Hitler statue at site of Warsaw Ghetto stirs controversy

Click photo to download. Caption: The Warsaw Ghetto. Credit: German Federal Archives.

(JNS.org) An Italian artist’s exhibition that includes a statue of a kneeling Hitler placed at the former location of the Warsaw Ghetto has angered Polish Jews and Christians alike.

Maurizio Cattelan, creator of the exhibition named “Amen,” is already known for controversial artistry. One of his most famous works, “La Nona Ora” (“The Ninth Hour”), shows Pope John Paul II being struck by a meteorite.

One Jewish advocacy group, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, called the statue’s placement “a senseless provocation which insults the memory of the Nazis’ Jewish victims.”

Critics say that the Hitler statue provokes mercy for the notorious dictator. Only a few days after the statue was erected on Warsaw’s Prozna Street, an unidentified person covered its face and hands.

“As far as the Jews were concerned, Hitler’s only ‘prayer’ was that they be wiped off the face of the earth,” the group’s Israel director, Efraim Zuroff, said in a statement.

“We want to believe that the statue is intended to show Hitler repenting or apologizing for his evil actions,” said two 81-year-old viewers, according to the Jerusalem Post. “Hitler did not have the right to ask for forgiveness,” another passerby said.

Posted on December 27, 2012 .