• Austria's news in English

Nazi symbols 'must be removed from graves'

The Local · 16 Jul 2015, 12:44

Published: 16 Jul 2015 12:44 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The cemetery is the final resting place for an SS second lieutenant who died in 1941, Gisbert Katzwendel, and a clerical worker for the Nazi party, Friedrich Katzwendel. The SS lightning bolts proudly worn by the elite Nazi troops are carved into their tombstones.

Under an Austrian law enacted in 1947, Nazi regalia and symbols may not be publicly displayed. In the past it has been argued that the law need not apply to depictions created before 1947 - such as tombstone carvings.

Uwe Sailer told the Kurier newspaper that he has to pass the graves in question when he goes to visit his father-in-law’s grave, and is filled with disgust every time he sees them.

"It's disgusting and a nuisance that this is on public display," Sailer said. “For a long time I’ve been hoping that this insignia would be removed but nothing has happened,” he complained. He finally contacted the Upper Austrian network against right-wing extremism.

The organisation’s spokesman, Robert Eiter, said he was outraged. “These runes are Nazi symbols and therefore forbidden by law”. He added that it was “incomprehensible that the grave owners had not had them removed - and the cemetery administration should not have ignored this. We’re now demanding that they be removed as soon as possible,” he said.

Karin Weilguny, head of the cemeteries and burials department in Linz, told the Kurier that the city’s legal team has written to the owner of the plot, requesting that the banned symbols be removed by no later than July 27th. She said it was the first she had heard of the Nazi symbols. “This isn’t something we approve of and therefore we’re happy to have been tipped off”.

She added that she regretted that the runes went unnoticed when ashes were last interred in the family plot in 2010. “Our staff have now been instructed to keep an eye out for such a thing in the future.” She said that if the grave owner failed to do anything by the deadline, city officials would remove the symbols themselves and send the owner the bill.

Last year the owner of a cemetery plot in Graz was ordered to cover up a swastika on a grave dating from 1934, or pay a €4,000 fine.

At the time some people argued that the swastika should be allowed to remain in cemeteries as a "political and societal symbol" of the era.

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Vienna Comic Con promises to be 'bigger and more galactic'
Cosplay star Yaya Han. Copyright: Yaya Han/Bryan Humphrey

Comic Con returns to the Austrian capital on November 19th-20th at the Messe Wien.

Three refugees arrested on drugs charges
Cannabis plants. Photo: J. Patrick Bedell/Wikimedia

A gang of three Afghani drug dealers has been busted in Vienna.

Hungarian woman crushed by snowcat piste machine
Snowcat machine. Photo: Melensdad/Wikimedia

A young Hungarian woman has died after being crushed by a snowcat piste machine on the Dobratsch mountain in Carinthia.

Austrian policeman sentenced over 'Heil Hitler' salute
Photo: Flickr

A policeman in Austria was sentenced on Thursday for shouting "Heil Hitler" at a driver during a traffic check at the Hungarian border in April.

Scary clown craze endangers crucial work of clown 'doctors'
Photo: Bojan Tavcar

Within the last couple weeks, disturbing events involving masked individuals has caught public attention in Austria.

Chimney sweep rescues lost mushroom picker
Photo: James Lindsey/Wikimedia

A 76-year-old Austrian man who went out mushroom picking almost froze to death after getting lost and spending the night in the forest.

Refugees sold into forced prostitution
File photo: UNHCR

Female refugees are being sold into forced prostitution in Austria, a police investigation into human trafficking has found.

Driverless bus takes a spin around Salzburg's old town
The Arma driverless shuttle bus. Photo: Navya

A driverless minibus has made a test journey in the city of Salzburg.

No jail time for asylum seeker who dumped baby in road
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A man who grabbed his own child and dumped her in the middle of a busy road has been given a nine-month suspended sentence.

Freedom Party leader may face hate speech charges
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: Facebook/Personal

The leader of Austria’s Freedom Party may face charges of “hate speech” for posts made by other users on his Facebook page.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available