Seventh and eighth-graders at the state high school in Weißenburg, Bavaria, poured their efforts into making little wagons for last Friday's annual race – but the competition turned sour when their headteacher bellowed “Sieg Heil” at the start of the competition.
The phrase, which was used widely by the Nazis as a greeting, caused instant upset among the youngsters, onlooking parents and teachers in the school's main hall, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Tuesday.
“I'm a bit politically immature,” the headteacher told the paper. “It just came out and now unfortunately I can't take it back.” She added that she was ready to talk about it with pupils and parents if necessary.
On Monday the Bavarian Culture Ministry said they were investigating her outburst.
Saying “Sieg Heil”, with or without the right arm salute, is illegal in Germany – with a few exceptions.
The 43-year-old has been headteacher of the Weißenburg school since 2012. Her staff expressed shock and anger after Friday's events.
“How am I supposed to plausibly stop my pupils from using Nazi slogans when our boss is leading the way in them,” one teacher told the Süddeutsche.
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He added that the headteacher’s behaviour was totally unacceptable for someone in her position.
At the end of February a football fan was banned by his club, Borussia Dortmund, for three years for shouting “Sieg Heil” during a minute’s silence before a game.
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