Far-right police officers suspended in Germany after sharing Hitler pictures

By Katrin Bennhold

Twenty-nine German police officers have been suspended from duty on suspicion of sharing images of Adolf Hitler and violent neo-Nazi propaganda in at least five online chat groups, German authorities said Wednesday, the latest in a series of cases of far-right infiltration in Germany’s police and military.

Herbert Reul, interior minister of the western state of North-Rhine Westphalia, where the chats were discovered, called the discovery a “disgrace.”

Speaking at a news conference Wednesday, Reul described the images that were shared among officers as “far-right extremist propaganda” of the “ugliest, most despicable, neo-Nazi, anti-immigrant” kind.

Police raided the homes of 14 of the 29 suspended officers, most of whom stand accused of actively sharing content that included, among other things, a fictional image of a refugee in a gas chamber.

Some of the chats have existed for years, and at least one dates back to the early days of the arrival of hundreds of thousands of migrants to Germany in 2015, officials said.

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