News 14 Feb 18

Prosecutions Urged for Nazi Salutes at Serbian Rally

Serbian anti-fascists filed criminal and misdemeanour complaints against members of far-right groups for making Nazi salutes at a rally to commemorate WWII-era puppet government premier Milan Nedic.

Filip Rudic
Counterdemonstrators holding a banner with the slogan "Fascism shall not pass". Photo: BIRN.

The Anti-Fascist League of Serbia said on Wednesday that it has filed complaints against three members of far-right organisations for making Nazi salutes during a rally to commemorate Milan Nedic, the prime minister of Serbia’s puppet government under German occupation during WWII.

“We expected state institutions, the police and the prosecutor to react to the shameful promotion of fascism and Nazism at the gathering, but there were nothing,” the Anti-Fascist League said in a press release.

The complaint alleges that members of right-wing groups Srbska akcija (Serbian Action), Carostavnik and the National Serbian Front broke the law that prohibits fascist and Nazi gatherings and use of fascist and Nazi symbols.

The rally on February 4, the anniversary of Nedic’s death, drew around 50 right-wingers and an equal number of counterdemonstrators.

Large numbers of police in riot gear were deployed to ensure that there were no incidents.

Nedic headed the so-called Government of National Salvation, a puppet government in Serbia during World War II that operated from August 1941 until October 1944.

At the end of the war, he fled to Austria, but the Allies surrendered him to the Yugoslav Communist authorities who took over after WWII.

Nedic was charged with collaborating with the Germans and with committing treachery, but the case was cut short when he committed suicide in a prison cell in February 1946.

His posthumous rehabilitation is currently being considered before the Higher Court in Belgrade, at the request of his descendants.

A hearing in January was told that the WWII prime minister considered himself to be the Serbian version of French collaborationist leader Marshal Petain.

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