BERLIN – Passengers on a Vienna-bound express train Sunday night were surprised and shocked when, instead of the usual overhead announcements, the train’s public address system blared for some 20 minutes a scratchy recording of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi refrains of “Heil Hitler” and “Sieg Heil”.
The engineers were unable to interrupt the broadcast or use the loudspeakers to communicate with the passengers.
The bizarre episode sparked outrage, shame and anguish in Hitler’s native Austria.
Era violated the train?
Fault of the staff of the State Railways?
Why couldn’t anyone stop him?
Tuesday, the mystery seems almost solved.
With the help of a special key that allows access to the microphone of the train’s public address system, a passenger was able to gain access to the system and simply brought the phone closerwho was broadcasting the recording, into the microphone of the system, according to the national railway service, ÖBB.
As the system is designed for emergency broadcastsit cannot be deleted.
National Rail Service investigators have used the video footage to identify two men they believe are responsible.
The police plan to question the suspects “as soon as possible”, according to Johann Baumschlager, spokesman for the regional police.
The suspects are not railway employees and their motives are unclear.
Despite the spread of Nazi propaganda it’s a Criminal offense in Austria no complaint has yet been filed.
Rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister, a rabbi from the Vienna community, who was on the train when the recording came over the loudspeaker, called it a “unsettling‘, especially when the first reaction of some of his colleagues was laughter.
“Nazi ‘robbers’ apparently hacked into the train’s speaker system,” he wrote in a tweet. They were “pretty deadpan and uninhibited” for about 20 minutes, she wrote, recounting her own experience.
The recording, at an unusually loud volume, began at the end of the journey just outside Vienna, shortly after 9pm, according to witnesses.
Before the Nazi registrations, official announcements of fire alarm.
David Stögmüller, a Green MP, was on board and managed to capture a short snippet of the recording.
In a tweet he posted from the train, he said he hoped the case would be resolved and the culprits charged soon.
The alleged perpetrators had carried out a less sinister version of the hijacking of two other trains last week, an ÖBB spokesman said.
However, instead of Hitler’s speeches, they performed children’s songs.
They also played a blooper Chris Lohner, who was the official voice of Austrian train announcements for decades, mispronouncing station names and directions.
Like Hitler’s recordings, the recording of the gaffe is available on the Internet.
Colette Schmidt, a reporter for Der Standard newspaper, took to the National Rail Service via Twitter and asked on Sunday evening:
“Apart from me and other Austrians who are completely dumbfounded: What does a guest from abroad think when Hitler’s speeches are played over the loudspeakers in our trains?”
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Mary Ortiz is a seasoned journalist with a passion for world events. As a writer for News Rebeat, she brings a fresh perspective to the latest global happenings and provides in-depth coverage that offers a deeper understanding of the world around us.