German politician guilty over Auschwitz tattoo

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 politician has been found guilty of incitement to hatred after he was pictured with a tattoo of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz.

A photo of Marcel Zech's tattoo was taken at a swimming pool in Oranienburg, near Berlin, last month.

Mr Zech is a member of the far-right National Democratic Party who sits on the council in the district of Barnim in eastern Germany.

He was handed a six-month suspended sentence at a court in Oranienburg.

Prosecutors had sought a 10-month prison sentence. The court did not demand Mr Zech remove the tattoo, but German media reported that he would be required to cover it up in public.

While the image in the tattoo is of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, the slogan - Jedem das Seine (To Each His Own) - appeared on the gate to the Buchenwald concentration camp.

Germany has strict laws against the promotion of Nazi ideology in Germany.

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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