I post it here to give a sense of where this occurred.
And is either one treatable?
The teenagers who shot off their mouths and their airsoft guns at a group of visitors to Ebensee concentration camp appeared in court the other day.
A lot of Americans know about Auschwitz, but few have heard of Ebensee, a sub-camp of Mauthausen, in Upper Austria near Linz. Smaller, but just as horrible. There are cavernous underground tunnels there, carved into the mountainside by prisoners, to house armament factories.
In May 2009, four local youths (three of them 16 at the time, one 14) were in the tunnels, fooling around with their airsoft guns. They encountered a group of elderly French camp survivors revisiting the site and went into attack mode, crying out “Blood honour”, “The tunnels belong to us” and “Sieg heil, you swine”. They also let off a spray of pellets (which fortunately did not hit anyone.)
So now these idiots are in court, and they are all claiming that they really never meant anything political, it was just, you know, youthful stupidity. The newspaper Der Standard has reported that one of the youths had over 150 third-reich songs on his cell phone, and nazi-era photos cut out of history books. He has stated, however, that he’s not a politically-minded person, “even if I flirted with joining the (Austrian right wing) Freedom Party once.” And this, of course, is something to sit up and pay attention to — because, political act or not, even if these kids really and honestly did regret their actions (and I don’t have enough information to form an opinion on that, although most of the comments at Der Standard call for making them responsible for their actions, and not to allow them to claim the maturity of four-year-olds), the FPÖ is going to come calling again at some point, and pull them in. They will be told that they got a bum deal in court (if they serve time — in fact they face up to five years), and that here is a community which understands them.
The trial will reconvene on December 1.