A publication is being disseminated in social networks alleging that the tanks which Germany is going to deliver to Ukraine bear the numbers 14/88 which is a neo-Nazi motto and a coded script.
According to the claim of the publication’s author, 14/88 is a coded script that is widely accepted among neo-Nazis and corresponds with two of David Lane’s (one of the founders of the American neo-Nazi terrorist organisation, The Order, in the 1980s) Nazi slogans that consisted of 14 words (also referred to as 14/88) and the 88 precepts that he authored. In addition, the author of the publication also says that the number 88 corresponds to the Nazi salute, Heil Hitler!, since the letter H in the German alphabet is eighth and, therefore, 88 embodies HH – Heil Hitler!
In fact, the column of tanks in the photograph in the publication has nothing to do with Germany’s decision in February 2023 to give Leopard 1 battle tanks to Ukraine and the numbers 14/88 on the tanks were added as a result of video editing.
In reality, the tanks featured in the photograph are not a column of Leopard tanks that Germany pledged to Ukraine but M1A2 American tanks deployed at the Coleman military base in Manheim (a US military base in Germany) and the footage was recorded in March 2022 when the US started to deploy additional hardware and personnel to its largest overseas military base after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The footage released by Germany’s south-west public broadcaster, Südwestrundfunk, in March 2022 clearly shows that neither the specific tank indicated in the aforementioned publication nor any other tank in the railway column bears the inscription 14/88 and it was added later as a result of video manipulation.
Therefore, the information disseminated by the author of the publication is untrue and portraying American tanks as German tanks pledged to Ukraine and adding Nazi symbols to those tanks through video editing only aims to promote Kremlin propaganda which seeks to discredit Ukraine and its government as Nazis and justify its own military aggression by denazification propaganda narratives.
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