Germany: Memorial oak for far-right attack felled

A left-wing group in Germany says it has chopped down an oak tree planted just days earlier to commemorate one of the country's worst post-war racist attacks.

The group calling itself AG anti-fascist Foxtail says it felled the tree Tuesday night to protest the use of a symbol of German nationalism as a memorial to those who suffered during the 1992 far-right riot in Rostock's Lichtenhagen district.

During the riot far-right extremists threw firebombs at an apartment block inhabited by foreigners as hundreds of bystanders cheered on.

Rostock police spokeswoman Isabel Wenzel confirmed Wednesday that the tree had been "trimmed by several meters."

She says police have opened a criminal investigation into willful property damage.

The oak was planted Sunday at a memorial event attended by German President Joachim Gauck.