‘Why’s he smiling?’ Confusion as German star Gnabry bursts out laughing during minute’s silence for victims of synagogue attack
Football fans were left confused as German winger Serge Gnabry burst out laughing during a minute’s silence to honor the victims of the Halle synagogue shooting.
Gnabry, 24, lined up with his teammates and their Argentine opposition around the center circle at Borussia Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park on Wednesday night, to commemorate the two people killed in a gun attack by a suspected neo-Nazi on a synagogue in the city of Halle earlier in the day.
As the camera panned across the German team, shouting was heard was heard from the crowd before applause broke out, prompting Bayern Munich winger Gnabry to break into a grin before lowering his head and laughing.
Goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, standing next to Gnabry, also appeared to suppress a laugh, while teammates Niklas Sule and Luca Waldschmidt were seen smiling.
It left some fans bemused as to what had caused the players to smirk during such a solemn moment.
Um why did gnabry laugh in the minute silence
— Matt Boothright (@mboothright1) October 9, 2019
Others clarified that Gnabry’s reaction had been to the shouts from the stands, as one fan had interrupted the silence by singing the German national anthem before being told to “shut up” by another member of the crowd.
Let me explain… During the silence some obviously drunk idiot started singing the German national anthem. Very, very bad taste. Another guy shouts “halt die Fresse” (shut up). Audience laughs and applauds, Gnabry smiles. I did, too. #GERARG
It led to the hastag #haltdiefresse (#shutup) to trend on social media, while German comedian Oliver Pocher even took to Twitter after the incident to “thank” Gnabry for his response – despite the clear potential for it to be interpreted as disrespectful to the Halle victims.
Der WICHTIGSTE MOMENT dieses Länderspiels! Während der Schweigeminute für die Opfer von Halle singt ein „Fan“ die Deutsche Nationalhymne und ein anderer FAN ruft „Halt die Fresse!“
Das Stadion applaudiert und @SergeGnabry kann sich das Lachen nicht verkneifen!
— Oliver Pocher (@oliverpocher) October 9, 2019
Gnabry’s goal helped Germany into a 2-0 lead in the friendly in Dortmund, before Argentina earned a draw thanks to second-half goals from Lucas Alario and Lucas Ocampos.
The 27-year-old man suspected of carrying out the attack on the Synagogue in Halle is said to have planned a far worse rampage, and even livestreamed the sickening footage of the attack from a GoPro mounted on his helmet.
He has been dubbed ‘The Nazi Killer’ by some sections of the press, and was apprehended by police after attempting to escape by car on a nearby highway.