The German heavy metal band Rammstein sparked widespread protests from politicians, historians, and Jewish groups by releasing a promotional trailer for its upcoming album in which its members appear dressed as prisoners in Nazi concentration camps.
The 35-second video shows four of the group’s members on the gallows, with a rope around their necks and striped suits.
In the footage, singer Till Lindemann bleeds from a wound on his right eyebrow and guitarist Paul Landers wears a Star of David on his chest.
The video closes with the word “Deutschland” (Germany), written in Gothic letters, and the date “XXVIII.III.MMXIX”, in Roman numerals, which suggests the likely release of the new music video on March 28th.
For Felix Klein, the German government’s commissioner for anti-Semitism, “the staging of Rammstein’s musicians as concentration camp prisoners condemned to death crosses a red line.
“If this only serves to encourage the sale of the new album, I consider it a bad taste use of artistic freedom,” he said.
Charlotte Knobloch, former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, considers that “the way in which Rammstein uses the murder of millions for entertainment purposes is frivolous and repulsive.”
Iris Rosenberg, spokeswoman for the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem,commented that”an artistically respectful representation” of the subject “can be legitimate as long as it does not insult, denigrate or profane the memory of the Holocaust and does not serve as a simple tool to attract public attention”.
This clearly is the former, and a disgrace to all the souls that perished in the Holocaust.