European Parliament Vice President Jacek Protasiewicz made a drunken scene at Frankfurt Airport on Wednesday, calling customs officials Nazis and shouting at them “Heil Hitler,” according to reports in the German media.
The Polish politician disembarked from a plane at the airport, visibly drunk, and caught the attention of customs officials when he stole a man’s baggage cart and sprinted toward the exit, according to German daily Bild.
When the officials asked Protasiewicz for identification, he began to hurl insults at them, calling them names such as “Hitler” and “Nazi” and asking them, “Were you ever in Auschwitz?” Bild reported.
“The man appeared to be very drunk when he shouted in English that he was from the EU,” an eyewitness said.
Police were called to the scene and removed Protasiewicz in handcuffs when he refused to accompany them peacefully.
The German daily said that Protasiewicz enjoys immunity as a member of the European Parliament and is unlikely to face prosecution.
Protasiewicz denied being drunk and explained that he was responding to the rude behavior of a Frankfurt Airport official, according to Polish news portal RMF 24.
Protasiewicz said that he showed the official his documentation upon request.
“When he saw my diplomatic passport, he was displeased that he could not demonstrate his power over me, a passenger from Eastern Europe. Giving me the passport he used the word raus [‘out’].
This word worked on me a bit like a red rag to a bull. I’m still from the generation that remembers the atmosphere of postwar [Europe] and raus in Poland is associated with German arrogance, not with a polite civil servant.”
He explained to the customs official that “raus” in Poland has associations like “Heil Hitler.”
“This upset the officer. He started to push me, so I said to him that before using force, let him consider Auschwitz. Auschwitz, because it is the best lesson in humility.”
When asked about reports that he was drunkenly staggering and stammering, Protasiewicz claimed that he had had one glass of wine on the plane.