A smaller version of the famous Berlin monument commemorating the victims of the genocide committed by the Nazis has recently been set up by a group of Germans near AfD member Björn Höcke's house.
Protesters have erected 24 large concrete slabs in a garden near the right-wing politician's house, explaining their decision through a desire to remind him of the atrocities committed by the Nazis against the Jews during World War II.
"We are doing our neighborly duty," the activists' leader, Philipp Ruch, told the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper. "We hope he enjoys the view every day when he looks out the window."
The campaign came as a response to the politician's speech in January in which he said that Germans should stop making up for the wartime guilt and criticized the famous Holocaust monument in Berlin.
"We Germans, our people, are the only people in the world who have erected a monument of shame in the heart of their capital," he said, causing controversial reactions among the German population.
Following his statement, the activists secretly rented an apartment near Höcke's house in the village of Bornhagen 10 months ago and started working on their monument idea.
The initiative has galvanized social media users, causing active online debates.
Some netizens supported the initiative, saying that war crimes shouldn't be forgotten and that some politicians have to be reminded of this…
Der Holocaust war auch ein tiefer Eingriff ins Privatleben — für 6 Mio Juden sogar tödlich. Das wollen Bernd und einige der 6 Mio AfD-Wähler natürlich nicht wahrhaben. Da hilft es schon, wenn das geschmähte Denkmal nun aufdringlich wird.— Old Nobody (@oldnobody2015) 22 ноября 2017 г.
The Holocaust was also a deep invasion of private life, for 6 million Jews even a deadly one. Of course, Bernd [Björn] and some of the 6 million AfD voters do not want to admit that. It could help, when the maligned monument attracts attention.
I think the campaign is great! Cool, and hopefully sometime the day will come when he would be deprived of his official status and would never again confuse students with distorted history as a history teacher […].
I like it! Pure satire. A nice idea that will make him battle with nausea every morning. Probably, he will then have similar thoughts as we, normal-thinking people, when we have to deal with messages from him or about his person!
… others assessed the move positively, but at the same time expressed their concerns over web cameras, allegedly set up near the politician's house.
A targeted campaign that is exactly directed against Höcke — first of all, applause. However, the webcams should actually cover only the artwork, not Bernd's house or his driveway. Even Bernd Höcke actually has the right to his privacy.
At the same time, many social media users have severely criticized the move, calling it a "Gestapo method."
Stasi or Gestapo methods [used] to terrorize a political opponent are not art, but a crime. #BjoernHoecke #AfD
"If you don't agree with the current migrant politics, we will build you a private holocaust memorial. Because it's all connected." German activists, literally. @BjoernHoecke pic.twitter.com/flzIdsueoF— Anna Maria (@FarmgirlAnna) 22 ноября 2017 г.
Some of them stressed that the protest campaign has nothing to do with art, and condemned it as interference into the private realm.
It's incomprehensible how media such as @tagesspiegel, @tagesschau @zeitonline or @taz_news are celebrating this eerie violation of Höckes' privacy and interference into his family.
Die sind selbst alle mehr linke Aktivisten als objektive Journalisten.— Riedel (@riedel_90) 22 ноября 2017 г.
They are themselves all rather more left-wing activists than objective journalists.
Bin kein Höcke Fan und sehe ihn kritisch, aber das geht zu weit und gehört strafrechtlich verfolgt.— Rafael (@Methusalem917) 22 ноября 2017 г.
I'm not Hoecke's fan and view him critically, but that goes too far and is a subject for prosecution.
Mein Gott, was bei uns in Deutschland mitlerweile alles möglich ist. Sowas wird auch noch aus Steuermitteln mitfinanziert. Einfach krank.— Ostfriesenjunge (@Ostfriesenjung3) 22 ноября 2017 г.
My God, everything seems to be able to happen in Germany nowadays. This is also co-financed by tax revenues. Just sick.