Brandishing yellow stars and red flags, upwards of 2000 people rallied in Prague's old Jewish quarter Saturday to block the far-right march on the anniversary of a notorious Nazi-era pogrom against Jews.
Anarchists also clashed with police in other parts of the city, injuring several people.
Six of almost 400 detained by the Czech police in connection with their participation in the demonstration in Prague on Saturday face accusation of crime, Prague police director Petr Zelasko told CTK today. Five of the six are anarchist anti-nazis.
Somewhat confusingly, CTK also reports there are some three dozens of anarchists among the detained and the rest are neo-Nazis, according to Zelasko.
"The police operation was aimed against right-wing extremists," Zelasko said.
Petr Kalinovsky, spokesman for the far right National Resistance group, is among the persons to be accused, he said.
Kalinovsky fired a shot from a gas pistol outside the Law Faculty building in Prague on Saturday morning.
All 396 detained persons have been released, Zelasko said. He said that the number of detained persons was extraordinarily high.
Meanwhile, in Spain Indymedia is reporting that an antifascist activist was stabbed in the heart by a nazi while on his way to a demonstration in Madrid.
A nazi group called Democracia Nacional had organized an action against immigration in a popular neighborhood in town, where many foreign nationals live, mainly Latin American workers.
A report from the scene adds:
"Another demo was called by antifascist groups to defend the area. While on his way there, the comrade, only 16 years of age, together with some friends, spotted a guy sporting nazi paraphernalia on the underground. When "called to attention", the bastard pulled out a knife, stabbed Carlos, the comrade, in the heart, and another antifascist militant in the lung, while trying to run out of the tube station. Carlos died, the other guy has been badly hurt, but doctors say he will live."
The others in the group of antifascists chased the bastard, and beat him within an inch of his life, until the police arrived and attacked the antifascists. The nazi is (was) a service person, in the Spanish army."
Anti-fascists block Nazi march in Prague's Jewish Quarter
By Yehuda Lahav, Haaretz Correspondent
A large group of Czech anti-fascist activists prevented hundreds of neo-Nazis from marching in Prague on Saturday on the anniversary of Kristallnacht. Three people were injured in clashes between the two camps.
The 2,000 members of the group, which also included young Jews and anarchists, positioned themselves at the outskirts of the capital's historic Jewish quarter, where they warded off some 400 Czech and German neo-Nazis.
The members of the Young Nationalist Democrats (MND) received backup from two busloads of German supporters.
The clashes broke out after one of the young fascists used pepper spray against one of the anarchists. The anarchists then attacked the neo-Nazis, injuring one of them. Two other activists were injured in other incidents.
Police arrested over 40 neo-Nazis. Law enforcement sources said some of them carried weapons such as iron rods and even explosives. Police also sealed off a number of subway stations to prevent neo-Nazis from reaching the quarter.
The neighborhood also saw a mass prayer in memory of the victims of the Kristallnacht pogrom, which took place in 1938. Several of the speakers, among them 80-year-old novelist and Holocaust survivor Arnost Lustig, warned against the reemergence of Nazism in Europe.
Lustig said he was happy to see so many Czechs gathering in downtown Prague to protest the far-right extremists. "It is great because I remember when we went to the concentration camp, some people just crossed over to the other side of the road," he told DPA.