Europe

Anti-Nazi couple's barn burned down in eastern Germany

Birgit and Horst Lohmeyer - Feb 2011 pic Image copyright AFP
Image caption Birgit and Horst Lohmeyer were shocked that some of their neighbours were neo-Nazis

A couple in eastern Germany who spoke out against neo-Nazis in their village have been given police protection after a fire gutted their barn.

Artists Birgit and Horst Lohmeyer live in Jamel, near Rostock - a village that has become a neo-Nazi meeting place.

No-one was hurt in the fire. Chemical evidence of arson was found after the big 150-year-old barn was gutted on Wednesday night.

The couple had earlier reported harassment by neo-Nazis.

Their anti-Nazi stand has earned them national recognition, German media report.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Jamel (file pic) is an isolated place with few residents
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Neo-Nazi plaque at the village entrance says Jamel is "free, social, national"
Image caption A mural in Jamel shows a German peasant family in the Nazi style

Jamel has about 10 houses and is located in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, where the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) has five seats in the regional assembly.

Later this month the Lohmeyers are to receive the Georg Leber Prize for Civil Courage at an annual rock festival which they host. The "Jamel rocks the Forester" event is held under the motto "Tolerance and Democracy".

The Lohmeyers moved to Jamel from Hamburg in 2004.

A BBC reporter who visited Jamel in December 2011 found neo-Nazi murals and signs there, including one with the slogan "Jamel village community - free, social, national".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A village sign says it is 855km to Hitler's birthplace - Braunau am Inn in Austria

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