The telltale signs were the apparent resemblance to Hitler – the mustache, the hairstyle — and the number 88 written on the figure’s soccer jersey. But is there another explanation?
By Meira Svirsky, World Israel News
A wooden statue placed on the grave of a man by his son as a tribute to his father has wreaked havoc on the peace of a small town in Germany. Was it a Hitler look alike or not?
Concerned town people from Weil Im Schonbuch in the southwest state of Baden-Wuttemberg began ringing the mayor with outrage about the statue after it was placed on the grave in mid-July, reported the German news outlet Bild.
The telltale signs were the apparent resemblance to Hitler – the beard, the hairstyle — and the number 88 written on the figure’s soccer jersey. Eighty-eight is a code word in neo-Nazi circles for “Heil Hitler.” (“H” is the eighth letter of the alphabet.)
While the mayor had the statue removed, state security began investigating the man’s son, identified only as Oliver E., who commissioned the likeness of his father and placed it on his grave.
Germany’s criminal code prohibits the “use of symbols of unconstitutional organization” (except for educational or artistic reasons). Nazi symbols and slogans fall into this category.
“Mr E. is not a Nazi. His father was the cashier of a football club for 30 years,” said E.’s lawyer, speaking to Bild, while explaining that “88” was the number of the house where the father lived.
For now, while the investigation takes place, the mayor has allowed E. to put the statue in his front yard.