Sophie Evans — The Mirror May 17, 2018
An Austrian man has been locked up for glorifying Nazism after cops found multiple bottles of Hitler-branded wine at his home.
The 31-year-old, from the western state of Vorarlberg, was discovered to own several bottles of the increasingly popular wine.
He was jailed for six months after being found guilty of glorifying the activities of the Nazis – a crime in countries like Austria and Germany.
The sentence will be added to a non-related 18-month prison term for an offence against drugs laws he was convicted of earlier this month.
Austrian investigators found multiple bottles at the home of the man, whose name was not made public due to strict local privacy laws.
The items featured the image of Adolf Hitler on the side, a court heard.
The bottles were labelled with messages such as: “Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer” (“One People, One Empire, One Leader”), “Hitlerwein” (“Hitler Wine”) and “Die Anhangerschaft von Hitler” (“The Fanbase of Hitler”), according to the prosecutor.
The man admitted he had found the wine amusing upon purchasing it. But he said he had lost interest and described himself now as “rather left-wing orientated”.
According to local media, the defendant bought the bottles of wine in Italy, where they still remain legal to sell and buy.
In many other European countries, such as Austria and Germany, the “use of symbols of unconstitutional organisations” or “re-engagement in National Socialist activities” are forbidden by law.
Benito Mussolini’s 1930s Italy was the breeding ground for the ideology of fascism, but there are still plenty of “Il Duce” supporters around today.
On the Italian side of the Brenner Pass linking the country to Austria, where Hitler and Mussolini met three times in the 1940s, fascist ‘souvenirs’ are still widely sold. But they are forbidden across the border in Austria.
One souvenir shop owner claimed, “it was mainly youngsters” buying such items, saying “there is a huge demand” for wines with the labels of Mussolini, Hitler and other fascists and Nazis.