Published: 5.10.2019 |
A school trip to the Buchenwald death camp had little impact on a bunch of German teens who saw nothing wrong with playing and singing anti-Semitic songs at a place where over 56,000 prisoners perished during World War II.
Three 14-year-old pupils reportedly played the songs on a smartphone and sang along on a bus as their class was returning from a trip to Buchenwald memorial, located east of Dresden.
The story made local media headlines shortly after teachers reported it to police, and an inquiry was launched into incitement of hatred.
The incident has raised more than a few eyebrows given the notoriety of the site in question. Run by SS death squads, Buchenwald accommodated over 280,000 inmates during peak times. Apart from Jews from all corners of Europe and the USSR, there were also Poles and Roma people, as well as Soviet prisoners of war, among the detainees.
FILE PHOTO © Global Look Press / Eric Lalmand / Source: ZUMAPRESS.com
Buchenwald wasn’t as big as Auschwitz, which was known for its gas chambers, but the plight of inmates was the same. Some prisoners were subjected to summary executions by hanging or crucifixion, while others died in medical experiments or fell victim to arbitrary shootings perpetrated by SS guards.
Former railway station and the track’s end at Buchenwald © Global Look Press / hwo / Source: imageBROKER.com
By the time the US Army liberated the camp in 1945, a total of 56,545 people – nearly one-in-four prisoners – had perished there. After the war, Buchenwald was preserved as a memorial.
The memorial is the largest in memory of Nazi crimes in Europe © Global Look Press / Martin Schutt / Source: dpa
Ironically, the youngsters’ school – named after renowned German anthropologist Theo Koch – is a recipient of numerous awards for extremism prevention, according to Die Welt. The institute also teaches a four-month special course on Nazism, the effectiveness of which is now in question.
The news comes less than a month after a lone-wolf shooter tried to attack a synagogue in the eastern city of Halle. The suspect, who had links to a German neo-Nazi cell, failed to break into the building but shot dead two bystanders using a self-made submachine gun.
Anti-Semitic incidents rose by nearly 20 percent between 2017 and 2018, with the number of violent attacks recorded almost doubling, according to Interior Ministry figures. Meanwhile, the German government’s anti-Semitism commissioner Felix Klein said that he “can’t recommend Jews to wear kippahs anywhere at any time in Germany.”
The remark was criticized by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin for what he described as “capitulation to anti-Semitism.”