In what sounds unnervingly similar to eugenics, Die Welt - the conservative German newspaper close to Merkel's CDU Party - unleashes an anti-Greek tirade warning that "Greece destroyed the European order before," and revives the racial theories of the Nazis, as the author of the article quotes 19th-century Austrian scholar Jakob Philipp Fallmerayer, a xenophobe and a slavophobe, who had invented the "Greeks are not real Greeks" theory in the context of the DNA-based eligibility for EU membership.
In the context of the DNA-based eligibility for EU membership, the thesis of Conservative WELT and CDU clearly implies that apart from the fake Greeks, neither real Turks, Slavs and Albanians should be allowed in the European family of undiluted blood and pour races.
Racists to the bones
The authors makes a reference to the Battle of Navarino in 1827, during the Greek War of Independence (1821–32), where the Great Powers (Britain, France and Russia) destroyed the Ottoman armada thus creating a breakthrough in the Greek Independence War against the Sultan.
However, according to the author the motives of the Great Powers were not geostrategical as every political scientist would think nowadays, but noble and romantic.
“The three powers did that actually against their conviction (peoples should not rise up against their monarch), but because of pure romanticism because the classically educated Western Europeans did not want the descendants of Homer, Socrates and Pericles to be further suppressed by the Turks.”
Then the author’s argumentation falls like a heavy sledgehammer on the heads of those believing that Germany had learned from the fatal mistakes of its past, it had removed from skin and uprooted from soul the racism of national-socialism. The WELT-author explains to its German conservative readers that the Great Power helped the Greeks “but for the wrong reasons.” And this because “the Greeks were not real Greeks” – so the WELT-claim – in terms of racial purification, “inferiority – superiority” duality and cultural arrogance of the European North towards the European South.
“The idea the Greeks of modern times were descendants of Pericles or Socrates and not a Turkish-molded mixture of Slavs, Byzantines and Albanians, was a belief among the educated Europeans. Also the architects of the EU could not escape this belief. In this senses, they brought the clammy Greece into the European boat in 1980. The consequences can be admired every day.”
The idea that Greeks are not real Greeks is not new and it has not be invented by the WELT-journalist. It first came up by Jakob Philipp Fallmerayer a Tyrolean traveller, journalist, politician and historian of the 19th century who is “best known for his controversial (some even say racist) theories concerning the racial origins of the Greeks.”
Fallmerayer’s Greek theory
Fallmerayer devoted his scholarly activities to another Greek-speaking region of the Middle Ages, namely, the Morea – the peninsula of Peloponnese. In particular, he developed his theory that the ancient, “Hellenic“, population of the south Balkans had been replaced during the Migration Period by Slavic peoples (350-800 AD). A similar idea had already been proposed by the British traveler William Martin Leake, but Fallmerayer turned it into a theory, which he advocated with characteristic zeal.
The first volume of Fallmerayer’s Geschichte der Halbinsel Morea während des Mittelalters appeared in 1830, and he expressed his central theory in the foreword as follows:
“The race of the Hellenes has been wiped out in Europe. Physical beauty, intellectual brilliance, innate harmony and simplicity, art, competition, city, village, the splendour of column and temple — indeed, even the name has disappeared from the surface of the Greek continent…. Not the slightest drop of undiluted Hellenic blood flows in the veins of the Christian population of present-day Greece.”
This phenomenon was further interpreted by Fallmerayer as an indication of the potential of the “Slavic” nations to overwhelm the “Latin” and the “German”, a line of thought which he would later develop in his political writings. He further argued that the Great Powers who had supported the Greek War of Independence had been led by a “classical intoxication” to misjudge the character of the new Greek state.
However, Fallmerayer’s not so scientific theories were not purely scholarly. They were politically motivated. The scholar was a devoted supporter of Austria’s Realpolitik and the then empires desire to expand southwards into the Balkans and antagonize Russian interests in the area
Fallmeyer who was “considered one of the great 19th-century intellectuals in the German-speaking world” was a proven slavophobe. and his racist theories were a popular component of the Nazi Propaganda.
“Fallmerayer’s theory was popular as part of the Nazi propaganda in Axis occupied Greece (1941–1944) during World War II, when classically educated Nazi officers used it as an excuse to commit numerous atrocities against the Greek population.” (via wikipedia).
Greek DNA & WELT readers
But the WELT-journalist knows very well the daily’s audience and seems to speak right into the racist DNA of its readers. It is interesting and scary but not surprisingly at the same time, to see how many supposedly classically educated Germans in the comments section on the online edition express support of this racial theory claiming that the very ancient Greeks (Dorians, Ionians) were big, blond and blue-eyed, while the modern Greeks are mainly black-haired and brown-eyed.
Some Comments translated into English by KTG:
1. Especially the people living in Greece nowadays have absolute nothing to do with the ancient Greeks.
2. Dorians and Ionians were blond and blue-eyed, and big. Not to compare with the brown-eyed dark-haired Greeks of today.
3. Strangely, the Mycenaeans were black-haired and black- or brown-eyed brown. They were probably not relatives to the Ionians, right? !
4. No of course not. Dorians and Ionians were Germans, the Mycenaean were Slavs, the Minoans were Egyptians and I’m a Martian. Let’s ignore all genetic tests that prove the contrary.
5. The Mycenaeans were migrants from the North.
DNA-based EU eligibility
In a ironically soft criticism to DIE WELT article, the German edition of popular VICE website notes:
“.. to suggest that Greeks were somehow too “Turkish overbuilt” for the EU and that they had gambled away any claim to EU membership because of their racial purity that’s an interesting interpretation of European history.
But perhaps the author is just jealous because the Greeks, unlike his ancestors actually indeed got their One Thousand Year Reich.”