Britons Think Prince Harry's Nazi Costume Was a Mistake

Almost three out of four Britons believe Prince Harry was wrong to wear a Nazi uniform to a costume party, according to an opinion poll on the gaffe that provoked worldwide outrage.

Harry, younger son of heir to the throne Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, was photographed in German wartime uniform with a swastika armband at the party at a friend's house last Saturday.

The pictures of the 20-year-old prince appeared in Britain's Sun newspaper on Thursday and have been reproduced by media around the world including the Israeli press.

In the poll compiled for British newspaper Sunday Mirror, Harry's choice was condemned by 71 percent of participants.

A majority of those taking the poll also thought that Harry's elder brother, Prince William, should have stopped him making such a choice of uniform. 55 percent of poll-takers believed William should have stopped his brother.

Germans call to ban swastikasEarlier on Saturday, German politicians have called for a Europe-wide ban on Nazi insignia after Britain's Prince Harry caused outrage by wearing a swastika armband and Nazi regalia at a fancy dress party.

"The whole of Europe once suffered under Nazi crimes, therefore it makes sense to ban Nazi symbols across Europe," Silvana Koch-Merin, European Parliament Liberals spokeswoman told Germany's Bild am Sonntag newspaper in a preview edition on Saturday.

The Nazis murdered six million Jews and millions of others including Poles, Soviet prisoners, homosexuals and Gypsies.

Germany has tough anti-fascist laws which ban the use of Nazi symbols like the swastika and the stiff-armed "Heil Hitler" salute.

It is also illegal to distribute Adolf Hitler's book "Mein Kampf", which is available in most countries, including Israel.

Markus Soeder, general secretary of Germany's Christian Socialist Union opposition conservative party told the paper: "In a Europe grounded in peace and freedom there should be no place for Nazi symbols. They should be banned throughout Europe, as they are with good reason in Germany."

Soeder also urged the German government to push for a more balanced history program in British schools.

"After this latest incident with Prince Harry, the government should encourage our European friends in London, to lay more weight on Germany's development beyond the Nazi period in history lessons," he said.

Jewish groups have demanded Harry, who is Queen Elizabeth's grandson, make a symbolic visit to the Auschwitz death camp to atone for his mistake, but in Germany, criticism of the prince has been mostly muted.

Financial daily Handelsblatt wrote in an editorial on Friday: "Germans, who have long thought the British should make less fun of the Nazi era, can register this story with a certain malicious glee."

The prince apologized for his gaffe in a written statement on Thursday.