“The murder of 6 million men, women and children during the Holocaust, for which we Germans bear guilt and responsibility, must not be abandoned to ridicule,” a German official stated.
Germany is condemning a contest in Iran for cartoons depicting the Holocaust, saying it sows hatred and deepens divisions in the Middle East.
The event was organized by non-governmental bodies, reportedly with support by the Iranian government. A previous contest in 2006 got a boost from then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who referred to the Holocaust as a “myth” and repeatedly predicted Israel’s demise.
German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said Wednesday that “the murder of 6 million men, women and children during the Holocaust, for which we Germans bear guilt and responsibility, must not be abandoned to ridicule.”
Schaefer said German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier made clear during a February visit to Tehran that no further such competition should take place, and that it was “very regrettable” it went ahead.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the contest is a preparation for another Holocaust against the Jewish people.
“Over the weekend Iran convened a special Holocaust-denial cartoon contest. We raise this here because it must be understood what our problem with Iran is. It is not just its policy of subversion and aggression in the region; it is the values on which it is based. It denies and belittles the Holocaust and it is also preparing another Holocaust,” charged Netanyahu.
US officials and UNESCO head Irina Bokova have also condemned the contest.
The exhibit featured some 150 works from 50 countries, with many portraying Israel as using the Holocaust to distract from the alleged suffering of the Palestinians. Others depicted Palestinian prisoners standing behind concentration camp-style barbed wire fences, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu likened to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and a Jerusalem mosque behind a gate bearing the motto “Arbeit Macht Frei” that appeared at the entrance to the Auschwitz death camp.
By: AP and United with Israel Staff
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