Wednesday 18 September 2019

Hotel guest sued over 'Nazi' post in online review

The Tyrolean resort of Gerlos in Austria. Photo: Gabriela Sauciuc Lupu
The Tyrolean resort of Gerlos in Austria. Photo: Gabriela Sauciuc Lupu

Justin Huggler

The owners of an Austrian hotel are suing a German guest over an online review in which he accused them of decorating the reception area with a shrine to a "Nazi grandpa".

The patron, named in court papers only as Thomas K, complained that he had found a photograph of a man in Nazi-era military uniform, complete with swastikas, on display with a floral arrangement at the hotel's entrance.

The hotel owners say the photograph is displayed in memory of a close relative and argue the fact he was wearing a German military uniform does not mean he was a Nazi sympathiser.

Court

Thomas K visited the hotel, in the Tyrolean resort of Gerlos, in August last year and posted two reviews, one in German on Booking.com, and a second in English on TripAdvisor under the heading: "At the entrance they display a picture of a Nazi grandpa."

A court in Innsbruck granted a preliminary injunction against Thomas K, on the grounds that the reviews implied the hotel owners shared their deceased relative's Nazi beliefs. Both reviews have now been taken down and the hotel has removed the picture.

The defamation case continues.

Irish Independent

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