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'Schoolyard Nazis' plead innocence

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15:08 CET+01:00
A group of pupils in southern Sweden who were reported to the police for performing a Hitler salute have pleaded their innocence in a letter to local media.

Earlier this week, 20 pupils from Dammfri School in Malmö were reported to police for incitement to racial hatred after the principal and some teachers at the school witnessed them shrieking "Heil Hitler" and "Sieg Hiel" while extending their arms in a Nazi salute.

Staff recorded the schoolyard incident on video and took photographs before handing over the evidence to the police.

But the pupils are now claiming that that they were in fact in making a video with the intention of parodying Nazis, racists and Adolf Hitler.

"We didn't know it would turn into such a big deal. We didn't think it through. We are not at all racists or Nazis," the pupils wrote in an open letter to local media in Malmö.

The pupils added that they were not aware that what they were doing was a criminal offence.

"Dammfri School is a multi-cultural school with pupil who speak around thirty different languages. We are very happy with the school and all the teachers... What we really want to say is that there are no racists or Nazis at Dammfri School," they wrote.

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