Revulsion over Slovak Nazi bust

By Thomas Orszag-Land, July 21, 2011

The Slovakian government has condemned the erection of a bust of Ferdinand Durcansky, a prominent antisemite who served in the pro-Nazi Slovakian government during the Second World War and was sentenced to death in absentia by Czechoslovakia in 1945.

The bust was placed earlier this year in Durcansky's home town of Rajec, attracting fierce protests from the Slovak groups including the Association of Jewish Religious Communities and the League of Anti-Fascists.

A petition is being organised calling for the bust's removal. The local authorities are investigating whether it is likely to encourage extremist movements.

Rajec mayor Jan Rybarik defended the bust on the grounds that Durcansky was a "famous son of the district" whose life had some positive features, including his anti-Communism.

A government spokesman expressed regret that the wound surrounding Durcansky had been re-opened.

Durcansky served in the pro-Nazi Slovakian government

Durcansky escaped to Argentina in 1947 but settled in Munich in 1952, where he died in 1974.

Last updated: 2:46pm, July 21 2011