Hundreds of neo-Nazis gathered in the German town of Ostritz on Friday to mark Adolf Hitler’s birthday.
Ostritz is in Eastern Germany, near the border with the Czech Republic and Poland. Counter-demonstrations against the two-day “festival” also took place on Friday.
The majority of the participants were men, and several had T-shirts with slogans like “Watching the breed”, “White is my favorite colour” and “Adolf was the best” on them.
Hundreds of police officers were in place for the event, which was also expected to attract extremists from Eastern Europe.
The organisers had expected that approximately 1,000 participants would find their way to a weekend celebration. They also claimed that the festival is a political event that gives it protection under the German constitution.
The small German city is located in the state of Saxony, a state of where hostility against foreigners is widespread. Among other things, Pegida has its origins there, and the right-wing populistic and strongly anti-Islamist ‘Alternative for Germany (AFD)’ became the largest party in the state during the election last fall.
The marking of Hitler’s birthday, 73 years after his death, has caused major reactions.
A separate peace festival was organised by local politicians, citizen groups and church leaders to show that Ostritz is a “tolerant and peaceful” settlement, and in addition,anti-fascist activists gathered into two different counter demonstrations.
“If you can gather to celebrate Hitler’s birthday without any problems or consequences,it’s a sign of bad laws and a sick society,” said Sascha Elser, spokesperson for the anti-fascist event.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today