German charged over 'tattoo of Nazi death camp'

A tattoo, apparently of Auschwitz death camp, for which the wearer is being prosecuted Image copyright AP
Image caption The tattoo apparently depicts the gate at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp

A German man has been charged with incitement to hatred after he was pictured with a tattoo apparently of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz.

The tattoo has the slogan "To Each His Own", which was on the gate of the Buchenwald concentration camp.

The photo was taken at a swimming pool in the town of Oranienburg, north of Berlin, at the end of November.

German media named the man as Marcel Zech, a member of the far-right National Democratic Party.

Mr Zech sits on the council in the district of Barnim in eastern Germany.

The trial process has been sped up, German media reports say, and is scheduled to start on 22 December.

Germany has strict laws against the promotion of Nazi ideology in Germany. The punishment for Mr Zech if he is convicted could be as much as five years in prison.

Artist Jonathan Meese was prosecuted in 2013 for giving Nazi salutes at an event the previous year, but successfully argued the gesture was part of an interview-turned-art performance and was acquitted.

The latest case comes after several violent incidents this year at reception centres for migrants in Germany.

A senior German intelligence official told the BBC in October that Germany's decision to take in asylum seekers was fuelling a resurgence in the far right.

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