ARCHIVE IMAGE - German police forces have launched over 360 investigations into instances of suspected hate speech over the playing or singing of a German meme anthem. (Photo by Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images)


Police open hundreds of hate-speech investigations over German ‘meme anthem’


German police forces have launched more than 360 investigations into instances of suspected hate-speech over the playing or singing of a German meme “anthem”.

Law enforcement officials in the country have spent the past two months attempting to clamp down on 90s Eurodance hit L’amour Toujours, which many in the country have taken to singing with the adjusted lyrics “Deutschland den Deutschen, Ausländer raus” — or “Germany for Germans, foreigners out” — after a video of the tune went viral online.

Police have confirmed a crackdown on the “anti-constitutional” rhetoric, with news outlet RND confirming at least 368 investigations into the alleged use of the song have been opened between October 2023 and June 2024.

Many of these alleged incidents are said to have involved minors, with some investigations regarding possible use of the song in schools in the country.

Other locations investigated concern gatherings such as garden parties and folk festivals.

Some inquiries were reportedly triggered by the playing of the original L’amour Toujours without the adjusted right-wing lyrics, although media outlets in the country insisted that many renditions of the song have been accompanied by “Hitler salutes”.

News of the police action came amid the increasing use of the song both online and offline, despite efforts of the German authorities to clamp down on it.

Politicians urged action, successfully pressuring UEFA to ban the track’s use during the ongoing Euro 2024 football tournament in Germany.

Despite that, the ban has proven largely ineffective, with match-goers frequently chanting the forbidden meme anthem during, before and after games.

The adulterated version of the song appears to be particularly popular with young people, with its growing use coinciding with the rise of the populist Right among 18-25-year-old voters in Germany and beyond.