The controversial US politician David Duke is planning to visit the Czech Republic at the end of April. A former Grand Wizard, that is, the leader of the racist organisation, the Ku Klux Klan, Duke will come to promote his “recipe book” of modern neo-racism. The book Mé probuzení (My Awakening) was published by the same publishing house that last year brought another book popular book among anti-Semites on the Czech market: the Turner Diaries. The anti-extremist section of the Police Presidium has begun investigating Duke’s work.
“Unfortunately we cannot prevent the publication of this book. We need to focus on specific content. Our specialists are looking into it. We will see if they discover anything unlawful,” police spokeswoman Pavla Kopecká told Týden.cz.
A continuation of Mein Kampf
Duke’s critics say neo-Nazis look to his book as one of their “bibles”.
Abraham Foxman, director of the American Anti-Defamation League said My Awakening was like a “smaller version of Hitler’s Mein Kampf”
Miroslav Mareš, an expert on extremism and until recently a court adviser on extremism (he was involved in the Turner Diary case), says this book is dangerous in a slightly different way.
David Duke is offering sort of a manual for neo-racists. “But he isn’t promoting racism openly, and yet the book is still very appealing to neo-Nazis. It represents the tendency to incorporate their ideas more into contemporary society,” says Mareš.
Sales statistics confirm this. The book has been available in Czech bookstores for less than a week and yet, according Lukáš Jirotka, the owner of the publishing house Koningent, it is selling very well.”
At this rate, we will be able to sell all the copies within a few weeks,” says Jirotka. He refused to disclose the exact number of copies printed.
An academic debate
During his visit to the Czech Republic, Duke will also take part in a meeting with university students. It was organised by Filip Vávra, known as the main leader of the neo-Nazi organisation Národní odpor.
“I am responsible for his programme here. I’m regularly in touch with him. So that’s why I thought that students of all sorts of different political persuasions might find a discussion with him interesting,” says Vávra. The discussion is to take place directly at the university. And university management does not like this. “Obviously, they’re not pleased about having him here, but I don’t believe that anyone will interfere with the programme,” says Vávra.
The members of Antifa are not happy about Duke’s visit either. “We proposed that, as part of his campaign, he should nail himself to a cross and burn himself. It would be an appropriate conclusion of his career and it would increase his book sales. He could sacrifice himself for his cause this way,” Antifa members say.