Aged 20 to 74, perpetrators of racist offenses… they are following a citizenship course in a former Nazi camp

After being convicted by the courts, a group was confronted with the Nazi horror in the only French concentration camp during a morning of exchange to avoid prosecution.

They were found guilty of insults, threats, violence… of a racist nature. They range in age from 20 to 74 years old. They come from all social backgrounds. They behaved inappropriately, him towards his teacher, him towards his neighbor, or even this one behind his screen on social networks.

Rather than fining them for their reprehensible behavior, the courts decided to send them for a trip to Alsace. In the Nazi Struthof concentration camp, opened between 1941 and 1945, where 52,000 prisoners were registered. Where nearly 22,000 people died.

Visit of the camp and testimonies

They are called Patrick, Corentin, Lucas or Tristan… and they were invited by the justice system to an awareness and prevention course in this concentration camp, as told by 20 minutes. One morning, at 9 o'clock, they will discover the Nazi horror, which raged in France. They will visit the camp, discover the crematorium, the gas chamber where 86 Jews will be murdered on the orders of a Nazi doctor who intended to build an anatomical collection.

After the shock, the words. The visit leaves room for a period of discussion where everyone explains what they have done. Why their offenses brought them to justice.

"It’still a slap in the face"

Aurélia Meier, head of the Judicial Control and Investigation Service (SCJE), attached to the Saverne public prosecutor's office in Bas-Rhin, seeks to know &amp ;quot;what made them get there".

The testimonies continue: "Seeing what the Germans did at the time, it's a slap in the face anyway", testifies one of them. Tristan, a 21-year-old apprentice who shared a clearly racist video on social networks, assures that this "allows us to take a step back, to put our ideas back in place"< /em>.

On BFMTV, a participant who did not want to come to the course recognizes: "It’s better to do it now and see rather than find yourself in prison in 10 years".

These internships can be imposed as a sentence or as an alternative to prosecution. For the record, the perpetrator of discrimination faces up to three years of imprisonment and a fine of 45,000 euros.

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