Merkel's Deputy Gives neo-Nazi Protesters the Finger

Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel responds to taunts about his father, who was a committed Nazi until he died in 2012.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's deputy is seen giving the finger to neo-Nazi protesters in a video posted by the youth wing of the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD).

The video, which was posted on Facebook late Tuesday, shows Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel at a campaign event in the central German town of Salzgitter on Friday.

Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel gives the finger to neo-Nazi protesters BILD

About a dozen masked neo-Nazi protesters are seen shouting "traitor" and other abusive comments at Gabriel, also the leader of Merkel's coalition partner, the Social Democrats (SPD).

"Your father loved his country. And what are you doing? You are destroying it," a protester is heard shouting while referring to the late Walter Gabriel, a committed Nazi until his death in 2012.

At first, the leader of the center-left Social Democratic Party is seen laughing at the demonstrators before raising his middle finger and turning away.

While some on social media criticized Gabriel for his coarse reaction, many praised the gesture, with one user on Facebook commenting: "I can't like that often enough."

The vice chancellor has become the target of death threats since he condemned a violent anti-refugee protest in the east German town of Heidenau in August last year and referred to the perpetrators as "lowlifes."

After his father's death, Gabriel openly condemned his actions and his Nazi ideology.