World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder on Tuesday strongly condemned a Polish museum for reinstating an offensive art exhibit, which features a video of naked men and women playing tag in one of the gas chambers used by the Nazis to murder Jews in the Holocaust.
The exhibit "Game of Tag" on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow (MOCAK) had been the focus of public fury after previously being shown in an Estonian art museum before being pulled following protests. It then opened in MOCAK in May.
Surprisingly the Israeli Embassy in Warsaw gave its patronage to the "Poland – Israel – Germany: The Experience of Auschwitz" exhibit in which the disturbing film was shown, but following protest the patronage was pulled and the exhibit was closed – only to later be reinstated by the Krakow museum.
"Despite the protestations of Shoah (Holocaust – ed.) survivors and many others, Jews and non-Jews alike, the museum continues to show an exhibit that hurts many people’s feelings. We urge the MOCAK to immediately remove this exhibit," stated Lauder.
Lauder noted, "we are very disappointed that a distinguished museum like the MOCAK would screen a film that causes extraordinary anguish to Auschwitz survivors and many others to whom the Holocaust is not a remote event in history, but rather serves as an enduring warning about the dangers of anti-Semitism, racial hatred and xenophobia."
“Whatever the legality of that decision, we can only express shock that sensationalism in the guise of freedom of artistic expression should trump sensitivity and goodwill, and, of all places, Krakow should show some sensitivity to the feelings of survivors.”
In the video nude people can be seen entering the gas chamber one by one and then starting a game of tag. At the end of the clip a message details that the footage was shot in a gas chamber as well as in a private home basement.