• Germany's news in English

Parade in SS uniforms sparks outrage

DPA/The Local · 19 Jun 2009, 15:30

Published: 19 Jun 2009 15:30 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The state-funded parade last weekend through the town of Thale had over 4,000 participants representing different periods of the state’s history. Over 200,000 people came to watch the parade. The uniformed marchers belonged to a club associated with a Dessau military history museum and wore authentic-looking Waffen-SS and Wehrmacht uniforms.

“From my perspective, it was an entirely knowing provocation,” state Justice Minister Angela Kolb told the news agency DPA on Friday.

Police from the state capital of Magdeburg are investigating the group to determine whether they violated Germany’s strict laws against the display of Nazi symbols.

The club’s members had apparently removed or covered up the forbidden swastikas and SS runes from the uniforms.

“We wanted to illustrate the end of the Second World War,” said Rainer Augustin, the head of the booster club.

Saxony-Anhalt's Interior Minister Holger Hövelmann said wearing the uniforms was tasteless in light of the devastation and horror of World War II. Wulff Gallert, the head of the state’s Left party's parliamentary delegation called the incident “a scandal.”

The Nazi-uniformed parade participants were followed by a group of marchers dressed as American soldiers, to represent the US Army's liberation of the region at the end of the war.

The story was originally reported by the daily Mitteldeutsche Zeitung, which lambasted the affair in a commentary asking whether the state’s residents were really tolerant and open to the rest of the world.

“Saxony-Anhalt is so tolerant that military fans can even wear Wehrmacht and SS uniforms and march in the state parade,” the paper said. “Oh right, the SS runes where taped over. Well, then everything is just fine!”

Story continues below…

The commentary noted that Saxony-Anhalt has the most right-wing violence per capita of all the German states and that treating the display of Nazi symbols as an everyday occurrence sent a bad message about the state.

The club's president issued an apology.

“We regret that our contribution was misunderstand. We didn’t want to hurt or injure anyone,” Augustin wrote in a letter to Dessau’s mayor.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd