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Austrian takes legal action against German swastika joke
Central European News/Heute Show

Austrian takes legal action against German swastika joke

The Local · 2 May 2016, 11:22

Published: 02 May 2016 11:22 GMT+02:00

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Following the election that left the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) candidate Norbert Hofer in pole position to become Austria's president, a 35-year-old producer on the German TV programme "Heute Show" published a picture of a schnitzel in the shape of a swastika on the programme’s Facebook page.

Alongside it, he posted a sarcastic message saying: "Austrians are voting the same way they like their schnitzels, mostly flat and brown." The brown is a reference to the brown colour of the Nazi party.

It follows a previous incident involving comedian Jan Bohmermann from the same TV company - ZDF - who is being investigated by prosecutors in Germany after he wrote a deliberately unfunny and crude poem about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan then responded by using a little-known law recorded in an obscure section of Germany's 19th-century penal code prohibiting people from insulting foreign heads of state.

Now a law student from the Tyrolean city of Innsbruck, Emanuel Falch, 22, and at least one other person in Austria have used the same law to demand prosecution of the German TV show producers responsible for the joke and who are also working for ZDF.

Prosecutors in the German town of Mainz, where the local TV company ZDF is based, have confirmed they are investigating. A spokesman said: "In fact there were several complaints, including two from Austria."

The same prosecutors are already investigating the Bohmermann incident.

The law student said that he had taken this action because he felt it was unfair that as soon as anybody voted FPÖ they were instantly branded Nazis.

Story continues below…

Tyrol’s FPÖ leader Markus Abwerzger said he welcomed the decision to file the legal complaint, even if he thought it did not stand much of a chance of succeeding.

Story courtesy of Central European News

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