Croatian Reality Show Removes Scenes of Contestant Who Has Nazi Slogan Tattoo
The network behind Croatia’s reality series “Love is in the Village” recently removed from the show dozens of scenes that feature a contestant who has a tattoo of a Nazi slogan.
The German phrase “Meine Ehre Heisst Treue,” which translates to “My honor is called loyalty,” was the motto of Nazi Waffen-SS soldiers, and is a reference to the group’s loyalty to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
“Love is in the Village,” known in Croatian as “Ljubav Je Na Selu,” is a show about farmers finding their soulmates and season 13 contestant Jurica Živoder, 29, has the Nazi phrase tattooed on his left forearm. Viewers noticed it during the season 13 premiere, which aired on April 11. Two days later, the show’s network RTL Television Croatia — which is owned by a company based in Germany — removed all scenes and events related to Zivoder from the remaining episodes of the season, the Croatian weekly magazine Novosti reported.
“RTL Croatia has a zero tolerance rate for various types of totalitarian ideologies, especially those related to Nazism and the controversial tattoo,” the network said in a statement, adding that it discussed the matter with Živoder and he supported the decision to remove the scenes. The network also noted that the farmer denies supporting Nazi ideology.
The Croatian publication 24sata reported last week that Živoder wrote on social media his favorite book is Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.”
Živoder explained his tattoo in a Facebook post, saying that he got it at the age of 17 in tribute to a close friend who passed away in 2008. He wrote, “I am not a member of any movement, ideology or the like, nor do I support them in any way. I respect all people equally and I would like to apologize to anyone who feels hurt. I’m sorry.”
World Jewish Congress Executive Director of Operations Ernest Herzog welcomed the decision to delete the scenes from “Love is in the Village.” He said in a statement on Thursday that while “there is a fine line between freedom of speech and hate speech … there are slogans, such as the text on Mr. Zivoder’s tattoo, or the greetings ‘Sieg heil!’ and ‘for homeland ready,’ which, due to their historical context and the way they are used, can automatically be identified as hate speech.”