Austrian soccer fan sent to prison over Nazi salute

Austrian soccer fan given an 18-month prison sentence for a Hitler salute during a match.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Flag of Austria
Flag of Austria

An Austrian soccer fan has been given an 18-month prison sentence for a Hitler salute during a match, AFP reported on Tuesday.

The Nazi salute is contrary to Austria’s tough laws against Nazi glorification.

The unemployed 39-year-old fan of Rapid Vienna was spotted performing the banned gesture during a match in August 2016 and sentenced in Vienna on Monday, according to the news agency.

"I didn't really give it much thought. But it clearly wasn't a good idea," the man was quoted as having told the court, adding he had had "a few beers and spritzers" before the game.

Similar convictions are relatively common but usually the sentences are suspended. In this case, however, than man had a previous conviction for wishing Hitler happy birthday on Facebook in 2013.

Earlier this month, a court in the Feldkirch District of Austria found a 34-year-old man guilty of violating the country's anti-Nazi laws for his Facebook posts claiming that Jews made up stories about mass killings in gas chambers.

In February, an Adolf Hitler lookalike was arrested in Austria on charges of glorifying the Nazi era.

The 25-year-old man, who reportedly calls himself Harald Hitler, had been seen having his photograph taken outside the house in Braunau am Inn in which Hitler was born.