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Bátora wrote editorial for fascist magazine

Prague, 18.8.2011 16:27, (ROMEA)

Ladislav Bátora, a high-ranking bureaucrat at the Czech Education Ministry, has been downplaying his ties to the extreme right. Czech daily Mf DNES reports today that those ties are actually much deeper than Bátora has admitted. The proof is the existence of an editorial he authored for the most recent edition of "National Idea" (Národní myšlenka), a magazine promoting fascism. The editorial was published last December just before Bátora started working in a high-level position at the ministry.

"The most recent issue revealed a strong tie to the trend of contemporary Italian neo-fascism. 'Národní myšlenka' has radicalized to a great extent recently," says political scientist Miroslav Mareš, an expert witness on extremism.

Bátora's December 2010 article is called "On Quasi-Sanitary Hyenas". The text deals with Czech journalists. Even now, Bátora makes no secret of his support for 'Národní myšlenka' on the website of the civic association of the same name, which features texts with titles such as "Anthropologist Kalousek harassing the human races" or "Munichism and gayism".

Bátora also lectured at least four times about the history of Japan during WWII and the Rwandan genocide at events organized by the Patriotic Front (Vlastenecká fronta). "That organization has been included on the government's list of extremist organizations every year since 1994. It hasn't missed a year. They shared a P. O. BOX with the Bohemia Hammer Skins organization. The neo-Nazi band Zášť 88 (Hate 88) played at their founding meeting," says Ondřej Cakl, who maps the extremist scene.

One of Bátora's lectures was attended by people such as Patrik Vondrák of the court-dissolved Workers' Party (Dělnická strana). Vondrák was arrested by police during a raid on neo-Nazis after the Vítkov arson attack. Erik Sedláček, the convener of an attempted march through Prague's Jewish Town on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, also attended a lecture by Bátora. Petr Kalinovský, spokesperson for the neo-Nazi National Resistance (Národní odpor) organization, led that lecture.

Even though it is evident that Bátora has been a member of the extremist community for many years, he has been very careful about his statements and has never said anything which might result in criminal prosecution for promoting racism. Czech Education Minister Dobeš has referenced this fact and considers it offensive to label Bátora as linked to neo-Nazis.

Gwendolyn Albert, Mf DNES, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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