Far-right Austrian politician suspended for making 'Heil Hitler' Nazi salute

Austria remains extremely embarrassed by its Nazi past

The Nazi salute is illegal in Austria

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A politician in Austria has been suspended by his party for making a Nazi salute.

The unnamed politician, a member of the far-right Freedom Party, was banned on the eve of Austria's parliamentary elections.

According to Austrian newspaper Der Standard, the man was seen raising his arm and shouting 'Heil Hitler' to one of his colleagues in the province of Styria, one of the Freedom Party's strongholds.

The gesture is illegal in Austria and, when it was seen by a local councillor, a complaint was passed to the mayor and then on to Freedom Party officials.

Josef Riemer, a representative of the party, says his colleagues take the allegations very seriously and the member in question has been suspended until the case is resolved.

The Freedom Party, one of Europe's right-wing parties, is hoping to form a coalition with rival conservatives after the elections on October 15, with the aim of securing around a third of the vote overall.

The party's recent surge in popularity has alarmed many in Austria, the birthplace of Adolf Hitler, which remains extremely embarrassed by its past and vigilant on anything pertaining to Hitler and the far-right.