Feeds

Authorities release Nuremberg Nazi gnome

Aryan garden ornament deemed satirical

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Prosecutors in Nuremberg have decided not to take action against an artist who created a series of gnomes giving the Nazi salute, despite German laws which apparently prohibit even garden ornaments giving it a bit of the old Sieg Heil.

Ottmar Hörl's Nazi gnomes. Pic: Werner ScheuermannThings got a bit sticky for Ottmar Hörl, 59, when one of his gnomes paraded in the window of an art gallery in the city. They'd previously held a massed rally of 700 in an exhibition in Ghent, Belgium, without incident.

Earlier this year, 300 of them invaded a two-month event in Aschaffenburg, near Frankfurt, which attracted not one murmur of public discontent.

However, when a gold example pitched up in Nuremberg's Weigl Gallery, an indignant local tipped off a newspaper, which published a snap of the figure, and prosecutors then moved in.

According to Time, Nuremberg prosecutors' spokesman Wolfgang Träg confirmed: "We're investigating whether this is a violation of German criminal law, which forbids the use of symbols from unconstitutional organizations."

Hörl defended that the gnomes were intended as a satire on Nazism. He said of their Ghent outing: "They were part of an exhibition against the far right. Nobody had a problem with them."

He noted: "I would probably have been killed by the Nazis if I'd dared to depict the Aryan 'super race' as gnomes in 1942."

Heinz Bartkowski, the curator of the art society which organised the Aschaffenburg gig, said: "I think it's ridiculous the authorities in Nuremberg are investigating a common garden gnome. They should be investigating the activities of neo-Nazis instead, and not art. It's absolutely clear that works of art are exempt from the law forbidding the display of Nazi symbols."

Well, the powers that be have decided to let it slide, conceding that the gnomes are indeed mocking Adolf and chums and as such "could be allowed if they were clearly used to counter the fascist ideology", as the BBC puts it. They did, though, warn the figures had "certain abuse potential" and suggested others should not attempt to emulate the work. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook's Zuckerberg in EBOLA VIRUS FIGHT: Billionaire battles bug
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contacted as site supremo coughs up
Space exploration is just so lame. NEW APPS are mankind's future
We feel obliged to point out the headline statement is total, utter cobblers
Down-under record: Australian gets $140k for pussy
'Tiffany' closes deal - 'it's more common to offer your wife', says agent
Internet finally ready to replace answering machine cassette tape
It's a simple message and I'm leaving out the whistles and bells
FedEx helps deliver THOUSANDS of spam messages DIRECT to its Blighty customers
Don't worry Wilson, I'll do all the paddling. You just hang on
The iPAD launch BEFORE it happened: SPECULATIVE GUFF ahead of actual event
Nerve-shattering run-up to the pre-planned known event
Win a year’s supply of chocolate (no tech knowledge required)
Over £200 worth of the good stuff up for grabs
STONER SHEEP get the MUNCHIES after feasting on £4k worth of cannabis plants
Baaaaaa! Fanny's Farm's woolly flock is high, maaaaaan
Swiss wildlife park serves up furry residents to visitors
'It's ecological' says spokesman, now how would you like your Bambi done?
Red Bull does NOT give you wings, $13.5m lawsuit says so
Website letting consumers claim $10 cash back crashes after stampede
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.