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Germany: School group leaves camp after racist insults

May 8, 2023

School children fled a math camp after they were targeted by another group with racist insults and threats, police said.

The driveway to Frauensee children's and youth recreation center in Brandenburg
The incident took place at the Frauensee children's and youth recreation center in BrandenburgImage: Bernd Settnik/ZB/picture alliance

German police said on Monday that a group of school children had to cut short a math camp in the eastern state of Brandenburg after being racially insulted and threatened. 

Most of the group were of an ethnic minority. Their teacher ended the trip after they were targeted by another group attending someone's 18th birthday party in the area, police said. 

The children were escorted out of the Frauensee camp, southeast of Berlin, by officers. 

A police spokesman said the incident was being investigated by the regional police unit responsible for politically motivated crimes.

German daily Tagesspiegel reported that police took the names of 28 individuals at the holiday site. It was not clear if they were all treated as suspects. 

The head of the camp, Nora Runneck, denounced the incident, saying: "We strongly condemn any form of xenophobia and racism."

How did officials respond?

Berlin's Education Minister Katharina Günther-Wünsch said the school children would be offered help from a psychologist to help them process the incident.

"I will not put up with such attacks and we must not," she said. 

Ludwig Scheetz, the head of the Social Democrats in Brandenburg's state parliament, said the incident showed that "educational work with young people" was needed.

"We can no longer play down right-wing extremist activities," Scheetz said.

Teachers in Brandenburg had last month written an open letter decrying racist behavior at schools — including Nazi salutes by children.

According to opinion polls,  the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD)party is maintaining its popularity in Brandenburg. Elections are due in 2024 in the state. 

German intelligence classifies AfD youth wing as 'extremist'

fb/jcg (AFP, dpa)