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Neo-Nazi caught coaching youth football despite club ban

The Local · 8 Oct 2010, 15:55

Published: 08 Oct 2010 15:55 GMT+02:00

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Right-wing extremist Lutz Battke has been recently photographed at football practice in Laucha by broadcaster MDR, despite being suspended from his post in late August.

His football club, BSC 99 Laucha, gave in to massive pressure in August, banning him after months of conflict with the state sporting association (LSB) and the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), who objected to Battke’s membership in the far-right party.

The 52-year-old, who sports an Adolf Hitler-style moustache and a mullet, sits on the local county and city councils for the NPD. He is also planning to run for state parliament next year, MDR reported. Both the LSB and the DOSB found that his political affiliation him unfit to lead a children’s sports team.

But both Battke and BSC 99 Laucha appear to be defying the sporting authorities.

“This is insufferable news, which goes without saying,” president of the LSB Andreas Silbersack told MDR when shown the photographs. “Obviously some people use this position as a platform and use sports for a purpose they are not meant for.”

The LSB will pursue measures to have Battke permanently removed from the club, Silbersack said.

In a separate interview with news magazine Der Spiegel Silbersack said the entire football club could be dissolved for its failure to comply with the ban, calling the situation a “provocation.”

The LSB recently revised its rules to allow for a heavier hand against political extremism within sporting clubs, the magazine added.

But residents in the town of 3,000 who spoke with Der Spiegel seemed more upset about the “aggressive media interest” in their community than the possible far-right indoctrination of their children.

Story continues below…

The NPD is deeply entrenched there, garnering 13.5 percent of the vote in the last community election – more than anywhere else in the state, the magazine said.

Battke, who is a master chimney sweep, is no stranger to headlines, though. In April 2008, state authorities stripped him of his position, which is akin to that of a civil servant. But he won a court appeal that July and was allowed to return to his post.

The Local/ka

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:04 October 8, 2010 by majura
This story/photo has made my day!

Hitler (or charlie chaplin) facial hair... but that mullet is gold!
17:47 October 8, 2010 by recherche
Agree Many people would be much more offended by the tonsorial issues than his politics. If some disagree with him re Hitler, they can say so. Free speech. Is he a good coach by the way?
18:06 October 8, 2010 by Landmine
Yeh, Germans need to get rid of this lost soul... if anything because he obviously has an identity crisis. Hitler mustache, mullet and a Neo Nazi? I would guess his mid-life crisis as SEVERE! And he wants to run for office too? Somebody needs a wake up call...
18:46 October 8, 2010 by veritas_69
Germany needs a free speech and association law. The club banned him only after massive pressure on his MEMBERSHIP to a far-right group. Nothing says that he did anything wrong, only that he is associated with a group that some people object to.

This is the same crap the EU pulled after free and Democratic elections in Austria brought a conservative government to power.

I may not like his message, but I'll defend his right to say it.
19:02 October 8, 2010 by lordkorner
What a sorry excuse of a man.
20:54 October 8, 2010 by Prufrock2010
I agree that this cretin has a right to express his political opinions on his own time. I disagree that he has a right to do so while he enjoys a position of trust and leadership vis-a-vis impressionable youngsters. Even the most ardent free speech advocate must acknowledge that there are limits.
21:31 October 8, 2010 by Tomreal
What's wrong with the Chaplin mustache?
22:25 October 8, 2010 by ww77ww
If Mister Mullet is not using his position as a political pulpit, what is the true problem? Has he actually been lecturing players about politics?

If this ridiculous looking man identified himself as a communist or anarchist or satanist etc, would there be an issue? Of course not. The German thoughtpolice do a pisspoor job of keeping the Nazi scourge unattractive - making them appear to be dangerous and persecuted only attracts an element and gives undue attention.

And what is it with mullets as one crosses a certain point of land, like a time warp.
00:15 October 9, 2010 by dairiesman
Have I led a sheltered existence? What, I ask you please, is a mullet? And a 'master' chimney sweep? Does this mean he cleans chimneys with a gown and mortar board?
11:00 October 9, 2010 by Landmine
Definition of a mullet can be found here:

21:36 October 9, 2010 by wildcowgirl
I think what's missing from this picture is the guy's IROC and the faded out Metallica concert t-shirt. I do love how he kept his look nerdish-retro by securing the safety string to his glasses.
23:31 October 9, 2010 by Michael Woodbridge
What is the matter with German political life when it allows someone to be villified and persecuted for his political views in the name of "democracy"? A "democracy" that is so shallow that it can not tolerate free speech and dissident political views will not long survive even if it could be said to exist in the first place.
10:49 October 10, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Michael --

Would you want your kid to be coached by someone who openly advocates for pedophilia? Essentially, I see no difference. Free speech has its limits and its consequences in any democracy.
13:31 October 10, 2010 by Michael Woodbridge

How can you possibly compare someone whose political views you don't like with a paedophile? That is just emotional hysteria! That way lies injustice and the denial of all the values that democracy is supposed to uphold. Are you really saying that democracy has its limits?
20:47 October 10, 2010 by Zobirdie
Wow, Prufrock.

You have said some right idiotic things in the past, but this absolutely takes the cake. Neonazis arent kiddie fiddlers. Or, Ernst Röhm aside, generally not.

You cannot have the audacity to compare a political viewpoint with the molesting of children. But then the more I read what you have to post, the more I realise that you are far more of a fascist than this fellow here. Or... didnt Hitler go on that whole...guilt by association thing... yes. I think he was a huge advocate of that... And removing people with views he didn't like from posts they held.

Truthfully, I would like to know what, if anything, this fellow has done, OTHER than be a member of the NPD? I mean, if he has told his players to go out and kick the crap out of the Turkish kids, then fair enough, remove him form his job. But if all he is doing is violating the rules of good taste with that mullet and 1930's version of the soul patch, then isnt this a violation of his rights?
00:28 October 11, 2010 by Prufrock2010
I know I've succeeded when I'm branded a liberal, a socialist and a fascist by this august readership. The analogy I was making -- and which you guys obviously missed -- is that of putting a person with extremely dangerous proclivities in a position of trust over children. Of course there's no LITERAL correlation between being a nazi and a pedophile, but both can do extreme damage to young psyches.

And yes, democracy does have its limits. Even where I come from, where the First Amendment is thought by some to be sacrosanct, the Supreme Court has consistently held that freedom of speech is not absolute. Hate speech is not protected. Incitement to riot is not protected. Slander and libel are not protected. I'm sure that you've heard the old chestnut about yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. That is not protected either.

This Nazi may have a constitutional right under German law to be a Nazi, and he may have a constitutional right to express whatever political views he holds, I don't know. But he DOES NOT have a constitutional right to a job as a coach of a youth football team. The LSB has a right to sack him. Perhaps that's where your confusion lies.
09:16 October 11, 2010 by Zobirdie
But you are convicting the man without a trial.


Is being a member of a LEGAL political party suddenly a crime? You are equating his political affiliations with a criminal act, and no matter how much I may not like them, being a member of the NPD is not illegal. Has he been charged with inciting hatred? Has he been convicted of hurting someone? You show me where he has been convicted of a hate crime, and I will fully support the decision to remove him from this job.

You want someone removed from the profession based on their political choices because YOU dont agree with them, and YOU think they are bad. Truthfully, you have no right to judge the man when by your very words, you are EXACTLY what you accuse him of being.
10:50 October 11, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Zobirdie --

Well, this is the first time I've ever been accused of being a Nazi. Usually I'm labeled a "socialist," or god forbid, a "liberal." Yikes!

But, to your point, I haven't "convicted" the man of anything. He's not on trial. (Nor am I, by the way.) The man is a self-defined member of a Neo-Nazi party and plans to run for office as such. That may be LEGAL, but being legal doesn't make it palatable. If the LSB finds it odious that such a person is coaching youth football and the LSB governs youth football, the LSB has a right to allow him to continue coaching (thus tacitly endorsing his political views) or to prohibit him from coaching.

You seem to be missing my point. The man is not a tenured teacher. He is a football coach who serves at the pleasure of the governing body, the LSB. He has no legal or constitutional "right" to the job. Most people find the Nazi party particularly offensive as it is predicated on hate, bigotry and violence. Most people understandably don't want Nazis coaching their children, I included. This man was suspended from his position and simply defied the suspension, indicating that he has no respect for the governing body that he is responsible to. This act of defiance is itself sufficient to sack him.

If I were in the US and the grand cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan wanted to coach my kid's football team, I would have a problem with that. I don't believe that impressionable youth should be subjected to the machinations of such people who are acting in their positions of trust and authorities. They're not very good role models.

If you want a more practical example of a potential outcome, look at what happened in Belgrade yesterday when crowds of young Neo-Nazis violently disrupted a gay pride parade and fired shots at gay people, police and government buildings, commandeering a bus and destroying a mobile cancer screening vehicle. Many of these people were kids, and someone taught them that this behavior was okay. I don't think it's okay. Do you?
14:11 October 11, 2010 by LancashireLad
So far I think every post here has missed the actual point. The article is (or, when unbiased, should be) about the fact that he and the club have defied an official ban. Of course there is background to the story which in itsefl would have sparked a ... debate here, and that is what the Local as playing on, but the fact of the matter is that the real problem here is that he and the club have effectively waved their middle fingers at the local sporting authoritites. That, obviously, cannot be. The fact that those sporting authorities only banned him due to community pressure is secondary. Isn't that what local authorities are 'supposed' to do? Listen to the communities they "serve"?
15:48 October 11, 2010 by MaKo
Youth football? Really? As a parent, I would be dubious about encouraging my children to heed the douchestache. Add the Neo-nazi party membership to the mix, and we're looking for a new football club. Who's letting this man coach their kids?
19:41 October 11, 2010 by Prufrock2010
LancashireLad --

Good to read you again. But I don't think the posters here are missing the actual point. The very reason for the official ban is because the guy is a Neo-Nazi. His defiance of the ban is incidental to the debate. Some people think Neo-Nazis should not be deprived of their jobs in coaching youth sports unless they are convicted of a crime. Others, like me, think that being a Neo-Nazi is enough to disqualify a person from having such a position of authority and trust over young people. I am comfortable with that position, legally, morally and ethically.
22:58 October 11, 2010 by Michael Woodbridge
It would seem that some people are still in the Stasi mindset whereby it is justified to deny someone their freedom and livelihood just because their political views don't fit the established dispensation. By defying the coaching ban Lutz Bakkte was making a stand for freedom, every person's freedom, not just for German nationalists!

Yes, there may be justified limits to freedom on certain occasions but there can never be limits to justice and truth and without political freedom justice and truth will soon perish. By proverbally sticking his fingers up at those cowardly bullies who banned him, Lutz Bakkte can stand proudly beside those heroes who defied the Communist regime during the time of the G.D.R.
00:48 October 12, 2010 by Prufrock2010
So you stand four square with the Neo-Nazi Bakkte in the name of freedom, Mr. Woodbridge. Anybody who opposes Nazis is in the Stasi mindset. Thank you for revealing who and what you are.
02:28 October 12, 2010 by Michael Woodbridge
Of course not all those who oppose the NPD are of a Stasi mindset. I wrote nothing to justify your jumping to such a conclusion. However, you are perfectly right in suppossing that I stand four square with Lutz Bakkte in the name of freedom. By the same token I hope I would stand four square by you if your livelihood and right to free speech were threatened in the same way.
14:53 October 12, 2010 by Prufrock2010
I'm afraid you still don't get it. Bakkte HAS a right to free speech. He DOES NOT have a RIGHT to a particular job in the private sector. It's a very simple concept, really.
17:15 October 12, 2010 by ww77ww
The farleft proves it once again - if he was a communist or a satanist or any other type of idiot, there would not be an outcry, but as he is the NPD type of idiot, out comes the thoughtpolice and micromanagement. Amazing. It is seen again and again here.

Was there any evidence of Mullet actually preaching his politics, or anyone in the community actually making a protest? Or is the LSB simply seeking to appear to be PC? This will only result in Mullet becoming a martyr to some.

Implying this nonsense will result in shots fired at a gay parade is alarmist at best, and potentially more sinister.
18:47 October 12, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Not alarmist at all. Read up on what happened in Belgrade a few days ago. Neo-Nazis in action, many of them teenagers. This guy's a Neo-Nazi.

If you want to commend your little darlings to his care and tutelage, be my guest.
23:21 October 12, 2010 by Michael Woodbridge

You concede that Lutz Bakkte has a right to free speech so long as he isn't permitted to take up certain employment. How can that be free speech?

I have always taught my children to think for themselves and keep a fair and open mind to all points of view so I would have no problem whatsoever if Herr Bakkte were to coach them in football. In fact the odd politically incorrect remark might be a useful counterweight to the suffocating conformity of the prevailing zeitgeist. They are hardly going to open fire on a homosexual rights parade as a result and I very much doubt that Lutz Bakkte or any other responsible member of the NPD would encourage them to do so.
23:42 October 12, 2010 by ww77ww
Based on that logic, Germans should demand the removal of American troops from the soil as American soldiers have been committing crimes in Afghanistan. American soldiers in action.

Is there any evidence he has used his position to espouse politics, especially those of hate? Is every NPD dope unable to make a division between politics and life? Would you be upset if he was instead a communist, satanist, or member of any other insane cult? Is this true protection or simply the cultural marxism of political correctness, in action?
00:07 October 13, 2010 by Prufrock2010
"Is there any evidence he has used his position to espouse politics, especially those of hate?"

Well, quoting from the article above:

"The 52-year-old, who sports an Adolf Hitler-style moustache and a mullet, sits on the local county and city councils for the NPD. He is also planning to run for state parliament next year, MDR reported."

I guess that answers that. He's already involved in politics and plans to run for state parliament. Are they politics of hate? I dunno. I guess it depends on what you think Nazis stand for.

Look, I don't give a rat's @ss one way or the other. I'm simply drawing a legal distinction that should be fairly obvious. The guy has a constitutional right to be a Nazi, a communist, a satanist, a Christian, an atheist, a warlock or anything else he wants to be. He doesn't have a constitutional RIGHT to a particular job if he is not a tenured public employee and his private employer doesn't want to employ him any longer. For any reason. It couldn't be simpler than that. Get a grip!
13:55 October 13, 2010 by Michael Woodbridge

I'm delighted we have found a small portal of light where we can agree. Private employers should be free to hire and fire who they like without having to justify themselves beyond the terms and conditions they have already agreed upon in the contract.

What I'm objecting to is the villification of Lutz Bakkte on account of his nationalist political views as I would object to the bullying of anyone. This is a matter of common sense and common decency, two things the government can't altogether legislate for.
16:54 October 13, 2010 by ww77ww
In other words, no, there is no evidence of him preaching politics, he is just a funny-looking wannabe politico in a shrill movement that will never be held as credible.

If this was someone other than a fake Nazi fighting a reactionary and corrupt bureaucracy, the defense would not exist. This is not even a true employment issue, it is a recreational club.

Very "enlightened"
18:33 October 13, 2010 by Prufrock2010
The fact that's it's not a true employment issue, as you say, weakens Battke's argument even more. The governing body doesn't want him there. Period. End of story. As I said, I don't give a sh*t.
22:47 October 21, 2010 by wxman
You vill do pushups! You vill do sit ups! You vill never miss zee practice sezzions! Heil Hitler!!
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