Croatian man convicted over Nazi salute in Austria

June 19, 2018 - 6:48 am

BERLIN (AP) — A Croatian man has been handed a 15-month suspended sentence for giving a Nazi salute at an annual commemoration in Austria of a 1945 massacre of pro-Nazi Croats.

The Austria Press Agency reported Tuesday that the state court in the southern city of Klagenfurt convicted the 51-year-old under a law banning the glorification of Nazi ideology.

The defendant said he was drunk, and had given the salute of the pro-fascist soldiers known as Ustashas when he saw a Croatian flag with the symbol of the armed forces.

He said friends talked him into going to the controversial May 12 event in Bleiburg.

Tens of thousands of Croatians fled to Bleiburg in May 1945, only to be turned back from Austria by the British military and into the hands of anti-fascists.

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