Slovak civil groups staged a demonstration on Hodžovo Square in Bratislava on the afternoon of Sunday, March 14 protesting against marches and other events held on the same day to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the Slovak wartime state, which was formed with the support of Nazi Germany in 1939, the TASR newswire wrote.
The demonstration under the slogan ‘Fascism Doesn't Belong in Slovakia’ featured speeches by political analyst Grigorij Mesežnikov and fellow analyst Samuel Abrahám, who told the TASR newswire that many of those honouring the Slovak state do not even know that its president, Jozef Tiso, wrote to Hitler’s successor Admiral Donitz in May 1945 assuring him of Slovakia’s loyalty until the ‘final victory’.
The counter-demonstration was organised by various civil associations and foundations such as the Documentary Centre for the Holocaust, civil association Citizen, Democracy and Accountability and many others. Another gathering in protest against a fascist demonstration took place under the slogan 'No More Silence' and was organised by the civil association People Against Racism.
The group of sympathisers with the Slovak wartime state (1939-45) gathered on Hodžovo Square in Bratislava shortly afterwards to commemorate the 71st anniversary. The group of around 150 people was made up of members of Slovak National Unity (SNJ) led by Stanislav Panis and members of Slovenská Pospolitosť (Slovak Togetherness). They were joined by representatives of nationalist groups from the Czech Republic and Germany.
The speakers focused on national topics, economic and social issues, unemployment and immigration. Panis rejected accusations of fascism that were levelled against the wartime state sympathisers at the anti-fascist rally earlier in the day. After the initial gathering, which lasted around one hour with no disturbances reported, the demonstrators moved on to the Martinský cintorín cemetery, which contains the presumed grave of Slovak wartime state president Jozef Tiso. They were addressed there by Slovak Togetherness founder Marián Kotleba. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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15. Mar 2010 at 14:00