UMG Drops German Band With Neo-Nazi Affiliations
Universal dropped the band Weimar, a German hard rock group whose members had previously been in bands with lyrical content that denied the Holocaust and contained antisemitic tropes
Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music company, has dropped one of its bands after an investigation from German outlet Der Spiegel this week revealed that some of the group’s members allegedly had Neo-Nazi affiliations in Germany and were previously in bands that performed songs that contained lyrics denying the Holocaust.
As Der Spiegel notes in its investigation, One member of German hard rock group Weimar who the outlet identified as Konstantin P. was previously in a neo-Nazi band called Dragoner, which performed songs with antisemitic lyrics about “six million lies,” referring to the number of Jews who died in the Holocaust. Another member affiliated with the group named Christian P. had released an album in 2002 that had a swastika on the cover accompanied with text containing threats against Jews, according to the report.
Der Spiegel further reports that Weimar itself has recorded songs with antisemitic tropes regarding the media alongside lyrics about wolves and rats, the language Nazis used to liken themselves and Jews. (A rep for UMG didn’t immediately respond to Rolling Stone’s request for comment.) In a statement to Billboard, which reported on the company dropping Weimar, the company said it hadn’t previously known about Weimar’s history and wouldn’t have agreed to do business with them if it was aware of the issue.
“Based on the information we recently learned from a journalist’s inquiry, we terminated our relationship with Weimar, which consisted of distribution of one album,” UMG told Billboard. “That has been stopped with immediate effect. The information that has come to light made clear that any relationship with the band was absolutely unacceptable to us and inconsistent with our values. We feel deceived by the band. If we knew then what we know today, we would never have released the album in the first place.”
UMG isn’t the only music company that’s recently had to answer for antisemitic language from artists it had previously signed. Last week, the New York Times reported on how German music company BMG had signed French rapper Freeze Corleone in 2021, before dropping him a few weeks later over previous music Corleone had released that contained antisemitic lyrics. As the Times reported, BMG knew of the lyrical content and weighed whether or not to sign Corleone before giving him a record deal. BMG reversed that decision and dropped Corleone within a month of signing him, and two BMG employees left the company following the incident.