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LN: Czech bookshop offering T-shirts with Hitler, Heydrich

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Prague, May 25 (CTK) – The Czech police are investigating the Nase vojsko (NV) bookshop and publishers for offering for sale various objects with Nazi themes such as T-shirts and teacups featuring Adolf Hitler and Reinhard Heydrich, daily Lidove noviny (LN) writes yesterday.

A T-shirt or teacup with a picture of Heydrich, chief of the Reich Main Security Office and Acting Reich-Protector of Bohemia and Moravia killed by Czechoslovak paratroopers in 1942, can be bought for 300 crowns, LN writes.

NV also offers posters with Karl Hermann Frank for 3,000 crowns.

SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Frank was de facto the head of the Nazi rule for most of the war in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. He was executed as a war criminal in 1946.

“Selling the teacups depicting not only the murderers of the Czech nation, but also civilisation murderers is tasteless, to say the least,” writer and publisher Jiri Padevet, who has published several books from the war-time era, told the paper.

“The police are working on the case,” Prague police spokesman Jan Danek told the paper.

However, the police effort has been fruitless, LN writes.

NV director Emerich Drtina dismisses the notion that the offered objects promote Nazism.

He said the police were checking 25 complaints over the controversial sale.

“Denunciation was common during the war and under the Communist regime. This is passed down the generations,” Drtina said.

“I was already questioned by the police. These are cultivated people who cannot see any propaganda in this,” he added.

Drtina is also a member of the World War Two veteran Freedom Fighters Association (SBS), LN writes.

He said the offer of the objects with Heydrich were just a widening of the assortment.

A few weeks ago, Drtina said the objects with Hitler were to “thrill the public,” LN writes.

The arguments explaining the sale of the controversial goods may be crucial when its criminal aspect is evaluated, it adds.

NV started selling the objects from the “collector edition of world personalities” in February. After some criticism, it withdrew them from its offer for a time, but a few weeks later, NV returned the T-shirts with Hitler and posters with Frank to it.

It is now also offering goods with Heydrich.

“Interest in the things with Heydrich is not big. However, we have only had them for two months,” a shop assistant who requested anonymity told the paper.

“There is the biggest interest in the objects featuring Russian President Vladimir Putin. Lots of people have bought them. Pop star Karel Gott is also popular,” he added.

On the other hand, the T-shirts with President Milos Zeman and former president Vaclav Havel do not sell much, the shop assistant said.

In its collector edition section NV also offers T-shirts with the faces of Saddam Hussein, Che Guevara, Marilyn Monroe or 14th century ruler Czech Charles IV.

“Kajinek might be selling well, too,” Drtina told the paper, speaking about the convicted contract killer Zeman has just pardoned after 23 years in prison and who is becoming a real celebrity.

Nase vojsko (Our Army) was established by the Defence Ministry in 1945. It focuses on military and security affairs. It was privatised in 1996.

($1 = 23.642 crowns)

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