Czech / 08-03-2017

Czech court upholds suspended sentence for antisemitic text

Source: praguemonitor

The regional court in Brno upheld a one-year sentence with a two-year probation for Adam B. Bartos, leader of the small far-right party National Democracy, for an antisemitic text they posted in Polna, south Moravia, yesterday.


The verdict has taken effect, however, Bartos may file a petition for an appellate review with the Supreme Court. Bartos told journalists after the trial that he would definitely do so.


The regional court upheld the verdict that a district court issued last October. The judge, Adam Kafka, said the lower court proceeded thoroughly and no major defects occurred in its proceedings.


The district court found National Democracy former deputy chairman Ladislav Zemanek guilty of the same crime, but it decided not to punish him since he showed self-reflection and regret.


Bartos and Zemanek placed the antisemitic text at the grave of Anezka Hruzova, murdered in Polna in 1899.


Local Jew Leopold Hilsner was falsely found guilty of the murder of Hruzova, a 19-year-old Czech Christian woman, and sentenced to death, which was later commuted to life imprisonment. He was only pardoned in 1918.


The cause triggered a wave of antisemitism in the Czech Lands. It was challenged by Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, who later became the first Czechoslovak president (1918-35).


Bartos and ND member Zemanek displayed a sign with a photograph of the murdered woman and a text reading: "Her death cemented the Czech nation and it showed the urgent need to solve the Jewish question. The Jewish question has not been resolved in a satisfactory manner yet." Both men signed the text and they posted it online.


The text hinted at the final solution to the Jewish question (Endlosung), or the Nazi plan for the extermination of the Jews during World War Two.