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Center for Political Beauty: Art activists erect a memorial for Holocaust victims


Art activists have built a "resistance pillar" near the Reichstag - from ashes from Holocaust victims, they say. The ZPS wants to warn the Union parties against working with the AfD.

In the immediate vicinity of the Reichstag and the Federal Chancellery, the Center for Political Beauty (ZPS) erected a - for the time being - ambulatory memorial in the form of a "resistance pillar" on Monday morning. Both the chosen location and the memorial itself have it all, both are part of the new ZPS campaign "Seek After Us!".

First to the memorial: According to the ZPS, the "resistance pillar" is a core of ashes and bone remnants. It is the human remains of victims of the Holocaust, brought to light in an unspecified place. At 23 locations in Germany, Poland and the Ukraine, the ZPS has taken more than 200 soil samples in the past two years. Wherever the murder of human beings has reached industrial proportions, in the vicinity of former extermination camps and shooting sites. The activists found what they were looking for almost everywhere, they say.

"To wrest from the permafrost of forgetting"

In fact, there was never any question of a complete destruction of Holocaust victims - a "tomb in the air is not tight", as Paul Celan poetized in his famous poem "Todesfuge" - the murderers did not know where to go the ashes from the ovens. Among other things, bone remains had to be crushed by hand, and remnants were to be distributed by the ton in the landscape. In pits, dumped as fish feed in ponds or rivers, where they deposited as sediments and in places are still detectable today. Sometimes the ashes were sold as fertilizer and spread on the fields. So there is no grave in the air. It is close. And you lie everywhere, buried, buried, scattered.

Hinnerk Höfling, historian and active at the ZPS, reports on the "disposal problem" of the extermination machine based on the example of Auschwitz: "These are hundreds of tons of human remains on which the Auschwitz memorial visitors daily roam, today 's residents on the former farm yards of the Walk in the area of ​​interest and swim in the rivers Sola and Vistula as well as in the swimming ponds at Harmense. "

Höfling's essay "The Paths of Ashes" summarizes the current forensic state of research and is one of two books that ZPS uses for its current campaign "Seek After Us!" flanked. The title is taken from the second book "To the posterity", an anthology of premonitions, last wishes, poems, sighs, farewell letters and last words of the murdered. The reading of "to posterity" is simply unbearable.

The place where democracy was betrayed

It is also quoted from the secret diary of Salmen Gradowski, who as a prisoner in Birkenau was assigned in a special detail with the "Disposal": "Seek in the ashes, which we have scattered, so that the world can find factual evidence of millions of people. "

Employees of the collective would have snatched them from "the permafrost of oblivion", as ZPS founder Philipp Ruch says. With this action, the group returns again to the Holocaust, which they call the "moral embers of this republic." Recently, the ZPS erected steles next to the plot of an AfD politician, who calls for a "remembrance policy turn 180 degrees".

Ruch would like to know the current action "as a re-breathing of the collective memory at the intersection of the conservative handing over of power" to the fascists. And here comes the place into play. It is the place where democracy was betrayed.

The memorial is located on a fallow land that housed the Kroll Opera until its demise shortly after the Second World War. After the Reichstag fire, it served as the alternate quarter of Parliament and is the place where in 1933 bourgeois parties signed the "Enabling Act" and voluntarily placed democracy in the hands of the National Socialists. In his diary, Joseph Goebbels noted: "The house is filled with applause, laughter, enthusiasm and applause."

The activists want to turn against conservatives from the CDU and CSU, who today publicly consider a possible "minority government" under toleration of the AfD - or even think about whether the party could not even be a government partner.

In 2019, members of the CDU and CSU - by a letter fumbled by the ZPS Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble - by name, invited the "resistance pillar" to pay a visit to the Reichstag and abjure any attempt to reach out to the fascists to shake hands.

Similarly, the population is invited in early December to a "civil society tattoo against the AfD" at the site of the memorial. If enough donations are received by then, the pillar should be given a concrete base - and the memory remembered.

Support from Lea Rosh

The ZPS wants "Search for us!" not understood as competition, rather as a complement to the monumental memorial architecture of the "Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe". The initiator of the monumental field of stelae, Lea Rosh, considers the action of the ZPS at the request of SPIEGEL to be "deeper than our Holocaust memorial is". Rosh is "moved and touched" by the idea and its execution: "It is unbelievable".

The historian and Holocaust researcher Götz Aly also expresses sympathy for the action: "The topic of the exploitation of the murdered has been taboo for an infinitely long time," he told SPIEGEL. Aly remembers, as Rosh did, at earlier visits to the extermination camps, that he had already noticed the omnipresence of human remains: "We stood on the ashes, which was not a natural forest floor, and when it rained, white bones of bone came out."

Why, when it was so obvious, have the actual remains of the victims played little role in the culture of remembrance of this country or in the discourses on fascism? Aly suggests that it is the "materialistic and technocratic core of the Holocaust," the "exploitation of the people and the rationality that had that". It is easier to believe in an irrationality of events than in the fact that it followed an inner logic: "Nobody wants to know that". Lea Rosh says: "Nobody has done it yet".

Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2019-12-02

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