The Jewish community in the city of Cologne, Germany, woke up this week to discover that the city's Holocaust memorial, the Löwenbrunnen children’s memorial, was vandalized by animal rights activists during a demonstration last weekend, according to the Jewish newspaper The Algemeiner.
The protesters, seeking to protest against factory farming methods and draw public attention, painted the memorial with red dye to simulate blood, alongside other slogans protesting against animal abuse.
The Holocaust memorial was designed in 1977 by artist Hermann Gurfinkel and is located in the center of the city, on the former site of a Jewish school that used to stand there. It commemorates more than 1,100 Jewish children from Cologne who were deported to concentration camps during the Nazi rule of Germany.
Abraham Lehrer, deputy chairman of the Central Council of Jews in Germany and an active community leader in Cologne, issued a harsh statement following the incident, which he described as “an act of boundless tastelessness and a mockery of the victims of the Holocaust, especially children and young people and their surviving relatives.”
However, the involved activists from Animal Rebellion, the organisation that staged the protests, denied any antisemitic motives behind their actions, pointing out that several fountains in the city were also selected for the red dye protest.