A police investigation has been launched against a high school music teacher in Berlin, The Local reports Wednesday, after she forced her class of eleventh graders to march to the Nazi anthem as an alleged part of her curriculum.
The song, the "Horst-Wessel-Lied," includes lyrics that glorify Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. The teacher - who still remains unnamed - apparently forced the students to march to the song during a lesson last month.
Police stated to the news agency that the move may have been a breach of Germany's constitution, which bans the public display of Nazi symbols - including singing the party's songs - under Article 86.
Exceptions are made for art, science, and teaching purposes, but the circumstances are murky - and the stakes are high; the teacher, if prosecuted and convicted, could be given a three-year prison sentence.
“A Museum can display a swastika if it does so in a critical setting,” police spokesperson Stefan Redlich explained.
However, when police attempted to ask students whether or not the song was taught in a critical context, the school refused to provide them with information.
The story surfaces just as a damning report was published Wednesday stating that anti-Semitism has risen by 38% in Europe since 2013, with Germany as one of the top countries with a spike in anti-Semitic activity.