Serbian police have banned a planned rally by a neo-Nazi group after it was condemned by the World Jewish Congress, non-governmental organisations and Serb political leaders. The “Serbian March - March for the Unity of Serbia", led by the Nacionalni Stroj [National Front], was scheduled to take place on 07 October in the northern city of Novi Sad. Police said the rally was banned “because it endangered public morals and public safety.”
Ten days ago, the president and secretary-general of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) had asked the Serbian government to take action against the rally. In letters to the Serbian president, Boris Tadic, to prime minister Vojislav Kostunica, to parliament speaker Oliver Dulic and to Interior Minister Dragan Jocic, Ronald S. Lauder and Michael Schneider urged Serbia to act against the neo-Nazi group. They criticized that the organizers had received permission for the rally which was being promoted on several ultra-nationalist and right-wing websites.
The Union of Jewish Communities of Serbia had also called on Tadic, Kostunica and Dulic to prevent the neo-Nazi gathering, stating that allowing the rally would mean an affront “in the center of that multicultural city, whose inhabitants were not so long ago victims of the ideas that that group propagates.”
The rally would have coincided with the birthday of Heinrich Himmler, the SS chief who orchestrated the murder of hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews and Roma (Gypsies) on the territory of then-Yugoslavia during World War II.
Several Nacionalni Stroj members – including 31-year-old leader Goran "The Führer" Davidovic – have already been jailed for spreading racial hatred in Novi Sad.
Letter to President Tadic – attached