A man living in Weil im Schönbuch in southern Germany has been forced to remove a statue of his father that he placed at his grave after local residents complained it looked like Adolf Hitler.
According to the German news outlet Bild, the man, named Oliver, placed a wooden statue meant to represent his father — who died in 2013 — at his gravesite earlier this month.
The statue had a small mustache and a soccer jersey that bore the number 88 — which is often a white supremacist code meaning Heil Hitler, since H is the eighth letter of the alphabet.
According to the New York Post, residents of the town complained about the statue to Mayor Wolfgang Lahl, who instructed Oliver to remove it from the cemetery. Lahl told Bild that he had received numerous complaints about the wooden figure “within a few days.”
Bürgermeister lässt Skulptur entfernen – Friedhofs-Zoff um diesen Holz-Hitler https://t.co/3jOkmHWh55
— BILD News (@BILD_News) July 25, 2021
The Daily Mail quoted a lawyer for Oliver as saying there was zero connection between the statue and Hitler, and that 88 was chosen because his father lived at number 88 for many years.
According to Bild, state security officials are investigating the incident. It is illegal in Germany to display Nazi symbols outside of educational and historical purposes. Similar rules exist in other European countries, including Austria, Lithuania and Ukraine.
Earlier this year, Amazon altered the new icon for its app after users pointed out that it bore a resemblance to Hitler.