Update: June 5, 2012
The news of the visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau by members of the German football team has been reported in the New York Times, along with a video of the visit which you can see here.
The video shows the placing of a wreath at the Black Wall, where resistance fighters were executed after being convicted in a court in Block 11. Very few Jews were killed at this wall, which you read about here.
The German visit included Block 5 in the main camp where there are exhibits. Then it was on to Birkenau where the visitors placed candles at the International Monument before going to the Sauna building where there is an exhibit of old photos, as shown in the photo below.
The video did not show the German visitors inside the gas chamber in the main camp. Did they skip this part of the Auschwitz tour?
Did the German visitors walk to the former soccer field which is behind the ruins of the Krema III gas chamber? When I started my blog on Feb. 5, 2010, my very first post was about the prisoners playing soccer while the Jews were being gassed, within sight of the players, a few yards away.
Continue reading my original post:
The Jewish community in Germany has criticized the recent visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau by members of Germany’s national football team.
This quote is from a news article on the Spiegel Online website:
The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, on Sunday criticized the German Football Association after only three members of the national team visited the Auschwitz death camp on Friday in the run up to the Euro 2012 soccer championship in Poland and Ukraine that starts on June 8.
“If the whole national team had come, one could have reached hundreds of thousands of young people — more than a thousand memorial speeches” could reach, Graumann told a meeting of the Council in Hamburg on Sunday, according to a report by the German Catholic news agency KNA. Graumann also pointed out that the whole of the England team planned to visit Auschwitz.
When will the German people learn that it’s never enough? No matter how much money the Germans give to the Jews in reparations, no matter how much money and weapons that the Germans give to Israel, it is never enough. The Jews will never be satisfied: the Germans can never bow low enough to the Jews. Germany can never be forgiven for the Holocaust.
According to the Spiegel Online article, Dieter Graumann lambasted the director of the German team, for his “colosssl insensitivity” in using “the German word Kamingespräch for fireside chat — a reference to an informal discussion or briefing. Kamin means fireplace but can also mean chimney, which Graumann said evoked the chimneys of Auschwitz.”
This quote from the Spiegel Online explains why this choice of words offended the Jews:
Graumann, who had urged the German team in March to visit Auschwitz, on Sunday accused the director of the German team, Oliver Bierhoff, of being insensitive in his choice of words on the matter. Bierhoff, in charge of public relations for the national team, had said in March that the squad would address the Holocaust during the tournament but had not decided in what form that would happen. “It can be a fireside chat or a lecture,” he had said. Bierhoff used the German word “Kamingespräch” for fireside chat — a reference to an informal discussion or briefing. Kamin means fireplace but can also mean chimney, which Graumann said evoked the chimneys of Auschwitz.
He said the use of the word Kamingespräch showed “colossal insensitivity and tastelessness” and was unbearable given “that people in Auschwitz, my grandparents for example, were gassed, incinerated and sent up the chimney.”
I predict that all the players on Germany’s team will soon be going to Auschwitz to lay a wreath at the chimney, through which Graumann’s grandparents went.
You can read about the Auschwitz ovens and the chimney built by the Soviets here.
This final quote is from the Spiegel Online article which you can read in full here:
Bierhoff had said in March that the German team had to focus on its sporting performance while in Poland and that Auschwitz was a long way — 570 kilometers — from the team’s base in Gdansk on the Baltic Coast. The England team only has a 70-kilometer journey to Auschwitz from its base in Krakow. Bierhoff had added that the DFB wanted to avoid any visit looking like a “PR exercise.”
Never mind the “sporting performance” of the German team. The most important thing is to bow down to the Jews. I previously blogged about why the German team should NOT go to Auschwitz-Birkenau here. I blogged about the number of German Jews who were killed in the Holocaust here.