Jaak Madison, the only member of the far-right Estonian Conservative People’s Party (EKRE) at the European Parliament (EP), used a Nazi term – originally used to camouflage the Holocaust – against immigrants in Europe.
Madison, elected to the EP in May, posted an article on his Facebook page about a murder committed by a Syrian immigrant in Stuttgart, Germany, and added a comment: “New Europe and new Germany – one day an Eritrean pushes little boys and their mothers in front of a train, the other day a Syrian cuts a Kazakh with a sword. Let’s be tolerant and open, right? Die endgültige Lösung ist erforderlich.”
“Die endgültige Lösung ist erforderlich” (“the final solution is required”) was used by the Nazis as a designated term for the “final solution” to persecute and murder Jews. From 1941, this euphemism was intended to camouflage the Holocaust – a genocide of six million Jews – externally, to ideologically justify it internally.
After some reaction in the Estonian media and a condemnation by a veteran Estonian MP, Enn Eesmaa (Centre Party), Madison took to social media again to comment on the matter – in which he stood by his words and launched a strong verbal attack on those who criticised and condemned him.
Enn Eesmaa, the chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the Estonian parliament, strongly condemned Madison’s use of the Nazi phrase. “Whatever the context – and used intentionally or unintentionally – the use of such a term that understandably hurts a large part of humanity, and is internationally and unequivocally condemned, is wrong,” Eesmaa said in a statement.
It’s not a first time Madison has flirted with the Nazi terms and ideology. He justified the practices of the Nazi regime in a private blog post before the Estonian parliament election in 2015 – just before he was elected as an MP for the first time. “In my eyes, fascism is an ideology that consists of quite a few positive and necessary nuances to preserve the nation state,” he said.
Madison was elected to the European Parliament at the last election. He gathered 22,823 votes and became the first EKRE party member to become an MEP.
EKRE is a radical and populist party that first entered the Estonian parliament in 2015, winning seven seats. In the 2019 election, the party more than doubled their seats and currently has 19 MPs. The party was subsequently invited to form the current government with the populist Centre Party and conservative Isamaa. The party’s leading figures, including Madison, have over the years stood out for their use of xenophobic, racist and homophobic rhetoric.