Banska Bystrica, August 5 (TASR) – Representatives of parliamentary far-right People’s Party Our Slovakia (LSNS) were very well aware of the symbolic meaning denoted by the numbers 14 and 88, and giving people gift cheques in that sum was a clear intent on their part, TASR was told on the occasion of the Roma Holocaust commemorations by Slovak National Uprising (SNP) Museum general director Stanislav Micev.
Micev spoke in response to statements made by LSNS representatives earlier this week regarding a lawsuit against LSNS chair Marian Kotleba.
According to Special Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson Jana Tokoloyova, a prosecutor pressed charges against the LSNS chairman over displaying sympathies to an organisation that supports suppressing basic rights and freedoms.
In 2017, in front of 400 guests at an assembly hall of a university in Banska Bystrica, Kotleba gave three families a financial gift via cheques, each in the sum of €1,488. The number 1,488 is notoriously used as a symbol by extremists. Tokolyova claimed that 14 signifies 14 words by far-right terrorist David Lane, who claimed: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children”, whereas 88 stands for an abbreviated Nazi salute of “Heil Hitler” (H is the 8th letter in alphabet).
Micev maintains that no democratic society can tolerate similar public displays. “People are making fun of the indictment, thinking that this has no business being dealt with by a court. I don’t think so at all. Promotion of fascism is a promotion of fascism, regardless of their attempts to wriggle out by claiming this wasn’t so. The sums and dates or other symbols they use clearly point to the promotion of fascism and Nazism. We should have put a stop to this. The relevant bodies should have taken action earlier, even before they aspired to become lawmakers of Parliament,” said Micev.
LSNS dismisses the lawsuit as a fabrication and a farce. According to member of the parliamentary constitutional committee Rastislav Schlosar (LSNS), there is no law in place to ban the provision of properly taxed money to individuals as a gift or social aid, regardless of the precise sum given. “Under this logic, we should also strike off the current year 2018 from the calendar. It contains numerals 20 and 18, which, in their interpretation, could also be construed as some form of extremism,” noted Schlosar.
“So suddenly they know what 20 and 18 is? Then they are also aware of the meaning of 14 and 88, let’s not pretend otherwise,” Micev fired back. “What happens next time someone is sieg heiling? Will we pretend he’s only indicating how tall crops have grown?”