German politician loses appeal on Nazi-themed tattoo, now going to jail

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — A far-right German politician saw his sentence increased to eight months in prison for displaying a Nazi-themed tattoo after appealing a suspended sentence from a different court.

Marcel Zech, 28, a member of the National Democratic Party and a town council member near Berlin, had sought an acquittal in the case from the state court in Neuruppin, north of the German capital. The court could have been sentenced him to up to five years in prison.

Zach had received a six-month suspended sentence from a district court for displaying the tattoo on his back during a 2015 visit to a swimming pool in Oranienburg. The image appears to be the Auschwitz gate along with the words “Jedem das Seine” (to each his own), which appeared on the gate of the Buchenwald death camp.

Zech’s attorney said he would appeal the verdict to a higher court.  The attorney also said that Zech has altered the tattoo so that he could continue to visit the swimming pool with his children, The Associated Press reported.

Under German law, it is illegal to trivialize the Holocaust or glorify Nazi crimes.

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