NO FASCISTS AT THE CELEBRATION OF AN ANTI-FASCIST UPRISING, ORGANISER SAYS

Kotleba not invited to SNP celebrations

THE REGION known as the centre of anti-fascist resistance during the Second World War shocked the country by electing a man with a far-right background as its regional governor. Now this paradox comes to light again, when the central-Slovak city of Banská Bystrica is the key venue for celebrating the anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising (SNP). Governor Marian Kotleba, however, is not invited.

THE REGION known as the centre of anti-fascist resistance during the Second World War shocked the country by electing a man with a far-right background as its regional governor. Now this paradox comes to light again, when the central-Slovak city of Banská Bystrica is the key venue for celebrating the anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising (SNP). Governor Marian Kotleba, however, is not invited.

“I will not invite a fascist to celebrate an anti-fascist uprising - I view it as absurd and disgusting,” said Stanislav Mičev, director of the SNP Museum in Banská Bystrica, the organiser of the 70th anniversary of SNP celebrations, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “This means that if Mr Kotleba will have the stomach to come here to look into the eyes of the SNP’s participants, he may come - but only as a private person.”

Mičev said he does not care that he is violating protocol and claimed that he wants to be mindful of the official guests and other SNP participants at the celebrations.

Kotleba praises Slovak state

Kotleba, who has a history as a leader of the political party Slovenská Pospolitosť (Slovak Togetherness), which was dissolved by the 2006 ruling of the Supreme Court, has repeatedly described the SNP as a predominantly communist-led uprising against the state.

“The fact that I’m not invited does not mean I will not come to see it,” Kotleba told the SITA newswire. Kotleba believes the SNP brought an end to the independent Slovak state and therefore finds it a negative development in the country’s history.

The wartime Slovak state is a topic that Kotleba often promotes. Contrary to the generally accepted view that the state was allied with Nazi Germany and as such sent tens of thousands of its citizens to concentration camps and certain death, Kotleba and his party praise the state as the first-ever independent state of Slovaks.

Shortly after his inauguration into the post of the regional governor, Kotleba angered the regional councillors when the regional monthly newspaper, Náš Kraj (Our Region), started echoing his praise of the fascist Slovak state. The regional paper’s lead story in April lauded Kotleba for his “courage for removing the occupant flag of the European Union” from the building of the regional government. Several councillors noted that the monthly was simply turned into a political pamphlet for Kotleba and his party, People’s Party-Our Slovakia (ĽSNS), and many claimed they were personally offended by the article celebrating the wartime Nazi-allied state, citing the participation of their ancestors in the SNP.

Councillors distance themselves

To protest Kotleba’s view of the SNP, members of the Banská Bystrica regional council, which Kotleba as governor presides over, signed a joint statement to express their support for the legacy of the anti-fascist uprising.

“Just like [the fighters for freedom] we feel aversion towards fascism, towards totalitarianism as such, and to the servants of the regime that brought so much horror and evil to the world,” the statement, drafted by independent councillor Ľubomír Motyčka, reads.

Motyčka claims that Banská Bystrica and central Slovakia have understood the election of Kotleba was a mistake and “today the situation is different”, he told the Sme daily.

Kotleba’s past SNP excess

Kotleba’s name has been infamously connected to the SNP celebrations in the past, long before he was elected to his current post.

Back in 2006, Kotleba as the leader of the fascist group Slovenská Pospolitosť (Slovak Togetherness) was arrested with 11 of his supporters at a ceremony to mark the 62nd anniversary of the SNP in Banská Bystrica. Kotleba was detained because he attempted to interrupt the ceremony, the police said at the time.

Kotleba and his supporters attempted to get into the SNP complex shortly after the ceremony began, they said. Group members wore blue T-shirts with inscriptions saying “Slovenská Pospolitosť” and “On Guard”, a greeting used by the Nazi Hlinka Guard during the Second World War in Slovakia. None of those detained were ever charged.

Top stories

UPDATED: Report: Slovakia a finalist to host new car plant

SLOVAKIA and Poland are said to be the last two countries competing for a new unspecified car plant while final decision could be made in the summer 2015.

Monk seal, to be seen in a movie at Ekotopfilm/Envirofilm festival in Bratislava and Banská Bystrica

Countrywide events

Tips for events between May 22 and 31, including a concert of top four world/ethno music Slovak bands, a festival of environmental movies, days of architecture, an opera premiere, a literary festival, two markets of…

The TSS team in 2010: from left,bottom row: Jana Liptáková, Beata Balogová, Ján Pallo, Zuzana Vilikovská; top row: Donald Spatz, Tatiana Štrauchová, Marta Fukasová, Michaela Terenzani, Roman Král, Martina Mišíková, Dáša Košútová, Beata Fojtíková, James Thomson

More independent thought and self-confidence for Slovakia

The Slovak Spectator has been covering the development of Slovakia for two decades now. On the occasion of the celebration of its 20th anniversary it surveyed its founder, head of the Petit Press publishing house as…

Asian tourists in Bratislava

Bratislava tourists good for little more than a three hour tour

IN THE tourist season, the Slovak capital is frequently visited by tourists, including Austrians, Americans and tourists from Asia alike. But most stay just long enough for a brief guided tour, and coffee break…

Stanislav Mičev, the director of the SNP Museum in Banská Bystrica, does not want Banská Bystrica Regional Governor Marian Kotleba at the celebrations.

Source: SME

MOST READ ARTICLES


  1. Many Slovaks still migrate for work
  2. Volkswagen opens state-of-the-art body shop
  3. Levoča altar has been reconstructed to full splendour
  4. UPDATED: Report: Slovakia a finalist to host new car plant
  5. 4 things to know when drinking in Slovakia
  6. Bratislava tourists good for little more than a three hour tour
  7. Blog: The state of Services for expats in Bratislava
  8. Drahovská kosa opened the season of scything competitions
  9. Young Slovak scientists succeed at International Science Fair in Pittsburgh
  10. Slovak Božena minesweepers head to Nigeria and Bangladesh
  1. Volkswagen opens state-of-the-art body shop
  2. Many Slovaks still migrate for work
  3. Levoča altar has been reconstructed to full splendour
  4. Blog: The state of Services for expats in Bratislava
  5. Slovakia will host ice hockey world championship
  6. Young Slovak scientists succeed at International Science Fair in Pittsburgh
  7. 4 things to know when drinking in Slovakia
  8. Bratislava tourists good for little more than a three hour tour
  9. Russia's Sberbank considers leaving Slovakia
  10. Slovak Božena minesweepers head to Nigeria and Bangladesh
  1. Many Slovaks still migrate for work
  2. 4 things to know when drinking in Slovakia
  3. Volkswagen opens state-of-the-art body shop
  4. Levoča altar has been reconstructed to full splendour
  5. Slovak Božena minesweepers head to Nigeria and Bangladesh
  6. Young Slovak scientists succeed at International Science Fair in Pittsburgh
  7. Russia's Sberbank considers leaving Slovakia
  8. Slovakia will host ice hockey world championship
  9. Blog: The state of Services for expats in Bratislava
  10. Slovak aid to Nepal remains grounded