Tuesday, August 22, 2017

German Jews irate over art comparing Holocaust ("Auschwitz" and "Zyklon B") and immigrant crisis

The trivialization of the Holocaust has become a common form of protest in Europe.  French-speakers call it the "banalization" of the Holocaust - it now serves to criticize anyone you don't agree with and to affirm your (the accuser's) moral superiority.

Via Israel Hayom (Eldad Beck):
A planned performance art installation titled "Auschwitz on the Beach" has sparked the ire of the German Jewish community for comparing Europe's current immigration crisis to the Holocaust.  
 The installation will begin on August 24 in the German city of Kassel as part of the Documenta 14 exhibit, an international modern art exhibition considered one of the most important in the world. The performance installation will be presented by Italian and Brazilian artists and is based in a poem written by the Italian Marxist philosopher Franco "Bifo" Berardi, a known radical leftist. (...)  
According to Berardi's explanation of the performance, which will be presented in English on Thursday and Saturday and in Italian on Friday, "Europeans are building concentration camps on their own territory, and are paying their Gauleiter [the ruler of a Nazi province] of Turkey, Libya, and Egypt to do the dirty work on the coast of the Mediterranean where saltwater has replaced Zyklon B." 
"Extermination is the word accurately defining the sentiment and behavior of the majority of the European people and the political action of the European governments," Berardi claims. "Rather than facing our historical responsibility," he warns, "we reject people who are trying to escape misery and wars and unchain themselves from our colonization. We made crossing the sea from North Africa to the southern European coasts perilous. By making migration illegal we have put migrants who asked for our help in the hands of criminal traffickers. We are drowning countless children, women, and men on a daily basis." (...)  
Leaders in the German Jewish community say the exhibit harms the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and relativizes Nazi war crimes. Charlotte Knobloch, former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany and a Holocaust survivor, called the exhibit "grotesque" and demanded its performance be prevented. Ilana Katz, a Jewish community leader, described the exhibit as "tasteless and hurtful" to the victims of the Holocaust. She condemned the use of the terms "Auschwitz" and "Zyklon B" as part of an artistic and political event and called on visitors to the exhibit to take a stand. "The issue of remembering the Holocaust and the terms associated with it, and how we pass this inconceivable crime to future generations, affects all of us," she said.
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