German teens investigated over anti-Semitic songs

Three 14-year-olds under investigation for allegedly playing anti-Semitic songs after visit to Buchenwald concentration camp.

Elad Benari,

Fence at edge of Buchenwald camp
Fence at edge of Buchenwald camp

Three German teenagers are under investigation for allegedly playing anti-Semitic songs after a visit to the Buchenwald concentration camp, local police said, according to Deutsche Welle.

The investigation for incitement to hatred against the 14-year-olds came after their school in Grünberg, western Germany, reported the incident to police.

The three teenagers, from the Theo Koch School, allegedly played anti-Semitic songs on a smartphone and sang along while on a school bus on their way back from the Nazi concentration camp. The incident reportedly took place on October 15, reported Deutsche Welle.

The students could face sanctions under school law. A spokesperson for the educational authority said disciplinary and pedagogical measures were being considered. At worst, the three could be expelled.

"The school is addressing the case on several different levels," said Joerg Keller, the headmaster of the Theo Koch School in the state of Hesse.

Located in central Germany, Buchenwald served as a Nazi forced labor camp from 1937 to 1945. An estimated 56,000 people died there, including 11,000 Jews and 8,000 Soviet prisoners of war.

In 2016, police in Germany launched an investigation against two suspected British neo-Nazis photographed giving a Hitler salute in Buchenwald.

There have been several incidents of former Nazi camps being disrespected in recent years.

In 2014, a German teacher was arrested for stealing relics from the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum, including items belonging to several victims of Nazi genocide.

In another act of disrespect, an Alabama teen that year posted a "selfie" in the Auschwitz death camp, but later insisted the photo is not an anti-Semitic statement, but merely a tribute to her father, who was supposed to have made the trip with her but died shortly before her senior year in high school.

In late 2015, two British teenagers were charged with stealing artifacts from Auschwitz.