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Bavarian cornfield swastika stokes fears of neo-Nazi resurgence

The Local · 24 Aug 2010, 15:15

Published: 24 Aug 2010 15:15 GMT+02:00

A photographer spotted the Nazi symbol, about half the size of a handball court, on Sunday during a sightseeing flight, and passed the photos on to police, daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Tuesday.

“We've never had something of this dimension,” Bavarian police investigator Gerhard Karl told the paper. “At the most someone has peed a swastika into the snow.”

The owner of the land in question, Erna Lechner, called the incident a “pigsty” and a “murderous injury” to farmers in the Upper Bavaria region.

The farmer who rents the land from Lechner did not wish to comment.

“The poor man will now be expected to do something, and in the worst case will have to destroy the crop,” she said.

Aßling Mayor Werner Lampl called the perpetrators “die hards” who were trying to make their mark.

Authorities believe the swastika was stamped into the field sometime on Saturday night, and Lampl did not rule out the possibility that it could have been done by guests at a nearby airfield festival, which drew hundreds from out of town.

But whoever the culprits may be, the accuracy of the formation indicates they weren’t joking around, criminal investigator Karl said, speaking of a very clear “right-wing extremist” motivation.

The use of Nazi symbols is illegal in Germany and carries a sentence of up to three years in jail, he added.

His department plans to take a helicopter out for further investigation in the next several days.

Aßling has already had problems with neo-Nazis in the past, the paper said. Some six years ago police raided a barn shed used as a meeting place, finding a Nazi imperial war flag, or Reichskriegsflagge, and other paraphernalia. Seventeen young people were questioned as possible suspects in the case.

Story continues below…

While Mayor Lampl told the paper that efforts to rehabilitate the youths mean there is no longer such a problem in the region, landowner Lechner disagreed.

“Unfortunately the brown scene is managing to spread out,” she told the paper, referring to the colour associated with Nazi brownshirts.

Further evidence of the problem can be seen in frequent threats to a local immigrant aid organisation (Ausländerhilfe) and the district presence of the BJR Bavarian youth organisation’s coordination headquarters for work against right-wing extremism, the paper said.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

16:54 August 24, 2010 by GeeAitch
It is time the Germans stopped being so uber-sensitive about the Nazi area. Get over it.

If someone in Uganda drew a pic of Idi Amin or a Russian flew an old Soviet flag (remembering that Stalin alone killed around 30m of his own people) it would not be an issue.

Nazi and communist junk is available in UK, US, Australia but these groups are laughed at.

Germany is mature enough for a US-style First Amendment, guaranteeing freedom of speech.
17:05 August 24, 2010 by EinsZweiDreiPolizei
This is so childish,,,Why risk destroying an entire crop because someone made this swastika in it...The german government really needs to relax....Racism is much more worse in the USA than in Germany..
17:15 August 24, 2010 by luckycusp
Burning the crops just for the symbol, its ridiculous. Just get over it.

Stalin, Mao killed millions, but I wonder why only Germans have to repent for generations.
17:29 August 24, 2010 by freechoice
why do i get the feeling that some jerk is trying to insinuate Deutschland is a Nazi country?

set out the hundes and you have the culprit in no time...
17:44 August 24, 2010 by William Thirteen
children of the corn!
19:30 August 24, 2010 by JohnnesKönig
It's pretty bad when the comments have more entertainment value than the article...
19:55 August 24, 2010 by Muldoon
Looks like some inglourious basterd has given that goddam Nazi cornfield somethin' that it caint take off...
20:30 August 24, 2010 by JAMessersmith
In America, no one really cares that we exterminated the Native Americans, usurped their land, and rounded them up into ghettos we call "reservations" as a euphemism (which just so happen to be some of the poorest communities in the country). Contrary to popular belief, it wasn't just a colonial/early America thing. "Indian Removal" was a policy well in to the 1900s. And as has been mentioned, the sickle and hammer isn't illegal in Russia, even though Lenin and Stalin were responsible for the deaths of millions. Mao imagery isn't a punishable offense in China, etc..

It seems to me that German officials, for some odd reason, truly fear a Nazi resurgence. By banning the books, and banning the symbols, it makes it look as if they fear there's something there that's worthwhile, and that young people will pickup on. I guess since people once did take up the swastika en masse, it's not beyond the realm of possibilities, but seems awfully far-fetched to me. And as I've said in previous posts, the policy itself is likely counterproductive. Tell a child they can't do something, and they're instantly curious about it.
21:56 August 24, 2010 by wxman
I agree with others. This is just an alien crop circle designed to incriminate the German people. ;~)
23:26 August 24, 2010 by Zobirdie
ROFL I love how- "But whoever the culprits may be, the accuracy of the formation indicates they weren¦#39;t joking around, criminal investigator Karl said, speaking of a very clear ¦quot;right-wing extremist¦quot; motivation."

Um... could it not be a bunch of w@nkers taking the p!ss?

OH NOES!!! EBIL HAKENKREUZ! BURN.PANIC.FLEE.WATCHTEHSTOOPID!
00:06 August 25, 2010 by mikecowler
It,s a Swastika who cares.......

Oh Germany does lol

By banning historic facist symbols and publishing it as a problem your setting a trend for those that want to get it noticed and gloryfy murderers...

Germany,s history of murderers mustn,t be hidden in Germany....BUT it must never ever be sensationalised as something glorious by a bunch of thugs...

Yes the regular army was courageous and many many families lost good hard working fathers and sons on all sides for no just cause. German soldiers were led by cowardly military hq generals to scared to speak up against the N&SDP...

Germany should change their policy before the Horst-Wessel-Lied anthem starts to get louder and louder again..as it once started in that Munich Bier Kellar all them years ago....
06:16 August 25, 2010 by vonSchwerin
It looks like the guy who did it is a real assling.
09:33 August 25, 2010 by catjones
The true fear that no one talks about is the fear of Nazi resurgence.

The germans fear this because they know how attractive this ideology is to their people. People may laugh of make fun of the neo-Nazi movement, but the german government doesn't.....and for good reason.
09:41 August 25, 2010 by freechoice
Ze Germans must have the shock of their lifetime when they visit buddhists temples in Asia...yeah they used Swatiska symbols too! in a other direction...
12:11 August 25, 2010 by Heinrich der Zweite
Online privacy? I bet Street View has got this one down already.
12:17 August 25, 2010 by vjtheking
I'm sure it's something as innocent as the site for the German remake of an M. Night Shyamalan movie... Heard Mario Barth's doing the Mel Gibson part!!!
12:29 August 25, 2010 by Charne
Im just thinking how can this sign be so precise? its just weird
14:11 August 25, 2010 by adipk
luckycusp: because Nazi killed mostly jews thats Y.

after reading all and other stories regarding Nazi and German. i am feared that Germans are stereotyped. I can understand the pain when one call some one like this. I belong to Pakistan, we are also stereotype as terrorist but how can you say that all are like this. Infect these imported terrorist made problem for us.

I feel same here in Germany. Some idiots done that in past but people are still paying for their sins.
15:23 August 25, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
@Charne

Geometry. Of course, that would imply that at least one neo-nazi paid attention in school. Which is really a somewhat disturbing thought.
19:38 August 25, 2010 by Britlass
Archaeological evidence of swastika-shaped ornaments dates from the Neolithic period. It occurs today in the modern day culture of India, sometimes as a geometrical motif and sometimes as a religious symbol; it remains widely used in Eastern religions and Dharmic Religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

so.... because the national socialists used it for a mere 25 years ( 1920 - 45 ) does not make this beautiful symbol bad!

carlsberg and coke used the symbol, would you all like to stop drinking both of those too, for being a " nazi " drink?
08:20 August 26, 2010 by Britlass
Taken from someone else's comment, not my own Mr Nosey. I would suggest you quit stalking other people's profiles! Stop harping on about bloody Africans being "slaves " ( as you said Mr jeeves, lets not dwell on the past shall we? ) what about thousands of years of the white man in slavery? Not only were coloured's used to build empires.

what does one expect from a bunch of media blinded fools?
09:32 August 26, 2010 by freechoice
Adolf Hitler DNA Proved Him Jew And African?

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-20014645-503543.html
11:58 August 26, 2010 by adipk
Dear all, There are number of controversial stories regarding Nazies, Hitler, Russians etc involved in Killing Jews. I accept all of your views. According to History channel documentary Some jews of France has invested in Hitlers program and with him they made plan to shift all jews to place (currently Israel). Still that family own more than 80% of land of Israel. there are hundred and thousands of stories. German , Japan, Russia, UK, France, Portugal etc all humiliated the humanity in past. Now daily we are killing hundreds of innocents people around the globe. We all are involved in this brutal act.

My point is can we remove this hate based on color, area, religion etc. Can we teach our children to respect the human beings with out any biases or stereotyping? Its time to forget what happened. Its time to secure human race.
14:08 August 26, 2010 by BooRadley
Hate always needs an audience to thrive. I think the fact that the NeoNazis and the KKK are afforded so little attention in the US is a reason their numbers remain meager. Sometimes turning your back on the devil is the best way to disarm him. And ignoring doesn't necessarily mean forgetting. Is forgetting really possible anyway? Or advisable? It sure does no service to the victims or their legacy. We'd do well to consider, maybe most importantly, where we get our news.
19:29 August 26, 2010 by sorochin
Oh, come on, everybody knows there was no support for the Nazis in the good old US of A.
10:30 August 27, 2010 by crunchy2k
The 卐 is a historical sign of the sun...why the posts? Why the disturbance on the internet? This is not news. You can buy sweaters with this sign...its an indigenous sign of ancient peoples. Not of a criminal gov developed by Hitler.
14:14 August 27, 2010 by Solutrean
In America, quite often it is Jews who get arrested for painting Swastikas on their own homes in order to get sympathy. Here's a link regarding Laurie Recht, a Jewish woman who was arrested for painting Swastikas on her apartment door.

http://www.nytimes.com/1988/12/01/nyregion/yonkers-housing-advocate-held-in-fake-death-threats.html
18:33 August 27, 2010 by recherche
Come on. Who cares? Is Germany a free country? Germans should be able to express opinions too. People in other countries do. Still hung up on events more than 70 years ago? If people have views let them express them. If people disagree, they can. Let every person have their say. How will they react if you censor them? Will they spontaneously turn around and agree with the fashionable ideas? Of course they will not, they will go underground - remember that?
19:16 August 27, 2010 by Icarusty
Are you saying the aliens support Nazis? OMG
09:55 August 28, 2010 by dinomechery
Present day Germany is full of rats .people with strange tastes and habits. They

are more like gypsies.especially those in Bavaria.Believe me this is not the

work of nazis.This is to drive good people out of Germany and turn it into a

land of people with strange crazy habits.
22:03 August 28, 2010 by DavidtheNorseman
Where exactly were reporters from the news media on the night the symbol was etched in corn?

Each nation, like each person has different proclivities and issues they wrestle more with. Deutschland keeps an eye on Fascist organizations because they are aware of the potential dangers. American governments watch carefully over groups that resonate with their touchstones (see Sarah Palin's "reload" statement and the furor - and fear - it generated amongst the American elite because of their legitimate concern it might touch off that part of the American psyche that is convinced that tyranny internal or external is simply not to be tolerated). The British elites watch - each other.... :-)

In this case I would first suspect:

1. News media looking to create a story in a slow week

2. Bored teenagers looking to create a furor

3. Actual Nazis dreaming of whatever murdering their neighbours and stealing their stuff
05:42 August 29, 2010 by Drewsky
I think the articles headline is reflecting an overstated fear, since this type of stuff surely occurs from time to time in Germany. The prohibition against the swastika would encourage it, just like alcohol prohibition raised the drinking level in the US in the 1920s. However, I also think it speaks well of Germans who are concerned about anything like this. The country went through a nightmare because this symbol was misused (its actually both a Native American and Hindu symbol indicating positive forces, but no room for all that here) and it might be better to error on the side of caution. I don't think Germany should adapt the U.S. First Amendment style of free speech; it opens too many doors for too many nuts.
14:03 August 30, 2010 by agent provocateur
Look what this has done.....it is having an effect across the globe.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/02/mongolia-far-right

it's too nice a day to be inside, i'm going out into the countryside.

where's my lawn mower?.
02:37 August 31, 2010 by frankDEU
if you're a neo nazi, you're not deutsch
13:20 August 31, 2010 by hkypuck
What a bunch of Aß-holes

(did someone use that already?)
10:09 September 1, 2010 by moistvelvet
If the use of this symbol is so damaging and illegal, then firstly how can The Local reproduce it and put in on the internet?

The person who took the initial photograph, is he not just as guilty as someone taking indecent photographs of children and reproducing the image? I mean it is the image that is illegal isn't it, whether you create it or reproduce it?

Or perhaps the lesson here is that although any "brownie" may not create the forbidden symbol, they can take a photograph of one and reproduce it.

One further thought, is it legal to say the name of the symbol since it creates an image of that symbol in the person listening? What a mein field :-o
08:31 September 2, 2010 by 1FCK_1FCK
Don't worry about the Russians. They're already putting the "good" Stalin back in their schoolbooks.They don't need to write him in a corn field.

"Wish him into the cornfield."
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