The Centre for Political Beauty (ZPS) that consists of political artists opened the installation meant to fight far-right extremism on Monday outside Berlin’s Parliament building. The installation was called a “pillar of resistance”. The installation is the size of a large oil drum and sparked outrage after the activists claimed they contained the dug-up remains of Holocaust victims unearthed from 23 sites near Nazi death and concentration camps.
The Jewish community responded with fury, including those from the International Auschwitz Committee.
Jewish tradition dictates that the remains should stay in their original graves, despite the stunt itself being branded disrespectful.
Christoph Heubner from the Auschwitz Committee told Fox News: “Some of the survivors told me ‘My beloved family members were carted so much across Europe during the deportations — why can’t they just be left in peace now?’.”
The ZPS apologised and wrapped the installation in opaque black plastic to cover up the visible contents.
They said in a statement on their website: “We want to apologise sincerely to those affected, the survivors and their relatives, whose feelings we hurt.
“In particular, we want to apologise especially to Jewish institutions, associations, and individuals who see our work as disturbing or touching the peace of the dead according to Jewish religious law.”
Six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis.
Many of the dead were transported around Europe to be killed in death camps such as Auschwitz, Sobibor, and Treblinka in Poland.
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The news comes after sick vandals scrawled Nazi swastikas on the graves of British and Commonwealth servicemen in Israel in a disgusting act of vandalism in October.
Almost every headstone of the fallen who served in World War 1 had been heartlessly defaced overnight with red spray paint, with some having been kicked over at the cemetery in Hafia.
Staff were horrified when they arrived in the morning to discover by the despicable act.
Shocking images show blood red paint used on the quant headstones, with around 30 having been kicked over.
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Many of the wrecked graves are in the Jewish area of the cemetery.
Police have launched an investigation.
A spokesman for the War Grave Commission called the vandalism “hugely distressing”.
They added that their teams had already started work on removing the graffiti.
The spokesman said: “The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is dismayed by an act of vandalism to Haifa War Cemetery in Israel, in which slogans and graffiti were spray-painted across many of the headstones.
“The incident has been reported to the authorities and CWGC staff are on site to remove the graffiti and restore the cemetery to its traditional high standard.
“CWGC is grateful for all the messages of support and would like to reassure our public that we will never allow such shameful acts to detract from our commemoration of the war dead.”
The Haifa War Cemetery contains 305 Commonwealth burials.
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