Prague, Czech Republic – A Czech publisher has come under fierce criticism in recent days after marketing a “Personalities of the Third Reich” 2021 calendar on its website.
Czech publisher puts “Personalities of the Third Reich” calendar on sale
A few days ago, Czech online publisher Nase Vojsko, a retailer specializing in materials related to military history and technical topics, presented a new and rather odd item on sale on its website: a so-called “Personalities of the Third Reich” 2021 calendar.
For 500 Kc (around €20), people will now be able to buy their own Nazi-friendly calendar featuring a dozen black-and-white pictures and portraits of Adolf Hitler and other high-ranking Third Reich figures, one for every month of the upcoming year: the Führer in January and December, Himmler in July, Mengele in September, and so on and so forth.
The sale of this calendar of dubious taste, to say the least, promptly caused an uproar in the Czech Republic, and an organization representing Holocaust victims filed a criminal complaint against the publisher.
“Shocking”, “immoral”, “disgusting”
According to Michal Klima, chairman of the Endowment Fund for Holocaust Victims, the sale of the calendar violates Czech law against the promotion of movements that suppress fundamental human rights and freedoms. “I consider it unbearable that, even on the 75th anniversary of the defeat of Nazism, representatives of the Third Reich are legally and publicly promoted in our country”, he said.
You can find his full statement, available in Czech, right here.
Israeli ambassador in Prague Daniel Meron angrily reacted to the news, saying on Twitter he was “shocked and disgusted by such a calendar”. In a second tweet, he said he had discussed the issue with Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek and “was pleased to hear […] about actions taken against the publishing house selling Nazi memorabilia”.
I am shocked and disgusted that such a calendar, with images of Nazi war criminals, is being sold https://t.co/KhwCOuFJWF
— Daniel Meron (@AmbMeron) May 25, 2020
Similarly, Germany’s ambassador to the Czech Republic Christoph Israng expressed his disbelief at the sale of “products that glorify the worst criminals in human history”.
Products that glorify the worst criminals in human history are unbearable. I cannot understand that someone makes, sells or buys such trash. I am glad that a discussion has arisen in 🇨🇿 that has suffered so much from the Nazis as to whether you want to tolerate this any further. https://t.co/rHkYUU32ZQ
— Christoph Israng (@velvyslanec_SRN) May 25, 2020
Not a first
Czech Interior Minister Jam Hamacek, for his part, called it “tacky and immoral”, but admitted that authorities could not do much to ban the sale of the “Third Reich calendar”, as exemplified by a similar scandal caused, two years ago, by the very same culprits.
In 2018, Nase Vojsko had already put on sale T-shirts and mugs featuring the faces of Adolf Hitler, other high-ranking Nazi figures and some of the world’s most notorious dictators (Stalin, Saddam Hussein…). After receiving multiple complaints, Czech authorities launched an investigation but concluded that the memorabilia were not intended to promote Nazism, but simply to make a profit.
They could not, under these circumstances, be banned according to the Czech criminal code, and are still on sale on the company’s website.
Talking to iRohlas.cz, head of Nase Vojsko Emerich Drtina expectedly justified the sale on the grounds of freedom of expression: “Every figure has a meaning in history. We do not want to be like under socialism […] I think that today, we are in a democracy, where we can do anything”.
Further reports claim that these are the publisher’s best-selling items.