Outrage grows over Hitler masks on sale in Prague

Investigations were underway Wednesday into a shop in the Czech capital that sold rubber face masks of Nazi Germany leader Adolf Hitler, police said.

Outrage grows over Hitler masks on sale in Prague
Tourists wander through Prague's scenic old town. Photo: DPA

German ambassador to Prague Christoph Israng tweeted a picture of a Hitler mask on display in the shop window last Friday, the day after Halloween.

“The Czechs suffered so much under the Nazi regime. Why is such trash being sold in Prague's centre now?” the diplomat wrote in a caption.

“Our department is investigating the case,” Jaroslav Ibehej, spokesman for the Czech police's organized crime unit, told AFP but declined to provide  further details.

Katerina Pisackova, spokeswoman for  Prague's central district, said the  city had terminated the rental agreement of the shop in the picturesque Lesser Town.

READ ALSO: Five Hitler paintings to be auctioned in Nuremberg

Its owners claimed in the agreement they would sell clothes and “objects  representing the traditional Prague culture and the culture of the Czech  Republic.”

The UNESCO-listed centre of the Czech capital, which dates back to the  Middle Ages, is home to a raft of shops criticised for selling offensive or  kitschy souvenirs including fur caps with Soviet Red Army insignia or  garishly-painted Russian matryoshka dolls.

“Let's admit that some shops tarnish the reputation of the Prague heritage  area,” central district mayor Pavel Cizinsky said in a statement obtained by  AFP.

READ ALSO: Village in southwest German votes to keep 'Hitler bell' as memorial

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Saxony police probe motorcycling ‘Hitler’

German police said they were investigating after a man dressed as Adolf Hitler rode around a weekend festival in a motorbike sidecar, although he provoked more amusement than outrage.

Saxony police probe motorcycling 'Hitler'
Front of a motorcycle. Photo: DPA

“When people dress up as Adolf Hitler, an investigation is always necessary,” a spokesman for Saxony police told news agency DPA on Monday.

The fake Führer appeared at a classic motorcycle gathering in Augustusburg, near Chemnitz, and was seen in videos of the event posted online.

He sported a toothbrush moustache and was seated in the sidecar of a bike driven by a man dressed as a 1940s-era soldier, complete with World War II-style helmet.

READ ALSO: Outrage grows over Hitler masks on sale in Prague

People are heard laughing as the pair pass by and a policeman guarding the event pulls out his phone with a smile to take photos.

The officer could now face consequences for his failure to step in.

“We would have expected our colleague to put a stop to all this without the least hesitation,” the Saxony police spokesman said.

The officer seen laughing at the impersonator was summoned for a meeting with his superiors and has “acknowledged his misconduct”, a spokesman for the local Chemnitz police told AFP on Tuesday.

Saxony premier Michael Kretschmer also condemned the Hitler pantomime.

“Dressing up as a mass murderer is more than just bad taste,” he tweeted. “This kind of behaviour is unacceptable and shouldn't be repeated.”

Around 1,800 motorcyclists and 7,500 visitors took part in the weekend classic bike festival in Saxony, a region in former communist East Germany that has made headlines for far-right and neo-Nazi activities in recent years.