Social Democrat politician Sigmar Gabriel was involved in a confrontation with a group of 20 men outside the meeting in Salzgitter, Lower Saxony after they accused him of being “a Communist and a cultural Marxist”.
The protesters held banners with the word “Traitor” and reminded Mr Gabriel his father was a Nazi sympathiser, saying: “Your father loved his country, and what have you done to it? You’re destroying it.”
This comment in particular appeared to rile the vice-chancellor, who has publicly condemned his father’s beliefs in the past, and he held his middle finger up the crowd before walking away.
The senior politician appeared to laugh and grin at the crowd as he did so, despite their repeated accusations his party had “betrayed” German values with its stance on immigration.
After the recorded incident, Mr Gabriel is reported to have invited the protesters for a discussion on the condition that they remove their masks, but his offer was swiftly declined, according to local media.
Police later stopped eleven members of the group and banned the remainder from the premises.
Frauke Petry of fast-growing populist party AfD meanwhile condemned Mr Gabriel's gesture in a Facebook post, saying he was an "unworthy vice-chancellor".
Mr Gabriel has become something of a hate figure among neo-Nazi sympathisers in recent times, following his vocal support of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-borders policy in response to the refugee crisis.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies