A Vladikavkaz court in North Ossetia on December 16 fined a 19-year-old law student 1,000 rubles ($16) for breaking the administrative offense code concerning the public display of “Nazi paraphernalia or symbols.”
The ruling in Russia’s North Caucasus region is based on an investigation by the Interior Ministry’s Center for Combating Extremism, which found that when Ilya Gusoyev was 13, he posted a video of a scene from the 1993 film Schindler’s List on his social-media account.
Based on a true story, Steven Spielberg’s movie won seven Oscars and tells the story of a German industrialist who spent a fortune while helping save the lives of 1,200 Jews from the Holocaust during World War II.
Gusoyev, the court ruled, had posted a video clip that contained Nazi symbols and was guilty of promoting fascism.
Specifically, it was from a scene commonly known as Who Stole The Chicken?
While investigating the theft of a chicken, an SS soldier fatally shoots a Jewish captive in front of a group of prisoners standing in formation. Next, the officer says more will be shot if the culprit doesn’t confess. A young, weeping boy then steps forward to say the man who was shot had stolen the chicken, thus preventing more needless deaths.
The student’s lawyer, Alan Tyedeyev, told RFE/RL’s North Caucasus Service that the court failed to take into account a recent legislative amendment that went into force on December 2.
The change in law allows for the dissemination of Nazi symbols if they “form a negative attitude toward the ideology of Nazism and don’t contain attributes of propaganda,” he said.
Tyedeyev said the court’s decision will be appealed because having an “extremist past” attached to Gusoyev’s biography could harm his career prospects.