Banská Bystrica’s regional newspaper publishes anti-Semitic caricature

A CONTROVERSIAL caricature has been published in the Bystrický Kraj (Bystrica Region) newspaper, issued by the office of the Banská Bystrica Self-Governing Region and which is delivered free to mailboxes within the region.

Banská Bystrica Governor Marian KotlebaBanská Bystrica Governor Marian Kotleba (Source: SME)

It depicts an old man with a big nose, grinning while holding a bunch of banknotes. The picture is crossed out. It accompanies a story titled “We release the region from debt slavery!”, which provides information about reducing the region’s debts, the Denník N daily reported.

The caricature resembles one used in Nazi propaganda. The difference is that this picture omits the original quote, saying “With Jews… you lose!”. It is however obvious that the authors knew about the anti-Semitic content and orientation of the picture, according to Denník N.

“I believe that in the past the picture was associated with a topic which nobody can be proud of and which is still highly topical to this day,” said Banská Bystrica regional deputy Ľubica Laššáková of the Smer party, as quoted by Denník N.

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She considers it unethical to have been published in a newspaper which is delivered to people living in various regions within Slovakia.

The regional prosecutor’s office in Banská Bystrica checked the caricature and the text before printing, but it did not find any indications of criminality.

Stanislav Dermek, head of the PR department at the Banská Bystrica Self-Governing Region’s office, said that they obtained the image from a public internet source and that it was not copyright protected. The graphics designer allegedly considered it to be a caricature of a loan shark.

“He did not know it was a Jew since he does not know how a Jew can be recognised,” Dermek told Denník N.

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