On Saturday evening, disturbing images circulated on social media of a group of young people walking around in Nazi clothing in the entertainment centre of the Dutch town, Urk.
The group of at least eight were dressed in evocative Nazi-like military uniforms with moustaches and guns. They posed in the Hitler salute, with one person dressed as a prisoner with a star of David on the chest.
In another set of images captured by a surveillance camera, the “prisoner” was being held kneeling at gunpoint, while in others, the group was terrorising pedestrians on the street.
News sources are conflicting on whether the group was participating in a protest against coronavirus measures in Urk, or were attending a costume party. Either way, the municipality has been left outraged.
The group apparently issued an apology statement to the community, clarifying they’re not anti-Semitic, against Jews, or in support of the Nazi regime.
But the Urk municipality is not having it. In an official statement by Urk’s mayor Cees van den Bos, the municipality called out the group’s actions as objectionable, highly inappropriate, and hurtful.
“We are currently in consultation with the police and the Public Prosecution Service to get a complete picture of the situation”, says a spokesperson for the municipality of Urk, Françoise Bisschop.
On the criminality of this situation, professor of criminal law and criminal law process, Theo de Roos, explains that if this incident is examined as a protest against measures then the whole situation will be viewed in the context of freedom of speech.
According to De Roos, if this is the case “they wanted to indicate that what the government is now doing with the corona policy is just as bad as the Nazi regime.” says De Roos. “It is disgusting and tasteless. But that does not automatically mean that it is punishable.”
Feature Image: AllaSerebrina/Depositphotos