A German clothing brand popular with neo-Nazis opened a store called Brevik in the city of Chemnitz, sending residents and politicians into a fury.
The name of the store, which sells the Thor Steinar brand, is just one letter away from Breivik, the surname of Anders Anton Breivik, the Norwegian terrorist who killed 77 people in a bomb attack and shooting spree last July. The store is also decorated with Norwegian flags.
This scandalous choice of name has shown a new level of aggression, and violent right-wing tendencies from Thor Steinar, local politician Hanka Kliese of the centre-left Social Democratic Party told Die Welt.
Brevik is also the name of a small town of 2,700 people outside of Oslo, and Thor Steinar defended itself, saying that all of its 12 stores are named for places in Norway. The company often uses Norwegian and Nordic imagery, and previously had a store with the same name in Hamburg, though it closed in 2008, according to The Local, an English-language media outlet in Germany.
Still, critics say the particular naming of a store associated with neo-Nazi movements was not a coincidence.
It is out of the question for a store to have a name like that, city spokeswoman Katja Uhlemann told the Die Welt's website. We have already contacted the landlord and will plan every step necessary to shut down this business as quickly as possible.
Legally, we have no power to shut the store down, but we can see from the closing of Thor Steinar shops in other towns that it is possible, she added.
Even before the Brevik incident, both Germany and Norway had tried to distance itself from the brand. The Norwegian government has tried to ban the company from using the nation's flag on its clothing, and Thor Steinar apparel has been barred from the German parliament building.
Residents of Chemnitz in Saxony are planning to protest the store on Wednesday.