Wiesenthal Centre to Czech President: Ban Neo-Nazi Kristallnacht March Through Prague Jewish Quarter

Czech Anti-Fascists Block Nazi March
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Wiesenthal Centre to Czech President: "Ban Neo-Nazi 'Kristallnacht' March Through Prague Jewish Quarter"

Paris, 23 October 2007

In a letter to Czech President, Vaclav Klaus, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, urged "the banning of a neo-Nazi  march through the historic Jewish quarter of Prague, planned for 9/10 November, the 69th anniversary of 'Kristallnacht' - the 'Night of Broken Glass' or Nazi State pogrom that was the prelude to the Holocaust."

Samuels noted that "hundreds of synagogues across the Reich were destroyed, and thousands of Jews were arrested, beaten, many murdered, on that date in 1938. Czech neo-Nazis intend to glorify that occasion by demonstrations around the synagogues and the Old Jewish cemetery, ostensibly on the pretext of 'freedom of assembly'".

The letter continued, "We understand that the Prague town council's ban on this outrage was subsequently revoked by the municipal court on grounds of civic rights", adding, "A hundred million victims of World War Two paid the price for the abuse of such rights that rendered democracy itself defenceless."

The Centre urged the President's intervention "to prohibit this threat to public order", stressing that "to do otherwise would taint the Czech Republic's history of courage and fortitude in the face of Nazism and its proud commemoration of its Jewish past."

"Prague, more than any other city, must recall the direct line between 'Kristallnacht' and the Munich surrender of Czech sovereignty to Hitler.

Our Centre counts upon your civic wisdom to forestall such incitement to hate and violence", concluded Samuels.

For further information, please contact Shimon Samuels at +33.609.77.01.58

Read letter of response from Czech President, Vaclav Klaus...