Court frees mayor from fear of Nazi handshake

Court frees mayor from fear of Nazi handshake
NPD councillor David Köckert. Photo: DPA
A court has told a town mayor that he doesn't have to shake a Nazi's hand if he doesn't want to, after a councillor from the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany accused him of discrimination.

David Köckert, a heavily-tattooed local NPD leader, was elected to the town council in Greiz, Thuringia, in 2014.

But he said that he was “degraded” when mayor Gerd Grüner refused to shake his hand at his first city council meeting.

Köckert's lawyer pointed judges to city ordinances, which provide that “members of the council are to be pledged to carry out their duties conscientiously by the mayor shaking their hand.”

But the judge found that the handshake was a purely symbolic act with no legal meaning.

The case is the latest in a series where NPD councillors have seen mayors refuse to take their hands.

A parliamentary answer from the Interior Ministry revealed that there were cases in other Thuringian towns including Eisenach, Meiningen, Bad Frankenhausen and Ebeleben.

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