Students' Nazi song video branded reprehensible

The University of Warwick has called its students' actions "reprehensible" after video appeared to show some singing a Nazi marching song at an event held by the college's Conservative Association.

Describing the footage as “extremely troubling”, the university said it was alerted to the content by its reporting service, adding it had notified the Student’s Union and requested a meeting with the Jewish Society to assist a review.

According to a story in The Sunday Times, the “leaked video”, shared on social media, shows events at a University of Warwick Conservative Association (UWCA) dinner, held off campus in May.

The group has condemned the scenes and apologised.

The song in question, titled Erika, was composed in about 1930 and became popular as a marching song for German soldiers in the WW2 Nazi era.

As dinner attendees dance while the music plays, shouts of "sehr gut" - German for "very good" - can be heard.

Leaders from The Union of Jewish Students described the gathering’s “blatant and unchallenged support for Nazism” as “utterly abhorrent”.

“Glorification of the Nazis has no place in our society,” they said, adding “it is in no way acceptable and must be widely condemned”.

They called for a swift and decisive response, saying: “Actions must have consequences.”

'Unaware of origins'

UWCA told the BBC the song was requested by a lone member and was not part of the pre-planned music selection for the event.

They said the individual who requested it, and another person who was not a member of the group, would be barred from future events.

They said most attendees were unaware of the origins or connotations of the song.

In a statement, UWCA said it rejected any allegation its group normalised racism.

“Our members have consistently campaigned against anti-Semitism on campus," it said.

“Our members have also worked hard to ensure the Student’s Union commemorates Holocaust Memorial Day in a fitting way. We are proud of these efforts and will continue to stand against discrimination.”

UWCA added it was committed to ensuring anyone else found to have knowingly engaged with the song was no longer welcome at events.

“Once again, we apologise for the hurt this incident has caused and will fully cooperate with any subsequent investigation initiated by the university,” the statement read.

A spokesperson for the university said the material was being reviewed.

They said: “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.”

Follow BBC Coventry & Warwickshire on Facebook, X and Instagram. Send your story ideas to:

Related internet links