Fun Munich carnival held on Holocaust remembrance day angers Jews
German Jewish leaders protests led to postponement of other festival originally set for Jan. 27.
As many places around Germany marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Sunday, a carnival was held in Munich, where Mayor Christian Ude took part in a procession of fools. The carnival drew harsh protests from the leadership of Germany's Jewish community, as well as from politicians and church leaders.
The protests led to the postponement of a similar procession in Regensburg, but the organizers in Munich, backed by the mayor, said they were unable to call off the event, which had been scheduled well in advance, noting that the day was not an official commemoration day. The organizers agreed only to change the parade's route, so as not to pass near a square in the city center with a memorial to Nazi victims.
Germany nominated January 27 as a national day of commemoration in 1996, to mark the date that the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated by Russian troops. The United Nations General Assembly meanwhile named this date International Holocaust Remembrance Day in November 2005.
Outside of Munich, Sunday was marked with minutes of silence and the laying of wreaths at events throughout Germany.
Speaking at the site of the Dachau concentration camp, Evangelical Bishop Wolfgang Huber said the memory of 1933-45 Hitler dictatorship had to be kept alive.
The head of the German Sinti and Roma, Romani Rose, said German politicians were at least partly responsible for the rise of right-wing extremism in the country.
Speaking on Saturday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Germans faced "a calling and a duty" never to allow anything like the Nazi period to occur again.