Fire brigade rebels over 'Heil Hitler' commander
Published 01/12/2010 | 05:00
A Polish fire brigade has rebelled against its commander after an alleged campaign of humiliation in which he forced them to deliver meals to his adult son, help his mother-in-law move house and greet each other with a "Heil Hitler" each morning.
The firemen from a station in the eastern city of Augustow went over his head with a plea to have him removed.
In a letter to regional headquarters the firemen at the station listed 27 allegations of abuse of power, which also included claims that the commander used emergency phones to order food, and permitted friends to stay at the fire station bedroom.
"Friends of the commander were allowed to stay, and firemen were mobilised as if it were a hotel," the firemen claimed in their letter.
The station commander, along with his deputy, also reportedly subjected anyone who questioned his command to abusive tirades.
His alleged insistence of firemen using "Heil Hitler"was resented in particular, given Poland's suffering during the Nazi occupation.
"It's not our fault, we didn't want this scandal," one fireman said in an interview.
A spokesman for the regional headquarters said it had launched an investigation.
A statement issued on behalf of the station officer at the centre of the scandal and his deputy "expressed their surprise at the situation" and said that they were treating the allegations as "false and defamatory". (© Daily Telegraph, London)