Member of Czech Freedom Fighters' Union says chair did not speak for her during the Terezín commemoration
Vodička called for protecting our borders against refugees and for the protection of our culture.
This is not the first time he has abused his position and used us, the members of this organization, as cover for presenting his personal opinions. The first criticism we made of him was when he publicly supported the presidential campaign of Miloš Zeman in the name of the ČSBS without ever allowing the broader membership base of the organization to adopt a position on that issue.
Despite that criticism, he has not learned his lesson. Now he has made an appearance with a speech in which he essentially outlined his personal views with regard to the current international situation and in addition made use of the stereotypical, xenophobic opinions that are so dangerous today.
That speech also gave the impression that it was the shared opinion of everybody whom he represents as chair of the ČSBS. It was not.
I strongly distance myself from the remarks made by Jaroslav Vodička and I have immediately demanded that the Central Committee of the ČSBS review his speech during its meeting today. The Czech Freedom Fighters' Union is not just the successor to what used to be called the Union of Anti-Fascist Fighters, but as its name clearly indicates, it has a broader focus which naturally also includes the fight against racism and xenophobia.
The chair of the ČSBS should be a role model for those of us who are rank and file members, and he should also be aware that he still continues to represent many heroes and survivors of the Second World War, as well as our brothers and sisters who frequently found themselves in conditions similar to those of today's refugees. One of the members of our Kladno branch who is in her 90s and who survived three years in a concentration camp told us recently that she was sorry she wasn't younger and didn't have more strength, because if she were able to do so she would immediately take one of the families fleeing today's war into her own home.
The chair of the ČSBS, however, has once again abused not just his position, but also the Terezín commemoration to make remarks with which I do not identify, and I must emphasize that he does not speak in my name. I would like to thank Chief Rabbi Karol Sidon for his words as well as Michal Frank of the Jewish Museum in Prague, who commentated the Terezín Commemoration on Czech Television and criticized Jaroslav Vodička's speech.
Gabriela Havlůjová is a doctoral candidate and historian at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague. While she is also the chair of the Czech Freedom Fighters' Union branch in Kladno, this commentary is her personal opinion only.
- Czech Jewish Community says speeches at Terezín commemoration were anti-German, nationalist and xenophobic
- Czech Republic: 11 organizations call on Terezín to fly the LGBTQ and Romani flags during traditional commemoration
- Czech Republic: Sellers of plaques from Terezín convicted
- Czech Republic: Politicians and survivors remember the Holocaust at Terezín
- Czech Republic: Director of Terezín memorial against NGO honoring Romani victims separately
- Czech Republic: Demonstration at Terezín will demand Romani victims of Holocaust be honored
- Czech PM at Terezín: It is important to stand up to anti-Semitism
- Terezín Initiative considers Bátora at EdMin a mockery of the fight against racism
- Romanian court hands down a scandalous decision: Roma woman who was beaten up by a minibus driver has to pay a fine
- German MEP of Romani origin Romeo Franz: The situation for Roma in Ukraine is shocking, I could not believe Roma live in such conditions in Europe
- CNN: Czech Republic has discriminated against Romani refugees from Ukraine, updated data refute the myth that they all hold dual citizenship
- Czech research finds one-third of Romani refugees from Ukraine have experienced discrimination here, most children are not in education, dual citizenship has not been "abused" by them
- Hungary's Jewish Community protests PM Orbán's racist speech in which he said Hungarians don't want to become a "mixed-race" nation
- One refugee camp in Czech capital is now closing, remaining refugees from Ukraine there will be moved to another camp this afternoon
- Czech volunteers say second-largest city has broken its agreement by closing camp used by Romani refugees from Ukraine near Grand Hotel
- New handbook describes how to intervene against daily hatred and racism in the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands
- Czech local candidates who quit the "Mayors and Independents" party have secured enough signatures to run as independents
- All candidates for the "Mayors and Independents" party in Czech town are quitting to run as their own group after mayor is told not to run for espousing racist violence
- Czech mayor must either withdraw his candidacy today or be delisted as a candidate by his party ahead of local elections for his racist advocacy of violence against Romani people
- Czech party calls on mayor to withdraw from local election over racist approval of violence against Romani people