Slovakia: Villages burned by Nazis during WWII elect right-wing extremist today
In the Central Slovakian villages of Kľak and Ostrý Grúň, whose inhabitants were massacred during the Second World War, most people are now voting for right-wing extremist Marián Kotleba. The online edition of the Slovak newspaper Sme notes this fact in its commemoration of the massacre, which took place 69 years ago.
Kľak and Ostrý Grúň, where the anti-partisan Edelweiss commando murdered 148 civilians ranging from three months to 78 years old in January 1945, is located in the Banská Bystrica Region. Last November the provincial governor there became Kotleba, a right-wing radical leader who makes no secret of his sympathies for the wartime Slovak state, which was a satellite of Nazi Germany.
"Those who remember those days are dying out and our historical memories are failing us. Almost 70 years after the massacre, most voters in both villages voted for Marián Kotleba, who has called the (anti-Fascist) Slovak National Uprising a putsch, an act against Slovak statehood, and has called the partisans bandits," the daily reports.
"Young people who work elsewhere voted for [Kotleba]," explains Luboš Haring, who is the mayor of Kľak. Haring admits that "it definitely isn't good" that Kotleba won in those two villages in particular.
"That's democracy. People elected Kotleba," says 83-year-old Gizela Benčová, who was awaiting execution with everyone else back in January 1945 as a 14-year-old; she witnessed a partisan being tortured and was standing in front of the main machine gun to be executed when the order was changed at the last moment.
Sociologists believe Kotleba was mainly elected by people who are disappointed with politics to date and that they expect him to resolve poverty and problems in coexistence with the Romani minority. "Every extreme begins with simple solutions and the division of people into the good and the bad. If we don't stop this, the results could be really harmful," Pavol Feršo, head of the opposition party SDKU, said while recalling the massacre.
Jana Laššáková of the governing left-wing Směr party is the vice-chair of the Slovak parliament. Speaking on a visit to a monument to the victims of the massacre, she labeled Kotleba's election a warning sign that the grandchildren of those who rose up against Fascism are forgetting what their forebears did.
- Slovak Constitutional Court awards compensation to Roma for 13-year court case - but the discrimination sued over still has no final ruling
- Czech Finance Ministry proposes all EU financing for social projects be provided ex-post, which could cut nonprofits off from those resources
- Czech man who gave Nazi salute at ultra-nationalist rally gets fine and suspended sentence, appeals
- Slovakia: Video of police intervention against Roma at gas station goes viral, sparks protests
- Czech politicians react to Communist MP's false allegation that honoring the Roma victims of Nazism has raised the price of pork
- Czech producer of items with portraits of totalitarians adds war criminals, contemporary figures to product line
- Slovak President: The Holocaust of the Roma cannot be forgotten, especially when hatred is becoming a political tool once more
- Infamous housing estate in Slovakia is finally turning around
- Italian Police raid ultra-right extremists, confiscate air-to-air missile from Qatar
- French court convicts six arsonists of attack on Romani people
- Italian PM wants to deport Roma, MEP Romeo Franz calls his behavior racism and the shame of Europe
- Commentary: Czech President spouts reassuring nonsense to ultra-nationalists