North Africa?

    • avatar
      Gabriella

      Hungary is NOT East Europe. It is Central Europe. Maybe you learn Europe geography and history – your ignorance might come from not even knowing the facts.

    • avatar
      Wasim

      @Gabriella Yup, i am ignorance and i don’t know the facts, you happy

    • avatar
      Toni

      What do you expect a “western eurabian” to tell you. Ask him and he will tell you, that he is german. He may not integrate himself to the local culture, but he will insist he knows better and, that he is more german, than the locals.
      To many people who want to turn Europe into the same hole they ran away from, are accepted and ignored by the locals. That is why such great regretion happens and the european traditions and culture are being submissed and quastioned.

    • avatar
      Riccardo

      Nationalism isn’t racism, you’re right. But they always come together

    • avatar
      Gabriella

      @Riccardo No, they do not. But following your “logic”, communism/leftism comes with anarchy and dictatorship?

    • avatar
      Wasim

      Manuel hey man, thanks for this explanation which i value, i didn’t fully grasp it but obviously you trying to define between xenophobic and nationalism or racism, man i know the difference between those three and without the need to check your nationality i can tell from the way you wrote and explain you are in the good side,
      However my question to the comment owner was more specific and related to him the way he wrote his comments, because for me it is just suspicious and he just confirmed it by avoiding answering
      Again thank you for your comment and i will read it deeper later for sure, i save it already

    • avatar
      Elias

      People can’t differentiate between “nationalism” and “ethnocentrism/chauvinism/gungho-ism/racism/xenophobe/fascism”

    • avatar
      Wasim

      And it doesn’t say you like dogs either
      Saying you like cats mean you are willing to adopt cat over dog, in such scenario logically no one can think you might actually bring dog too, to live with the cat, because it’s irrational and they just don’t mix
      Thank you for Clarifying please don’t try to use the intelligence agency (such as FBi or CIA) report words were they don’t deny or confirm anything, you jusrt not good enough to use them

    • avatar
      Любомир

      Am I obligated to like dogs? I am not obligated to like and respect all cultures in the world. That also doesn’t automatically mean I hate them. You are again demonstrating an incapability to see nuance. For you it seems everything is black and white. Well, sorry to inform you, it isn’t.

    • avatar
      Wasim

      I swear to god i could play your game the whole day and by the end of the day i will expose you, however it already took me half day to pull one confession from you that you actually don’t like immigrants (but you “don’t” hate them as well), and don’t get me wrong i am not forcing you to like or not like anything, i just wanted to encourage you to say it, whatever inside you, because it will makes you relief for a bit and that could reduce the chance of you turning to the dark side (that if we assumed you are exactly at the neutral side)
      I can use your assumption and go farther with this philosophy and prove you there is nothing called Natural zone at very far end, but i swear i am running out of time and only because of sickness which is related to someone words on this post i am here and i am not planing to waste my life on this topic
      So here is the plan:
      if you convinced that there is such zone, where everyone could be safe and sound, so i am totally with you and agree with you and encourage you to stay in this zone where you find yourself well, but please don’t give your ear to anyone and keep fact checking everything always and hear any stroy from both side first
      Stay cool, stay safe, and care for others safety

    • avatar
      Любомир

      You understood literally nothing from my whole point. I have nothing against migrants who are here legally. I’ve been trying to explain to you all day that the devil is in the details and that nuance is important, but you keep ignoring that and repeating yourself like a broken record. It seems you are incapable of understanding my point, which means talking to you further will just be a waste of my time. Have a nice day :)

    • avatar
      Manuel

      @Wasim
      Thanks for your answer.
      I didn’t try to teach you, but I did show an example.
      Wars always have several components.
      For example, when Mexicans fought for independence from Spain, they argued that the Spanish were racist, since Mexicans could not be in the government, which was reserved for “whites and Europeans” while they, the Mexicans, said they were “mestizos” and “non-whites” and “Indians.
      Early on, Mexico was born as a different human group to the Europeans and to the Americans.
      Here in Europe, despite being more different than Mexicans and Americans, we are, and we want to be a new political union that overcomes racial, linguistic and religious differences.

    • avatar
      Antonio

      @Любомир nationalism create all that shit….

  5. avatar
    Wasim

    Sorry to say but the fact is yes, and what is coming might be 10 thousand worst than ever, that can only seen by foreigner, Europe now become racist even toward each other, just because you are coming from east Europe for example you’ve being labeled and you know exactly with what, but it’s horrible for those pure people who don’t, and even worst for people who are optimistic
    I think it all serve one propose which is collapse Europe which will benefit the big shark in the right corner waiting to engage and return his lost empire
    However he has now a new ally, maybe unexpected one which is England who also don’t wish Europa to succeed without her, it will makes her look bad otherwise, and England is to arrogant to admit the true power of Russia that why they are not truly threatened from her as much as they are from increasing power of Europe
    You know what i think, i think the world lost its Compass

  6. avatar
    Chris

    What’s wrong with looking after your own citizens first and asking questions about the need and motivation around immigration. I think Islam is the main concern of most of Europe. So foreign to our way of life and values and has a dominating characteristic not to mention the child grooming gangs in the uk

  7. avatar
    Karel

    The EU/EP has a great role in ensuring that Europe’s population is respected. This is done by accepting there are different regions, etnicities, minorities, etc., not by forced “Europeanisation” or forced acceptance of open borders. Unfortunately, politicians like Timmermans do not respect this diversity, and go for one homogeneous amalgame, whereby European values are disregarded, a “remplacement” is enforced upon nations, and different voices are designated as fascist. This Europe has lost connection with its population. Time to act differently.

  8. avatar
    Ludwig

    If greed for money dominates the brains, degeneration of all kinds occurs, which means that ethnic and ideological conflicts are also created with the support of religions, because you cannot simply say that you are jealous and therefore become unbearable. Religiously or ideologue motivated, it is better to justify the atrocity committed because it is a collective act that hides the true primitive motivations

  9. avatar
    Toni

    Seems people from every part of the world are comming and living normal life in Europe. It is not the same for the europeans in M.E. or Africa. Actually the europeans are targeted and blamed by everyone, but in the same time everyone want to live in Europe. Well this is european world, so if you want it to be nice – integrate.

  10. avatar
    Pantelis

    Are we inundated by intolerant hostile cultures spreading their message in many unpalatable ways causing fear and anxiety in peace loving people for the extinction of their traditions and way of life? YOU GIVE US YOUR OPINION

  11. avatar
    Paul

    Not necessarily, but technology can make it appear that way.

  12. avatar
    Николай

    There are no races. There are the people and the corporations

  13. avatar
    Любомир

    Saying “I like cats” doesn’t mean you hate dogs. Start your exploration from that idea, folks.

  14. avatar
    Marius

    Technology allows us to know the excesses and find them where they once were not.

  15. avatar
    Charlotte

    Definately, the new scapegoats for fearmongering politicians mostly being islam these days… We haven’t learned our lessons from the past when scapegoats were the yews. I think it’s a tactic to get popular votes. To channel people who have a hard time getting by because of high cost of living (high house prices etc) making them angry at ‘the establishment, others etc ‘ is easier than solving problems with drastic reforms. Dehumanization is already happening as you read comment on social media on people telling fisherman to ‘throw back people in te sea’ the way America is separating children from parents, the way we let people rot away in camps without finding solutions…We are already getting used to people to say things that were considered extremist 10 years ago. Funny thing is we invited the first generation of foreign workers to help building up our country after the war… our collective memory is shitty…. I am on the Memorial Day of the liberation of Auschwitz very aware of the subtle shifts of what we think is acceptable to say about an other human being and what is not….

    • avatar
      Nadia

      manipulated indeed, by fascists and bigoted

    • avatar
      Milina

      disagree. Manipulated by power seeking people. Or power people.
      Power has not ideology nor bigotry nor color. It uses them but it is just power.

    • avatar
      Nadia

      you are right, but isn’t seeking power for itself a kind of “fascism” sensu lato?

    • avatar
      Milina

      yes every – ism is a dress for power.

  16. avatar
    Catherine Benning

    Are we becoming ‘more’ racist and bigoted?

    Reading through this thread is an eye opener. How true my earlier but unfavourable post was, as it dealt with reality not small talk.

    Let’s try looking at racism and bigotry and what it means in reality.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6-GeJLhrPI

    Here are more ‘Londoners.’ Barely able to speak English with articulation.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1_Y7qpl67I

    Police and social services ignored these kids because they were afraid of being termed ‘racist.’ The horror of this is unbelievable. What a betrayal of our people, by those at the top, paid to protect them, by those elected to represent them.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FggKPiPL8Mo

    And it continues, is known of and hidden still. Ignoring little girls because foreign immigrant men are protected from British justice once they step foot on our soil. Now that is open bigotry and racism. What are we going to do about it? Any guesses?

  17. avatar
    Alex

    Anyone is able now to make a group.Any media is helping.

  18. avatar
    Jeroen

    It seems to get better with that. In my experience, at least.

  19. avatar
    Catherine Benning

    Are we becoming more racist and bigoted?

    Never were racist or bigoted. Had Europeans and British nationals been such people the individual countries across this European Union would not be filled with ethnic and diverse peoples of the world it is today.

    France.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I0teMkQfZo

    The changes to European cities

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6-GeJLhrPIThe London population.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1_Y7qpl67I

    Across all European cities.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYYL6SiG7y0

  20. avatar
    Monika

    Nationalismus ist die Basis für Rasisten und Fremdenhasser

  21. avatar
    Globetrotter2020

    Europe is not becoming more racist, in fact its the LEAST racist part of the world where other oppressed people from different nationalities want to live and enjoy the freedom they do not get in their own countries. Asia and Africa are probably far more racist but because those are NOT predominantly white countries, no one talks about the racism there and everyone just loves to point a finger at whites and europeans. By the way I am neither european NOR white and have been living on and off in Europe for over 20 years, I have never found most of Europe to be racist in an extreme way, mild racism is acceptable and should be tolerated but mostly I havent even experienced much of that.

    However , What I do feel is that Europe is becoming more and more useless as societies and economically, most of western europe has a tough life, hardly any social mobility, and just to survive it is a struggle with all the high taxes, expensive food and housing and huge labour costs, they need to re-invent their own systems and fire up their economies. Also there is a lot of negativity in Europe these days, part of it is due to Immigration however if the economies are strong and everyone is growing then immigration is never an issue, it only becomes an issue in bad economic times. European countries should simplify taxation, make life affordable and easier for everyone and give open ample opportunities for people to grow , this will bring back positivity to europe , because at the moment all Europeans seem to be quite miserable people , they hardly ever smile or laugh.

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