Argentinian students wear Nazi armbands to club, provoke brawl with Jewish teens

© Carlos Barria
Students from a German school in Argentina visited a nightclub wearing swastika armbands and Hitler mustaches, provoking a brawl with Jewish patrons. The school apologized for the incident and brawl participants will be sent to the Holocaust museum.

The incident happened at a combined night club and bowling alley in a resort city of Bariloche, with the students from Lanus Oeste German School in Buenos Aires heading to the venue to celebrate their graduation. They confronted Jewish students from an ORT school.

“Some of them were in leathers with swastikas painted on their chests and backs. We wanted them to be thrown out of the club but they shouted ‘f****** Jews’ at us and proudly showed off their symbols,” one of the Jewish students, told Argentina’s TN television channel, as cited by The Telegraph.

A row began, and as another Jewish student named Dan later told TN, “we were wrong because we react[ed] violently, we could not tolerate that situation and we fought with them.”

Both groups were removed from the club and the brawl between them snowballed outside.

The two school groups had engaged in some shared activities during a trip to Bariloche, and had been staying at neighboring hotels, according to La Nacion.

The headmistress of Lanus German School, Silvia Fazio, apologized for the incident, and pledged that those responsible would be punished.

“They will have to make some act of atonement for the damage caused,” she added, describing the events as “indefensible.”

It wasn’t only students who had been to blame, she said.

“There were many adults who made mistakes, such as the parents who were with the children, the trip coordinators [and] the club staff.”

“There is much to reflect on,” Ms. Fazio concluded, as cited by The Telegraph.

The students – if they are 16 years old or over – could face prosecution for using Nazi symbols.

For now,outraged authorities and parents will make the students from German school visit the Holocaust Museum in Buenos Aires together with a group of the Jewish students, UPI news agency reported.

The museum’s President, Gustavo Sakkal, told the Jewish News Agency (AJN) that "a joke can lead to the most horrific things in history."

His opinion was echoed by the Argentinian education minister, who blamed “inadequate education” for the incident.

"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," he told Clarin newspaper.