Germany is condemning a contest in Iran for cartoons depicting the Holocaust, saying it sows hatred and deepens divisions in the Middle East.
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The event was organized by non-governmental bodies with support from Iran's hard-liners. A previous contest in 2006 got a boost from then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who referred to the Holocaust as a "myth."
German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said Wednesday that "the murder of 6 million men, women and children during the Holocaust, for which we Germans bear guilt and responsibility, must not be abandoned to ridicule."
Schaefer said German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier made clear during a February visit to Tehran that no further such competition should take place, and that it was "very regrettable" it went ahead.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned the contest.