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Doing Justice to the Classics

“Great European Leader” Hitler compared to Alexander the Great

Jason Jorjani, the founder of the xenophobic and neo-fascist site that Pharos has previously documented, called Hitler “a great European leader” like Alexander the Great in footage taken by an undercover agent of the British anti-extremist group Hope not Hate. This and other footage of Jorjani and his associates can be viewed in a New York Times article reporting on Hope Not Hate’s investigation.

Jorjani compares Hitler to Alexander as part of a prediction of a coming “revolutionary state” in Europe founded on anti-Semitic, racist, and xenophobic principles. The current world order, Jorjani says, is “gonna end with concentration camps and expulsions and war… at the cost of a few hundred million people…it’s going to end with an expulsion of the majority of migrants. Including citizens who are of Muslim descent…we will have a Europe, in 2050, where the bank notes have Adolf Hitler, Napoleon Bonaparte, Alexander the Great. And Hitler will be seen like that: like Napoleon, like Alexander, not like some weird monster who is unique in his own category–no, he is just going to be seen as a great European leader.”

The comparison prompts us to examine whether Alexander deserves the title of "great European leader."

Jorjani’s claim that future Europeans will respect Hitler as much as Alexander assumes that Alexander is universally admired. But the comparison prompts us to examine whether Alexander himself deserves the title of “great European leader.” The traditional assessment that produces the honorific “Great” derives from assumptions that military success is always admirable and that Alexander’s imposition of Hellenic cultural values on those he conquered was desirable and praiseworthy. It’s a vision of Alexander that’s still widely available in popular publications. This assessment, however, runs the risk of minimizing the violence of his conquests and ignoring all the reasons he has not always been admired.

In modern times, he has, like Hitler, been adopted as a symbol by several nationalist and racist movements involved in the dispute between the modern nations of Greece and The Republic of Macedonia over whether the latter can use the name “Macedonia.” The dispute arises in part because “Macedonia” is also the name of the region of the modern nation of Greece where Alexander the Great was born; this choice of name for the Republic of Macedonia, various monuments celebrating Alexander and his father Philip of Macedon erected in that Republic, and nationalist maps showing modern Greek territory incorporated into a new Macedonian nation have been interpreted by some Greeks as precursors to military aggression against Greece. In both countries (and beyond) the conflict has provoked racist tensions.  On the Greek side, the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party has appropriated Alexander as a nationalist symbol in their protests of Macedonia’s name, and a racist prayer broadcast on the Republic of Macedonia’s public television station has the voice of God promise to “open the grave of Alexander, the Macedonian Tsar” and to “bring the entire world to bow before you” after saying that he has “impregnated the white race…from you, Macedonians…all white people are your brothers because they carry the Macedonian gene.”

Jorjani, who until the release of this footage was a lecturer in the humanities at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, numbers among his allies Greg Johnson, who runs the white supremacist site Counter Currents that Pharos has documented in the past and who appears in the Hope Not Hate footage saying that Jews “need to go to Israel or we’re going to freeze you out of our society” as part of his plan for “ethnically defined, ethnically and racially homogenous homelands for every distinct European people.” Also featured is the notorious and discredited Holocaust denier David Irving, who was filmed saying “I’m pretty certain that in Auschwitz, not much happened.”

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