German Police criticized for their members doing pushups on parts of a Holocaust memorial
Photos showing a pair of Berlin police officers doing push-ups on the concrete blocks that form the Holocaust Memorial in the center of the German capital have caused a stir and prompted criticism, with a spokesperson for the Berlin Police distancing the force from the behavior of the officers, the Associated Press reported on 1 November. Police said the officers' behavior mocked Holocaust victims.
The photos were published by the tabloid B.Z. According to them, the photo was taken at the end of May and the officers in the photograph had been deployed to supervise demonstrations underway in the capital.
Apparently the officers were on a break when they did the pushups. "The behavior of these colleagues was not respectful of what that memorial means and insults the memory of those who were murdered (under Nazism)," police spokeswoman Barbara Slowik said in an official statement.
According to Slowik, police will investigate the behavior and possibly initiate disciplinary proceedings against the officers. She also apologized to the Jewish community.
"The Holocaust Memorial is not a playground," commented the GdP police union, adding that the officers' behavior was a mockery of the Jewish victims of Nazism. According to the union, the officers' actions must be punished.
The Holocaust Memorial is located in the center of Berlin, near the Brandenburg Gate, and commemorates the roughly six million Jewish victims of the Nazi regime. Designed by the American architect Peter Eisenman, the memorial consists of approximately 2,700 concrete blocks and was opened in 2005.
The memorial is not fenced, but it is forbidden to run in it, to jump over the blocks, to picnic there, or to drink alcohol on the premises. Such open access means vandals can easily deface it.
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