Holocaust memorial faces fresh tensions

8th March 2004, Comments 0 comments

8 March 2004, BERLIN/NEW YORK - US-based architect Peter Eisenman has declined to comment on reports that he was being pressured to quit the board of directors of Berlin's Holocaust memorial. Reached on Sunday in New York by Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa, he said that it was the first he had heard of the issue. No pressure had been exerted on him directly to step down, and he declined to comment immediately. Eisenman, who designed the memorial, said that he has already apologized in writing to Wolfgang Thier

8 March 2004

BERLIN/NEW YORK - US-based architect Peter Eisenman has declined to comment on reports that he was being pressured to quit the board of directors of Berlin's Holocaust memorial.

Reached on Sunday in New York by Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa, he said that it was the first he had heard of the issue. No pressure had been exerted on him directly to step down, and he declined to comment immediately.

Eisenman, who designed the memorial, said that he has already apologized in writing to Wolfgang Thierse, speaker of Germany's Bundestag and chairman of the Berlin Holocaust memorial board, for a controversial joke made last month during a meeting of the panel.

Two members of board of directors, including Berlin Jewish community representative Alexander Brenner, told the Berliner Morgenpost in Monday's edition that Eisenman should accept the consequences of his controversial comment, which has been interpreted as anti-Jewish.

Eisenman, who is himself Jewish, told dpa in New York that demands for his resignation should be directed to Thierse.

Several participants in the February meeting have described Eisenman as telling a story of visiting a dentist in New York and being asked whether the gold fillings in his teeth had come from Holocaust victims. Brenner is reported to have left the meeting in protest.

Brenner told the Morgenpost that Eisenman should now question his own fitness to continue working on the project. A second board member told the newspaper that any German architect would be unable to continue working on the Holocaust memorial after such an inappropriate statement.

The memorial is due to be opened in May 2005.

 

DPA
Subject: German news

 

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