'Germany for the Germans': Outrage over 'Nazi slogans' at party

Bar owners file criminal complaint over video of chanting revellers described as disgusting by Chancellor Olaf Scholz

Mass protests against the far right took place in Germany in January after secret talks were revealed on deporting foreigners. Getty Images
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The owners of a bar on a German island have filed a criminal complaint after guests were filmed chanting “foreigners out” and “Germany for the Germans”.

The owners of the upscale venue on the island of Sylt said they were “shocked and deeply upset” after the footage was widely shared on social media.

It shows young people at a party singing what Interior Minister Nancy Faeser called “Nazi slogans”, while one man appeared to gesture in a Hitler salute.

The video touched a nerve in Germany where unease has been growing for months at the resurgence of the far right in politics.

“Such slogans are disgusting. They are not acceptable,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz said of the video. Ms Faeser called it a “disgrace for Germany”.

Some MPs warned the video showed racist sentiment being shared by affluent youngsters, not just the stereotype of an uneducated neo-Nazi in the former East Germany.

Criminal complaint

The owners of the venue, Pony, said staff had not witnessed the “deeply antisocial behaviour” on Sylt and would have intervened if they had done.

“We would have immediately informed the police and filed a criminal complaint. We have since been able to do so,” they said in a statement on Friday.

Germany has laws against using Nazi symbols, glorifying the Nazis' actions or inciting hatred. The bar's owners did not specify what it was alleging.

Authorities say adapting the pop song L'Amour Toujours to sing “Germany for the Germans” has become a “viral success” for right-wing extremists on Instagram and TikTok.

The slogan is part of a recognised far-right code that uses the number 444 to translate Deutschland den Deutschen (“Germany for the Germans”), referring to D as the fourth letter of the alphabet.

The venue owners said the song played by a DJ was a “party classic” from 1999 and staff had no idea that “it is used by Nazis for their slogans”.

“Racism and fascism have no place in our society. The fact that others apparently see it differently leaves us speechless,” they said.

The same slogans were sung at a disco in January that followed a party conference of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

On that occasion the AfD played down the video, but said the only foreigners it wanted out were those without a legal migration status.

However, fears are high after some AfD members were caught late last year holding secret talks on “remigration” of foreigners from Germany.

The AfD is hoping for a strong result in European Parliament elections next month although it has recently been hit by a series of scandals.

A court decided last month that the AfD could legitimately be put under surveillance by domestic security services due to fears of extremism.

Updated: May 25, 2024, 4:18 PM