Golden Dawn was born as a political organization in 1980. From its inception to the present day, its fortunes have always been tied to those of its founder Nikos Mihaloliakos.
The organization published its own magazine (by the same name), the articles of which praised Adolf Hitler and the dictators that ruled Greece over the years. During the 90s it began to become more active, organizing attacks of against migrants and Greeks who challenged its doctrines.
GD was transformed into a political party in 1993, but it wasn’t until 2012 that it won its breakthrough into parliament. While the organisation identifies itself strictly as nationalist, its detractors claim that the true basis for its policies is nothing less than Nazism.
Having amassed 18 MPs in the last election, Golden Dawn has never been out of the headlines since. Shouting down and swearing at rivals became a hallmark of its politicians conduct as they defied international opprobium.
However, the party’s brinksmanship finally crossed a clear line in September 2013 when a GD member stabbed to death a 34 year old rapper who was known for his antifascist opinions. The killing, onthe outskirts of Piraeus, triggered a chain of inquiries that led to a number of high-profile GD members being charged as belonging to a criminal organization.
Mihaloliakos and other top officials, amongst them his number two Hristos Pappas, were sent to prison. 78 members have been accused of constituting a criminal organization, 30 are being held in prison waiting for their trial, 8 of whom are Golden Dawn MPs.