The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Skinhead International: Slovakia

Numbering a few hundred, the Slovak Skinheads have attacked Gypsies (Roma), ethnic Hungarians, Jews, guest workers and those whose political views they abhor. Physical attacks attributed to Skinheads have taken place in Bratislava, Trnvava, Kosice, Presov, and Skalica.

In the wake of the collapse of communisim and the breakup of Czechoslovakia, segments of the Slovak population have sought scapegoats for their current difficult times. There has been some public support for Skinhead attacks against foreigners and Gypsies, groups commonly blamed for many of the country's problems. The police themselves have been accused of failing to respond adequately to Skinhead attacks against members of the substantial Roma community.

Skinheads have vandalized Jewish cemetaries and synagogues, and they have held occasional public rallies replete with the chanting of anti-Semitic slogans. Further, Skins have attacked participants at rallies and concerts against fascism.

As elsewhere, Slovakia's Skinheads are divided into two groups: (1) hard-core racists who follow the Skinhead lifestyle, and (2) sympathizers (particularly football hooligans) who follow Skinhead fashions, share some of the Skins' views and have a similar taste for violence.

There is at least one Slovak Skinhead band: Kratky Proces (Short Process), whose first LP was highly praised by the British skinzine Last Chance. (Anti-Defamation League, 63-64)

Work Cited

Anti-Defamation League. The Skinhead International: A Worldwide Survey of Neo-Nazi Skinheads. New York: Anti-Defamation League, 1995. Anti-Defamation League, 823 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017.

Disclaimer: not all skinheads are neo-nazis or white supremacists. There are many skinheads who are non- or anti-racist, and who come from a variety of different religious and cultural backgrounds. Nizkor recognizes their achievements in anti-racism: they are part of the traditional, non-racist skinhead subculture and are not the perpetrators of the hate crimes discussed here.

Unless otherwise specified, the word "skinhead" within these pages refers only to neo-Nazi and white supremacist skinheads, the perpetrators of hate crimes and participants in racist organizations. We cannot edit the body of the text above, because it was not written by Nizkor, and to change the wording would be fraudulent. Please keep in mind that not all skinheads are racist.

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