• Switzerland's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Swastika poster removed from Swiss rail stations
Photo: (detail) Martin Landolt/Twitter

Swastika poster removed from Swiss rail stations

The Local · 25 Feb 2016, 09:54

Published: 25 Feb 2016 09:54 GMT+01:00

The image, tweeted last week by Conservative Democratic Party (BDP) chairman Martin Landolt, shows the white cross of the Swiss flag turned into a swastika.

It criticizes the initiative of the Swiss People’s Party (SVP), which aims to crack down on foreigners convicted of crimes by requiring their expulsion from Switzerland.

Accompanied with the slogan “No to two classes of justice”, the poster calls on voters to reject the initiative, while making comparisons with Germany in 1933 (the year Hitler seized power) and South Africa in 1948 (a reference to apartheid).

The poster, which is funded by private individuals rather than the BDP itself, appeared on digital screens in various Swiss rail stations from Monday, including Geneva and Zurich.

But after receiving complaints from customers, SBB decided on Wednesday to pull the poster.

In a statement, SBB said the image had “deeply shocked” its clientele.

The company admitted that rail stations in Switzerland are considered public spaces, which is why it had to accept the poster in the first place.

Its withdrawal is therefore an “extremely isolated case” said SBB.

“SBB considers that the showing of a swastika in such a visible place goes beyond what is reasonably acceptable”.

“That said, SBB does not engage in any way in voting campaigns and asks the private author to publish this poster without the symbol in question”.

Voters go to the polls on February 28th to decide on the SVP initiative, which has been opposed by the federal government and both houses of parliament.

Story continues below…

Although many politicians believe the SVP’s proposal is xenophobic and counter-productive, BDP chairman Landolt’s use of the swastika image was considered a step too far, with one party member quitting in protest.

 

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
London Olympic athletes fail new doping tests
IOC president Thomas Bach announced the news. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/ADP

The Lausanne-based International Olympic Committee reports 23 new doping failures from 2012 Games.

Swiss supermarkets look to scrap free plastic bags
Coop is among the supermarkets considering the idea. Photo: Coop

Voluntary agreement may be the solution after a commission quashes idea of outright ban.

Head-on crash leaves Swiss motorcyclist dead
The accident happened on the way to Les Mosses. File photo: Falk Lademann

A motorcyclist died in a head-on crash with a car on a mountain road in Vaud.

Bern renews funding for controversial arts centre
Bern town hall. File photo: Dennie Jarvis

The Reitschule has been granted a reprieve after authorities in the city agreed a 1.5 million franc grant to keep it going until 2019.

Neighbours’ day: Swiss cities join growing European party
Around 40 towns in Switzerland will celebrate Neighbours' Day. Photo: Tag der Nachbarn

St Gallen becomes the latest Swiss town to take part in European Neighbours’ Day.

Swiss boffins create cannabis e-cigarette
File photo: Marcel van Hoorn/AFP

"Cannavaping" for medical use is safer than a joint and better than a pill, say Lausanne scientists.

Swiss cantons team up to vie for winter Olympic games
The resort of Verbier in the canton of Valais. File photo: The Local

Valais and Vaud launch joint candidacy for the 2026 winter Olympics.

Ticino beaches praised in European report
Bathing spots on Lake Lugano were among those rather excellent. Photo: Roland Gerth/Swiss-image.ch

More than 100 Swiss beaches have been rated as excellent for water quality in a European report.

Gotthard base tunnel: what you need to know
The new rail tunnel is the longest and deepest in the world. Photo: Alp Transit Gotthard

The longest tunnel in the world will be inaugurated in Switzerland amid great fanfare on June 1st. The Local takes you through it.

Bern pulls plug on lakes after heavy rain forecast
Lake Biel/Bienne is one of the three affected lakes. Photo: Biel/Bienne/Seeland tourism/Swiss-image.ch

Authorities are reducing the water level of three Swiss lakes this week so they can cope with heavy rain to come.

Photo: Emmanual Dunand/AFP
Sport
Brother of Belgian bomber wins gold in Switzerland
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Photo: Gstaad Tourism
National
Snow puts end to hottest weekend of year so far
File photo: Abhishek Jacob
Lifestyle
Swiss court vetoes wedding of couple with 50-year age gap
Sponsored Article
Becoming an expat: where to start
Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
Culture
Dog day afternoon: Swiss saint meets Pope in Rome
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Business & Money
Pink diamond sold for record-breaking $31m in Geneva
File photo: Candida Performa
Lifestyle
Revealed: living in Switzerland could prolong your life
Photo: Cervo
Travel
In pictures: Switzerland’s most welcoming hotels
Photo: Aargau cantonal government
‘Beast of Rupperswil’ was local football coach
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Features
Geneva exhibition marks 200 years of Frankenstein
Photo AFP
National
Swiss basic income campaign sets Guinness world record
Photo: St Gallen police
Society
Police hunt killer of man shot dead in St Gallen street
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Society
Presumed jihadist could have Swiss nationality quashed
Photo: Zurich Zoo
Culture
Gallery: giant tortoise at Zurich Zoo is mother at 80
Photo: Caroline Bishop
Society
Swiss farmer loses appeal in row over noisy cow bells
Photo: Esparta Palmer
Health
44-year-old woman refused fertility treatment on insurance
File photo: Thomas Coex/AFP
Society
Jilted admirer shocks woman with tattoo... of her face
File photo: Flickr
Health
Swiss school eyes longer holidays for non-smoking staff
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
National
Swiss basic income vote: what you need to know
 Photo: Heinrich Plum
National
Lidl uses German mountain to promote its Swiss products
Photo: Illiz Architektur
This old Swiss army bunker is now an incredible new pool
Photo: Stephan Engler
National
Survey reveals some Swiss ‘never’ cross linguistic divide
Society
Swiss parliament snubs plan for two weeks paternity leave
File photo: Giovanni Blank
Lifestyle
Fathers should share parental leave, says commission
4,635
jobs available