Reply to the injuries brought by Alexandr Isaev to ACI Hyde Park
June 25, 2009
To the injuries brought by Alexandr Isaev to ACI Hyde Park
In the “Comunist” newspaper, released on 8th of July, Alexandr Isaev writes an article named “Should Moldova also be Afraid of Nazis?”. Isaev bases on the statement of “Never Again” and “Youth Helsinki Assembly” Associations (Attachment 1), which accuse ACI Hyde Park and the site curaj.net of promoting the anti-Semitism. Hyde Park replied to that statement, classifying it as being one of bad-will, tendentious, and declares itself against the injuries.
The communist journalist Isaev writes a misinforming article without taking into consideration our statement (Attachment 2), and did not either contact nor consult us concerning some explanations about Hyde Park’s activity.
One of the injuries without any proof is the one stating that: “ Hyde Park organization was among the basic participants in the actions of the 7th of April. Mainly this organization helped to mobilize the youth and to bring the in the central square. “Hyde Park” was calling the youth to deny the election results from the 5th of April, to destroy the communist power. Hyde Park was giving the remonstrators anti-moldavian slogans, patterns of posters and flyers.”
We request to Alexandr Isaev to bring proofs to support his statements or to give contradictions in the same newspaper, saying his statements were not true. Otherwise Hyde Park will bring him to trial for injuries and misinforming statements.
To notice that the „Never Again” and „Youth Helsinki Assembly” associations did not brought contradictions to their statement and did not replied to our statement, that was sent to them via email. We request once again to these organizations to bring contradictions or proofs to support their statements that Hyde Park was among those who organized the protests on the 7th of April, otherwise we will bring them to trial as well.
The International Civil Association Hyde Park, founded in 2003, promotes the right of freedom of speech and access to information. The site curaj.net is a territory where everyone can express freely and on every page it is specified that Hyde Park does not necessarily share the views of the authors.
July 13, 2009
President of ACI HP
of the “Never Again” Association and Youth Helsinki Citizen’s Assembly of Moldova against promotion of the antisemitic book of Paul Goma “Red week: 28 June – 3 July 1940, or Jews and Bessarabia”
by the Moldovan non-governmental organization “Hyde Park“.
Antiracist organizations “Never Again” and Youth Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly of Moldova strongly condemn the promotion of the writings of the infamous France-based historian of Bessarabian origin Paul Goma and particularly his book “Red week: 28 June – 3 July 1940, or Jews and Bessarabia” by the Moldovan organization “Hyde Park”.
We consider Goma’s book “Red week: 28 June – 3 July 1940, or Jews and Bessarabia” as antisemitic, attempting to transfer the charge for the Holocaust to Jews themselves (which can be classified as a “softcore type” of denying the Holocaust, using the terminology of the renowned American researcher, Professor Deborah Lipstadt). The book explicitly distorts the Holocaust by claiming that the massacres of Jews were “merely” a reaction to alleged Jewish support for the Soviet regime and for the anti-Nazi partisans during the war. Paul Goma also tries to prove that the Jews themselves were to blame for their own extermination on the territory of the Romanian protectorates of Basarabia (now Moldova), Bucovina, Transnistria, and the South of Ukraine.
The book was published by the Moldovan print house “Museum” and distributed by some right-wing MPs among libraries and schools in Moldova, it was also sold in one of the bookshops in the centre of Chisinau. In 2007, the Jewish community protested against the distribution of Paul Goma’s book “Red week: 28 June – 3 July 1940, or Jews and Bessarabia” during the annual Book Fair in the National Library in Chisinau, where it was also promoted by the activists of the NGO “Hyde Park”, stating that the book has a strongly antisemitic character. In 2007, the Jewish community issued a protest to the Prosecution Office in Chisinau about the publication of this book by the “Museum”.
However, the most popular Moldovan Internet resource among young people curaj.net has a link to the Paul Goma website, including the book “Red week: 28 June – 3 July 1940, or Jews and Bessarabia” under the rubric “”Recomendam petru lectura” (We recommend for study). The web-site curaj.net is maintained by the NGO “Hyde Park“ and it also carries numerous articles written by Paul Goma. Moreover, one of the leaders of this organization Oleg Brega actively promotes Paul Goma’s position. Contributors of curaj.net and defenders of Paul Goma questioning the right of the Jewish community to protest against the book, cynically write: “The whole Palestine is the concentration camp”, “Jews are blamed for Communism, but maybe there are also good Jews”, etc.
The “Hyde Park” web-site also popularizes the image of the pro-Nazi dictator Ion Antonescu and publishes texts or has links to other web-sites with revisionist character, by stressing the links between the Jews and Communists, minimizing the number of victims of the Holocaust, comparing the Holocaust with other events in history etc.
Importantly, the organization “Hyde Park” poses as a part of the Moldovan civil society and a pro-democracy and pro-freedom of speech group. It is strongly supported as a “freedom of speech fighter” by the Independent Journalism Centre in Chisinau. However, it seems that “democracy”, “civil society” and “freedom of speech” are understood by both organizations as ethnic but not universal concepts.
“Hyde Park” is one of the hardline protagonists of the idea of unification of Moldova and Romania on the basis of ethnic and linguistic ties. Sadly, Holocaust revisionism has become an important tool this organization uses to promote this idea.
Why the “Never Again” Association and Youth Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly decided to protest against the distribution of the above-mentioned book now?
“Hyde Park” became an important actor in the recent events in Moldova by mobilizing young people to protest against the results of the parliamentary elections and to claim Romanian citizenship for Moldovans. Moreover, its leaders Ghennady and Oleg Brega are portrayed as icons of human rights and freedom of speech and many young Moldovans visit their web-site curaj.net.
That is why we would like to draw attention to some neglected and dangerous aspects of activities of this organization when Moldova faces the growth of inter-ethnic intolerance and violence.
We consider ourselves as non-political organizations, therefore this statement should not be understood as a political act. We strongly condemn antisemitism and all forms of Holocaust denial.
Information about organizations
The mission of ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is to promote multicultural understanding and to contribute to the development of a democratic civil society in Poland and other countries in the region.
‘NEVER AGAIN’ has cooperated with international organizations, including the Council of Europe, the United Nations, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. It has actively participated in international networks, including UNITED for Intercultural Action, the International Network against Cyber Hate (INACH), Football against Racism in Europe (FARE), Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly (hCa), and the Anti-fascist Network for Research and Education (Antifanet).
‘NEVER AGAIN’ has launched the ‘Delete Racism’ project to combat racism and antisemitism on the Internet. It has also conducted successful high-profile educational campaigns in the field of popular culture, ‘Music Against Racism’ and ‘Let’s Kick Racism out of the Stadiums’. It is currently planning major educational activities to take place before and during the European Football Championship in Poland and Ukraine in 2012.
The Youth Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly of Moldova (YHCA of Moldova) is a non-government national non-profit citizens’ association, which has as its purpose the building of civil society in Moldova. The YHCA of Moldova was founded on 17.09.98 and officially registered on 19.11.98. It has realized a number of projects aimed at conflict resolution and the establishment of a tolerant and co-operative atmosphere between persons of different ethnic origin in Moldova. The YHCA of Moldova craves for promotion of the European democratic ideas and values in the country. The main purpose of the YHCA of Moldova is the promotion of human rights in the country with the involvement of youth. The organization devotes itself to the realization of ideas and principles laid down in the OSCE Helsinki Final Act (1975) and Prague Appeal of Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly (1990) among youth and by means of youth.
The Youth Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly of Moldova is an active member of the biggest anti-racist network UNITED for Intercultural Action based in Amsterdam and cooperates with the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-International Secretariat, based in Paris. The YHCA is a correspondent for the Stephen Roth Institute against Xenophobia and Antisemitism, Tel-Aviv University, Israel. YHCA Moldova co-operates with London-based international anti-fascist magazine „Searchlight” and with the Anti-fascist Network for Research and Education (Antifanet).
Youth Helsinki Citizens Assembly of Moldova
Contact address of organization:
PO Box 1479, Chisinau-2043, Moldova
of ACI Hyde Park to the injurious declarations made by the “Never Again” Association and Youth Helsinki Citizen’s Assembly of Moldova
The International Civil Association Hyde Park declares itself against the injuries and plaints brought by the “Never Again” Youth Association and the Youth Helsinki Citizen’s Assembly of Moldova, claiming that our association promotes an anti-Semitic book, and mainly the essay of the Romanian-Bessarabian writer Paul Goma, “Red week: 28 June – 3 July 1940, or Jews and Bessarabia”.
Unfortunately, we received the statement of these organizations indirectly. The signatory organizations neither contacted nor consulted us concerning some explanations about Hyde Park’s activity. This way, their opinion appears to be tendentious, inaccurate and misinforming. We are tempt to think that their statement is one of bad-will and we suspect it to be a part of the government campaign of discrediting the ACI HP, even if their statement is declared as being a non-political act.
We do not agree with statements that ACI HP understands the freedom of speech, the democracy and the civil society as an ethnic concept. Hyde Park promotes the freedom of speech, the democratic principles and supports the civil society, with no signs of discrimination. We encourage every citizen, of any ethnical origin, to defend and rejoice his rights and to freely express himself.
Regarding the figure of Ion Antonescu, Hyde Park never pronounced itself officially, and the information from curaj.net are only the users’ opinions which have the right to exist!
Paul Goma, a Honorary Member of our organization, Honorary President of Chisinau Writers’ Union and Honorary Citizen of Timisoara is a writer who opposed the communistic regime. Paul Goma, having a sound civic and publicist activity, is considered by Hyde Park to be a symbol of courage, human dignity and fight for human rights. The link to his page is displayed on our web-site since it was launched and it is rather strange that it is noticed so late.
Paul Goma defines his essay “Red week: 28 June – 3 July 1940, or Jews and Bessarabia” as an “attempt to structure in two columns the bad deeds of Romanians against Jews and the bad deeds of Jews against Romanians”.
We think that it is wrong to classify someone who dares to discuss a delicate subject as being anti-Semitic and disclaiming the given subject. Also, it is unprofessional and exceeds the competencies of Human Rights Organizations to resume a literary work of a writer to a thesis out of which, it seems, they created a belief profession.
The International Civil Association Hyde Park, founded in 2003, promotes the right of freedom of speech and access to information. In ACI HP regulations are clearly explained the goals of our organization. The site curaj.net is a territory where everyone can express freely and on every page it is specified that Hyde Park does not necessarily share the views of the authors. (It is important to mention that on curaj.net every user can post his opinion, and not only the administration of the site.)
ACI Hyde Park is opened to debates and discussions, we invite the “Never Again” Youth Association and the Youth Helsinki Citizen’s Assembly of Moldova to a fruitful and opened dialog for clarifying the discordances.
President of ACI HP