In Austria, a police officer was convicted on Monday for sharing a picture of Gnocchi with a green authority on Facebook. He did this precisely on Adolf Hitler’s birthday. The man who insisted on his innocence was sentenced to 10 months in prison and a 6,300 euro fine for violating a law banning expressions of National Socialism.
The officer, who worked for the Burgenland State Police Department, was convicted by a jury. It consisted of eight people, five of whom voted to condemn him and three against him. A court in Eisenstadt, about 60 kilometers under Vienna, ruled that he was sentenced. A spokesperson for the court told the Austrian news agency APA that the verdict is not yet final as the convicted and plaintiff can appeal it. It is not yet known if they do this.
The police officer was temporarily suspended after sharing on Facebook and losing his membership in the populist Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ). Now that he has been found guilty, the Burgenland Police Disciplinary Committee decides whether to take further steps.
Favorite food for children
“Lunch today! Gnocchi with green salad!” The man wrote on April 20 of last year with a picture of Hitler’s favorite games on Facebook. A friend replied to the letter with “Blondie is missing,” referring to Hitler’s sheepdog. Left-wing liberal weekly in Vienna (Walther) Make the letter public after informing the editor-in-chief.
The post caused a lot of uproar on social media and also sparked a fierce debate within the FPÖ where it raised the question of whether party members truly believed the neo-Nazis would express themselves this way. But in the neo-Nazi scene, references to the relevant court are used systematically to show support for Hitler and the National Socialist system, the Austrian public broadcaster ORF reports.
The police officer claimed to be innocent and rejected any reference to neo-Nazi sentiments. “I went cycling with my kids, and then there was the gnocchi that my wife had prepared especially for us the day before. Because this is their favorite food,” a reporter from The Cronin Newspaper Tell him. The man said he did not notice the date and did not know that April 20 was Hitler’s birthday. “What next? A catering worker was sanctioned for serving gnocchi on that date?” His lawyer asked the jury. “My client has been a reputable police officer for fourteen years.”
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