A series of mountain crags called "Swastika" and "Himmler" have caused uproar in Sweden after a climber publicized the Nazi-inspired names given to the popular climbing area, the Telegraph reported Saturday.
According to accepted climbing practice, the first person to tackle a route has the right to name it, but concerns have been raised after it was revealed that routes in the popular Järfälla climbing area outside Stockholm had been given names inspired by the Third Reich, the British newspaper reported.
According to the report, between 1987 and 2001, climbers christened new routes "Kristallnacht", "Crematorium" and "Little Hitler".
Another was named "Zyklon B", after the cyanide gas the Nazis used to murder the Jews.
"I thought it rather unpleasant to climb through the 'Crematorium' or say that 'now I am going to do 'Kristallnacht'," Cordelia Hess, a climber, told Stockholm's Dagens Nyheter newspaper.
'Internal thing between climbers'
Christofer Urby, of the Swedish Climbing Association, was quoted by the Telegraph as saying he was aware of the controversial names, but said his body could not authorize changes.
"It is the first climber who sets out a route and makes it available to others, who has the right to name it," he explained.
"It becomes a kind of footprint, but I personally think it is childish and disrespectful to put this type of name."
According to the report, the routes on the range near the Swedish capital were named at various times and it is "unclear whether the mountaineers who christened the rocky outcrops were politically-motivated."
Mikael Widerberg, a climber who named "Little Hitler" in 2001 dismissed the controversy, saying the names should be interpreted as an "internal thing between climbers", adding "there are other mountains around called worse things".
John Perwer, an official with the Swedish Forum for Living History, was quoted by the Telegraph as saying that the names should be changed.
"A crag called 'Negro' near Karlstad was changed after a dark-skinned person said he was offended. To use loaded terms like that is simply rude," he said.