Outrage at footage of people singing Nazi slogan at party on German island | Germany

Footage from an elite German party island of people singing a Nazi slogan in place of the lyrics of a disco hit has gone viral and triggered a wave of outrage.

The film shows a group on Sylt in North Frisia drinking and dancing together to the 2001 song L’amour Toujours by the Italian musician Gigi D’Agostino. Some in the group sing an old Nazi slogan “Germany for the Germans – foreigners out” in place of the song’s apolitical lyrics.

Among the participants, who are dressed casually and appear to be holding glasses of Aperol, rosé, and champagne, was one man dressed in an open-necked white shirt who lifts his right arm in an apparent Nazi salute as he imitates the Hitler moustache by putting two fingers above his upper lip.

Both the slogan and the salute are illegal in Germany.

The film appears to have been made during the recent Whitsun bank holiday weekend by a young woman who is herself singing into the camera.

Police in the state of Schleswig-Holstein said they were “checking the film for criminally relevant” contents.

The slogan “Germany for the Germans – foreigners out” is a chant originating in the 19th century that was used by the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and has also been deployed as an election slogan by the far-right National Democratic party.

The owners of Pony, a fashionable bar and club on Sylt’s Strönwai street outside which the film was shot, are cooperating with the police. In an Instagram post they said they were “deeply shocked” and distanced themselves “from any type of racism or discrimination”.

Tim Becker, a co-owner of Pony, later told the daily TAZ that footage from CCTV cameras newly installed outside the club had been compared with the 14-second online video and the same group was identified. Sound from the video showed only about five guests had been singing the anti-foreigner version, while the others were singing the original, he said.

“You can hear that very clearly and that was a relief to us,” he said.

He said neither he nor the club’s DJs had been aware that the D’Agostino hit, which he said was popular throughout Europe, had been in effect hijacked by the far right. “Often it’s just played briefly, in order to stoke up the mood. We didn’t know that the song was used by the far right … We will never play it again,” he said.

In the Instagram post, Pony’s owners wrote that anyone who “recognises themselves on this video … will be barred from our premises”. Becker urged anyone who knew who the individuals were “to report them to us or the police”.

Partygoers at Pony, situated on the island’s Whisky Mile in the town of Kampen, had reportedly paid €150 (£128) for entry to the summer season opening party at which the incident took place. According to Pony, about 500 people attended.

The Bavarian broadcaster BR recently reported that the Nazi version of L’amour Toujours had become popular at public gatherings and discos across Germany, including at a disco in Greding in January that took place after a party conference of the far-right Alternative für Deutschland. The disco was attended by MPs and members of the party, as well as members of the AfD’s youth wing, who allegedly joined in singing the Nazi version.

Reacting to the video, the Social Democrat party member Sawsan Chebli posted on X: “‘Germany for the Germans. Foreigners out. Foreigners out.’ Location: Sylt. And they feel so confident.”

Dunja Hayali, a prominent news anchor, wrote on the same platform: “With Hitler moustaches and champagne. But no ‘foreigners’. #Sylt 2024.”

Sylt is known as the go-to holiday island for Germany’s rich and famous. It is where the finance minister and chief of the pro-business Free Democratic party, Christian Lindner, married his partner in July 2022.

Schleswig-Holstein police said in a statement on X: “A video of people celebrating on #Sylt is currently circulating on social media. This video is known to us and is being checked for criminally relevant content. We would like to thank you for the numerous pieces of information that we have forwarded to the responsible authority.”

Members of the state government of Schleswig-Holstein also expressed outrage. The state’s minister with responsibility for integration, Aminata Touré of the Greens, told the news network RND: “This is not some stupid youthful prank, but the worst sort of Nazi caterwauling by adults, on a public stage. Despicable and nauseating. They should be ashamed of themselves. Criminal proceedings should now follow.”

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