Holocaust deniers seize Czech ex-leader’s Facebook account


(JTA) — Computer hackers who hijacked a former Czech leader’s Facebook and Twitter accounts spread anti-Semitic messages denying the Holocaust.

The social media platforms of Vladimir Spidla, the former prime minister for the Czech Social Democratic Party and an ex-European Union commissioner, spread the hate-filled messages for about an hour earlier this month, according to a report on Jan. 15 by the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism, an international watchdog.

A screen capture of Spidla’s Facebook page from the time it was under the hackers’ control shows a link to a video that presents the Holocaust as an “industry” run by Jews.

Spidla erased the hackers’ work after one hour, posted an apology and stressed that he would do everything in his power to ensure that something similar does not recur.

The hacking took place ahead of last week’s first round of the Czech presidential election. Some of the anti-Semitic messages targeted Jan Fischer, a Jewish candidate who failed to reach the second round of voting, despite being considered a leading contender.

No hackers have been identified in the incident. Spidla, who had posted to Facebook that his account was abused by "someone from the neo-Nazi scene," was quoted as saying he believes the affair should not go unpunished.

"If it will be technically possible at all, I will try to use legal measures to investigate this entire matter," he said. "I am convinced that some crimes must not meet with impunity."

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