Story By: Kathryn Quinn, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
Two Austrian politicians from the far-right Freedom Party are facing criminal charges for posting Hitler tributes online.
One of the politicians’ ex Lower Austrian FPO club boss Martin Huber is accused of posting birthday wishes to Hitler on his Facebook page, whereas a Lower Austrian FPO Chairman was caught on camera making Hitler salutes.
Manuel Lambeck, 24, FPO chairman in Loosdorf, a town in the district of Melk in the Austrian state of Lower Austria was filmed making a Hitler salute while saying the words Hitler, just days after being elected club chairman.
Another man can allegedly be heard saying: “Yes, that’s great. Exactly our boss.” after he did the salute.
Local paper Falter claim to have a copy of the video and say Lambeck was clearly drunk in the video where he is clearly heard saying Hitler into the camera.
If convicted, they face up to 10 years behind bars under Austrian law.
The FPO has now announced Lambeck has been fired from the FPO. FPO Secretary in Lower Austria Michael Schnedlitz said: “The local functionary has been fired from the party with immediate effect.”
He added: “It is abominable and has no place in our organisation. We do not want to have anything to do with such people.”
Lambeck has yet to comment on the video.
The public prosecutor has confirmed that it is investigating whether the case goes against anti-Nazi laws, which aim to suppress any potential revival of Nazism.
Also this week another FPO politician Martin Huber, also faces charges for breaking anti-Nazi laws according to the public prosecutor in the Lower Austrian capital of St Poelten.
Huber posted a message on his personal Facebook page wishing Hitler a happy birthday on April 20th , the birthday of the former Austrian dictator, which is often celebrated by Nazis.
He wrote: “To all those celebrating their birthdays today…” He was suspended from the party by FPO boss Norbert Hofer, but he kept his seat in the Lower Austrian parliament as an independent politician and therefore has political immunity.
The public prosecutor has now demanded the politician can be investigated without the immunity.
The case continues.
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