In Neubrandenburg, a town in north-eastern Germany, a Soviet memorial commemorating the losses of the Red Army during the World War II and a memorial for female concentration camp victims were defaced with graffiti. The vandalism was discovered by passers-by on April 20th. The unknown perpetrators wrote in blue and yellow Cyrillic letters Слава Україні! (“Glory to Ukraine”) and Героям слава! (“Glory to the Heroes”) on the memorial.
An information board commemorating 99 victims of the Neubrandenburg branch of the Ravensbrück concentration camp was also smeared in blue and yellow with a Wolfsangel rune, a swastika, and a Celtic cross. The Wolfsangel rune is considered a sign of unconstitutional organizations in Germany, but is currently being used by the Ukrainian Azov Regiment in its coat of arms.
The Neubrandenburg State Security Service initiated investigations, as political motivations are suspected in cases of such vandalism. In addition to the reference to the current war in Ukraine, it is being investigated whether the defacement happened prior to April 20th. April 20th is Hitler’s birthday and every year neo-Nazis commemorate it with different forms of vandalism. The difference to such prior incidents, however, is the reference to the war in Ukraine. Among other things, police are investigating whether similar graffiti on monuments in Germany could have served as an inspiration to the perpetrators.
The city of Neubrandenburg has since had the graffiti removed.
David Boos is an organist, documentary filmmaker, and writer for The European Conservative and other publications.