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Prohibited License Plates: These license plates go too far

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E s is not handed down, as the person is called who recently lost the legal dispute before the Administrative Court (VG) Düsseldorf. The year of birth also remains in the dark. It is known, however, that the vehicle owner registered a car in the Viersen district (VIE) with the letter-number combination 'HH 1933' on the license plate. The road traffic office initially allowed the license plate to go through, but withdrew it after a complaint from the public. The vehicle owner sued against this. With the result that the VG Düsseldorf confirmed the decision of the road traffic office and the license plate remains withdrawn (Ref .: 6 L 175/19).

'Do not violate morality'

In the opinion of the court, the average citizen associates “HH 1933” with National Socialism in the Third Reich. Because 1933 is the year that stands for the seizure of power by the National Socialists. And 'HH' is an abbreviation of the customary greeting 'Heil Hitler' in the Third Reich, which is still used today in the right-wing extremist scene.

If license plates are forbidden or not issued, then with reference to Paragraph 8 , Paragraph 1 of the Vehicle Registration Ordinance. It says that the combination of letters and numbers must 'not offend against morality'. The law does not define it more precisely. What is specifically prohibited, the federal states regulate for themselves - and surprisingly differently. But they are in agreement in one respect: Obvious references to National Socialism are not allowed on license plates anywhere in the country. HJ, KZ, SA and SS are a no-go everywhere.

'S-EX' is allowed, 'N-SU' not

But then it gets spongy. It is entirely possible that some approval agencies allow the combination of “AH”, “HH”, “18” and “88” and others do not. Behind it are the initials of Adolf Hitler as well as the aforementioned greeting abbreviation or the respective positions in the alphabet as a symbolic code for them. Rhineland-Palatinate, for example, not only forbids these, but also 'SD' - an abbreviation that stood for the security service of the SS. The district of Steinburg-Itzehoe in Schleswig-Holstein does not allow a license plate with “IZ-AN”, because when read backwards, “NA-ZI” results. In the Saalekreis, license plates with the combination “SK-IN” are not allowed - you can imagine why. For some time now, Nuremberg has not issued license plates that begin with 'N-PD' or 'N-SU'.

The road traffic authorities are now more liberal than before on other issues. Example Stuttgart:'S-EX' was not allowed in between, but it is now - and it is becoming increasingly popular. Just like 'S-AU', 'S-OS' or 'S-KY'. Bad Segeberg in Schleswig-Holstein also has no problem with issuing “SE-XY” labels. Of course, this also has to do with the fact that the municipalities earn quite relevant sums for the city coffers with fee-based custom license plates. According to “Bild”, Stuttgart took in almost 600,000 euros in 2015 alone.

Nazi codes in the Edeka commercial

The waves that more or less obvious right-wing extremist codes can make on car license plates showed at the end of 2016. The occasion was a commercial for the retail chain Edeka, in which a Volvo with the registration number “MU-SS 420” could be seen. Sabine Bamberger-Stemmann, Director of the State Center for Political Education in Hamburg, recognized two symbols in it: In addition to 'SS', 420 is 'an abbreviation for Hitler's birthday on April 20, which comes from the Anglo-Saxon region and is common in right-wing circles in this country as well.' , she said in an interview with 'Manager Magazin'.

It gets more complicated with a second license plate that can be seen in the spot: 'SO-LL 3849'. “The number 84 stands for 'Heil Deutschland'. It is framed by the numbers 3 and 9. The 39 stands for “Christian Identity” or “Christian Identity”, ”said Bamberger-Stemmann at the time. In right-wing circles this means, conversely, anti-Semitism. Edeka spoke of a mistake at the time and apologized. Whether on purpose or not: In normal life, the 'MU-SS' license plate would not have let a district go through, but the 'SO-LL' license plate would.


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