Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Pop artist paints ‘Simpsons’ characters as Holocaust victims outside Milan Holocaust memorial

The well-known Italian artist didn’t contact the memorial foundation about the murals — but the foundation didn’t mind

(JTA) — Just before International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Milan’s Holocaust memorial debuted an eye-grabbing new addition on some of its exterior walls: murals of characters from “The Simpsons” dressed as Jews under Nazi rule.

But the Shoah Memorial Foundation said the well-known Italian pop artist who painted the murals didn’t reach out before creating the series of images, some of which show Homer, Marge, Bart and Lisa Simpson in concentration camp garb.

“We were not involved in the decision process, and found the painting yesterday morning along with everybody else,” a spokesperson told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on Friday. 

In the end, the foundation didn’t mind the gesture.

“We appreciate the intention behind it, and don’t find it particularly harmful,” said Roberto Jarach, president of the foundation.

(Courtesy of aleXsandro Palombo)
(Courtesy of aleXsandro Palombo) Image by

The memorial is found at Platform 21 inside the Milano Centrale, the city’s main train station. Around 1,200 Jews were deported to Nazi camps from the platform in 1943. AleXsandro [sic] Palombo, whose style usually involves using figures from popular culture to tackle dark issues, made the murals on the outside of the station.

“These works are a visual stumble that allows us to see what we no longer see. The most terrible things can become reality and Art has the duty to remember them because it is a powerful antidote against oblivion. The horror of the Jewish genocide must be transmitted without filters to the new generations to protect humanity from other horrors such as the Shoah,” Palombo wrote in a statement.

Last March, Palombo painted a mural of Anne Frank on a street in Milan, showing the famous diarist burning a piece of paper with the letter Z on it. The letter has been associated with the Russian military in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine.

This article originally appeared on

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.