Posted Wednesday, July 18, 2001

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Tuesday, July 17, 2001

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Holocaust Memorial Campaign Aims to Shock Germany


BERLIN (Reuters) -- "The Holocaust never happened" is the controversial slogan that will be plastered on billboards across Germany this week as part of a fundraising campaign for a Berlin memorial to Jewish victims of the Nazis.

The slogan, which appears over a picture of a serene mountain lake and snow-capped mountain, is intended to "shake up the indifferent and motivate the hesitant," the foundation organizing the campaign said on Tuesday. Denial of the Holocaust is illegal in Germany and punishable with jail.

A much smaller text underneath the statement reveals the campaign's real message: "There are still many people who make this claim. In 20 years there could be even more. Make a donation to the memorial for the murdered Jews of Europe."

Lea Rosh, head of the Foundation for the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, said she hopes to raise $2.18 million in donations.

The memorial, to be constructed later this year not far from Berlin's landmark Brandenburg Gate, was designed by the American architect Peter Eisenmann, who wanted to give visitors a sense of unease and loneliness as they wandered in a field of concrete blocks the size of four soccer pitches.

Fifty million marks has been promised by the government to cover building costs and the money raised by the campaign will fund an information center forming part of the memorial.

Rosh said: "The Germans should make a material contribution to the construction of the memorial... It can't become solely the state's doing."

The memorial is due to open by January 27, 2004 -- the anniversary of the 1945 liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp by Soviet troops advancing west.

© 2001 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

David Irving comments

IT DOES seem rather remarkable. It is as if President George W Bush had now found it necessary to cover the United States with billboards insisting that President Franklin D Roosevelt had no foreknowledge whatsoever of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and that anybody thinking differently will be imprisoned. I wonder what the explanation of this latest German move is?

Of course we do have spectacular photographs of Pearl Harbor, and none at all of even one Holocaust gas chamber in operation. Eye-witness memories, alas, cannot be photographed.

USS ShawWith her single-minded backing of the equally unlovely Lea Rosh Holocaust Memorial Project, Ms. Rosh has become, so to speak, more catholic than the Pope, promoting an eyesore that will become a crystallisation point for waves of fresh anti-semitism among the new generations of Berliners on whom it is, nearly sixty years after the war, suddenly being inflicted.

USS Shaw under Japanese attack.

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