Man who gave Hitler salute in Chemnitz given eight month suspended sentence

A 33-year-old German man was on Thursday handed a suspended sentence of eight months by a court in the eastern city of Chemnitz for making the illegal Nazi salute during far-right protests.

Man who gave Hitler salute in Chemnitz given eight month suspended sentence
Far-right demonstration in Chemnitz on September 1st. Photo: DPA

The Chemnitz local, who was not named, was also fined €2,000 over his action on September 1st.

The penalty was more lenient than the one-year prison sentence sought by prosecutors, who are examining whether to lodge an appeal.

Thousands of demonstrators had answered a call by the far-right party AfD and the Islamophobic Pegida street movement to march over the fatal stabbing of a man, allegedly by asylum seekers, on Sunday August 26th.

During the heated rallies, a handful of people were seen publicly making the illegal salute, while others were shouting anti-foreigner slurs.

Police have been investigating the cases and last week said they had identified six people who they believed had made the sign.

The district court in Chemnitz has implemented fast-track criminal procedures in order to process all the suspects charged with violating Germany's hate speech laws.

A 34-year-old man is due in court on Friday over a similar charge.

The swastika and other Nazi symbols are banned in Germany. Those caught breaking the law can be fined or face a jail term of up to three years.

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New army scandal: Germany vows to punish soldiers caught singing anti-Semitic songs

Germany's Defence Minister on Tuesday vowed to severely punish soldiers stationed in Lithuania who were accused of singing racist and anti-Semitic songs, if the allegations turned out to be true.

New army scandal: Germany vows to punish soldiers caught singing anti-Semitic songs
German soldiers training in Saxony-Anhalt in May. credit: dpa-Zentralbild | Klaus-Dietmar Gabbert

“Whatever happened is in no way acceptable,” said Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

Those implicated would be “vigorously prosecuted and punished”, she added.

The Spiegel Online news site had on Monday reported that German soldiers in Lithuania sang racist and anti-Semitic songs during a party at a hotel in April.

One had also sought to sexually assault another soldier while he was asleep, a scene which was caught on film, said Spiegel.

According to Spiegel Online, the scenes took place at a party at which soldiers consumed large quantities of alcohol. They are also alleged to have arranged a “birthday table” for Adolf Hitler on April 20th and to have sung songs for him.

It is unclear to what extent more senior ranked soldiers were aware of the incidents.

Three soldiers have been removed from the contingent stationed in the Baltic country and an investigation is ongoing to identify other suspects, said the report.

The German armed forces have been repeatedly rocked by allegations of right-wing extremism within their ranks.

Kramp-Karrenbauer last year ordered the partial dissolution of the KSK commando force after revelations that some of its members harboured neo-Nazi sympathies.

SEE ALSO: Germany to compensate gay soldiers who faced discrimination