Two nationalist Czech politicians have been accused of leaving an antisemitic text at the grave of a woman whose murder in the 19th century was wrongly blamed on a Jewish man. Adama Bartoše, the National Democracy (ND) movement’s extra-parliamentary chairman, and ND member Ladislav Zemanek are known to have visited the grave of Anezka Hruzova, murdered in 1899, last Easter on the anniversary of her death.
Bartoše and Zemanek displayed a sign with a photograph of the murdered woman and a text reading: “Her death cemented the Czech nation and it showed the urgent necessity to solve the Jewish question. The Jewish question has not been resolved in a satisfactory manner yet.”
Leopold Hilsner, from the local Jewish ghetto in Polna, was convicted of murdering the 19-year-old Hruzova, a Christian woman, and sentenced to death, a punishment later commuted to life imprisonment. He was pardoned in 1918. The case provoked an outbreak of antisemitism, which included the claim that it was a ritual murder.
Bartoše has previously attracted headlines for suggesting that refugees be housed in the Theresienstadt concentration camp.
Michal Dolezel, Brno’s councillor for the Live Brno political movement, has filed a legal complaint against Bartoše and Zemanek.
Regional police spokeswoman Dana Cirtkova said the police had launched criminal proceedings.