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Ministry scraps lease agreement with producers of calendar featuring Nazi leaders

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The Czech Interior Ministry has canceled a rental agreement it had with Nase vojsko, a publishing house that issued a calendar with portraits of the Third Reich leaders, Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek told CTK after meeting Israeli ambassador Daniel Meron today.

Similar items have nothing to do in Czech shops, he said.

The publisher faces a criminal complaint by Michal Klima, the head of the Holocaust Victims Foundation, and another one is being prepared by the Czech Jewish Communities’ Federation (FZO).

FZO chairman Petr Papousek said the FZO considers not only the calendar’s appearance but also its graphic design a step promoting Nazism and adoring its leaders who were Nazi war criminals.

Petricek (Social Democrats, CSSD) said that Meron showed interest in the case at their talks today.

“I told him that a criminal complaint has already been filed and that the Interior Ministry has terminated its contract for renting storage premises to the publisher. Such items have nothing to do with the Czech shops’ offer. They downplay the horrors of the Nazi regime and especially for Israel it must be sad to see them,” Petricek wrote to CTK.

Apart from Meron, the calendar was previously also criticized by the German ambassador to the Czech Republic.

The Denik N daily recently found out that the Interior Ministry has rented storage premises to the publisher via its subordinate organization. It has abrogated the contract as of June 30, Denik N wrote this morning, citing Interior Minister Jan Hamacek (CSSD).

A contract with Nase vojsko has also been terminated by the Prague City Hall, which rented shopping space to it.

The city abrogated the contract by end-April, and the publisher has six months to leave the premises. “We do not want our premises to host entrepreneurs whose business is definitely beyond the limit in terms of ethic,” Prague Councillor Jan Chabr (TOP 09) wrote to CTK.

Nase vojsko director Emerich Drtina said at the time that as a publisher he does not offer the items for sale with the aim of propaganda but in order to make a profit.

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