ATHENS - A dictator's disciple and a woman who describes migrants as 'sub-human' are the power couple behind Greece's Golden Dawn, the neo-fascist party facing a police crackdown after the murder of an anti-fascist musician last week.
Party leader Nikos Michaloliakos, 56, arrested on Saturday, is a disgraced former officer cadet and devotee of Greek dictator George Papadopoulos, with whom he spent time in prison in the late 1970s for an assault and bombing attack.
His wife Eleni Zaroulia, who joined her husband in parliament in June 2012, turned heads when she appeared in the chamber wearing a ring in the shape of the Iron Cross, the military decoration of Nazi Germany's armed forces.
The family hails from Greece's southern Peloponnese peninsula, a particularly right-wing area of the country, and even their daughter Urania, 25, has urged members to "give up everything" for the party's "holy" ideology.
"Ask yourself, are you ready to die for what you believe... ask yourself how far you are prepared to go," she wrote in a web posting this month.
Golden Dawn offices around the country have been subjected to police raids after anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas was stabbed to death by an alleged self-confessed neo-Nazi on September 18.
Initially handpicked by ex-dictator Papadopoulos to lead the youth of far-right group EPEN after the junta fell, Nikos Michaloliakos founded Golden Dawn in the mid-1980s, making him one of the longest-serving party leaders in Greece.
The party follows a strict military-style regimen. Its members conduct parades dressed in black shirts and camouflage trousers, and are required to stand to attention before higher-ranking members.
Michaloliakos' first elected post was as an Athens municipal councillor in 2010, where he attended sessions with bodyguards and was filmed taunting a left-wing opponent with fascist salutes.
At the time of its inception and for years thereafter, Golden Dawn glorified Adolf Hitler and the warrior ethos of Nazi Germany in its party publications.