Austrian court: Hotel guest had no right to complain about ‘Nazi grandpa’ photo
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Austrian court: Hotel guest had no right to complain about ‘Nazi grandpa’ photo

Guesthouse owner obtains injunction forcing German traveler to take down online posts about ‘photo of a Nazi grandpa hanging in the hall’

ILLUSTRATIVE -- Strollers walk through the fresh snow at the Loferer Alp in the Austrian province of Salzburg, on October 16, 2012 (AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson)
ILLUSTRATIVE -- Strollers walk through the fresh snow at the Loferer Alp in the Austrian province of Salzburg, on October 16, 2012 (AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson)

VIENNA — An Austrian court has ruled that a German tourist who took exception to a World War II portrait in an Austrian guesthouse had no right to complain about it on travel sites, the hotel owner’s lawyer said Friday.

The tourist posted comments on Booking.com and Tripadvisor saying there had been “a photo of a Nazi grandpa hanging in the hall.”

The picture was of a soldier in Wehrmacht uniform wearing insignia with a swastika.

The posts “gave millions of people the impression that my client sympathizes with National Socialism,” lawyer Stefan Kofler told AFP, saying this had harmed her reputation.

Illustrative — Adolf Hitler, front, salutes parading troops of the German Wehrmacht in Warsaw, Poland, on October 5, 1939 after the German invasion. Behind Hitler are seen, from left to right: Army Commander in Chief, Colonel General Walther von Brauchitsch, new commandant of Warsaw, Lieutenant General Friedrich von Cochenhausen, Colonel General Gerd von Rundstedt, Colonel General Wilhelm Keitel. (AP Photo)

The owner obtained an injunction from a court in Innsbruck ordering the hotel guest to remove the online comments. The tourist has said he will fight the ruling.

The guesthouse owner, in her filing, had argued that it was customary for people in the Tyrol region to hang pictures of dead family members in the entrance halls of their homes.

The portrait was of a family member who had been “forced to enlist” and killed in the war, she said.

After its annexation by Germany in 1938, Austria became closely associated with Hitler’s Third Reich.

In 1947, however, it passed strict legislation against Nazi revisionism, negationism and neo-Nazi activities.

The far-right FPOe party, which was part of a recent Austrian coalition government, was created by former Nazis after the war.

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