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TV licence fee collector fined for Nazi salute

The Local · 1 Nov 2010, 10:27

Published: 01 Nov 2010 10:27 GMT+01:00

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According to regional daily Südwest Presse, the 54-year-old woman had been working on an hourly basis for commission as a fee collector for the GEZ when she entered a Munderkingen tavern in the state of Baden-Württemberg late last year. But her encounter with the pub's Croatian owner quickly turned ugly.

“She told the claimant that he was a fee dodger who should wash himself and go back where he came from,” his lawyer Siegfried Felk read from a statement.

The pub owner, also 54, told the judge in the Ehingen court that he was so surprised that he initially thought he misheard the woman’s statements.

The incident came after the woman and her husband, also a GEZ collector, had been to the establishment one week earlier in search of televisions and radios for which they could charge a fee, the paper said.

He repeatedly told the couple he did not have either item and finally asked them to leave his restaurant. The couple called police, claiming the restaurant owner had acted aggressively, but the officer who responded told the court that according to his estimation, this had not been the case.

When the woman returned a week later in hopes of pinning down another building resident about GEZ fees, she became verbally abusive to the restaurant owner. Several witnesses told the court they then saw her give the Nazi salute several times as she walked away.

Making the gesture is illegal in Germany, and the woman apologised to the court though she claimed not to know exactly what it meant, the paper said.

“You can’t be serious,” Judge Wolfgang Lampa told the woman when she claimed she didn't know how to make the infamous “Heil, Hitler” Nazi salute during court proceedings last Friday.

Story continues below…

The Cologne-based GEZ stands for the mouthful Gebühreneinzugszentrale der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, or “Fee-collection Centre of Public Broadcasting Institutions in the Federal Republic of Germany.”

The Local/ka

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:55 November 1, 2010 by Landmine
No place in Germany for Nazi saluting GEZ collectors who lie.

Send her to the Eastern front..
14:31 November 1, 2010 by cklb
I think she fits perfectly into the GEZtapo. They wanted me to pay them their damn fees whe I was abroad for half a year. Except if I sent them a proof that my radio was destroyed. Yeah, I always flew home from australia after then to hear radio ilegally :P
14:45 November 1, 2010 by auniquecorn
Thats what I love about this being a so called (Free Country)

Gotta pay tax for owning an F-N radio..
15:14 November 1, 2010 by William Thirteen
these type of shenigans are exactly why they should bundle the GEZ fees into the regular taxes and deprecate the collectors. of course, where would this courteous service worker find gainful employment then?
21:08 November 1, 2010 by AlinBrum
Well there might be an epidemic! Look at the other acticles in the Local today and you will notice the camera has caught a camp salute from the Dortmund No 8. Also Seehofer is pictured with a questionable "wave".

On a more serious note how can anyone not know what it meant?
21:26 November 1, 2010 by DinhoPilot
Everyone is wrong... it was an unvoluntary muscle spams. It happens to some germans when they get nervous with auslanders.

"Go on daughter you are forgiven..."
00:51 November 2, 2010 by Bushdiver
This is a truly outdated and unneeded tax. There is no reason whatsoever that ARD, ZDF and HR3 can't be self-supportive like the rest of the stations here in Germany are. As guess one could go on with outdated taxes such as the Solidarity Tax and Dog Tax. Hell, that's why they call this Germoney.
05:17 November 2, 2010 by vonSchwerin
"Several witnesses told the court they then saw her give the Nazi salute several times and shout, 'Mein Führer, I can walk!,' as she walked away."
11:26 November 3, 2010 by Legal E
I guess I am in the crap, if I see a friend in Munich and I wave my right hand and shout "heh"... as a hello... dooooh!
14:32 November 3, 2010 by ErickDDiaz
A Dr. Strangelove muscle reflex.
17:34 November 4, 2010 by Dinaricman
This is to funny. I am surprised the Croatian didn't salute back being that Croatia was a Hitler ally during WW2 and WW1.
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