The provocateurs of the Center for Political Beauty are known for their high-profile actions: they placed a copy of the Holocaust Memorial in front of the ultra-right politician’s house and stole crosses from the embankment near the Reichstag.
But this time, the rally dedicated to the victims of concentration camps was not even approved by the organization of the former prisoners of Auschwitz.
Activists of the German art association Center for Political Beauty (ZPS) on December 2 held an action against neo-Nazism in Berlin. To do this, they set up an urn opposite the Reichstag, filled with the ashes of Holocaust victims. Activists claim to have placed the remains of victims found near death camps in Germany, Poland, and Ukraine. For two years, members of the art association excavated in 23 places of massacres. On the ballot box, they wrote, “Remembering means fighting,” the BBC reports.
But a few days later, the artists had to apologize: the Auschwitz International Committee (the organization of former prisoners of Auschwitz) and some Jewish leaders considered the installation of the urn to be offensive. The Central Council of Jews in Germany said that although its members welcomed the fight against the far-right, the ZPS rally was worrying. “It violates Jewish religious law about not disturbing the dead,” committee chairman Josef Schuster explained. According to him, before collecting the remains, activists should consult with a rabbi. By the end of the week, the urn should be dismantled.
In 2017, activists of the Center for Political Beauty bought land near the home of ultra-right politician Björn Höcke, who said that the Germans should stop repenting for the events of the Second World War, and called the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin “a monument to shame.” Artists installed a copy of the Berlin memorial on the site.
At the end of last week, a page was found on Amazon‘s website selling Christmas decorations and openers depicting a concentration camp. On souvenirs were printed photographs of the railway tracks leading to the gate with the inscription Arbeit macht frei (“Labor liberates”), as well as images of barbed wire fences and barracks for prisoners. The Polish Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau criticized the American company.