Neo-Nazi music group makes the Czech Republic's Top 10
According to the preliminary results of this year's "Český Slavík" (Czech Nightingale) questionnaire about music preferences, the neo-Nazi band Ortel from Plzeň is among the Top 10 bands in the country. The group's hateful lyrics primarily target religious minorities and Romani people.
Ortel's song "Hadr" ("Rag") was once the anthem of the neo-Nazi Workers' Party prior to its dissolution by the courts. "These white warriors are doing their best to make up for their failure on the political scene with success in the field of music. Where else might they find more fertile ground for their crypto-racist, latent white power drivel than among Czech rock fans (of beer-drinking big beat music)? That's how the Ortel band was created," Vojtěch Libich writes on the Czech culture website G.cz, where he names in detail the reasons why Ortel is "a bunch of not very cleverly disguised Nazis".
From the rules of the "Czech Nightingale" questionnaire
"The organizer reserves the right to exclude from this questionnaire any musical group or singer whose verbal or visual output might contravene the legal order of the Czech Republic or might violate the principles of good morals or the principles of elementary human decency. This concerns, for example, outputs that might support ideas or movements aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms, supporting racial hatred, inciting others to violence or to commit crimes, endangering the upbringing of children, or lyrics containing crude, insulting, vulgar expressions or formulations, etc., that exceed generally acceptable limits in society."
The founder of Ortel, who calls himself Tomáš Ortel, is also the founder of the neo-Nazi cult band Conflict 88. The number 88 is a neo-Nazi cryptogram for the Nazi greeting "Heil Hitler".
Ortel himself, however, is the moderate neo-Nazi in the band. "He has edited all of the blatantly 'defective' passages from their lyrics and made sure to package his racist, ultra-right opinions in legal garb. Ortel's songs are characterized by anti-Muslim, anti-Romani, homophobic rhetoric, all within the boundaries of permitted hinting," Libich writes.
Clubs where Ortel performs have faced boycotts by other bands. Last month the Plzeň-based group Positive Mind, together with the bands Donnie Darko and Emmett Brown, canceled their concerts in the Kain club in Prague after Ortel was scheduled to play there.
"The rise in popularity of this group is responsible for the marches by the latent and not-so-latent nationalists in Plzeň (members of Ortel stand in the front row of those events). We do not support patriotism in this form of display. You can believe what you want, but the club is organizing [Ortel's] production quite consciously. Ortel is slowly but surely being played more often on the radio and more contemporary music fans are becoming aware of them. This is wrong, and if you disagree, then do the work of finding something out about Czech history on Wikipedia, for example. Wake up, read, think for yourself. Don't excuse everything by talking about the Romani problem, develop your own opinion about the problems and woes of our everyday life," Positive Mind posted to its Facebook profile when announcing the cancellation.
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