Neo-Nazis mobilize in Serbia
For those who know their history, the notion of Serbian neo-Nazis is almost as wacky as Israeli neo-Nazis. Serbia was occupied by the Nazis in World War II, and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (ruled by the Serb royal family) dismantled by the Axis powers. It's a particular irony that this rally is to be held (or not held, if the ban prevails) in Novi Sad, capital of Serbia's northern province of Vojvodina—which was detached from Serbia and handed over to Hungary by the Axis occupation. However much these guys may hate Jews and Roma—what could they be thinking? "March for Serb Unity"? Huh? From Reuters, Sept. 26:
BELGRADE – Serbian police on Wednesday banned a planned rally by a small neo-Nazi organisation after it was condemned by Serb parties, non-governmental organisations and the World Jewish Congress.
The 'March for Serb Unity', led by the Nacionalni Stroj (National Front) group, was scheduled for Oct. 7 in the northern city of Novi Sad. A police spokesman said the rally was banned 'because it endangered public morals and public safety'.
The rally would coincide with the birthday of Heinrich Himmler, the SS commander who orchestrated the murder of hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews and Roma (Gypsies) on the territory of the then Kingdom of Yugoslavia in World War Two.
Neo-Nazi groups are on the rise in Serbia, but usually have few members and are mostly marginalised.
The National Front made its presence felt for the first time in 2005, when some 20 members stormed an anti-fascist meeting in Novi Sad University, assaulting some participants and raising their arms in the Nazi salute.
Some of them were tried for religious and ethnic hatred.
Earlier this month, the World Jewish Congress sent a letter of protest regarding the rally to Serb President Boris Tadic and Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica.
Many NGOs, such as the Belgrade-based Humanitarian Law Center, and most Serb parties also condemned the gathering, calling on citizens to act against it.
'If the regime does not prohibit this gathering, the neo-Nazi vermin must be crushed and stamped out once and for all', said Nenad Canak, leader of the Social Democratic party of Vojvodina province, whose capital is Novi Sad.
Meanwhile in the supposedly liberal and civilized Czech Republic, neo-Nazis are planning to march on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Prague Daily Monitor reports Sept. 27. Have they forgotten the killings of hundreds of Czech civilians and razing of Czech villages in Nazi reprisals following the assassination of SS commander Reinhard Heydrich in 1942?
If you guys are reading this, please explain it to us. We really don't get it.