Holocaust Memorial Architect Criticized over Nazi Joke | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 08.03.2004
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Holocaust Memorial Architect Criticized over Nazi Joke

The architect of Berlin's Holocaust Memorial, which is currently under construction, is under fire after having reportedly made a joke about Nazi gas chambers. The leader of Berlin's Jewish community told Germany's Der Spiegel magazine that the American architect Peter Eisenman, who designed the memorial, should consider taking himself off the project. Eisenman, who is Jewish himself, joked at a meeting of the project's trustees last month that his dentist had asked him if his gold fillings came from firm Degussa, a firm whose subsidiary supplied cyanide tablets for the gas chambers. According to news reports, the architect has reportedly apologized to German Parliament President Wolfgang Thierse, who heads the board. Albert Meyer, the head of the Berlin Jewish community, told the Berliner Zeitung "the so-called joke is … a horror."