Day of memory derided as hollow
Tuesday 28 January 1997
Marking "Holocaust Day" on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the two houses of parliament held a joint session, the German flag flew on government buildings and schools had a special history lesson.
It was a solemn occasion, disturbed only by the clamour of East European Jews who have yet to be be compensated, groups representing the anti-Nazi resistance and the enduring row over a gigantic tombstone that is supposed to be erected in memory of almost 6 million Jews.
"The Day of Commemoration is in danger of turning into a farce," declared Green MP Volker Beck. "Many victims are asking: `which victims are being commemorated today?'"
He replied: "Not the tens of thousands who deserted from the Wehrmacht". For five decades Mr Beck has tried in vain to decriminalise soldiers who had refused to follow orders. Deserters remain traitors under the laws, and are thus deprived of a war pension.
And Germany has paid only partial compensation to many East European Jews, and none at all to survivors in the Baltic republics.
That is not to say that the German state has suddenly become tight- fisted. A Holocaust memorial is to be erected in the centre of Berlin, engraving the names of known Jewish victims on a slab of granite the size of a football pitch. But many Jews feel that the government should pay more attention both to the victims, and to the preservation of the camps where they suffered, than to erecting artificial shrines.
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Ian Brady: Moors murderer announces his support for Ukip and the SNP
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Power of Nepal earthquake was equivalent to 20 huge atomic bombs
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...
£20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Support Engi...