September 20, 2019

OC High School Students Sing Nazi Song and Issue Nazi Salute

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

A video obtained by The Daily Beast on Aug. 19 showed a group of Orange County students singing a Nazi marching song and giving the Nazi salute.

The video, recorded back in November 2018, consisted of 10 members of the Pacifica High School water polo team engaging in the aforementioned actions during an off-campus awards banquet. The song being sung was Nazi member Herms Niel’s composition that served “to inspire Nazi troops,” according to The Daily Beast. One of the members had uploaded the video to his Instagram page temporarily and wrote the lyrics from the song in his Instagram bio.

The school and Garden Grove Unified School District condemned the video in an Aug. 19 press release and said that they “took immediate action” against the students when they learned of the video’s existence in March.

“In response to this unfortunate incident, district and school administrators have reached out to community organizations to provide support that will continue to ensure an anti-bias learning environment and address issues of hate, bias, and exclusion with all staff and students,” the statement said. “Pacifica High School, along with our other district schools, will be working with students, staff, and parents to continue to address these issues in the fall in collaboration with agencies dedicated to anti-bias education.”

The Anti-Defamation League’s Orange County chapter tweeted, “Unfortunately, we’ve seen this too many times: High school students parodying Nazi salutes. This has no place in our schools and reminds us of the need for education on #antiSemitism and the Holocaust. ADL has reached out to the district with resources.”

Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center Rabbi Abraham Cooper told the Journal in a phone interview that the organization is in contact with the school on the matter.

“In the world we live in today, everything goes viral if there’s video, and this is another example that anti-Semitism and hate is in the mainstream of our society and on the front porch of Southern California Jews,” Cooper said. “That’s the reality. It’s uncomfortable, but we have the tools to fight back with and of course we can only deal with these situations if you have allies on the inside to make sure that the anti-Semitism is dealt with and we try to educate young people in a different direction.”

StandWithUs Co-Founder and CEO Roz Rothstein, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, said in a statement to the Journal, “”This is yet another disturbing example of rising antisemitism across the U.S., including in high schools. It is unfortunate that the school did not immediately use the incident as a teachable moment, but it is never too late to do so. We strongly urge Pacifica High School to do more education about the Jewish community, antisemitism, and the Holocaust to ensure their students do not repeat such hatred or ignorance in the future.”

In March, a group of students at a Newport Beach high school were photographed doing Nazi salutes behind a table of cups aligned into a swastika. Also in March, members of the Los Angeles Junior Kings hockey team – which has no affiliation with the Los Angeles Kings – were saying “f*** the Jews” in a video while one team member did a Nazi salute.