Boys from a Buenos Aires German school brawled with Jewish students at a disco in Argentina – and now they will have to visit a Holocaust museum together.
The visit was decided on by outraged school authorities and parents.
Argentinian media report that the fight erupted in Bariloche, an Andean tourism centre, after some Lanus Oeste German School boys sported Hitler moustaches and Nazi swastikas on their bodies.
They will go on an educational trip to the Holocaust Museum in Buenos Aires.
Three of the Lanus Oeste boys were immediately sent back to Buenos Aires from the resort city. The brawl took place during a fancy dress party at a disco on Tuesday night.
Parents of students from the ORT Jewish School in Buenos Aires said the three from Lanus Oeste had “provoked and insulted” ORT boys with their pro-Nazi gesture.
The director of the Lanus Oeste German School, Silvia Fazio, apologised for the students’ behaviour, saying “those students must understand that this is wrong, that this must never happen again and that it is totally abhorrent”.
A number of wanted Nazi war criminals fled to Argentina after World War Two, and were sheltered by far-right Argentinian military officers.Bariloche has decades-old German links. Controversially, a notorious SS commander, Erich Priebke, lived in the city after the war, until his extradition to Italy in 1995.
The Argentinian news website La Nacion said (in Spanish) that the two school groups had shared activities on the trip to Bariloche and had stayed at neighbouring hotels.
President Gustavo Sakkal of the Holocaust Museum condemned the anti-Semitic incident, in remarks to the Jewish News Agency (AJN). “A joke can lead to the most horrific things in history”.
He and the German Ambassador, Bernhard Graf von Waldersee, discussed the idea of organising a “discussion” at the museum for the students involved. “Through education we must show those boys that this is a very serious issue,” he said.
Argentina’s Education Minister, Esteban Bullrich, told the Clarin newspaper (in Spanish) that it was a “deplorable” incident.
“This happened because of inadequate education,” he said. “It was a case of discrimination, exclusion and intolerance. Therefore we must work inside the school, and outside it, because this is not an isolated case.”