Glorifying Hitler or the Nazis is criminal offense in Austria, and man named Harold Zent has been arrested for dressing as Hitler and claiming to be his kin.


Zent, 25, has been walking around Austria dressed in Nazi attire and introducing himself as “Harold Hitler.” He was reported by multiple citizens, and finally arrested at the Braunau am Inn, Hitler’s actual birthplace. “It is definitely not a carnival joke or an art project,” said a spokesman for the Austrian police. “The young man knows what he is doing.”

Many countries have laws regarding the glorification or impersonation of Hitler or Nazis. The act is illegal in Germany, as well as Austria. In France, one can be arrested for waving a flag with the swastika design, and the Nazi salute is banned in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Other countries are more lenient with these laws. For instance, England’s Prince Harry only had to apologize when he made a “poor choice of costume” years ago, as he was dressed in a Nazi uniform. A school in Australia also once awarded a costume prize to a child dressed as Hitler, which it was made to regret.

In Asia, on the other hand, the look is much less taboo. “For East Asian countries, World War II was not about the Nazis or Hitler but rather the Imperial Japanese forces. Comparatively little time is spent in Asian countries studying World War II Germany than in Europe or North America,” correspondent Elliot Brennan told CNN. “’Nazi chic,’ as it has become known, is an expression of subversion and its wearers in Asia are largely ignorant of its historical underpinnings.”

These days however, far-right extremist are much more likely to blend in, and make their presence known to each other in subtle ways, without the swastika. Many sport the number 88 on their clothing, a shorthand for “Heil Hitler.”

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