Argentine graduates’ Nazi salutes provokes brawl with Jewish pupils

(JTA) – Students attending a German-language school in Argentina were accused of offending Jewish counterparts at a resort while wearing fake Hitler mustaches and performing Nazi salutes.

The incident, which escalated into a brawl, occurred Wednesday at a night club at Bariloche, 800 miles southwest of Buenos Aires, according to Argentina’s National Institute Against Racism, Discrimination and Xenophobia. No one suffered serious injury during the confrontation.

The pupils from the German-language Sociedad Escolar y Deportiva Alemana Lanús Oeste school were in Bariloche to celebrate their graduation when they “expressed discriminatory and anti-Semitic attitudes” toward pupils of the Jewish ORT school vacationing there, the report said. At least three students of the German-language school provoked the Jewish pupils with hate speech.

Both groups were expelled from the Cerebro night club and brawled outside the venue.

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Faculty from both schools said they would organize joint educational activities and a trip to the Holocaust Museum of Argentina. The Museum, inaugurated in 2000, condemned the provocation in a statement.

The case was widely covered by Argentine media. The president of Argentina´s Jewish political umbrella, DAIA, Ariel Cohen Sabban, said in several interviews that “the perpetrators must understand the gravity of this act, these attitudes cannot go unpunished.”

Bariloche is a tourist town popular with Israeli backpackers. It also was a refuge for Nazis after World War II. The Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke served as the director of the German School of Bariloche for many years. Anti-Israeli posters appeared there in 2014. A year later Israelis said they were attacked in Bariloche.