The controversial steel pillar of the artist collective “Center for Political Beauty” (ZPS) in front of the Reichstag building has been dismantled since Thursday morning. ZPS spokesman Philipp Ruch confirmed this. Otherwise, the district office in Mitte would have started to remove the pillar, which had since been concreted in, as district mayor Stephan von Dassel (Greens) said.
“The most beautiful oath of pillar is of little use without a basic social consensus among the progressive forces,” Ruch wrote in an SMS to the Tagesspiegel. “The area of the Kroll Opera, where conservatism betrayed German democracy, will be one of the central political stories in this decade. And now again without any historical support.”
Construction workers were working on site on Thursday. The construction fence was picked up by the district office, around the stele was dug to the foundation, the concrete was loosened with a jackhammer. The order reached the company in the morning, said a local manager. At the moment you are waiting for a crane to lift the stele out of the ground. Then the hole is closed. The work should be completed in the afternoon.
Actually, the column should have disappeared long ago
The ZPS, known for controversial campaigns, was criticized from the start for the erection of the column. It had claimed that the stele contained ashes from victims of the Nazi mass murders. The ZPS claimed that it had subsequently removed the ashes and handed them over to the Orthodox Rabbi Conference Germany, which they had buried in a Jewish cemetery, as the Rabbi Conference confirmed.
The district office had given those responsible until December 20, 2019 to dispose of it, which the artist collective had objected to. ZPS spokesman Ruch justified the dismantling of the “memorial” with the dismissal of the objection.
In early January, a group of around 20 people, including Jewish activists, tried to dismantle the pillar. “One shouldn’t make art and politics with ashes from victims of the Holocaust,” the author Eliyah Havemann had said. dpa / HSch / JB