Swastika-shaped ride closes in Germany
A German amusement park has closed one of its static or flat rides over complaints that it looked like rotating swastikas.
The Eagle Flight ride featured two arms each supporting four cars that looked like swastikas when they span.
The Tatzmania amusement park in Loffingen, southwest Germany, said it shut the ride, which opened in recent weeks, after criticism on social media.
Managing director Rudiger Braun told Bild: “We didn’t notice the gondolas are in the form of a swastika.
“It wasn’t obvious from the manufacturer’s sketches.”
He said half of the rebuild costs for the ride would be paid by the ride’s Italian manufacturer.
Braun said the ride would feature three seats per arm, compared with the current four, presumably extending queueing times.
“I would like to apologise … to people who feel disturbed and insulted by our design. We will have this problem under control,” Braun said.
Displaying the swastika is illegal in Germany and exhibiting Nazi emblems can be punished with prison terms of up to three years under laws. The law prohibits the “use of symbols of unconstitutional organisations” for reasons other than art, science, research or education.
“It was wise of the operator to react so quickly,” said Michael Wehner of the regional government’s political education agency.
“Displaying prohibited symbols is an offence, and sooner or later someone would have filed a complaint.”
AfD election hopes
Some polling suggests the far-right Alternative for Deutschland could be on track to win the largest share of the votes in Brandenburg and Saxony — two states in the formerly communist east – in September 1 regional elections.
But other parties have refused to form coalitions with the AfD, meaning unstable coalitions may take power.
“We’re being overrun by foreigners, and once they’re here, they won’t ever leave,” said Joerg Quitt, 58, who moved to the former East Germany after unification in 1990.
“Many of the refugees we’re spending all this money on don’t even like us,” said Quitt of the Brandenburg state capital, Potsdam. Brandenburg is currently governed by a coalition of the German Social Democrats (SPD) and the Left (Die Linke) party.
“We’re going to end up being a minority in our own country. It’s a joke. The established parties just ignore the whole problem and they’re going to pay a price for that,” Quitt added.
But the AfD does not appear to be in a commanding position in all forecasts.
Polling published on Friday by German broadcaster ZDF estimated in Brandenburg that the SPD would gain 21 per cent of the vote.
AfD trailed on 20 per cent support, according to the poll, and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union was in third place in Brandenburg with 18 per cent support.
The Greens and Linke each had 14 per cent backing, the Politbarometer guessed.
Picture credit: YouTube