A German construction company has been criticized for laying bricks in the shape of a swastika in the public walkway of a new shopping center.
The swastika is one of the most feared and loathed symbols of modern times and not the sort of thing you want to accidentally bump into when doing the weekly shop, but that’s exactly what shoppers in the town of Goslar in northwest Germany had to contend with when enjoying a little retail therapy.
Displaying Nazi symbols in Germany is against the law. The German Strafgesetzbuch (Criminal Code) section 86a bans any form of display of a swastika, even if it results from so called ‘innocent’ situations.
When the police were alerted to the existence of the swastika by concerned shoppers, they rushed to the scene to investigate. The builders in question defended accusations that they had installed a swastika by claiming the bricks in the walkway had been installed randomly.
Although they did not deny the bricks formed a swastika, they insisted it was a complete accident.
Accident or not, the city council officials were not amused and ordered the swastika be covered immediately. They later arranged a date for the builders to return to the scene and rearrange the offending brickwork and completely eradicate the symbol which has come to represent the myriad of evils and horrors Hitler and the Nazi party unleashed upon the world.
Spokesman for the city council, Christian Burgart, was quick to let his feelings on the matter known to the Daily Mail.
“We do not tolerate such behavior here. It is inexcusable, therefore we ordered it to be removed straight away. The symbol has nothing to do with our town and has no place whatsoever here.”
A spokesperson for the police confirmed that the newly laid walkway did contain a swastika, but could not be certain that there was a deliberate motive behind it.
“We are speaking to the building firm responsible for the new footpath. They claim it was not deliberate but just an innocent mistake, and have already changed it. We have no leads, we are keeping our options open and investigating.”