Israel condemns 'vile and repugnant' Holocaust-themed carnival parade

The parade featured Nazi officers, women wearing concentration camp outfits, and dancing on a float representing Auschwitz


Israeli and Spanish officials have expressed their horror at a “vile and repugnant” Holocaust-themed carnival parade that took place in central Spain on Monday.

The parade, held in the town of Camp de Criptana, included the Holocaust-themed display put on by the region’s El Chaparral Cultural Association.

The association’s performance featured floats depicting Auschwitz crematoria while a woman in a revealing Nazi uniform and thrashing a whip danced to disco music. Men dressed as Nazi officers and children wearing yellow stars also participated.

Other floats represented the gates to Auschwitz, while elsewhere women wearing corsets, tight shorts and concentration camp uniforms as overcoats clutched Israeli flags and danced with mocked-up gunshot wounds to the heart.

The Israeli embassy in Madrid condemned the carnival as a “vile and repugnant banalisation of the Holocaust,” tweeting on Tuesday that it “mocks the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis”.

Israeli ambassador, Rodica Radian-Gorden added that she was “horrified” and that the parade represented an “intolerable expression of antisemitism.”

El Pais reported that the Israeli embassy was seeking an explanation from the local municipality.

The Auschwitz Museum expressed outrage, stating the carnival was “far beyond vulgar kitsch” and was “without any relevance, without reflection and respect.”

Spain’s Foreign Minister Arancha Gozalez Laya wrote on Wednesday: “I totally reject any trivialisation of the Holocaust”.

She said that the organisers of the carnival had apologised to the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain, the umbrella organisation that represents Spain’s Jews.

The municipality said that it had permitted the event to go ahead on the understanding that the performance would honour the Holocaust’s dead.

It said in a statement: “We share the criticisms that have been expressed. If the aim was to commemorate the victims it’s obvious the attempt fell short.”

The municipality shared its “absolute condemnation” of the Holocaust and any “mockery or trivialisation of the issue”.

In January, the carnival troupe announced that its chosen theme intended to honour “the millions of people who unjustly, died in the extermination that took place during World War II.”

It continued that it intended to “present the issue as a mere historical fact, without pretending to make any kind of political allusion, or that could be offensive or hurtful for someone”.

One parade float read that the performance was “in memory of the six million”.

As details were shared of the carnival on social media, the hashtag #EsFascismoNoEsCarnaval (Fascism is not Carnival) trended across Spain.

Parades occur across Spain, Latin America and Europe in the lead-up to Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of Lent.

Plans for the troupe to parade in neighbouring towns have been cancelled.

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