Hunt for Berlin police officer pictured giving Nazi salute on Facebook
The hunt is on for a Berlin police officer who was pictured on Facebook giving a Nazi salute, sparking outrage across Germany.
The image, which officials believe to be genuine, was posted on the social networking site to mark a remembrance day for the victims of a series of neo-Nazi murders.
Police fear a Nazi-sympathiser movement may be developing within the ranks as the man is wearing what appears to be an authentic uniform with the Berlin police badge on the right arm.
An investigation has now been launched by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution in an attempt to track down the rogue officer.
Between 2000 and 2007, nine foreign-born food vendors and shop owners, were murdered by a far right group known as the known as National Socialist Underground or NSU.
At first police wrongly assumed they were mafia or drug-related killings.
The truth was only uncovered three months ago after two members of the gang committed suicide following a botched bank robbery.
Officers recovered neo-Nazi items alongside a film showing the victims' bodies set to montages of a Pink Panther cartoon character.
Yesterday Chancellor Angela Merkel gave an address before 1,200 guests at Berlin's Concert House where she apologised to the victims’ families.
She said: 'The murders of the terror cell were an attack on our country.
'They have brought shame upon our country. The background to these murders lay hidden for far too long. That is the bitter truth.
'These years must have been a never- ending nightmare for you. For this I beg you for forgiveness.'
Making the salute or displaying any symbols of the old Nazi regime is considered a serious crime in Germany and is punishable by up to two years in prison.
The picture was posted on the Facebook site of a self-confessed racist identified as Marco B from a small village in Bavaria.
Beneath the picture he writes: 'You call it freedom and tolerance. I call it a death dance for Europe.
'You talk of a multi-cultural state. For me it is only about white betrayal.'