Sunday, October 08, 2006

Cartoons Exhibition in Copenhagen Causes Anger in Jewish Community

(Bitsch drawings that have provoked an uproar in Danish media. Click on drawings for larger prints)

The Cartoons made by the Danish artist Joergen Bitsch, which were among winners in the holocaust cartoons competition in Iran, are now on exhibit at the Café Riga in Vesterbro Copenhagen. This has caused outrage in the Jewish religious community, Mosaisk Trossamfund, in Copenhagen. The leader of Mosaisk Trossamfund, Jacques Blum has called those responsible for the exhibition "useful tools" for the priesthood in Teheran. The gallery manager Bent Jespersen has been accused of making fun of holocaust.

The drawings, or those among them that have caused the most consternation (can be seen in a higher resolution here) , depict three starved children, the one to the left being a victim of holocaust and those to the right victims of the present/and future globalised world order.

Is the whole matter really a case of "the chickens coming home to roost?" after the Mohammed cartoons: The Danes being not so open-minded as they thought they were, when the victims of freedom of expressions were the muslims? It's hard to tell. So far, the holocaust cartoons have mostly been debated in intellectual circles, where opinions are divided. Most people tend to view them as artists' freedom of expression. But also some people express some "solidarity" with the Jews in Mosaisk Trossamfund and condemn the drawings. What has probably enraged jews the most is the fact that the infant victim of holocaust is holding a note in his hand that says "goodwill", and the fact that the title of the three cartoons is "Where's the Real Holocaust?".


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