Israel’s top envoy to Berlin has blasted Holger Winterstein over a photo showing the MP standing on a memorial to murdered Jews.
German lawmaker Holger Winterstein has sparked outrage, including a denunciation from Israel’s ambassador to Germany, for posting a picture of himself standing with outstretched arms on one of the concrete slabs at Berlin’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.
“Mr. Winterstein, everyone is watching you dance while you bring shame on yourself and your party,” ambassador Ron Prosor said on Monday in a Twitter post. “Enjoy your shameful minute of fame because your name will soon be forgotten. The sanctified souls commemorated at the memorial will never be forgotten.”
The rebuke came in response to a photo posted last weekend on social media, showing Winterstein posing at the memorial for the more than six million Jews killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust. German media outlets reported that the shot was taken after the right-wing Alternative for Germany Party (AfD) gathered for a protest against government energy policies.
Herr Winterstein, alle sehen Ihnen beim Tanzen zu, während Sie Schande über sich und Ihre Partei bringen.
Genießen Sie Ihre beschämende Minute des Ruhms, denn Ihr Name wird bald vergessen sein.
Die geheiligten Seelen, derer am Denkmal gedacht wird, werden nie vergessen werden. https://t.co/0na1Hkm6O5
— Ambassador Ron Prosor (@Ron_Prosor) October 10, 2022
The AfD called the incident “extremely disrespectful behavior” and said it would take unspecified action against Winterstein. The MP denied claims that he danced on the memorial and said he took down his social media post “out of respect” to those who were offended. He referred to the controversy as a “storm of indignation.”
“No way have I danced on graves,” Winterstein said, but rather “stood on the monument.” He added that the AfD stands for “peace and freedom, and that’s exactly why I’ve been there from the start. It was a beautiful picture in this regard,” but it led to “self-reflection.”
The memorial, which is one of the most visited sites in Germany, features 2,711 concrete slabs arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field. It has been defaced by vandals and used disrespectfully as a recreational space or a background for selfies. An AfD politician criticized the memorial in 2017, calling it a “monument to shame.”