A German artist is posing 1,250 garden gnomes with their arms outstretched in the stiff-armed Hitler salute in an installation that he calls a protest of lingering fascist tendencies in German society.

Artist Ottmar Hoerl posed the gnomes in the historic central marketplace of Straubing, a town in southeastern Germany, on Wednesday. The exhibit called "dance with the devil" is to run through Oct. 19.

SLIDESHOW: 'Dance With the Devil' Exhibit Displays Hitler Gnomes

Most of gnomes are black plastic, but about 20 are painted shiny gold.

Displaying Nazi symbols is illegal in Germany but a court ruled earlier this year that Hoerl's gnomes were clearly satire and thus allowed.

Hoerl says: "the fascist idea, the striving to manipulate people or dictate to people ... is latently dangerous and remains present in our society."