Stadiums of Hate
BBC Documentary (June 2012)
Two of the worst possible places to hold a multi-day international athletic event involving the countries of Europe are Poland and Ukraine. Yet the governing body of European football took it upon themselves to do just that. I'm all for the beleaguered and long-suffering countries of Eastern Europe to get their moment of inclusion, but the slovenly, reactionary, racist, and batshit crazy lunacy that thrives underneath the surface at football matches in these two countries illustrates that they are unworthy of hosting such events where the spotlight of the world will be subjected to the football hooligans that riddle the landscape of Eastern Europe.
I know I'm going to take heat for these opinions, but if you've never spent time in these places and actually gone to a match in either country you have no reason to opine to the contrary. There is one overriding issue that boggles the mind-the type of racism that is rampant in these parts. For this, we need a bit of a history lesson. Let's start with Poland.
Recently, and by this I mean the mid-20th Century, Poland became what is for all intent and purposes the largest Jewish cemetary in the world. You're talking about roughly 90-95% of the Jewish population annihilated by the Nazis. And don't think the few that managed to return alive were greeted with open arms. Plenty of times during post-war football matches where Jews participated were heard chants of "off to the gas chambers!!! Burn the Jews in the ovens!!!" coming from the stands. And this was immediately after the war.
We've all heard Polish jokes and wondered why these people are considered so stupid when there are so many others to choose from. Here is why-during this dreadful time in history when The Holocaust was raging over Eastern Europe, over 3 million Polish civilians simultaneously lost their lives to the same bastards whom they idolize in their racist propaganda today-The Nazis. They, along with the Russians, murdered the large majority of the military and civilian intelligentsia in Poland, with the Katyn Massacre virtually obliterating the officer class of the Polish army to the point where it still has not recovered to this day. That is devastation of epic proportions. It wasn't only the doctors, lawyers and businessmen but the clergy, artists, and basically anyone with any type of intellectual or artistic talent that were targeted for deliberate death.
Guess who was left-the working class brutes whose superstitions, prejudices and lack of education is what has been passed on to the future generations of Poles you see at football matches today ignorantly giving the Nazi salute, en masse and with such fervor and abject glee. This is the equivalent of Native Americans saluting the American flag, for the purpose of exhibiting worship of the very same dastardly motherfuckers whose sole intent was to wipe them and their whole culture and race off the face of the Earth.
Ukraine is special in so many bad ways it beggars belief. They are currently experiencing a political backlash that is taking them right back into the arms of totalitarianism. The detaining of political prisoners is on the rise, and a regressive, reactionary form of government is rearing it's ugly head after the country has suffered egregiously during the time of Perestroika and the so-called "Capitalist Miracle" when Russian Communism was finally dismantled. They are in the process of paying amatuer assassins 35 pounds for every stray dog murdered in the streets of the major Ukrainian cities so these hapless creatures won't bother the paying tourists who are visiting for the Euro 2012 football tournament.
Ukraine was devastated by the process of Stalinist Collectivization in the 1930's, with millions of Ukrainians starving to death while almost all of the food grown in the so-called "Russian Breadbasket" was appropriated by the Russians and sent to the interior of the state. Along with the massive re-settlements to the gulags, the country was completely devastated. This did not stamp out the fierce Ukrainian nationalist movement, which is why the Germans were initially treated as liberators when they invaded in the summer of 1941.
The Ukrainians convinced themselves that Germany would aid them in their fight for independence against Soviet Russia, but once they got a taste of Nazis rule, they realized it was hopeless. Herein lies the crucial destruction pattern that Ukraine ultimately suffered, which was threefold-the retreating Soviets destroyed anything they could not take with them to the interior, leaving a scorched-Earth policy that left the remaining civilians with little to no infrastructure to carry on living. Then the Germans came along, burning and destroying thousands of Ukrainian towns and villages, wiping them off the map and deporting anyone fit for work back to the Fatherland. Then the devastation of the war and the destruction levelled upon the country by the retreating Germans left this country on the brink of utter collapse. To this day, it has still not recovered from this three-pronged attack upon it's land. Roaming around Ukraine one can still feel the effects of the Great Patriotic War, as it's called in the former Soviet Republics most ravaged during this time. There are many places in Ukraine where time has simply stood still, with towns and villages (those that weren't completely obliterated) that resemble old newsreel footage of the 1930's.
Then it was the Jews, who unlike in Poland, were summarily executed on Ukrainian soil in mass graves one by one which to this day are still being unearthed, with the help of any civilians they could round up. Some were forced on pain of death, some Ukrainian nationals volunteered for this work detail and many also contributed to the mass killings in the death camps in Poland as camp guards. Yet in today's Ukraine, civic pride is blended with National Socialist ethic of White Supremacy, even though they were considered as subhumans by the conquering Germans.
In both countries you see White Supremacist graffiti and mention of Jews as the ubiquitous parasites, leeches and scoundrels on the propaganda notices of many football supporter clubs, even though the vast majority of each country's respective Jewish populations were murdered years ago. The few Jews that are left live quiet lives and try to fly under the radar. In Poland, mention of the Holocaust will get you either looks of indifference or people will just walk away from you.
And the most galling aspect of this racism is the collective hatred of Blacks. Polish youths who listen to North American hip-hop and consider Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls heroes will in the same breath denounce blacks as monkeys and savages, nowhere more vociferously than at football matches when the opposition dares to field one or two black players. You will see these goons in the stands making monkey noises and tossing bananas onto the field, along with the Nazi salute, the same salute the Nazis were giving the Ukrainians as they mutilated their country not too long ago.
Why these idiots identify so closely to the racist tenets of Nazi Germany despite the visceral hatred the Germans had for them defies all rational discourse. At certain times one runs into situations like this that cannot be explained even by the most erudite of scholars. Which is why they should not be hosting Euro 2012. But they are. Let's hope they manage to make a good show of it,m because the world will be watching these jackasses to see if they step out of line Anything happened and rest assured this first time hosting an international even of this magnitude will be their last.
I'll leave you on a positive not, a long-lost story of Ukrainian defiance in the face of unspeakable odds that played itself out on the football pitches of Kiev in 1942-1943. Let's not forget these heroes, who I'm sure would be appalled if they were aware of the abysmal behavior of some of their countrymen-
UPDATE-Just in case you thought these animals would make an effort to exhibit a modicum of restraint, check out what the black players from the Dutch team had to endure during a recent practice session in Krakow, Poland. Even though I abhor this type of behavior, a part of me relishes this abysmal occurrence, because I want the world to see theses goons in action so their collective stupidity is on full display for the world to see. They need to be exposed once and for all. There are no excuses the Polish authorities can make to dismiss the actions of these people, THEIR people. They should have done more to curtail this nonsense, but have so far refused to even acknowledge it exists.