Berlin – Downtown leisure events including fashion shows are an insult to an anti-Nazi memorial in Berlin, a campaign group charged Sunday in an open letter to city mayor Klaus Wowereit. Designed by Israeli artist Micha Ullman, the 1994 monument is on a main square, Bebel Platz, where Nazi activists made a bonfire out of books they did not like on May 10, 1933.
The big square, with the State Opera, university and a cathedral fronting on it, is often rented out for festivals.
The monument is an underground room with a glass ceiling. It contains empty bookshelves, symbolizing what the Nazi book burning led to.
The letter, from campaigners led by former Daimler chief executive Edzard Reuter and Jewish community leader Lala Suesskind, charged that this month’s Fashion Week was a “trivial mass event” which had no place on Bebel Platz.
It said that Christmas markets, ice skating rinks and other amusements also frequently made it impossible to visit the site of the burnings.