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The Jakob-Kaiser-Haus building next to the Reichstag in Berlin where the swastika was found
The Jakob-Kaiser-Haus where the swastika was foundImage: Bernd Settnik/dpa/picture alliance
PoliticsGermany

Germany: Police probes swastika in parliament building

John Silk
December 7, 2020

An aide of a Green Party lawmaker tweeted an image of the symbol, found scratched into an elevator door in a Bundestag office building. Displaying Nazi symbols is illegal in Germany and can carry a three-year jail term.

https://p.dw.com/p/3mInT

German police on Sunday launched an investigation after a swastika symbol was found in a parliament building in Berlin.

A spokesperson for the Bundestag said that the unconstitutional symbol had been spotted carved onto the door of an elevator, according to German news agency DPA.

Read more: Finland's air force removes the swastika from logo after almost a century

A staffer of Green party lawmaker Dieter Janecek tweeted a picture of the swastika scratched into the door in the Jakob-Kaiser-Haus, an office building for lawmakers next to the Reichstag that houses parliament.

The place where the swastika was found has since been taped over. "The position in the elevator in a Bundestag office building has been temporarily taped over," the Bundestag spokesperson confirmed.

The Jakob-Kaiser-Haus building next to the Reichstag in Berlin where the swastika was found
The Jakob-Kaiser-Haus where the swastika was foundImage: Bernd Settnik/dpa/picture alliance

Read more: Neo-Nazi Sturmbrigade 44: How serious of a threat is it?

Possible jail term

Displaying, or being responsible for, Nazi symbols in Germany can be punished by up to three years in jail

Swastikas and other banned symbols can, however, be displayed if they are used for "civic education, countering anti-constitutional activities, art and science, research and education, the coverage of historic and current events, or similar purposes," according to the Criminal Code.

That means movies and TV series — such as Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds and Amazon's The Man in the High Castle — are usually exempt from such jurisdiction.

Read more: Nuremberg Trials: An important step for Germany to confront its Nazi past

DPA contributed to this article.

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