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Tory Student Group Condemned for Video Showing Them Singing Nazi Song

A Conservative student association has come under fire after attendees at one of its events were caught on video singing a Nazi marching song.

Footage emerged showing a group of individuals at a black-tie dinner hosted by the University of Warwick Conservative Association dancing to “Erika,” a composition by German composer Herms Niel.

The song “Erika” was commonly played at military events in Nazi Germany and has also been co-opted by modern white supremacist movements. While the lyrics are not explicitly political, it’s worth noting that Niel was a Nazi party member and personally conducted bands at Nazi rallies.

The Sunday Times, which published the clip, reported that it was filmed at the association’s annual chairman’s dinner held at a hotel in Leamington Spa. Towards the end of the clip, a voice can be heard off-camera saying, “Don’t film.”

The Union of Jewish Students condemned the video as “utterly abhorrent” and said it displayed “blatant and unchallenged support for Nazism.” The organization stated, “Glorification of the Nazis has no place in our society, especially on campus. It is in no way acceptable and must be widely condemned.”

They further added, “We expect swift and decisive action from the University of Warwick and the Conservative party. Actions must have consequences.”

The University of Warwick Conservative Association responded to MailOnline by stating that it “wholeheartedly condemns the behaviour exhibited during this video and apologises for any offence that has been caused.”

According to the association, “Erika” was played for a “brief period” following a request made by one member to the DJ and was “not included in the preplanned music selection handed to the DJ.”

The association elaborated, “Once we became aware of the song being played and what it represents, an exec member spoke to the DJ, and it was immediately turned off.”

They also mentioned that the person who made the request will be excluded from future events, as will anyone who “knowingly engaged with the song.” The association added, “We would note that the overwhelming majority of those seen in the video were completely unaware of the origins and connotations of the song.”

A spokesperson for the university commented, “We have been made aware of this video and the allegations surrounding it, which are extremely troubling. Behaviour like this is reprehensible and we are disappointed to see our students involved.”

The university spokesperson continued, “The university is reviewing the material disclosed to us via our reporting service and has notified the students’ union. We have requested a meeting with the Jewish Society (Jsoc) to assist with our review.”

Source: the Guardian, the Sunday Times