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Far-right politicians distribute racist condoms ahead of German vote

A condom and letter the youth wing of the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD), the Young National Democrats sent to member of parliament Volker Beck of the Green Party, in Berlin. Thomas Peter / Reuters

The youth branch of Germany’s far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) has sparked outrage after it sent out customized racist condoms to some German politicians.

The black condom packs read “for foreigners and selected Germans” and were mailed to several lawmakers, German media reported.

On its website, the German neo-Nazi youth group Young National Democrats (JN) wrote “pants down, rubber on” and called the mailing “a purposely provocative campaign that would likely be used beyond the German elections.”

One condom, accompanied by a letter “protesting the population change” in Germany, was received at the office of Greens politician Volker Beck, a vocal anti-fascist campaigner. The Greens posted a photo of the letter and condom on Facebook and Twitter.

“After receiving the letter we openly called on the condom manufacturer to donate the profits to a charity,” a spokesman for Beck said.

The campaign was described by the right-wing organization as a protest against what it called "uncontrolled immigration" and comes at a time when far-right groups have been trying to drum-up anti-foreigner sentiments in the country.

In recent weeks, German neo-Nazis protested against a new political refugee shelter in a Berlin suburb, seeking to seize on immigration fears in the weeks before the Sept. 22 elections.

It is not the first time that Germany’s far-right party has used highly controversial slogans and initiatives in a German election campaign.

In 2011, NPD politician Udo Voigt used the slogan "Gas geben" ("step on the gas") on his campaign posters -- the two words literally translate into speed up in German, but can be interpreted as having anti-Semitic connotations. Critics have said these comment could allude to the Nazi death chambers.

“We are calling on democratic German politicians to step up action against right-wing slogans,” said Joern Menge from the Hamburg-based non-profit organization Loud Against Nazis.

“In some German states we see people taking down right wing campaign posters with clearly racist slogans, that’s a strong signal,” Menge added.

The company which makes the Vitalis condoms was quick to apologize and vowed to monitor slogans -- which are put on customized condoms -- more closely.

“We very much regret that such a mistake has been made and that our condoms were used in connection with such propaganda,“ the chairman of the R&S condom manufacturer, Axel Roth, said in statement. “We clearly distance ourselves from the political content and aim and want to sincerely apologize."

The release also read that the Munich-based company will give 10,000 condoms to a charitable organization and donate the profit from 5,000 customized condoms to an organization that fights right-wing extremism.

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