Hamburg light show for new ship sparks fears

19th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

20 April 2007, Hamburg (dpa) - A cone of light to be projected Friday into the night over the German port of Hamburg is causing concern because such spectacles were used by the Nazis and the date is the birthday of dictator Adolf Hitler. Laser beams are to surround a new cruise ship, the Aidadiva, in a tower of light, similar to the "dome of light" used to increase the drama of the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin and Nazi party rallies in Nuremberg. The light, laser and fireworks show backed up by music was d

20 April 2007

Hamburg (dpa) - A cone of light to be projected Friday into the night over the German port of Hamburg is causing concern because such spectacles were used by the Nazis and the date is the birthday of dictator Adolf Hitler.

Laser beams are to surround a new cruise ship, the Aidadiva, in a tower of light, similar to the "dome of light" used to increase the drama of the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin and Nazi party rallies in Nuremberg.

The light, laser and fireworks show backed up by music was devised by Gert Hof, a German theatrical director who denies any Nazi link and says it never occurred to him for an instant that the date would be Hitler's birthday.

Neo-Nazis attempt to hold processions every April 20 to remember Hitler (1889-1945).

On Thursday, the newspaper Hamburger Abendblatt quoted Andreas Wankum, chairman of the city Jewish community, saying the Nazi spectacles, devised by Hitler's architect Albert Speer, came immediately to mind.

But he said he was satisfied after talking to people who knew Hof that Speer's values had played no role.

Knut Teske, chairman of the Germany-Israel Society, told the same newspaper many people would find the coincidence odd and it was right to demand that the artist explain.

Multimedia artist Hof, 55, who lit up the Athens and Berlin skies on January 1, 2000 at the start of the new millennium, said he was not a fan of Speer's immobile light shows and drew his inspiration from non-Nazi architects.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected take vantage points around Hamburg's harbour to see the 252-metre-long luxury ship commissioned after being fitted out in the port. It was built in another part of Germany.

The 315-million-euro (425-million-dollar) vessel is the first of four for the Aida Cruises company.

DPA

Subject: German news

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