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Neo-Nazis ready to ‘step on gas’

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Just a month before the Berlin state elections, the German capital has been flooded with posters issued by the far-Right National Democratic Party (NPD) with the shocking slogan: "Step on gas."

The election ad shows party leader Udo Voigt sitting on a motorcycle, wearing a black leather jacket (a popular piece of clothing among Neo-Nazis due to its resemblance of SS uniform), with the words "Gas geben!" – literally translated as "give gas".

Voigt hopes to be elected to the Berlin council for the first time. His party representatives are already members of local councils in neighborhoods across the German capital.

Naturally, the allegedly innocent slogan contains a horrifying association with the gas chambers in which the Nazis killed millions of people, most of them Jews, during World War II.

The ad has sparked angry reactions all across the German political spectrum, and some officials said they were looking into the possibility of launching criminal proceedings against the neo-Nazi party.

Meanwhile, Berlin’s public radio announced it would not broadcast any NPD ads.

Volter Ratzmann, the Greens’ parliamentary leader in Berlin, told Der Spiegel magazine that the ads were a "deliberate provocation". He added that the public of voters in Berlin must clarify in the upcoming elections that the Neo-Nazis are "rat traps".

The representative of the Social-Democrats, which control the Berlin municipality, stated that the ads created "negative publicity for Berlin and Germany" and wondered, "What should tourists, for example from Israel, think about this?"

A spokesman for the conservative party, the Christian Democratic Union, spoke of "cynicism humiliating human dignity".

Berlin’s Jewish community has declined comment so far.

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