German NGO blasted for exhibiting ashes of Jews from the Shoah

International Auschwitz Committee slams artist group's action.

German flag flutters half-mast on top of the Reichstag building, the seat of the German lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin, March 25 (photo credit: REUTERS)
German flag flutters half-mast on top of the Reichstag building, the seat of the German lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin, March 25
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Jewish groups expressed outrage at an oversized urn placed near the Bundestag that organizers say contains the ashes and bones of Holocaust victims.
The Center for Political Beauty installed an exhibit on the grounds of the former Kroll Opera House between the Bundestag and the chancellor’s office, to protest conservatism and right-wing extremism.
“We evaluated thousands of historical sources and tracked them down,” the Center wrote about its exhibit. “The ashes of the murdered were... buried in fields and dumped in rivers. In the resistance column is a conserved core of a meter-deep ash layer."
The Center, which describes itself as “an assault team that establishes moral beauty, political poetry and human greatness,” claims that it searched 23 locations and found 175 remains of humans.
A link to a laboratory to ostensibly confirm the remains is provided on the group’s website.
“It’s about the last German dictatorship and whether it threatens us again,” said action artist and ZPS founder Philipp Ruch on Monday.
Christoph Heubner, vice president of the International Auschwitz Committee, said that “Auschwitz survivors are dismayed that this memorial violates their feelings and the eternal peace of their murdered relatives.”
The so-called artistic action will take place until December 7. Members of the Reichstag met in the former Kroll Opera House to vote on the “Enabling Act” in 1933 that allowed the Adolf Hitler to enact laws without the German parliament.
The artist group wrote on the pillar: “Against the betrayal of democracy,” and lists the names of all members of the conservative parties Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Christian Social Union (CSU). The CSU is Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, and the CDU is one of her coalition partners. The third coalition member is the Social Democratic Party.
The pillar is also supposed to be a protest against the anti-Immigrant Alternative for Germany Party (AfD). The Center’s website launched a fund-raising campaign on its website for the action, with a goal of €50,000. As of Monday, the Center claims to have raised €67,305.
Writing in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Hannah Bethke said the Center “instrumentalizes the remembrance” of the Holocaust with its action, adding that “Anyone who constructs such factually false connections to the political present belittles the Nazi era, and scorns conservatism, in the end, will strengthen the AfD instead of defeating it.
”The Israel journalist Samuel Laster, who lives in Vienna and is editor in chief of the website The Jewish, attacked the Center on Twitter writing: “Your predictable media lust is so disgusting... You will not decide on the memory of my grandparents.”


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