Swastika Ride Shut Down at German Amusement Park After Going Viral on Social Media

A new ride at a German amusement park recently raised quite a few eyebrows on social media for its bizarre design. Now the ride, called the Adlerflug or “Eagle’s Flight,” will reportedly be shut down after so many people pointed out the obvious: The ride looks like two giant swastikas.

The ride opened in July at the Tatzmania amusement park in southwest Germany, but the spinning swastikas only went viral on August 3 after a German-language Reddit post featured video of the attraction.

Redditors poked fun at the shocking design, calling it things like the “Holocoaster,” a reference to the systematic genocide perpetrated by the Nazis, which killed over 10 million people in the 1930s and 40s. Another Redditor commented, “2fast 2Führerious,” a reference to the popular movie franchise.

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Rüdiger Braun, the director of the park, has apologized for the swastika ride and insisted to the local Bild newspaper that, “We didn’t notice the gondolas are in the form of a swastika. It wasn’t obvious from the manufacturer’s sketches.”

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Braun has reportedly proposed giving the ride three “spinning eagles” instead of four, which he says, “will have this problem under control.”

“I would like to emphasize that I would like to apologize with all form to all persons who feel disturbed and insulted by our design,” Braun told the European Broadcasting Union, according to German broadcaster DW.

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The ride was manufactured in Italy, though it’s not immediately clear what company was responsible for the swastika design, nor whether the design was intentionally made to look like the famous Nazi symbol.

As if the swastikas weren’t enough, even the name of the ride should have raised suspicions. Something like the “Eagle’s Flight” might seem innocent enough to Americans, but the eagle has a long history in Nazi iconography. The Nazi eagle, most commonly seen holding a swastika, is a popular image among neo-Nazis of the 21st century.

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Video of the ride is available on YouTube.

Public displays of swastikas are forbidden in Germany and can be punished with up to three years in prison, though there are no reports that the amusement park will face any government action.

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“It was wise of the operator to react so quickly,” Michael Wehner, a government official told the Telegraph newspaper. “Displaying prohibited symbols is an offense and sooner or later some one would have filed a complaint.”

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Matt Novak

Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog

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