German Jews decry memorial foundation

German memorials should not compare Nazi crimes and communist injustices, Jewish and survivor groups say.

German Jewish organizations announced Monday their continued refusal to work with the memorial foundation of the former East German state of Saxony, which they accuse of drawing such parallels, thus qualifying the genocide against the Jews.

In a statement issued following a meeting in Leipzig, the Central Council of Jews in Germany and several Holocaust survivor groups reiterated their opposition to what they call a dangerous trend at Saxon memorial sites.

 

“We see in this development a belittling of the crimes of National Socialism,” the statement read in part.

The groups jointly stated that they would continue to boycott the Saxony memorial foundation, which had “taken its own path” with regard to remembrance politics, in direct opposition to their federal mandate. The survivor groups and Central Council quit the board of Saxon memorials four years ago in protest.

“Our numerous efforts over the years with an array of ministers have not led to any basic change of the situation,” Salomon Korn, a vice president of the Central Council, said in the statement, which reported that Saxony’s minister of science and art, Eva-Maria Stange, refused to introduce the issue for debate in this legislative period.

Korn said that cooperation would only be possible once there is “no comparison – and thus no relativization – of the National Socialist crimes against humanity with the injustices committed after 1945.”

 

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