German students allegedly sing antisemitic songs after Buchenwald visit

The three 14-year-old high schoolers are being investigated by police for incitement.

A visitor stands in front of a watchtower behind a fence on the grounds of the former Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald near Weimar (photo credit: REUTERS)
A visitor stands in front of a watchtower behind a fence on the grounds of the former Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald near Weimar
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Just hours after visiting the Buchenwald concentration camp as part of a school trip, three 14-year-old high school students reportedly started playing antisemitic songs and singing along with the lyrics.
According to a German police press statement, the students are being investigated for alleged incitement.
The police said that the three were on the school bus returning from the trip when they turned on the music and began to sing along. The incident occurred on October 15, but was reported to police over the weekend, according to the statement.
According to Deutsche Welle, the students are from Theo Koch School in the western city of Grunberg.
In a short statement to the press, Hessen’s Minister of Culture Alexander Lorz stressed that “hate speech and insults are no trivial offense.”
“The teenagers must be made very clear that we do not tolerate such a thing in our country,” he added.
It is still unclear what disciplinary action will be taken against the students.
Deutsche Presse-Agentur news agency reported that the principal of the school was the one to report the incident, and that the school has won several awards for its fight against extremism and antisemitism.
For years, its ninth-grade classes have also worked on a four-month project that deals with Nazism and racism.
Buchenwald was a concentration camp established in 1937 in Weimar – just east of Dresden. An estimated 2,000 Jews were brought to Buchenwald from Austria in 1938, and following Kristallnacht, another 10,000 German Jews were imprisoned in the camp, according to Yad Vashem.
“They were subjected to brutal terror – 600 of them perished; the others were released after they committed to leave Germany,” Yad Vashem said.
During the Holocaust, some 240,000 inmates from 30 nationalities passed through the camp, including Jews, Poles, Romani people, prisoners of war, communists and political prisoners, among others.
Conditions at the camp were terrible and inmates suffered from malnourishment, 14 to 15 hours of daily hard labor, disease and harsh weather conditions.
According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, between 1937 and 1945, 56,000 inmates were killed or died from the brutal conditions – of those who died, at least 11,000 were Jews.
The camp was liberated on April 11, 1945. Today, the camp serves as a memorial.
Last month, a German poll released by ARD public broadcasting found that 59% of Germans have seen a rise in antisemitism in their communities. This was up by 19% in comparison to a similar poll conducted in 2018, which found that 40% of Germans saw a rise in antisemitism.
The poll was conducted a week after the Halle shooting attack outside a synagogue on Yom Kippur, which left two people dead.