Czech right-wingers sue over Hitler shirt

Among far-right groups, the number 18 is shorthand for Adolf Hitler — with extremists using a numbering system under which 1 represents A and 8 represents H, the eighth letter of the alphabet.

"By taking Havel to court we hope to inform the public that this is a suppression of human rights," claimed Jan Kopal, chairman of the NSB. "While right-wing groups using this number are charged for fascism and racial hatred, Havel receives the shirt with this number and nothing happens."

Presidential spokesman Ladislav Spacek described the case as "absolutely ridiculous, there's absolutely no sense in it, and it's just plain stupidity."

Tomas Jelinek, chairman of the Prague Jewish Community, said the case is laughable, but added, "with this they are reacting against the Jewish community. After we put the problem of neo-Nazism in the media spotlight, the NSB is now on the counter-attack and trying to use the media with their lawsuits against Havel and against us."

The NSB also lodged a complaint with the state attorney's office against the Jewish community for its statements that Czech authorities are not doing enough to fight the rise of neo-Nazism and that public apathy is fostering right-wing excess.

The Jewish community is seeking a public hearing in parliament to discuss the issue.

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