German neo-Nazi party refers to gas chambers in campaign ads


(JTA) — Campaign posters by Germany’s largest neo-Nazi party that refer to Nazi gas chambers are being condemned by politicians from across the political spectrum.

Some German officials reportedly are considering filing charges against the the NPD-National Democratic Party of Germany over a poster featuring its leader, Udo Voigt, dressed in black and revving a motorcycle with the slogan "Gas geben," or "Step on the gas."

Meanwhile, Berlin’s regional public radio station is refusing to run a commercial spot by the NPD, saying it promotes racism. According to the Berlin Morgenpost daily newspaper, the station’s legal department determined that the ad, which blames so-called foreigners for all of Germany’s problems, is illegal.

The radio station has given the NPD until Monday to change its ad, but the right-wing extremist party announced Aug. 13 that it would mount a legal challenge against the  decision.

The NPD is hoping to win the required minimum of 5 percent of the popular vote in the Sept. 18 Berlin state election to gain seats in the local parliament for the first time.

As to the poster ad, Berlin Senator Andreas Gram of the Christian Democratic Union was quoted in the Berliner Kurier newspaper as saying that it was an expression of
"misanthropic cynicism," an obvious association with gas chambers.

Berlin Senator Tom Schreiber of the Social Democratic Party told the Kurier that he could not imagine "what tourists, like those from Israel, would think" upon seeing posters with the slogan "Step on the gas."

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