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Germany: Security Guards Fired Amid New Racism Scandal at Migrant Center

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Police are investigating a racist incident at a migrant reception facility in the German state of Thuringia. Two security guards have been fired for allegedly inciting hatred.

The security guards, who were employed at a center for asylum seekers in Suhl in the German state of Thuringia, are said to have played a song “L’amour toujours” by Italian DJ Gigi D’Agostino on a smartphone while on duty and made racist comments about it.

A co-worker recorded the incident and filed a complaint against the two men, who were subsequently suspended and then sacked by the security company. A police spokesperson said an investigation was underway into suspected incitement to racial hatred, which is a criminal offence under German law.

Viral video

The latest incident in Suhl comes amid an ongoing racism scandal surrounding a party video on the northern German island of Sylt last week.

In the video, which has been widely shared on social media, young people shouted “foreigners out!” and “Germany for the Germans” to the tune of L’amour toujours. One person in the video is also seen mimicking Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, gesturing a mustache and giving a Nazi salute.

“[It] was hard-core, right-wing extremist racism that wasn’t pretending to be anything but that,” sociologist and expert on right-wing extremism Matthias Quent told German public television.

The Sylt video received widespread condemnation, with Chancellor Olaf Scholz denouncing the racist slogans as “disgusting” and “unacceptable”.

The Greens Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck said: “Anyone who acts like that, excludes people and shouts fascist slogans is attacking what holds our country together.”

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Further investigations

However, despite the government’s claim that it is doing everything it can to prevent such sentiments from spreading, the alternative racist lyrics to the song continue to be heard and recorded at parties and celebrations in other German states, leading to further police investigations.

In Suhl, where one of the sacked security guards has filed counter charges for violation of privacy and defamation, reports on Thursday said the video footage was still being assessed.

Reacting to the incident on social media, Katharina König-Preuss of the Left Party (Die Linke) said it was unacceptable that security guards who are supposed to ensure that people are safe “are themselves spreading racist hatred and incitement.” The MP demanded a review of security companies working in the area.

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