Merkel’s Government Condemns Hitler Salutes as ‘Repulsive’

  • U.S. white nationalists prompt response by German chancellery
  • German chancellor’s spokesman voices confidence in U.S. system

Angela Merkel

Source: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government called displays of the Nazi salute “repulsive” after participants used the gesture at a white-nationalist meeting in Washington last week.

Steffen Seibert, Merkel’s chief spokesman, declined to respond specifically to a reporter’s question about video that surfaced from the conference of the National Policy Institute, whose leader Richard B. Spencer is credited with popularizing the term “alt-right.”

“Whenever we see videos from where people are shown doing a Hitler salute, it’s repulsive to us and violates the foundation and the values of our politics,” Seibert told reporters on Wednesday in Berlin. He expressed confidence that U.S. “civil society, media and politicians” will address “such egregious events.”

Under laws passed in Germany after World War II, distributing neo-Nazi propaganda and displaying symbols and gestures associated with Adolf Hitler’s regime are crimes.

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