New Year's Revelers Urinate on Berlin Holocaust Memorial

Fireworks Set Off in 'Appalling' Display at Shoah Site

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By JTA

Published January 06, 2014.
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New Year’s revelers shot fireworks and urinated in Germany’s Holocaust memorial in Berlin.

But memorial staff members have vowed to put a stop to the desecration.

Reacting to a shocking video of young party-goers celebrating among the 2711 steles of the memorial last week, spokesperson Jenifer Stolz told JTA that “we are all quite appalled. But it is not the first time.”

Stolz said she hoped it would be the last time, however. Meetings with Berlin police are planned in the coming days and weeks, at which possible measures to prevent the disrespectful behavior will be on the table. An obvious choice is to put up temporary fencing as is done for Berlin’s central park – the Tiergarten – which, like the memorial, borders on the party scene. But there also are other options to be discussed, Stolz said.

Berlin’s major open-air New Year’s event takes place around the Brandenburg Gate and hundreds of thousands of visitors walk past the memorial on their way there, Stolz noted. “It seems to invite them to such excesses, and it’s not nice.”

Stolz noted that this year the site cleanup went very quickly and that all fireworks detritus was cleared away by 2 p.m. on New Year’s Day.


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