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October 23, 2021



WINDOW ON CZECH HISTORY - National Unification Movement: Uniformed militias and fascism

Prague, 4.6.2011 2:43, (ROMEA)

This is the second article in our WINDOW ON CZECH HISTORY series reprinting historical texts related to the topics news server covers and updating information related to them. With respect to this 1997 article from Czech daily Lidové noviny, we are reporting on the Brno-based National Unification Movement (Hnutí národního sjednocení - HNS), which splintered away from the Patriotic Front and collaborated with the National Patriotic Communities (Národní obcí vlastenecká - NOV).

National Unification Movement - training uniformed militias and promoting fascism

The National Unification Movement (Hnutí národního sjednocení - HNS), which in its journal "Our Honor" ("Naše čest") openly espouses the fascism of the Italian dictator Mussolini, is creating and training uniformed militia divisions. According to crime expert František Galada, police know who the HNS members are and the places they go to train. He also says the training is in and of itself not sufficient reason for them to be criminally prosecuted.

The director of the felony division of the Supreme State Prosecutor, Miroslav Růžička, believes the distributors and the publisher of the journal "Our Honour" ("Naše čest") may have committed the crimes of supporting and promoting a movement aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms or of publicly declaring sympathy for fascism. However, the state prosecutor will not concern itself with the affair until someone files charges: "In the context of journalistic ethics it could be desirable for the motion to be filed by a newspaper," he said.

A band of fascists is now training militia divisions in a democratic country. We know from recent history what this "home defense" serves, especially when the organizers of these divisions openly espouse Mussolini's fascism. In order to learn whether such training is legal or not, someone must determine what the members of these divisions are being rehearsed and trained in, and why. Only the police or the Security Information Services could find that out. Has anyone done so? No.

What about the state prosecutor? An instruction by the Supreme State Prosecutor dated 15 May 1995 contains these clear words: "The management of state attorney's offices or state attorneys tasked by them shall regularly evaluate the situational reports by bodies of the Police of the Czech Republic, the available information in the media, and other motions for the purposes of determining in particular whether Article 2 felonies are being committed. Should they determine that such a matter is concerned, they will take effective measures without delay to immediately implement all the due and justified responsibilities of the relevant state prosecutor per the law and the Penal Code... The relevant state prosecutor will immediately confirm whether a detective or police body is investigating the matter and whether there are delays."

Article 2 concerns nationally or racially motivated crimes, including the felony of promoting and supporting a movement aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms, the crime of which Růžička suspects the HNS. Despite this, the state prosecutor won't concern itself unless charges are filed, preferably by a newspaper. The excuses given by the police and the state prosecutor for their inaction are striking.

Updated information about this article:

The National Unification Movement splintered away from the Patriotic Front at the start of 1996. Together with the National Patriotic Communities (Národní obcí vlastenecká - NOV), with which it collaborated, it bore the most transparent indications of corporatism. Both organizations were based in Brno and displayed features of anti-Pragocentrism or Moravian nationalism.

The HNS operated as an ultra-conservative Catholic movement with monarchist tendencies, advocating for corporatism and carrying on the legacy of Italian fascism and Czech prewar fascism as represented, among others, by Radol Gajda. HNS was also linked to the Slovak neo-Nazi organization Slovak Solidarity (Slovenská pospolitost).

František Kostlán, Gwendolyn Albert, František Kostlán, Lidové noviny, 7 March1997, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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