Holocaust memorial built outside home of nationalist politician Bjorne Hoecke after comments stir outrage

Holocaust memorial built outside home of nationalist politician Bjorne Hoecke after comments stir outrage

Holocaust memorial built outside home of nationalist politician Bjorne Hoecke after comments stir outrage

Updated 24 November 2017, 9:40 AEDT

A German political art group builds a mini-replica of Berlin's Holocaust memorial near the home of Bjoern Hoecke, a far-right nationalist politician, saying that they will only remove the artwork if the politician kneels before it and sincerely asks for forgiveness.

A German political art group has constructed a pared-down version of Berlin's Holocaust memorial near the home of a far-right politician who sparked outrage by suggesting Germans should stop atoning for Nazi guilt.

Bjoern Hoecke, a senior member of the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, criticised the memorial in Berlin in January, saying: "Germans are the only people in the world who plant a monument of shame in the heart of the capital."

The Centre for Political Beauty, a Berlin-based art group, livestreamed its work on a miniature replica of the memorial near the politician's house in a small village in the eastern state of Thuringia.

The original memorial includes 2,711 concrete slabs of varying heights, arranged in a grid pattern, that serves as a sombre reminder of the 6 million Jews who were killed by the Nazis.

The group said it has collected a third of the 28,000 euros ($43,500) required to keep the replica memorial in Mr Hoecke's neighbourhood until the end of 2019.

"We hope he enjoys the view every day when he looks out the window," the group's leader Philipp Ruch told the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper.

Ruch said the group secretly began renting the property next door to Mr Hoecke's house about 10 months ago in response to his controversial comments.

"He will now have to deal with the fact that he has neighbours who don't consider the Holocaust Memorial a 'monument of shame', but who try to remember what had happened, to prevent it from happening again," Mr Ruch said.

The political art group said it offered to remove the memorial if Mr Hoecke would kneel in front of it and ask sincerely for forgiveness — like former chancellor Willy Brandt did in 1970 outside the Warsaw Ghetto Monument.

The AfD politician has defended his speech and denies that he criticised the memorial.

He said he had made clear in his comments the Holocaust was a disgrace and that Germany had a monument to it.

Mr Hoecke did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on the replica memorial.

Supporters of the AfD congregated outside Mr Hoecke's home outraged by the actions of the political art group.

Reuters/ABC