Munich says carnival parade on Holocaust Day unstoppable

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Despite complaints from Jewish groups that the date is Holocaust Remembrance Day, a carnival parade through the city of Munich is set to go ahead on Sunday.

23rd January 2008

Munich (dpa) - The annual memorial day was established by a German presidential proclamation in 1996, but is not a public holiday in Germany.

According to a report to appear Wednesday in the Berlin newspaper Tagesspiegel, Mayor Christian Ude said, "The day doesn't have a legal status, so we have no way to stop such an event being held."

Last week, organizers in another Bavarian city, Regensburg, postponed a similar carnival parade set for Sunday by a week after protests from the Jewish community over the timing.

The UN General Assembly in 2005 declared the commemoration of the Holocaust an international one. The day was chosen to mark the liberation of the Nazis' Auschwitz death camp by Russian forces on January 27, 1945.

The Bavarian Jewish community said that a fun event on January 27 showed a total lack of sensitivity.

Its president, Josef Schuster, called for the event to be rescheduled. Referring to the rise of the Nazi movement in Munich, he said, "Munich must be conscious of its special historical responsibility."

The carnival parades season in Germany went into high gear this month and lasts until February 5.

This year's carnival season is the shortest since 1913, because the timing is linked to the Christian holiday of Easter, which is being marked unusually early in 2008.



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