German teacher fined for painting over swastikas near a primary school
Rald Bender said he would continue to appeal the fine, telling reporters as a teacher it was his job to 'set an example'
A German teacher has been fined €1,000 for painting over swastikas sprayed onto signs near the primary school where he taught.
Ralf Bender, who teaches in the small town of Limburg in Hesse, has lost a case against the local council after he painted over a number of swastikas sprayed onto signposts near the school in 2013 when authorities failed to act despite being informed of the offensive symbols. He told local newspaper he took action because he wanted to remove the offensive signs before pupils returned to the school.
On Tuesday the town upheld a decision to make Mr Bender pay cost of €1,000 cleaning costs, the Local reports.
But the teacher, who said the town’s actions were a “joke” and the symbols a mockery of the Nazi’s victims, has promised to take his case to Germany’s highest court and refused to pay the fine.
“I stand in front of children every day. It is my job to set an example to them,” he told German newspaper Süddeustche Zeitung.
While many have expressed support for this actions, the teacher also claims people have threatened him and forced him to take security measures at home.
The swastika, a still-potent symbol of the Nazi regime responsible for the deaths of millions, is banned in all forms within Germany under the country’s criminal code.
Independent News Service