Thursday, July 31, 2008

Germans dig up coffin of neo-Nazi after tip-off it was draped in swastika flag

Police dug up the freshly buried coffin of a neo-Nazi activist in Germany because it was draped with a swastika flag.

Publicly displaying any symbols of Hitler’s regime is strictly prohibited in Germany – apparently even in the afterlife.

Officials heard that seconds before the coffin bearing Friedhelm Busse was lowered into consecrated ground at Passau on Saturday, a neo-Nazi fan wreathed his coffin in a WW2 ‘battle flag’ which has a huge swastika in its centre.

Busse, the last leader of the Free German Labour Party which was outlawed in 1995, went to his grave wrapped up in the symbol he loved.

But not for long.

Passau senior prosecutor Helmut Walch said the grave was exhumed soon afterwards and the flag removed. The far-right skinhead who placed it there was arrested and charged with carrying a banned object.

Reporters said the flag was cast on the grave by Thomas Wulff, an activist in the far-right National Democratic Party NPD. If he were convicted of displaying an "unconstitutional symbol," he could face a fine or up to three years in jail.

Walch said an inquiry was continuing into the violence by 90 admirers of Busse against anti-Nazi groups who were observing them at the Passau cemetery and against police who intervened.

A Mongolian woman was later attacked in the Passau downtown area, apparently because of her appearance.

Germ any's national council of Jews was among groups which voiced outrage that the racists had been able to terrorize people.


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