• Germany's news in English

Teacher faces police questions over Nazi song

Jörg Luyken · 14 Apr 2015, 16:16

Published: 14 Apr 2015 16:16 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The song, the Horst-Wessel-Lied, was the anthem of the Nazi party and includes the lyrics 'Millions full of hope look up at the swastika' and 'Soon Hitler flags will fly over every street.'

The incident took place in March during an eleventh grade lesson, meaning the pupils were roughly 17 years old.

Police spokesperson Stefan Redlich told The Local that they had followed up on the case after it was reported by someone not present during the class.

The police attempted to ascertain whether the incident was a crime against the German constitution.

Under paragraph 86 of the constitution it is illegal to publicly display Nazi symbols. This includes publicly singing the party's songs.

The maximum penalty for this offence is three years in jail.

But the constitution makes clear that there are exceptions for art, science and teaching.

“A Museum can display a swastika if it does so in a critical setting,” explained the police spokesman.

Police therefore looked into whether the teacher had taught the song in a critical context or not.

Story continues below…

The teacher claimed that the song was contained in the school curriculum, a claim which the police were not able to confirm because they had not seen a copy.

Officers sought to question the pupils who were present to evaluate if the song was presented in a critical context. But the school refused to supply them with the pupils' names.

The case has now been handed to state prosecutors, who will decide whether to pursue it or not.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Jörg Luyken (joerg.luyken@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Eurowings braces as cabin crew union proclaims strike
Photo: DPA

A union representing cabin crew for Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings announced that strikes could take place at any time over the next two weeks, starting on Monday.

Mysterious German U-boat wreckage found off Scotland
Photo: ScottishPower

First World War U-boat "attacked by sea monster” thought to be found off Scottish coast.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd