Nacionalni stroj (National Alignment) is the name of a Neo-Nazi organisation that was formed in Serbia and that attracted a lot of attention by orchestrating several incidents in 2005. Eighteen of its leading members were arrested and face lengthy prison terms[1]. Its members are mostly teenagers.

During the night of March 21-22, 2005, antisemitic graffiti appeared, targeting the Jewish cemetery in Belgrade, buildings owned and used by Western-leaning TV/Radio B92, and two human rights NGOs. In addition, antisemitic posters targeting B92 appeared in several highly visible downtown areas. The posters were signed Nacionalni Stroj (National Formation). The Government quickly painted over the graffiti at the cemetery and arrested three people caught putting up the posters. There was widespread condemnation of the incidents by government and democratic political parties. On March 31, 2005, police arrested another person caught writing graffiti on the wall of the Jewish cemetery in Belgrade.

On the tenth anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre, a group claiming to belong to National Formation stuck posters in Negotin and Sremska Mitrovica with the following slogans: "Nož, žica, Srebrenica" (eng. "Knife, tie wire, Srebrenica") and "Mladiću, hvala ti za srpsku Srebrenicu" (eng. "Mladić, thank you for Serbian Srebrenica"). National Formation has made it to the media and was mentioned by BBC in 2005, about the disruption of round table at a faculty in Novi Sad organized by Anti-Fascist Action Novi Sad[2]. The group was also accused of attacking Albanians, Croats, Hungarians, Roma people, as well as spreading antisemitic propaganda and preaching hate. In late 2005, the charges were pressed against 18 of the leading members in Novi Sad[1], each of them facing up to 8 years in prison.

Outrage of Serbians

The antisemitic incidents caused an outrage in Serbian public and were strongly condemned[3]. President of Serbia, leaders of political parties, non-government organizations and public were quick and very vocal in condemning these incidents and stressed that such things will not be tolerated in Serbia, and that Serbs, who had similar fate as Jews in WWII as victims of Holocaust by the Ustase, view themselves as friends of the Jewish people. It was also pointed out that members of the group have probably never seen a Jew, who are a tiny minority in Serbia numbering around 3000 people, and that their antisemitism is imported and artificial.

Condemned by Serb nationalists

All Serbian political parties condemned this organisation. One of the most vocal in condemnation was the Serbian Radical Party, whose leader Vojislav Šešelj is currently at trial in ICTY. That party commonly described as nationalist condemned Nacionalni Stroj as a Nazi organisation. Most direct was the mayor of Novi Sad, Serb Radical Party member Maja Gojković. She said about planned march of nacionalni stroj in that city "It is unimaginable that in this city that gave thousands of victims of Nazi-terror in WWII we have a Nazi public gathering."

Clash with Serb nationalists

Nacionalni Stroj looks upon itself as one single true patriotic organisation, claiming that all other nationalist organisations and parties are "infected by Judeo-Communism". Most notable clash is with Serb Radical Party, that is accused by Nacionalni Stroj to be "Zionistic and anti-Aryan party". Serb Radical Party itself was so far accused by far leftists for being "fascist", yet its ideology calls for non-racist approach to nationalism. Most notable is the Serbian Radical Party's overall positive treatment of Serbian minorities, especially Roma (Gipsy) minorities which they consider to be part of the Serbian nation and "Brothers of us Serbs," as Serb Radical Party MP Nataša Jovanović claimed in a parliament session about immigration law, on November 6 2007.

Jewish reaction

Aca Singer, president of the Jewish association in Serbia, has said that the whole incident is more damaging for Serbs than for Jews in Serbia, and various conspiracy theories about the plot to damage reputation of Serbia have circulated[4]. The members of the group were arrested and face lengthy prison terms, up to eight years in jail[1].

See also


External links

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