German protester who wore 'University of Auschwitz, 1941' T-shirt faces prison
A woman in Germany could face up to five years in prison for inciting hatred after she was filmed at an anti-Islam rally wearing a T-shirt that compared the Auschwitz concentration camp to a university.
The woman, who has not been named under German privacy laws, was filmed at a demonstration last October wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “University Auschwitz, est. 1941”.
Under a silhouette of one of the infamous Nazi extermination camp’s most distinctive buildings, the T-shirt listed possible courses of study as “genetics, racial science, Final Solution”.
More than 1.1 million Jews were systematically murdered at Auschwitz, along with tens of thousands of gypsies, Poles and Soviet prisoners-of-war.
The woman was filmed wearing the T-shirt at a rally in Cologne last October, when she gave an interview to a camera crew from Germany’s Vice magazine.
Asked by the interviewer what the T-shirt meant, she replied: “Good question. That was my husband...I have no idea.”
A man who appeared to be the woman’s husband was also filmed.
They were taking part in a rally organised by a group calling itself Hooligans against Salafism, or HoGeSa, which claimed to be against the rise of hardline Salafist Islam in Germany.
The group, which predated the much more successful Pegida movement, was more openly allied to the far-Right, and there were violent clashes with police at the Cologne demonstration.
Under Germany’s Volksverhetzung law, inciting hatred against sections of the population or assaulting people’s human dignity is punishable by up to five years in prison.
Although the incident took place several months ago, police only began searching for the couple on Tuesday, but said they were able to identify them within 24 hours, after receiving information from around 30 members of the public.
A police spokesman said it was now up to prosecutors whether to charge the couple.