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Czech Neo-Fascists Harshly Commemorated the Anniversary of 1938 Jewish Pogroms

Last Saturday, the historical part of Prague where the old Jewish quarters are located turned into a battlefield between neo-Nazis and ultra-left radicals. At least seven people were seriously wounded and approximately four hundred participants were arrested, resulting from the confrontation. Several Nazis are facing criminal charges. Followers of Hitler�s ideology promise to enact revenge for this defeat at the anniversary in 2008.

The anniversary of �Kristallnacht� remembers the mass Jewish pogroms in Germany in 1938. The Czech neo-fascist movement �Young National Democrats� intended to recognize this date with a procession, as was previously stated on their web site. They first requested permission to hold the procession from the Prague administration, but were turned down. The �National Democrats� the attempted to play it safe, formally dedicating their action as a protest against the sending of Czech troops to Iraq; however, the date for carrying out the procession and the participant make-up left no doubts about the true nature of the event.

The authorities turned down this application, but the neo-Nazis expressed that the event would take place all the same, and threatened mass misconduct. Adherents from Germany, Austria, Poland and Slovakia came to their aid. Ultra-left organizations from the Czech Republic, together with representatives of the European Liberal Union, made a number of statements on Friday regarding the fact that they would not permit the conduction of a �anti-Semitic act, even of it took the application of force.�

As Eva Brozhova, the press-secretary of the Prague police administration told Noviye Izvestia, the authorities provided a force of 1500 police officers to protect public order, and at the start �it was actually possible to control the fervor� until the neo-Nazis could not be held back even by the shots from gas guns. Then anarchists, collaborating with activists from the ELU, after having breached the police cordon, met the Nazis with violence. According to police, both sides were armed with sticks, axes and metal rods. In order to separate the combatants, the police had to use batons, water jets and tear gas. In the course of suppressing the aggressive conflict which carried on for several hours, six of the people who were involved in the conflict and one police officer were seriously wounded. Around 400 others from both sides fell into police custody.

After the abortive march, the neo-Nazis promised that next year, on the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, they would organize a larger act, in which �not thousand but tens of thousands of supporters for the racial purity of Europe.� To avoid such a threat is a matter of honor for Czech judicial authorities, said Irzhi Danichek, the chairperson for the Federation of Jewish Communities of the Czech Republic expressed. The president of the country, Vaclav Klaus, in unity with this statement, confirmed that the authorities will suppress any such appearances in the future.

Source: Novye Izvestia

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