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Berlin Jews appeal on train exhibit

Berlin’s Jewish community appealed to the German railway to drop obstacles to a rolling Holocaust exhibit.

The “Train of Commemoration,” due to arrive Sunday in Berlin, is dedicated to the 1.5 million children deported by train to Nazi death camps.

 

Germany’s modern railway must keep remembrance alive, “especially today when right-wing and anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise,” read Wednesday’s letter to the Deutsche Bahn’s board and its president, Hartmut Mehrdorn.

The Deutsche Bahn has said the photo exhibit aboard several train cars cannot block a track at Berlin’s main train station, nor can it pull in at the site of memorials to the deportations at two other stations.

Berlin Jewish community President Lala Suesskind and board chair Michael Joachim asked that the stations be opened and the usual track fees, totaling $166,000, be waived.

The exhibit, a private project, is covering some 3,700 miles with 60 stops in Germany. The Deutsche Bahn also is sponsoring an exhibit, “Special Trains to Death,” at stations across the country.

 

A Deutsche Bahn spokesman told JTA that the railway had offered many alternatives within the Berlin stations for the exhibit but had not received a response. Individual stations can waive the track fees, the spokesman added.

As to docking in the new main station of Berlin, the Bundesnetz Agency, which has moderated the dispute, said the regularly scheduled arrivals and departures, as well as security concerns, make it impossible for the exhibit train to park there for nine days.

 

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