Thomas Brauner, a convicted activist, faces police scrutiny after reportedly giving the Nazi salute during a concert in Bamberg. Brauner has a lengthy criminal history, including a December conviction for insulting behavior, trespassing, and other offenses for which he received a 16-month probationary prison sentence.
Thomas Brauner accused of giving Nazi salute at concert
A video of the incident shows Brauner raising his arm during a performance at the Tonwerk Bamberg venue. The police have secured the video and are reviewing it. Brauner has said that the gesture was an unconscious “body movement” and that he was attempting to shield himself from “blinding spotlights” at the time. The concert, which featured Brauner as a speaker, was controversial, and the Tonwerk Bamberg venue faced backlash for hosting it.
The Nazi salute, also known as the “Hitler salute” or the “Sieg Heil salute,” was a gesture used during the Nazi Party in Germany. It involves extending the right arm straight from the shoulder, with the palm facing down. The Nazi salute was used as a greeting and to show allegiance to the Nazi Party and its leader, Adolf Hitler.
Origins of Nazi salute traced back to ancient Rome
The origins of the Nazi salute can be traced back to ancient Rome, where citizens would greet their leaders by raising their arms. The modern Nazi salute, however, was inspired by the Roman salute and was adopted by the Nazi Party in the early 1920s. The salute became mandatory for all Nazi Party members and was used at public events, parades, and rallies. It was also used in the military and schools, where children were required to salute their teachers.
The Nazi salute was an essential aspect of Nazi propaganda and was meant to instill a sense of unity and loyalty among party members. However, it was also used to demonstrate the perceived superiority of the Aryan race and to intimidate and suppress those who opposed the Nazi regime.
Nazi salute was made illegal in Germany after the fall of the Nazi Party at the end of World War II. However, it has continued to be used by neo-Nazis and other far-right groups to show support for the ideology of the Nazi Party.
The use of the Nazi salute has been met with condemnation and outrage, as it is seen as a symbol of hatred and intolerance. In many countries, it is illegal to use the Nazi salute or to display Nazi symbols, such as the swastika.
Despite being banned in Germany and many other countries, the Nazi salute has reemerged recently, often in the context of far-right protests and demonstrations. In 2017, white nationalists and neo-Nazis marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, giving the Nazi salute and chanting anti-Semitic slogans. The event sparked widespread outrage and condemnation and led to the deaths of three people.
The Nazi salute has also been used in other countries, including the United States and Canada, where it has been met with backlash and legal action. For example, in 2019, a group of high school students in Baraboo, Wisconsin, were photographed giving the Nazi salute, leading to widespread outrage and an investigation by the school district.
Self-proclaimed ‘lateral thinker’ sentenced to probationary prison sentence for insulting behavior, trespassing, and copyright and confidentiality violations
Thomas Brauner, a self-proclaimed “lateral thinker” and bus driver from Thuringia, has been sentenced to a probationary prison sentence of 16 months by the Sömmerda District Court for insulting behavior, trespassing, and several violations of copyright law and confidentiality. The probation period will last for three years, and Brauner will also have to complete 200 hours of work in a nonprofit organization.
The prosecution had initially demanded two years’ probation, community service hours, and a fine for all the charges. Brauner’s defense had argued for acquittal. The court found that Brauner had filmed individuals and conversations on his phone in Sömmerda and subsequently published them on the internet without their consent. He also recorded talks with officials and published them without the knowledge or permission of his conversation partners. In addition, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Brauner unlawfully entered the county office and had to be removed by the building’s caretaker. Finally, during a police operation, he insulted the officers and referred to the action as “trivial crap.”
Since the end of May, Thomas Brauner has had to answer to the Sömmerda District Court. The prosecution had initially also accused him of coercion and deprivation of liberty. As a school bus driver, in September 2020, he instructed children on his bus to remove their COVID-19 protection masks and then cheered. He filmed the event and uploaded the recording to the internet, claiming that two children had died because of the masks. He was subsequently dismissed from the bus company, where he was on probation.
According to the court, a conviction for coercion and deprivation of liberty was not possible because the removal of the masks and participation in the video were voluntary. However, the judge described the action as “morally and ethically highly reprehensible,” saying that Brauner had exploited the ignorance of the minors entrusted to him.
Thomas Brauner, known as ‘Bus Driver Thomas’ in ‘lateral thinking’ circles, has 17 previous convictions
Brauner became well-known in the “lateral thinker” scene as “Bus Driver Thomas” after the incident, which caused a stir in certain circles on the internet. He appeared at corresponding assemblies of the scene. He was recently announced as a speaker at a mid-December demonstration in Bergen on Rügen, which is close to the conspiracy ideology spectrum.
With 17 previous convictions, Brauner is no stranger to the criminal justice system. He was previously convicted of theft, property damage, fraud, and bodily harm.
During the 2021 federal election campaign, Brauner made headlines nationwide. At a campaign event for Union chancellor candidate Armin Laschet in Erfurt, he unexpectedly took the stage and addressed Laschet. Laschet allowed him to speak, and Brauner could share his views over the microphone.