When I first saw this story, it said nothing about neo-Nazis, or neo-Nazi sympathizers. I guess that's a recent update... or convenient revision.
Holocaust memorials defiled by neo-Nazis (Times Online - UK)
The German authorities were preparing for criticism from the Jewish community after it was revealed that a Holocaust memorial in Berlin was being used as a public lavatory [they mean TOILET] by tourists and by neo-Nazi sympathisers.
The disclosure, in a Berlin newspaper, will trigger a new debate about how the Holocaust should be remembered in Germany.
One argument against building the monument — that consists of 2,700 concrete slabs resembling Jewish gravestones — was that it would become a target of anti-Semitic vandals....
The defacing of Jewish memorial areas in Germany by followers of the far Right has become a widespread problem that is acknowledged rarely.
On the eve of Holocaust Day at the weekend a group of youths set fire to a restored railway carriage — symbolising the deportation of the Jews — in Lower Saxony. In the eastern German port of Stralsund, concrete was poured over a memorial for a Jewish family, the Keibel-Cohns.
A court in Frankfurt an der Oder, on the Polish border, sentenced three youths to between nine and 14 months jail this month for urinating on a Jewish memorial.
I don't think this problem that Europeans seem to have is limited to "followers of the far Right" as asserted in this article, nor has this memorial ever been treated with respect.
Deutsche Welle: "The Holocaust monument in central Berlin is a popular site." Original AP caption: Visitors play on slabs of the new Holocaust memorial in Berlin Friday. May 15, 2005.
Skipping stones: Berlin's new Holocaust Memorial and its 2,711 somber concrete pillars seem to inspire hopping. (SFGate.com)
I'm glad I saved this, because it's no longer available on the JPost site. Caroline Glick, in one of her most brilliant moments:
.... the Holocaust, in and of itself, tells us nothing about Jewish identity. It only tells us about the rest of the world....
The group that really ought to be taking the Holocaust to heart is not the Jews, but the Europeans who two generations ago descended to the depths of human depravity by either conducting the extermination of European Jewry or enabling it.
Sadly, Europe has avoided serious self-examination and instead has turned the Holocaust into a fetish. Holocaust memorials spring up like mushrooms after the rainfall throughout the continent. But what do they signify?
.... Israel has a duty to recall the Holocaust for what it means to the Jewish people to have lost a third of our members. But we have nothing to gain from joining the Europeans in their bizarre Holocaust rituals.
It is neither our right nor our responsibility to wash Europe's hands of our brothers' blood.
Glad I saved this, too:
JPost: New Berlin Holocaust memorial defaced
Within hours of the opening of Germany's new national Holocaust memorial to the public, a vandal scratched a Nazi swastika into one of the 2,711 gray slabs, a spokesman for the memorial said Friday.
The small swastika was spotted by security guards and quickly removed, though the vandal was not caught, said spokesman Uwe Neumaerker....
Asked Monday if the project would be demeaned if someone scratched Nazi symbols on it, [the designer, US architect Peter Eisenman] was noncommittal.
"Maybe it would. Maybe it wouldn't," Eisenman said. "Maybe it would add to it."
One last thing for those who are still with me. I found this May 12, 2005 on the Simon Wiesenthal Center's "Breaking News" - a story about German Jews being angered over "plans by the chief organiser of Berlin's new Holocaust memorial to place a tooth taken from a Holocaust victim at the site."
Lea Rosh, a main backer of the Holocaust memorial decades of struggles to get it built, announced she would place the molar and a cloth Star of David inside one of the monument's 2,711 concrete pillars in a speech at its opening ceremony Tuesday.
"If this happens then we Jews will have to consider whether we can even set foot in this place," said [Albert] Meyer, [chairman of Berlin's Jewish community].
Going back over old BtB posts is never pleasant, but always enlightening. I had forgotten, for instance, that in January 2005 the World Health Organization awarded prizes for best anti-smoking and nutrition programs... to Al Manar - that is, Hezbollah - TV.
Oy, I went off on this tangent and didn't blog the conference call with Dore Gold. Well, that gives us something to look forward to, in addition to the sun coming up.