German Police Investigation Into Antisemitic Assault During Elite Fraternity Party Delayed by Defense Lawyers
A German police investigation into a brutal antisemitic attack that took place at an elite college fraternity party last year has been extended into February, the public prosecutor in the case announced on Wednesday.
A spokesperson for the public prosecutor in the city of Heidelberg told the German news agency dpa that because of new statements from lawyers acting on behalf of the ten accused assailants — nine men and one woman — the police investigation would not be concluded before the middle of February “at the earliest.”
The assault on a 25-year-old Jewish student took place last August at a party hosted by the elite Normannia fraternity at Heidelberg University.
A complaint filed by the student charged that when his Jewish ancestry came up in conversation during the Aug. 29 party, he was regaled with antisemitic insults, and several guests pelted him with coins and whipped him on his legs and back using belts.
Media coverage of the attack in Germany noted that German and Austrian fraternities, called Burschenschaften, are known for their nationalist leanings, with the Heidelberg chapter of Normannia sitting on the far right of the political spectrum.
While the fraternity’s board later apologized for the antisemitic assault, several observers argued that the fraternity was simply covering its tracks.
“The Normannia fraternity has been giving antisemites and right-wing extremists a home for years,” local politician Boris Weirauch said last October. “This was obviously tolerated, if not supported, by the leaders there.”