Racist slogans and Nazi salutes: a video of young partygoers causes a scandal in Germany

28 May 2024 / Interviews

A viral video showing young, upper-class German partygoers chanting racist slogans and performing Nazi salutes has sparked a wave of outrage in Germany. The footage, broadcast by several media outlets, shows the group chanting "Germany for the Germans, foreigners out" to the tune of "Love Always" by Italian DJ Gigi D'Agostino, in a bar on the island from Sylt, close to the Danish border.

The scandal took on a national dimension when Chancellor Olaf Scholz reacted publicly, calling these slogans “disgusting” and “unacceptable” on his X account (formerly Twitter) on May 24, 2024. Nancy Faeser, Minister of the Interior, expressed his shame for Germany, denouncing a “creeping normalization” of racism.

Police have opened an investigation into the incident, which is believed to have taken place over the weekend of May 18-19 in the Pony bar in Kampen, a town in the north of the island. The bar said it was “deeply shocked” by the disgusting behavior. Five suspects were identified and banned from accessing the establishment. The manager announced that he would no longer play the offending song and called on other bars to follow his example. Surveillance video was posted on Instagram to show that the offending group was isolated from other customers.

On Sunday, May 26, one of the individuals involved publicly apologized in the Bild newspaper, acknowledging a “very serious mistake” and calling for an end to the harassment of his family and friends. The identities of the group members were quickly leaked on social media after the video was released.

Sylt, a popular destination for wealthy Germans, saw its residents and vacationers shocked by the incident. In 2022, Finance Minister Christian Lindner celebrated his wedding there. Tickets for the evening in question cost 150 euros, emphasizing the exclusive nature of the event.

This incident occurs in a context of the rise of the AfD, a far-right party, whose voting intentions have recently declined due to several scandals and increasing isolation after being sidelined by their European partners. of the Identity and Democracy group. The outraged reactions of political figures and the firm response of the authorities show the seriousness with which Germany treats this type of behavior.