British neo-Nazis post photo of Hitler salute in Buchenwald

May 26, 2016  

Police in Germany are investigating two suspected British neo-Nazis photographed giving a Hitler salute in Buchenwald concentration camp, where more than 56,000 people were murdered, The Telegraph reported Thursday.

The investigation centers on a photograph published on Twitter by National Action, a known British neo-Nazi group.

In the picture, two men are seen holding a National Action flag and giving the Nazi salute in a room clearly recognizable as an underground morgue at the concentration camp known as the “corpse cellar”, because the bodies of the dead were stored there before cremation, according to The Telegraph.

A caption on the picture points to “meat hooks” on the wall, from which SS guards choked an estimated 1,100 victims to death. Beside the caption, there is a crude smiley face.

German police said Thursday they do not know who the two men in the photograph are, because their faces are obscured by shadow.

“We are investigating unknown perpetrators, because the faces are distorted,” said a police spokesman quoted by The Telegraph. “But we take such actions very seriously.”

German intelligence services have reportedly been enlisted to help identify the two men. If they are found, they could face up to three years in prison in Germany, under strict laws which forbid Nazi symbols including the Hitler salute.

Twitter refused to comment on the photograph or say whether it would be taking any action against the National Action account.

“We don’t comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons,” a spokesman for the company told The Telegraph.

The incident is not the first time that former Nazi camps have been disrespected. Two years ago, a German teacher was arrested for stealing relics from the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum, including items belonging to several victims of Nazi genocide. 

In another act of disrespect, an Alabama teen in 2014 posted a “selfie” in the Auschwitz death camp, but later insisted the photo is not an anti-Semitic statement, but merely a tribute to her father, who was supposed to have made the trip with her but died shortly before her senior year in high school.

And, late last year, two British teenagers were charged with stealing artifacts from Auschwitz.

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