Wiesenthal Center Calls Statue of Kneeling Hitler in Center of Area of Warsaw Ghetto an Insult to Nazis' Victims

December 27, 2012

Jerusalem – The Simon Wiesenthal Center today condemned the placement of a statue of a kneeling Adolf Hitler in the center of what was the Warsaw ghetto as a tasteless misuse of art, which insults the Nazis' victims. The statue, which is part of a new exhibition by Italian artist Mauricio Cattelan entitled "Amen," shows Hitler kneeling in prayer and is the only part of the exhibition publically exhibited in the area of the World War II ghetto.

In a statement issued here by its Israel director, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center called the intentional placement of the statute in the area in which tens of thousands of Jews were murdered and from which hundreds of thousands of Jews were deported to their death by the Nazi regime headed by Hitler, a senseless provocation which insults the memory of the Nazis' Jewish victims.
 
According to Zuroff:

"Canetti's installation is a manifestation of a total lack of sensitivity to Nazi crimes in Poland, and especially those committed against Polish Jews. As far as the Jews were concerned, Hitler's only "prayer" was that they be wiped off the face of the earth, and his plan for Poland was to destroy the country and murder its leadership. Thus a "praying" Hitler purposely placed in the center of the area of the Warsaw Ghetto is a total distortion of the history of World War II and the Holocaust."

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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).