Huge Nazi-era Swastika Unearthed in Germany

German construction workers unearthed a concrete swastika on a sports field in Hamburg. Officials are en route to the site to remove it

A giant concrete swastika sits on construction site in Hamburg, Germany, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017. It was the base of a statue during Nazi times, and was discovered during digging of a sport field the day before
Christian Charisius/AP

Construction workers on a sports field in the northern German city of Hamburg on Tuesday unearthed a huge concrete swastika dating back to the Nazi era, the head of a sports club told dpa.

The workers had been digging with an excavator to make way for the construction of new changing rooms when they struck upon the four-by-four-meter swastika some 40 centimeters under the earth, said Joachim Schirmer, head of the Billstedt-Horn sports club in the northern port city.

Schirmer said that the sports field had been the site of a Nazi monument that was dismantled in the early 1970s.

The swastika is so big that the excavator was not powerful enough to remove it, Schirmer said, adding that authorities would use pneumatic drills to destroy it before removing it in smaller pieces.

David Erkalp, a local politician for the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), referred to the swastika as "a horrific bequest from the Nazis."

The monument preservation office has been informed and officials are en route to the site to remove the swastika, a spokeswoman for the district authority said.

"It should be removed as quickly as possible," the spokeswoman said, adding that leaving it there may attract right-wing extremists.

Displaying Nazi symbols is illegal in Germany.