Reports have emerged of an ongoing incident regarding a man who openly displayed a Holocaust-glorifying tattoo at the TURM ErlebnisCity swimming pool in Oranienburg, Germany this summer.
The man, who is reported to be in his late twenties, was topless as he bathed with his young son. A large tattoo of the gates to Auschwitz was clearly visible on his lower back. Beneath the image, in old German lettering often used by the Nazis, were the words “Jedem Das Seine” meaning “To each what they deserve”, an old German proverb that is displayed over the entrance to the Buchenwald concentration camp.
A shocked eye-witness reported the man to a member of staff, who reacted with indifference and replied that he was unable to intervene. The witness, speaking to the Berlin daily newspaper BZ, reports that this reaction shocked him further, as did the other bathers’ nonplussed attitude to the tattoo.
The witness then sought out a second member of staff, who finally ordered the tattooed man to leave the facility.
When BZ followed up the incident, Kay Duberow, director of Stadtservice Oranienburg GmbH was unable to advise what measures had been taken. When pressed further, Duberow advised that Stadtservice Oranienburg’s policy is to report all cases of displayed or suspected hate symbols to the police. In this case, the procedure had not been followed. It is not clear why.
When BZ continued their investigation later that day, a police report had still not been filed.
After further pressure from BZ, state prosecution is now conducting criminal proceedings against the man in question. A police representative confirmed to BZ that the tattoo falls under the category of hate speech and is punishable by law.
Oranienburg, where the the TURM ErlebnisCity swimming pool is located, is itself home to a former concentration camp, Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg. Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg was used primarily for political prisoners from 1936 to the end of the Third Reich in May 1945.