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Reactions to satirical "Nazi" schnitzel post

Dagmar BreitenbachApril 28, 2016

German satirical TV shows seem to be in the crosshairs of many people these days, in particular outside the country. Jan Böhmermann raised hackles in Turkey with a lewd poem - here's a spoof that angered Austrians.

Screenshot Heute Show Nazi Schnitzel Copyright: heute-show.de
Image: heute-show.de

Norbert Hofer of Austria's anti-immigrant, far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) won over a third of the votes in a first round of the presidential election on Sunday, and faces a run-off next month.

In reaction to the results, Germany's "heute-show", a popular late-night satirical TV program, posted a photo on its website showing a crisp schnitzel in the form of a swastika, a symbol associated with the Nazis.

"What's your problem, dear neighbors?" the caption reads. The text in the photo adds "Austrians like to vote for what resembles their schnitzel: as flat and brown as possible."

By Thursday, the Nazi schnitzel post had garnered 40,000 reactions on Facebook.

It had also garnered official complaints lodged with the prosecutor's office.

Prompt reaction

According to German and Austrian media reports, the prosecutor's office in Mainz received two complaints in the matter, one from a German individual and one from an Austrian law student. The student is reported to have drawn on Germany's rarely enforced paragraph 103 of the criminal code - insulting organs or representatives of foreign states - which carries up to five years in prison.

The very same prosecutor's office opened a criminal investigation into German TV presenter Jan Böhmermann after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan requested the comedian be prosecuted for allegedly defaming him in a "smear poem."

Any prosecution of the comedian would also be launched under paragraph 103. Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced plans to abolish the law, and some lawmakers in the Bundestag are pushing for this process to be fast-tracked.