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German PEGIDA Leader Resigns After Hitler Pose Prompts Investigation

FILE - Lutz Bachmann of anti-immigration group PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West) speaks during a demonstration in Dresden, Dec. 15, 2014.

The leader of the fast-growing German anti-Muslim movement PEGIDA resigned on Wednesday after a photo of him posing as Hitler — and reports that he called refugees "scumbags" — prompted prosecutors to investigate him for inciting hatred.

"Yes, I can confirm that Lutz Bachmann has offered his resignation and it was accepted," another PEGIDA co-founder, Kathrin Oertel, told Reuters. She added: "PEGIDA will go on."

Bachmann, a 41-year-old convicted burglar, had appeared on the front page of top-selling daily newspaper Bild on Wednesday sporting a Hitler moustache and haircut. Bild and another paper said he had called aslyum-seekers "animals" and "scumbags".

Oertel said his resignation had nothing to do with the Hitler photo but was linked to comments posted on the internet.