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Hermann the German loses race discrimination case


The Electronic Telegraph gives two reports today tenuously, but interestingly linked, despite the fact that the telegraph themself don't seem to have made the connection!

In the first report is Klaus Burger, a German-born bus driver working in Orpington, Kent. Mr Burger has just lost a case against his employers for racial discrimination. The 49-year-old bus driver's case rested on a catalogue of activities by his driver colleagues, such as calling him 'Hermann the German', mockery by 'Basil Faulty style goose-stepping' and when passing drivers waved to him they would not give a normal wave but instead give a Nazi salute whilst indicating a moustache on the face using a finger. The tribunal decided that 'there was a lot of good natured banter which did not constitute racism'.

The second story maybe highlights the issue, by pointing out that comments such as 'Sieg Heil' and gestures like Nazi salutes have been deeply disturbing to Germans for a considerable time since the ending of the second world war. It is only in the last few years that Germans have been able to find humour in the Nazi images. This article specifically tells of a new film characterising Hitler and Goebbels as comic characters.

HR Zone will join many in wondering whether the tribunal really understood such deep rooted feeling and the offense caused.


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