Unknown people replaced the rainbow flag flown at the Neubrandenburg station in eastern Germany with a flag with a swastika, an act of “glorification” of Nazi ideology condemned on Saturday by the city.
The police, alerted by a passerby early in the morning, seized the flag and launched a call to witnesses on Saturday to locate the perpetrators of the crime. The rainbow flag, which evokes peace and LGBT diversity, had already been stolen several times in the past at the station in this city of more than 60,000 inhabitants in the former communist GDR, located north of Berlin.
“With the public staging of far-right symbols and signs, a new dimension is reached in the glorification of the inhumane ideology of National Socialism,” the city stressed in a statement. “This is not nonsense or a youth joke,” she continued, considering that the perpetrators should be identified and punished by the authorities “with all the severity required by law.”
An investigation was opened for the use of symbols contrary to the Constitution, a crime that can be punished with sentences of up to three years in prison. German law formally prohibits the use of Nazi-era slogans or the public display of swastikas or other symbols of the Third Reich.