More than 30 number and letter combinations for personalised registration plates that contain allusions to the Nazis are being made illegal. Austria has some of the toughest laws against glorification of nazism and Holocaust denial. One of the most common symbolic references to Nazism is the number 88 – as H is the eighth letter of the alphabet it is code for Heil Hitler. Also banned is the combination 1919, which represents SS, and 18, which stands for Adolf Hitler by the same logic. Hitler’s birthday, on 20 April, can be coded as 420.
Several combinations were already banned when personalised number plates were legalised in 1989, including HJ, which stands for Hitlerjugend or Hitler Youth, as well as NS for national socialism.