Thursday, 17 December 2015

German Politician & Window Cleaner Faces 5 Years For Tattoo

Window cleaner & Politician Marcel Zech, 27, is accused of displaying this tattoo showing Auschwitz and a Nazi slogan in public at a pool in Oranienburg, 15 miles outside of Berlin.
German charged over 'tattoo of Nazi death camp: Zech, a member of a state council, faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison if convicted under strict laws which ban the display of Nazi imagery. He is a member of the far-right National Democratic Party, and won a seat on the council of the state of Barnim, which is in north-east Germany and borders Poland. Zech made the pool visit on November 21, where he was pictured with his tattoo on display.

Local police launched a manhunt at the start of this month to find the man's identity, which led prosecutors in the town of Neuruppin to name Zech on Friday. Zech has a criminal record for race hate crimes. In June this year he was ordered to pay €360 after posing as a police officer to try to learn the identities of anti-fascist demonstrators who tore down his party's posters in his hometown.

In a 2013 court appearance he was fined €1,200 for assault. He won his council seat in 2014. He works as a window cleaner and, according to local media reports, has been seen at least once before swimming in a lake with his tattoos on show. On his stomach he has the old Reich eagle tattooed - not a forbidden symbol. On his left arm he has a black sun, a typical Nazi-era symbol. Germany's Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the domestic intelligence agency, lists him as a 'neo-Nazi'.

He belongs to one group which provocatively buried a wooden swastika in the ground opposite the gates of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin. Zech has so far declined to comment on the charges.

A German man has been charged with incitement to hatred after he was pictured with a tattoo apparently of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz. The tattoo has the slogan "To Each His Own", which was on the gate of the Buchenwald concentration camp. The photo was taken at a swimming pool in the town of Oranienburg, north of Berlin, at the end of November.

German media named the man as Marcel Zech, a member of the far-right National Democratic Party. Mr Zech sits on the council in the district of Barnim in eastern Germany. The trial process has been sped up, German media reports say, and is scheduled to start on 22 December. Germany has strict laws against the promotion of Nazi ideology in Germany. The punishment for Mr Zech if he is convicted could be as much as five years in prison.

Artist Jonathan Meese was prosecuted in 2013 for giving Nazi salutes at an event the previous year, but successfully argued the gesture was part of an interview-turned-art performance and was acquitted. The latest case comes after several violent incidents this year at reception centres for migrants in Germany. A senior German intelligence official told the BBC in October that Germany's decision to take in asylum seekers was fuelling a resurgence in the far right.

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