(photo credit: Courtesy)
Prague City Hall said Thursday it had banned a march planned for next month by a right-wing extremist group through the Czech capital's Jewish quarter.
The planned march, which was condemned by Jewish leaders in Prague, was banned because it would lead to "inciting hatred and intolerance of citizens because of their nationality, origin and religious faith," City Hall said in a statement.
The march was scheduled to take place on Nov. 10, a day after the anniversary of Kristallnacht - the 1938 night of terror when the Nazis attacked synagogues and Jewish homes and businesses throughout Germany and parts of Austria.
The march was organized by the Young National Democrats, which is linked to the National Resistance, a neo-Nazi group. Organizers said it was meant to protest the deployment of Czech troops in Iraq.
Members of the Jewish community, including the Jewish Museum director Leo Pavlat and community leader Frantisek Banyai, said last week they considered the march to be an insult to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
On Thursday, Banyai welcomed the ban, saying the Jewish quarter was not "a proper place to march."
"It was clear from the first moment that they had something else in mind" from their stated purpose of protesting troop deployments in Iraq, Banyai said.
City Hall initially said banning the march would not be possible, after a municipal court overturned another ban on a similar march in December.
Nearly 120,000 Jews lived on Czech territory before World War II; 80,000 did not survive the Holocaust. The Czech Republic currently has only a tiny Jewish community of several thousand.