Berlin’s Jewish community on Monday condemned the bombing of a Holocaust memorial in the city and linked it to the wave of anti-immigrant rioting that escalated over the weekend in eastern Germany.
Community leaders said the Sunday night attack on the monument, which commemorates the spot where Jews were collected by the Nazis for deportation to concentration camps, has implications beyond the incident itself.
“A far greater damage than the attack on the memorial threatens to raise its head,” the Jewish community said in a statement.
The person “who turns away apathetically should think of the results wrought by such behavior in Germany over 50 years ago,” the community said.
Berlin Mayor Eberhard Diepgen said the attack on the memorial was part of an orchestrated neo-Nazi campaign. He spoke as police on Monday reinforced security around Jewish institutions in Berlin.
No one claimed responsibility for the blast, which tore away a heavy granite block supporting the memorial, situated along a bridge over railroad tracks in western Berlin’s central Tiergarten district.
This was the most serious attack to date on the monument, which has been vandalized several times in the past. It was the first attack on a Jewish target during the current wave of neo-Nazi violence.
In Los Angeles, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said the bombing of the memorial and the growing neo-Nazi violence plaguing reunited Germany indicates the need for a mandatory nationwide curriculum on the Holocaust to be instituted in all German schools.
“The troubling events from Rostock to Berlin prove that unless there is a mandatory nationwide curriculum that teaches the bitter lessons of the Holocaust in every school, many young people in the new Germany will not be adequately prepared to reject the intoxicating slogans of racism,” Rabbi Marvin Hier, the center’s dean, said in a statement.
The bombing was also condemned in Washington by B’nai B’rith International, which called for “the strongest and clearest official German pronouncements, at every level of government, that racism and anti-Semitism will not be tolerated in the Germany of 1992.”