Fascist Groups Impact Czech Republic

Although display of Nazi symbols or support of Nazism is illegal in the Czech Republic, there is evidence that a significant number of people support such ideas. There was open celebration of Hitler’s birthday last month, and hundreds went to pay homage at the grave of Radola Gajda, a Czech fascist leader. Last fall Petra Edelmannova, leader of the right wing National Party, called for a “final solution of the Roma problem” using Nazi terminology regarding killing Jews.

The UN issued a report in March urging the Czech Republic to be more vigilant in protecting the rights of minorities such as the Romas and Muslims. Peter Uhl, a former dissident, recently resigned from the government’s human-rights council in protest over Deputy Prime Minister Jifi Cunek’s anti-Roma comments. Uhl noted that, “very often it is as if the police don’t see (the rallies)…it is being overlooked that, for example, people are ‘heiling,’ etc.”

Zdenek Zbofil, a professor at Charles University, recently complained that the number of secondary and university students participating in extremist activity is growing. It is particularly disturbing that right wing groups increasingly are attracting better educated people into their ranks. A poll taken in April showed that the far right-wing Slovak National Party was the second most popular political group in Slovakia. In Moscow this year, foreign students were warned not to leave their dormitories on Hitler’s birthday for fear they would be assaulted by right wing fascist groups.
Information from Prague Post

Right wing fascist extremism has not caught on in the United States to the extent it has in Europe. Anti-Muslim feeling is more frequently the source of bigotry and prejudice in America while anti-Muslim feeling in Europe combines with anti-Roma attitudes and lingering traces of anti-semitism. It is ironic that such fascist feelings are mow present in the Czech Republic given that Czechoslovakia was among the original targets of Nazi aggression and its people suffered under German occupation. I guess youth forgets or is it that we have failed to educate youth about the horrors of World War II. The Holocaust undoubtedly is the main reference point to brutality and hate from World War II. Perhaps, a problems is failure to discuss how Nazi Germany was also killing Romas and gays and millions of ordinary Russian people.

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