The bust of Ferdinand Ďurčanský, a prominent politician of the wartime Slovak Republic, was wrapped in toilet tissue on August 29 by activists from the 2010 Civic Charter, the TASR newswire reported.
A representative of the association, Eduard Chmelár, said the installation of the bust represents a crime of promoting movements aimed at the suppression of fundamental human rights and freedoms.
"This town [Rajec, in Žilina region] refuses to acknowledge basic facts about Ďurčanský. He wasn't only a man striving for the independence of the nation, but he also was an initiator of the cruelest anti-Semitic laws ... This man, at his own initiative, gave a hateful address on Slovak Radio against the Slovak National Uprising and supported the German occupation," stated Chmelár, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
Police officers warned the protesters that they had committed a crime, the Sme daily wrote in its August 30 issue. Chmelár answered that the Slovak constitution ensured them the right to express their civic protest without damaging the bust. The statue remained wrapped in toilet paper just for few seconds and then police removed it and wrote down the names of those responsible.
The police refused to specify which law the protesters had violated, stating only that it was the law of the Slovak Republic. A group of Rajec residents, led by Mayor Ján Rybárik, defended the bust, declaring Ďurcanský a famous local citizen.
Ďurčanský served as the first foreign affairs minister of the wartime Slovak state, TASR wrote. His supporters stress that he was one of the few Slovak politicians of the time that struggled for as much independence from Germany as possible, which was also a reason for his dismissal from the cabinet as early as in 1940, at Adolf Hitler's behest. He was sentenced to death in absentia in 1947.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
30. Aug 2011 at 14:00