Europe

Furore over German 'Brevik' clothing shop in Chemnitz

  • 6 March 2012
  • From the section Europe
Thor Steinar t-shirt - screen grab
Image caption Thor Steinar fashions are popular among neo-Nazis in Germany

A clothing label popular among German neo-Nazis has angered officials in eastern Germany by opening a shop called "Brevik" - similar to the Norwegian mass killer's name "Breivik".

Thor Steinar, a German brand, uses Nordic themes and names its shops after places in Norway.

Brevik is a town south of Oslo with about 2,700 residents.

The "Brevik" shop has opened in Chemnitz. A town hall spokeswoman said such a name was "quite unacceptable".

Katja Uhlemann, quoted by the German newspaper Die Welt, said the Chemnitz authorities "will plan every further step necessary to shut down this business as quickly as possible".

Anders Behring Breivik, now in prison, expressed extreme right-wing views on the internet, railing against what he saw as a Marxist Islamic takeover of Europe.

Last July he set off a bomb in central Oslo, then stormed the lake island of Utoeya, shooting young activists of the governing Labour Party at a summer camp. He killed 77 people and was later assessed as criminally insane.

Concern about far right

Chemnitz is in Saxony, a German state whose parliament includes eight far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) deputies.

Hanka Kliese, a Saxony MP from the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), said "this scandalous naming shows a new quality in the aggression, right-wing extremism and capacity of violence of Thor Steinar".

The brand has been forced to close its outlets previously in Hamburg, Magdeburg and Leipzig.

The man who agreed to lease the site in Chemnitz was quoted as saying he felt a chill run down his spine when he saw the shop name "Brevik" for the first time. He said he was unaware that Thor Steinar had taken on the lease.

Chemnitz lies near Zwickau, where a notorious neo-Nazi gang was based, blamed for 10 murders that shocked Germany.

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