questioning 2000 Light Show
By Maurice Frank
Associated Press Writer
-- Two Berlin officials are
calling for the cancellation of the centerpiece of
the city's millennium celebration: a huge, animated
"light sculpture" around a towering column that
they charge is reminiscent of the spectacles put on
at Nazi rallies in the 1930s.
1937, so-called light-architecture has been
politically loaded and historically burdened,"
Tiergarten district mayor Joern Jensen and
city building official Thomas Flierl said in
a statement issued Wednesday.
The millennium "Cathedral of Light" even shares
the same name as the spectacle designed by Hitler's
state architect Albert Speer at the
Nuremberg Nazi rallies, the two said.
Speer used 130 spotlights to create vertical
beams of lights around his enormous Nuremberg
stadium, which held tens of thousands of people at
Hitler's annual party rallies.
The millennium show, centered around the Victory
Column monument in Tiergarten park, will consist of
250 high-powered floodlights casting beams of light
44 miles into the sky. It was designed by German
artist Gerd Hof and will accompany a concert
by pop musician Mike Oldfield.
The company responsible for the millennium light
show, Art in Heaven, rejected the comparison to
Nazi spectacles. "Light has nothing to do with
politics. And this event has nothing to do with
Albert Speer," said Peter Massin, spokesman
for the company in Berlin.
Officials at the mayor's office and city culture
department were not immediately available for
The 220-foot Victory column in Tiergarten park
was completed in 1873 to commemorate Prussian
victories over Denmark, Austria and France and is
topped by a huge golden angel, a well-known symbol
of Berlin. Adding to the controversy is the fact
that it was Speer who moved the monument to its
current location as part of his master
architectural plan for Berlin.
(ADDED): Albert Speer, Walter Funk in dock at
Original in David Irving, Nuremberg, the Last
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