Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Another Imaginary Neo-Nazi Debunked

Maria De Berlanger’s ‘salute’If you followed the protracted controversy about Vlaams Belang last fall, you’ll remember Maria De Berlanger, the local politician and Vlaams Belang party member who was accused of heiling Hitler when she took the oath of office.

From the beginning Ms. De Berlanger stoutly maintained that she did nothing of the sort. But once it is flung, the charge of “Nazi!” sticks tight. You’re guilty until proven innocent, and it’s all but impossible to prove your innocence.

However, the verdict is now official: Maria De Berlanger was not giving the Nazi salute. Even the Belgian government, which has long shown antipathy towards Vlaams Belang, found her to be blameless.

Below is an article from last Friday’s De Telegraaf, kindly translated by our Flemish correspondent VH:

Belgian politician blameless for ‘Hitler salute’

Amsterdam — It is not true that Vlaams Belang Councilor Maria De Berlanger gave the Hitler salute while taking the oath. That was the judgment of the Brussels Court. With this verdict the Vlaams Belang politician will be free from a possible fine or (conditional) imprisonment.

From the very beginning — on October 8 in 2006 — the woman stood firm about it not being a Hitler salute, but said that she held her arm diagonally to prevent her sleeve from sliding down. The court now finds her story legitimate.
- - - - - - - - -
According to the court it was clear that the woman doesn’t cherish any Nazi sympathies, for one reason because the De Berlanger-Lichtert family were victims of Nazi persecution.

The “Center for Opportunity and Fight against Racism” [Centrum van Kansen en voor Racismebestrijding] were not proven right. The organization had been convinced that the Councilor deliberately gave the Hitler salute, and therefore filed the charges against her. [emphasis added]

If the Belgian judicial system couldn’t turn a member of Vlaams Belang into a Nazi, then it can’t be done. Case closed.

Now I’ll wait for all the outlets that slammed this poor woman so prominently last year to pay at least as much attention to her exoneration.

Still waiting…

[crickets chirping]


Zenster said...

From the very beginning — on October 8 in 2006 — the woman stood firm about it not being a Hitler salute, but said that she held her arm diagonally to prevent her sleeve from sliding down.

Fiddling (with one's sleeve sliding down), while Rome (Europe), burns.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear this, but when I saw the video a while ago, it made a bad impression on me, because the other people in the room seemed shocked, so I assumed the worst. I personally wouldn't make anyone wrong if they misunderstood her gesture, it really looked bad.

Anonymous said...

YES!!!!!!! I seriously cannot tell you how happy this makes me. This has seriously made my entire night, and possibly my week as well. I've only been saying this for months now. I guess we (those of us who defend Vlaams Belang) were right. TAKE THAT, CHARLES JOHNSON!!!!!

Now, what do you think the chances are that Charles will admit his mistake? Slim? None? Never happening in a million years? Yeah, that's what I think, too.

Fjordman said...

Natalie: Virtually zero, I think. I would be happy to be wrong, but I doubt it. LGF posted some blatant falsehoods about me being "obsessed" over an article of mine that was republished at Global Politician, when I in fact had not been in contact with that site at all. I rarely am, although I like it. Despite the fact that this information was proven wrong not just by me but by GP, LGF did not correct the initial post. In this case, LGF acted exactly like the Leftists they always criticize.

I don't really care that much anymore. Our little fallout got amplified by the fact that our relationship once upon a time used to be good, which made the whole thing personal in addition to ideological. I'm sort of "over" LGF now and will spend no more energy on the site than I have to. LGF can still have its uses, I suppose. They can have some good links every now and then, but when it comes to real analyses of what needs to be done and why, the website has serious limitations.

Exile said...

"Now I’ll wait for all the outlets that slammed this poor woman so prominently last year to pay at least as much attention to her exoneration."

Glad your not holding your breath Baron.

Anonymous said...

Today Charles J. posts a story on a Neo-Nazi. http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/30462_British_Neo-Nazi_Caught_Preparing_for_Race_War,

He starts it out with this:

"Here’s one of those people that some “counter-jihad” bloggers still think we should make our allies, one of those tough guys capable of taking on a little dirty work"

CJ really has created his own reality about the counter-jihad blogs.

Afonso Henriques said...

It's not Hitler's salute, it is a Roman Salute. And just like any salute, it has its meanings. Don't be ignorant and go search for the meaning of that salute.

Hitler and the Nazis did many bad things, the Roman salute, was not one of them. What if she had really made the Roman Salute?

Oh boy!

KGS said...

Thanks to the Baron for the heads up, it dovetails with an observation of my own concerning LGF's most recent nonsense.

Annoy Mouse said...
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Annoy Mouse said...

The funny thing about these Nazi sympathizers is that they feel like they have been abandoned by their society and their government and left to the wolves of a growing immigrant menace. One should have a little sympathy for those who has been directly alienated by their own government, but, then again one must admit, �their methods are unsound�. The problem isn�t that there are hateful elements in society. This is unavoidable. The problem is when these elements arise to national power or aspire to transnational status as the Nazi�s did. Had there not been sympathies in the government, the Nazi�s would have been crushed soon after the beer hall putsch. Individual terrors would have been isolated and then eliminated if the populace was suitably against the threat. It is the nature of political Islam and our own public endemic tolerance that has allowed its seeds to cast far from the root of the tree. It is itself a form of transnational fascism under the thin guise of religion. When these seeds begin to germinate will we be willing to use the tactics of our tormentors to counter this insurgency and if so who will initiate the defense?

The most distinguished problem with Hitler�s Nazism is that it evolved to strike a cord with the masses. Now that the trend is to impugn nationalism in any form the masses are in lock step with the traditions of ostracizing and exaggerating the consequences of any national sentiment.

Ironic that the �Anti-Nazi�s� have evolved into the latest fascist orthodoxy.

Annoy Mouse said...
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Annoy Mouse said...

I'd like to add that those who venerate the Nazi flag are bigger idiots than those who venerate Che Gueverra... but not by much.

Henrik R Clausen said...

It annoys me that these nazi-types are stealing that nice celtic cross. Sick in their heads they are!

Actually my local graveyard has a very nice celtic cross, prominently placed on the south side of the church. It is set over a priest of the church who died around a century ago. Christianity, not white pride.

Oh. We also have a couple of biker-skinhead types buried nearby. Five-pointed stars for those, no celtic cross.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Charles Johnson said:

some “counter-jihad” bloggers still think we should make our allies.

Charles Johnson, bent on seeing evil anywhere he wants, must have caught some kind of mental hate-virus. Just doesn't make sense what he accuses Europeans for. He's as receptive to being contradicted as, well, the nazi loonies. Even his own world would be a nicer place if he could just step out of his mental trappings and discover that he's wrong, and has been all along.

Annoy Mouse said...

What is worse; Taking a hateful ideology and cloaking it with nationalism, utopianism, or religion?

Annoy Mouse said...

Islamic-religionists have purportedly killed more people than the Marx-utopianists who in turn have killed more than the Nazi-nationalists who killed more than any world should have to bear. Yet religion, utopianism, and nationalism are all legal and some think, healthy manifestations of polity. Must we then throw out any form or group identification with the killers? If it is in itself inseparable from the evil that has attached itself to it then, I guess, the answer is yes. But the having the vaguest sympathy with an ideal should not open one up to being smeared with those who have committed the worst of excesses in the name of that ideal. I have known people who have shared religious sentiments, utopian dreams, and nationalist fervor and the Christians, Wing-bats and Mexican soccer fans that I know are mostly harmless.

Anonymous said...

Fjordman, I remember that well. In addition to what Charles posted about you, he also posted a picture of a Belgian flag at a rally and said it was a Vlaams Belang flag. Even when loads of people who actually live in Belgium said it was not a VB flag, he still didn't correct it.

I don't really care anymore either. I scan LGF every few days for the sole reason of checking if they've posted anything bad about Gates of Vienna, Vlaams Belang, etc.

Afonso Henriques said...

Well, where you "anti-jihadists" and "conservatives" are worried about Roman Salutes, Celtic Crosses and anything that may constitute a symbol of a European Europe, the Lords of Europe in the "European" semi-finals with the European teams of "Turkey" and Germany are showing to the world how we have to

UNITE AGAINST RACISM, that is, do not fight against population replacement.

Is this the alterative?
Can't you see what's happening?
Can't you see what united (Turkey) against racism means?

Some times I wonder if I'm that radical to say that the skinheads aren't worst than "us"...

Shame on "us"!

Heil the BNP!