Jews in German City of Cologne Angered by Defacing of Holocaust Memorial by Animal Rights Extremists
The Jewish community in the German city of Cologne was locked in a battle with animal rights activists this week, following a demonstration last weekend in which a Holocaust memorial fountain was vandalized with red dye to simulate blood, alongside slogans protesting cruelty to animals.
Abraham Lehrer — the deputy chairman of the Central Council of Jews in Germany and a leader of the community in Cologne — declared in a statement that the defacement of the Löwenbrunnen children’s memorial was “an act of boundless tastelessness and a mockery of the victims of the Holocaust, especially children and young people and their surviving relatives.”
Designed in 1997 by artist Hermann Gurfinkel, the memorial is located on the former site of Jawne, a Jewish school, in the center of the city. An exhibition on the history of the school is also based there.
The fountain commemorates more than 1,100 Jewish children who were deported from Cologne to concentration camps during the period of Nazi rule in Germany. The names of the children are recorded on eight bronze plates at the base of the fountain.
Activists associated with the “Animal Rebellion” organization which staged the protests angrily denied that the fountain had been targeted for antisemitic reasons.
They pointed out that several fountains in the city had been selected for the red dye protest against factory farming methods.