Bjoern Hoecke, a leading German politician and member of the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD), doesn’t like Berlin’s Holocaust memorial. “Germans are the only people in the world who plant a monument of shame in the heart of the capital,” he said recently, adding that the nation ought to erect instead a monument to World War II’s German victims. Hoecke was strongly criticized for his comments, but refused to retract his statement. It was then that the Centre for Political Beauty stepped into action.
A collective of artists and activists, the group secretly leased a plot of land right outside Hoecke’s home in the German state of Thuringia and erected a miniature replica of the famous memorial that had so upset the parliamentarian. Instead of the original’s 2,711 concrete slabs representing the Holocaust’s victims, the miniature replica features 24.
Philipp Ruch, the group’s leader, said he and his colleagues were just doing their “neighbourly duty,” and revealed that they had secured about a third of the approximately $33,000 needed to keep the replica on display outside of Hoecke’s home until the end of 2019. The group added it would consider removing the monument if and when Hoecke apologizes for his statements. Until then, they said, they were happy to know that the legislator had no way of avoiding looking at it.
“We hope he enjoys the view every day when he looks out the window,” Ruch told the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper.