File photo: Rammstein performs with flares on stage during heavy metal Wacken Open Air (WOA) Festiva
German band Rammstein blasted for concentration camp video
Jewish organizations and the Israeli government condemn hard rock band's new video showing members dressed as concentration camp inmates; band’s provocative imagery draws accusations of promoting far-right nationalism, group rejects allegations
Jewish organizations and the Israeli government criticized German hard rock band Rammstein on Thursday for a video promoting its new single that features group members on an execution gallows dressed as concentration camp inmates.
Several organizations called the music video for the upcoming single, “Deutschland,” tasteless and unacceptable.
“Whoever misuses the Holocaust for marketing purposes acts in a deplorable and immoral way,” Central Council of Jews in Germany leader Josef Schuster said.
His criticism was echoed by the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
“This Rammstein clip, using the Holocaust for advertisement purposes, is shameful and uncalled for,” ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon tweeted. “We join the many voices calling for its immediate removal.”
The band’s provocative imagery and lyrics long has drawn accusations its work promotes far-right nationalism, an allegation Rammstein rejects.
For one its previous music videos, Rammstein used clips from Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl’s film about the 1936 Olympics.
The “Deutschland” video features scenes from 2,000 years of German history, presented in the gory style that’s a trademark of the band and its music genre.
Berlin actress Ruby Commey appears as a personification of Germany. In one scene, she appears to wear a Nazi-style uniform. The band members, dressed in the clothes of prisoners at a World War II Nazi concentration camp, are executed while rockets blast off in the background.
The lyrics of “Deutschland” include the line: “Germany, your love is curse and blessing. Germany, I can’t give you my love.”
Karl Freller, a conservative German lawmaker who directs a foundation that manages war memorials in the state of Bavaria, invited the band to visit the site of the Dachau concentration camp, where tens of thousands of people died.
“The suffering and inhumanity of the Holocaust shouldn’t be used for advertising purposes or gimmickry to promote a product, regardless of what it is,” German news agency dpa quoted Freller as saying.