Adam B. Bartoš has published many things on his web site. As he himself has stated, he likes to write on topics everyone else avoids. Of late he has also posted texts that discuss Jews and their role in history, society, politics, culture, etc. Because he calls himself a conservative, these texts are in the time-honored tradition of such hallowed arguments that are meant to show that Jews are a pernicious influence on humanity. Found on this site are arguments taken from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the Hilsner trial, manic conspiracy theories, as is Mr. Bartoš’s claim that he is not an anti-Semite, not least because several of his good friends are Jewish. Adherents to such an obstinate worldview have long run out of new calumnies to invent, that is, if we choose to overlook Mr. Bartoš’s new fantasy that has the Czech Republic accepting up to a million Israeli refugees, allegedly a promise made by Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg in the event war breaks out between Iran and Israel.

Mr. Bartoš’s activities are already the subject of criminal proceedings. Regardless of the outcome, we should not overlook the political context of his behavior. On his blog, which has the motto “God, Country, Family,” we find under the heading “With Politicians, with Friends” photographs of Mr. Bartoš with various public figures. It should be at least somewhat disconcerting that the public officials who appear with him in the photographs have thus far not felt the need to distance themselves from his anti-Semitic obsession. This even includes President Václav Klaus and his Vice-Chancellor, Petr Hájek, as well as members of the Young Right. It seems that those whose affinities Mr. Bartoš flaunts are perhaps not well informed about his activities, even though his blog has been scrutinized in nearly all media. Be that as it may, keeping silent in this case shifts the border of tolerance toward a dangerous and primitive extremist demagoguery, no matter if what is being alluded to is nationality, race, religion, political, or something else. If such silence is meant to show respect for civil liberties, which surely gives one the right to endorse conservatism and tradition, then it is also incumbent on us to remember how such values were abused in the past and what the consequences were.

The European Shoah Legacy Institute and the Czech organizations that represent it – the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic, the Terezín Initiative, and the Jewish Museum in Prague – express their outrage at the anti-Semitic statements that Adam B. Bartoš is disseminating via his blog.

Prague, February 23, 2012

Jaroslav Šonka, Director, European Shoah Legacy Institute
Tomáš Kosta, Chairman of the Administrative Board, European Shoah Legacy Institute
Jiří Čistecký, Vice-Chairman of the Administrative Board, European Shoah Legacy Institute
Jiří Kuděla, member of the Administrative Board, European, Shoah Legacy Institute
Petr Papoušek, member of the Administrative Board European, Shoah Legacy Institute
Eva Lorencová, member of the Administrative Board European, Shoah Legacy Institute
Michaela Sidenberg, member of the Administrative Board European, Shoah Legacy Institute
Jiří Daníček, Chairman, Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic
Leo Pavlát, Director, Jewish Museum in Prague
Dagmar Lieblová, President, Terezín Initiative


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