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Commentary: Has the Czech Republic had enough of Bátora?

Prague, 25.5.2011 16:19, (ROMEA)

Petr Hájek, Vice-Chancellor of the Office of the Czech President, is standing up for neo-Nazis. Ladislav Bátora, an adviser to the Czech Education Minister, is a fan of clear anti-Semites. The author of this column apologizes to everyone who has had enough of this topic, but we must return to the D.O.S.T. initiative and its fans at Prague Castle for these reasons.

Hájek recently gave an interview to Týden magazine in which he said – as is his bad habit - many completely awfully extreme things, one of which stands out. This close collaborator with our head of state stood up for Filip Vávra, one of this country's most notorious neo-Nazis and a co-founder of the neo-Nazi National Resistance (Národní odpor - NO), which has on its conscience everything from the violence at Janov in 2008 to the publishing of anti-Semitic propaganda.

"There's the case of a guy who was also once in one of those fringe political parties. He's an IT worker. He left the party, but now BIS (the Security Information Service) is following him around. He goes to one business, they hire him, and a month later they let him go without giving a reason. He goes to another business, he's let go after eight days. He goes to another business, they hire him for a significant position, and that very evening they call him: 'Please understand, we have to cancel the contract. We can't discuss it.' That's a real case. Do you think it's the only one?" Hájek says in the interview. This is supposed to document that "conservatives" are being persecuted in the Czech Republic.

While Vávra is not directly named by this co-worker of President Klaus - who either just overheard this somewhere and doesn't know Vávra's name, or as a skillful manipulator of the media is intentionally not mentioning it - it is completely clear that it Vávra whom Hájek is talking about. He also published a piece on this topic in March in the pro-Klaus news server ParlamentníListy.cz.

"One of those fringe political parties" means the banned Workers' Party (Dělnická strana - DS), and the "persecuted IT worker" is the man who initiated an attack on human rights activist Ondřej Cakl, who invited David Duke, a former head of the racist Ku-Klux-Klan, to the Czech Republic, and who is now on trial together with other key figures of this country's neo-Nazi scene for promoting the NO, among other matters.

Ladislava Bátora, head of the D.O.S.T. initiative, is also emphatically defended by Hájek in this interview. We should not let him out of our sight either. Gradually new information is coming to light as to what this adviser to the Czech Education Minister really believes.

Bátora has called the book "Zkáza slovanů" ("The Adulteration of the Slavs"), by the priest Rudolf Vrba, "brilliant". The only reason this prompted no reaction is that no one remembers this text anymore - but in it we can read the author's joy over the fact that "Russia has long been freed of its Jews", or that "there will be peace in Europe once the Jews disappear from Paris".

Published with the kind permission of the author.

Gwendolyn Albert, Silvie Lauder, http://respekt.ihned.cz/na-rovinu/c1-51923510-jeste-nemame-d-o-s-t, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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