Berlin Police Apologize After Officers Pictured Doing Push-Ups on Holocaust Memorial

Photo Credit: Picture Alliance / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Picture Alliance / Getty Images

Berlin’s police chief has issued an apology after two officers were filmed performing push-ups on part of the German capital’s Holocaust memorial, which is dedicated to the six million Jews who lost their lives during World War II.

Prisoners standing on both sides of an electrified fence
Prisoners of a concentration camp in Germany. (Photo Credit: Hulton Deutsch / Getty Images)

Images of the officers were published by German tabloid, Berliner Zeitung (B.Z.), showing them leaning upon one of the concrete slabs that make up the memorial. According to the newspaper, the pictures are stills from a video the officers themselves filmed over a holiday weekend this past May. They’d been deployed to the area to manage demonstrations.

The Holocaust memorial, located near the Brandenburg Gate, contains 2,700 grey concrete slabs. It opened in 2005. While accessible to the public, visitors are asked to refrain from acting inappropriately, including running or jumping from one block to another.

Two Berlin police officers leaning against a concrete slab
One of the images showing the officers leaning atop the concrete slab at the memorial. (Photo Credit: 세상만사 / YouTube)

Police chief Barbara Slowik shared that the department will be examining the incident internally, and added that the actions of the two officers do not reflect the attitudes of the entire force, “The behavior of the colleagues disregards what this very memorial stands for, and does not correspond to the respect that must be shown to it and that is shown to it by the Berlin police.

“For me, it also violates the memory of those who were murdered,” she added.

The GdP union, which represented the officers, also released a statement, in which it condemned the “tastelessness” of the actions depicted in the images. “The Holocaust memorial is not an adventure playground,” it wrote. “This inexplicable action mocks the genocide of millions of people and tramples on the values [of the] Berlin police.”

Concrete slabs of the Holocaust memorial
Holocaust memorial in Berlin, Germany. (Photo Credit: SOPA Images / Getty Images)

The officers involved have not publicly commented.

Clare Fitzgerald

Clare Fitzgerald is a Writer and Editor with eight years of experience in the online content sphere. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from King’s University College at Western University, her portfolio includes coverage of digital media, current affairs, history and true crime.

Among her accomplishments are being the Founder of the true crime blog, Stories of the Unsolved, which garners between 400,000 and 500,000 views annually, and a contributor for John Lordan’s Seriously Mysterious podcast. Prior to its hiatus, she also served as the Head of Content for UK YouTube publication, TenEighty Magazine.

In her spare time, Clare likes to play Pokemon GO and re-watch Heartland over and over (and over) again. She’ll also rave about her three Maltese dogs whenever she gets the chance.

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