The Israeli government and the Auschwitz museum have accused a Spanish carnival of mocking the Holocaust after a troupe danced through the streets of a small town dressed as Nazi officers and concentration camp prisoners, accompanied by a float bearing a menorah and two crematorium chimneys.
The people of Campo de Criptana in the central Spanish region of Castilla-La Mancha had celebrated the ‘anti-Semitic’ carnival earlier this week.
HORRIFIC - Nazis and Israeli Holocaust flag bearing women are the central theme for Spain’s Carnival celebrations today inin the village of Campo de Criptana. pic.twitter.com/oqnWtVepHB— StopAntisemitism.org (@StopAntisemites) February 25, 2020
Among those taking part was El Chaparral Cultural Association, which staged the Holocaust-themed display.
According to a sign on one of the floats, the association intended its act to be a commemoration of the “6 million Jewish men, women and children who perished in the Holocaust and all those who suffered persecution and extermination because of their race, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic origin or political ideas.”
However, its tribute was met with an angry response from the Israeli embassy in Madrid and from the Auschwitz memorial museum.
Condenamos la vil y repugnante representación banalizando el #Holocausto en el carnaval de Campo de Criptana, haciendo burla de los seis millones de judíos asesinados por los nazis.— Embajada de Israel 🇮🇱 (@IsraelinSpain) February 25, 2020
¡Los países europeos deben combatir activamente el #antisemitismo!https://t.co/9UZwU5UyF8
Translation: “We condemn the Campo de Criptana carnival’s vile and repugnant trivialisation of the Holocaust, which mocks the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis.”
Meanwhile, the museum tweeted: “Hard to describe: memory upside-down, far beyond vulgar kitsch, without any relevance, without reflection & respect.”
Hard to describe: memory upside-down, far beyond vulgar kitsch, without any relevance, without reflection & respect.— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) February 25, 2020
Difícil de describir: desmemoria traspasando la frontera de la vulgaridad y lo kitsch. Sin ningún tipo de relevancia, reflexión ni respeto. https://t.co/Zfy8z0eH1B
Prior to the carnival, the town council of Campo de Criptana said permission for the act had been granted on the understanding that it would “honor the dead of the Holocaust.”
“We share the criticisms that have been expressed,” the council said in a statement. “If the aim was to commemorate the victims, it’s obvious the attempt fell short.”
Following the angry reactions to the carnival, the town’s mayor said: “I agree that it doesn’t feel like a very carnival-type theme. I don’t think it will happen again.”
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