Jewish joke puts architect under pressure

9th March 2004, Comments 0 comments

9 March 2004 , BERLIN - The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany said he expects the architect of Berlin's Holocaust memorial to make an apology to the Jewish community after a joke he made last month that was interpreted as anti-Semitic, a newspaper reported Tuesday. Architect Peter "Eisenman must apologize immediately and unequivocally to the former chairman of Berlin's Jewish community, Alexander Brenner, and the Jewish community," Paul Spiegel told the Berliner Zeitung. "I absolutely do

9 March 2004

BERLIN - The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany said he expects the architect of Berlin's Holocaust memorial to make an apology to the Jewish community after a joke he made last month that was interpreted as anti-Semitic, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

Architect Peter "Eisenman must apologize immediately and unequivocally to the former chairman of Berlin's Jewish community, Alexander Brenner, and the Jewish community," Paul Spiegel told the Berliner Zeitung. "I absolutely do not understand why Eisenman has not done so in writing a long time ago."

Spiegel added that he expected no personal consequences for Eisenman, who himself is Jewish.

The controversy erupted after comments Eisenman made at a meeting of the board of directors of the Holocaust memorial. Several participants at 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, also a board member, was reported to have left the meeting in protest.

Eisenman, who designed the memorial, said he has already apologized in writing to Wolfgang Thierse, speaker of Germany's Bundestag and chairman of the Berlin Holocaust memorial board.

Thierse confirmed the apology and said he had relayed it to the former and current chairmen of Berlin's Jewish community.

But Brenner told another Berlin newspaper in a report published Monday that the US-based architect should now question his own fitness to continue working on the project. A second board member also told the Berliner Morgenpost that any German architect would be unable to continue working on the Holocaust memorial after such an inappropriate statement.

Eisenman said demands for his resignation should be directed to Thierse.

The memorial was due to be opened in May 2005.

 

 

DPA
Subject: German news

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