Poland's prime minister Donald Tusk has said his party is considering disciplinary action against a senior party officer who allegedly shouted "Heil Hitler" at a German airport.
Jacek Protasiewicz, vice president of the European parliament and a close political ally to Tusk, reportedly challenged a German customs officer as he exited Frankfurt airport shouting "Heil Hitler" and calling him "Nazi". He also suggested the officer "should go to Auschwitz".
Speaking at a news conference, Tusk said: "We will decide on the future of Protasiewicz and his role in the European Parliament in the next few days.
"No matter who is guilty and how much guilt lies on the side of the German airport workers, his behavior is unacceptable... A man must be able to control his emotions and nerves."
Protasiewicz was reportedly "visibly drunk" when the incident took place and allegedly tried to steal a man's luggage cart before he was confronted by Frankfurt airport security, according to German daily Dild. He was arrested and later released without charges.
Protasiewicz said his remarks were taken out of context and denied he was drunk when the embarrassing scene reportedly took place. Instead, he blames the airport staff for the altercation arguing that the officer used the word "Raus" (out) upon arrival, which carries derogatory connotations in Poland.
"When he saw my diplomatic passport, he was displeased that he could not demonstrate his power over me, a passenger from Eastern Europe," he told Poland's RMF 24 news. "Giving me the passport he used the word "raus" [out]. This word worked on me a bit like a red rag to a bull."
"I'm still from the generation that remembers the atmosphere of post-war and "raus" in Poland is associated with German arrogance, not with a polite civil servant, " he added.
Nazi troops occupied Poland at the start of World War II, arresting and killing millions of Polish citizens. More than one million prisoners where killed at Auschwitz, in southern Poland.
He suggested the officer should visit Auschwitz to learn about the "consequences of when force is used by people in uniform".Reuse content