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September 18, 2021



Radoslav Banga: I walked out of the Czech music awards because Nazism does not belong in public life

28.11.2016 7:58
Radek Banga (PHOTO: Tomáš Bystrý)
Radek Banga (PHOTO: Tomáš Bystrý)

On Saturday night I left the hall of the theater in Karlín very, very indignantly. Yes, it's true, my wife and I got up during the "Czech Nightingale" awards ceremony, began to whistle, and then left to protest against the award won by the band Ortel.

Just a small handful of brave people also spoke up - Iva Pazderková, Filip Smid, Petr Štolba (better known under his stage name Pekař) and Jan Tuna all have my respect. We all expressed our disagreement.

It might be good for others to comprehend WHY WE WALKED OUT AND WHAT IT IS WE DISAGREE WITH. First I might begin by describing what or who the band Ortel is and how they have become famous.

You know, according to Ortel, our country would be better off without all of these Blacks, Jews, Roma and Vietnamese, but mainly without any Muslim refugees. Of course.

The problem of all people who espouse hate, however, is hatred itself. It is never possible to satisfy hate, not by any means.

After we Roma bear the brunt of this hatred, all the rest of you will be next in line for it. Café frequenters, gays, disabled people, fat people, intellectuals, scholars, wheelchair users, et cetera et cetera.

At the end of it all, these messengers of hate will end up killing each other. Some time ago somebody else here espoused the same thing - his name was Heinrich Himmler, the Reichsführer in Nazi Germany and the leader of the Schutzstaffel (Adolf Hitler's Protection Squadron), which is better known by the abbreviation SS.

One of the main symbols of the SS was the so-called "death's head" skull and crossbones. This symbol is known more by those who can remember the war, just like the Nazi cross that was worn by SS units on their caps, rings and uniforms.

Why did I get so furiously angry on Saturday? Why did I stand up and whistle?

Why did I decide to leave the Karlín Theater in protest during a live broadcast? Because the Ortel band walked up to the podium in shirts with those skulls on them.

They were primarily up on that stage because they had been supported by "ordinary people" who have the impertinence to assert that this favorite band of theirs is not racist and that under no circumstances does it promote Nazism. Then Ortel comes on television wearing death's heads on their shirts and makes it clear to the entire nation what direction they are heading in by wearing that symbol.

I grieve for the fact that this obvious promotion of Nazism was not just ignored by the entire audience, but that most people even applauded it. Why?

Your grandfathers may have fought in the resistance, many may have given their lives, my granddad was in a concentration camp and three of his brothers perished in one too - they were all in the resistance, just like the grandfather of my wife. HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN HISTORY??!

How is it possible that an evident display of Nazism has not just been tolerated, but absolutely ignored? Where are the journalists from,, all of the online news servers?

Ortel had just wiped his ass with the entire Czech nation. I stood up, I whistled, and I witnessed 99 % of the audience applauding.

I am asking my colleagues - actors, athletes, moderators, singers - WHO IS IT THAT WERE YOU APPLAUDING? I'll tell you who - YOU WERE APPLAUDING THE NAZIS.

I hope you can all sleep at night, as you apparently were all able to do on Saturday. Gentlemen, ladies, you all kept your mouths shut.

Silence is tacit agreement. You have made the wrong decision, just like many did in 1938.

We all know how that turned out. We must never forget that, because history shows us how far hate can go.

If your grandpa had been sitting there on Saturday, he would have explained to you what those gentlemen were wearing on their shirts. Your grandma would have told you who Heydrich and Himmler were... those gentlemen were famous in those days, just like the Gestapo and SS.

Do you not know who they were? Maybe it's time to read something about them.

Republished from the author's blog on

Radoslav Banga, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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