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Germany: Racist chants reported in Erlangen after Sylt video

May 26, 2024

Two revelers at a festival in Bavaria were heard chanting "Foreigners out!" to the tune of "L'amour toujours," police said, just days after a video of several youths doing the same in Sylt surfaced on social media.

Crowds gather at the opening of the Erlangen festival on May 16, 2024
The Bergkirchweih festival, also known simply as 'Berg' draws around one million visitors every year, according to organizersImage: Daniel Karmann/dpa/picture alliance

Two off-duty police officers reported hearing racist chants while attending the Bergkirchweih festival in Erlangen, Bavaria, German authorities say.

According to the police statement, the officers noticed two men, aged 21 and 26, were yelling "Foreigners out!" while the song "L'amour toujours" was playing in one of the festival venues on Friday evening.

The officers alerted the venue security, with the guests eventually "expelled from the pub" and banned from the festival, according to a police statement. Germany's internal security agency has launched an investigation.

Germany still shaken by Sylt video

The latest incident comes only days after a viral video which showed several young people chanting the same slogan to the same tune in an expensive restaurant in Sylt, an island resort in northern Germany. At least one of the youths in the Sylt video is giving the Hitler salute with his fingers on his upper lip to mimic the Hitler moustache.

The video caused uproar across the country. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and other top political leaders condemned the Sylt incident, with Scholz decrying the chants as "disgusting" and "unacceptable."

No more 'L'amour toujours' during festival

Following the reports from Bavaria, Erlangen Mayor Florian Janik and event organizers also condemned chants reported during the Bergkirchweih festival.

The managers of the beer hall distanced themselves from the reported slogans, adding that extremists have "not a foot of space to spread their views."

Their venue welcomes all guests "who are committed to the free and democratic basic order of our country and who want to eat, drink and celebrate cheerfully and peacefully," they said.

Festival organizers reportedly also decided to stop playing the "L'amour toujours." The song by Italian DJ Gigi D'Agostino first appeared in 1999, with its French-language title translating roughly to "Love forever" and its English-language lyrics focusing on romance.

dj/wd (dpa, AFP)

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