Police car – illustration photo.
Plzeň – In recent days, Ukrainian discos organized in the Pilsen club Aréna under the name Bandera party caused a stir on social networks. A number of people have criticized the name, which refers to World War II-era Ukrainian nationalist leader Stepan Bandera. The police are also looking into the matter, Pilsen Mayor Roman Zarzycký (ANO) objected to the organization of an event with such a name. The servers Plzeňská drbna or Manipulátoři.cz drew attention to the case.
According to the invitations on the Facebook page, Bandera parties were held in Pilsen several times, for example in November, January or February. “We are paying due attention to the case of a planned dance party under the name 'Bandera party', which is to take place in Pilsen. We are currently ascertaining and evaluating the necessary information,” the police said on Twitter today, without further details or a date.
A number of people on social networks criticize that the event's name professes Nazism. During World War II, Bandera, as the leader of Ukrainian nationalists, unilaterally declared an independent Ukrainian state and relied on the support of the German Wehrmacht. But he was arrested by the Gestapo and imprisoned. Meanwhile, his followers collaborated with the Germans in some places, and fought against them in others. They then brutally expelled the Poles from today's western Ukraine and, according to Polish estimates, killed over 100,000 people. They were also responsible for the extermination of Jews and Volyn Czechs. Bandera is considered one of the most controversial figures in European history. He was murdered by a Soviet agent in Germany in October 1959.
The organizers of the event stated on the Internet that the event is primarily in support of the armed forces of Ukraine. “From the disco that took place on January 14, the following were purchased for the needs of the army: thermal underwear, sleeping bags, tactical gloves, mats. We also donated personal hygiene products and first aid medicines,” the event's Facebook page states. According to this announcement, they all went to Donetsk.
Even the mayor of Pilsen objected to the event with a name referring to Bandera. “I really don't want this in Pilsen! I appeal to all decent operators of restaurants and other entertainment venues not to provide space to the organizers of such events. At the same time, I call on Ukrainian citizens to behave decently in Pilsen and I thank those who do so. Bandera was a war criminal. The Banders they are also responsible for the massacres of the Czechoslovak population. Similar actions are unacceptable to me. Considering that they take place in a private establishment, however, we have very limited options. That is why we are in contact with the Police of the Czech Republic,” Zarzycký said on his Facebook profile.