Jewish leaders in Germany have condemned a decision to hold the annual Munich carnival procession on Sunday, when it will coincide with International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“It is an insult to the victims of the Holocaust whose memory should be honoured on this day,” the vice-president of the Central Council of Jews, Salomon Korn, said in a statement. Fellow vice-president Dieter Graumann said the decision by local authorities in the Bavarian capital to hold the carnival on 27 January was “thoughtless and tasteless”.
The president of the Central Council, Holocaust survivor Charlotte Knobloch, charged that the memory of the six million Jews who were systematically murdered by the Nazis during World War II was being “dishonored”.
Holocaust Remembrance Day falls on the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp by the Red Army on 27 January 1945. The date was designated as Germany’s national Holocaust memorial day in 1996 and International Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2005.
Carnivals are held annually in towns and cities across Germany before the Christian season of Lent. Sunday’s procession through the streets of Munich is expected to draw some 20,000 spectators.