After racism scandal on Sylt Charges filed against two entrepreneurs from Bad Honnef

Bad Honnef · The discussion about the scandalous video from the island of Sylt with xenophobic slogans has gotten to Bad Honnef. A Cologne association has filed charges against two entrepreneurs from the town on suspicion of incitement to hatred.

 Investigation after racist slogans on Sylt: A video of a party on Sylt has caused outrage across Germany.

Investigation after racist slogans on Sylt: A video of a party on Sylt has caused outrage across Germany.

Foto: dpa/Georg Wendt

The scandal surrounding a video that has been circulating on social networks since Pentecost and triggered a wave of outrage across Germany due to its racist content has reached Bad Honnef. As reported several times, the short video shows guests shouting “Foreigners out” and “Germany to the Germans” to the tune of the well-known party hit “L'amour toujours”. In this context, a Cologne association has also filed charges against two men from Bad Honnef who are said to appear in the video. The incident as a whole is now being investigated by state security.

As reported, the video was made at a Whitsun party on Sylt. The rather short sequence, which went viral online at the weekend, shows people celebrating in front of a party venue, singing xenophobic lines to the song by Gigi D'Agostino and shouting slogans, some with their arms raised. Following the investigation, the police announced that they also suspected that “one person was giving the so-called Hitler salute”. The specialist police department for state security has since launched an investigation into incitement to hatred and the use of unconstitutional symbols. At least two of those involved have since lost their jobs.

Many tips to the police

In addition to the people who clearly sang along to the aforementioned song lines or even used anti-constitutional signs, the focus is apparently on other participants at the party. The police received numerous tips in the aftermath, which had to be investigated first, it was said. The Cologne association Haydi Komm, represented by its second chairman Bünyamin Yilmaz, also provided a tip-off and filed a complaint with the police in Flensburg against two Bad Honnef entrepreneurs after the incident. The accusation in the complaint, which is available to the General-Anzeiger: Incitement of the people.

Yilmaz himself is from Bad Honnef, lived here until recently and had already publicized xenophobic incidents in his home town in the past. The 22-year-old, who has since moved to another city for work, calls the incident on Sylt shocking. The suspects are young people - people, he says, who have probably experienced good coexistence in a more colorful society with and without a migration background first-hand. “It was a shock for me to see all this, although of course I know that it is happening more and more frequently. We should all have learned that we should treat each other as equals,” said Yilmaz in an interview with the General-Anzeiger.

He was initially alerted to the video and a suspected connection with two Bad Honnef entrepreneurs by tips from acquaintances. “I didn't want to believe it at first, but then I did some research and watched the video. I had to process that first,” says Yilmaz. To his horror, he saw the information from his friends confirmed and filed a complaint.

Can't be explained by a boisterous mood and alcohol

According to Yilmaz, who has been involved in earthquake relief since the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria and has collected and forwarded donations for people in the disaster areas in Bad Honnef, among other places, what can be seen on the video cannot be explained by a party atmosphere and alcohol, let alone excused. The incident on Sylt had to be investigated by the police and the public prosecutor's office, he said, and there was no way around pressing charges.

“We are deeply shocked by the racist incidents on Sylt,” wrote his association Haydi Komm, which is involved in helping the homeless as well as providing earthquake relief, in an official statement. “The people were right in the middle of it, right next to the people shouting racist slogans and giving the Hitler salute,” says Yilmaz about the charges against the Bad Honnef residents. And: “It is particularly shocking that people who own a business in Bad Honnef and whose income comes mainly from customers with a migrant background should behave in this way.”

Yilmaz hopes that the terrible incident will be fully investigated and cleared up by the authorities. In any case, the outrage on social media is huge. The entrepreneurs from Bad Honnef, who are the subject of the association's complaint, did not want to comment on the matter when asked by the General-Anzeiger on Tuesday. The matter is with the lawyer, they said.

Original text: Claudia Sülzen

Translation: Mareike Graepel